When the software provider began searching for a new place to host its agile planning event sessions, UofL’s Event and Conference Services team stepped up to deliver the facility and stellar service the gatherings require.
Every two months, Homecare Homebase (HCHB) holds a planning meeting to discuss the next update to its medical software solution.
Getting the company’s developers, quality assurance professionals, product managers and leaders together in one place is critical, according to Release Manager Brad Pack, to ensure everyone understands how the product has been enhanced to improve customer service and discuss the coming program implementation plans.
Finding a location to host the event, though, proved difficult in recent years.
HCHB needed space that could comfortably fit roughly 180 people—about half the company—for both general presentations and smaller group conversations.
A Facility That’s a Perfect Fit
A number of the venues Pack looked at didn’t offer catering. To provide attendees with meals and mid-meeting snacks, Pack and a colleague had to stop by Costco or a local restaurant and load up their cars with donuts, bagels, sandwiches, and soft drinks—a time-consuming task that Pack had to take care of in addition to the responsibilities associated with his release manager role at HCHB.
Audio turned out to be an issue at one location; reverb from a dated sound system made it difficult for people to hear the opening presentations. Parking proved problematic at another.
In addition, the meeting planning work reached the point where Pack was spending so much time coordinating events that he was only able to perform approximately 30 percent of his full-time release manager job duties.
“We had really struggled with trying to find somebody who could accommodate our audio, space and food selections,” Pack says. “[My coworker and I] were doing most of the work on the backend to be able to provide a good meeting.”
So Pack started looking at other options—and was pleased to find the Conference Center at University of Louisville’s ShelbyHurst Campus, which comprises more than 18,000 square feet, is in an easily accessible location and includes a number of services and amenities.
“The room [we use] is very large and has great lighting. The atmosphere is comfortable—the heating and cooling system is comfortable—and by having a lot of open walls, we’re able to hang teams’ storyboards so people can see them,” he says. “And it’s easy in and out. There are several exits to the room. You just don't feel crowded in that space.”
UofL’s staff takes care of various event execution details, ranging from confirming the technology that will be used works to taking the garbage out—something Pack had to do at past locations where HCHB held its planning event. UofL’s team also connected the company with its preferred catering provider so Pack and his coworker no longer had to cart food and drinks in from the parking lot before each meeting.
Being able to outsource much of the event preparation has helped free up his time considerably, allowing him to focus on his main responsibility—making sure new product releases are ready to be introduced.
“My workload for the planning event is down about 75 percent.”
“One of the key things we were looking for was a facility that offered a catering system,” Pack says. “It’s a challenging and time-consuming task; usually on the Wednesday prior to the meeting, it added another two hours onto our day to get all those items ready. My workload for the planning event is down about 75 percent now.”
A Budgetary Boost
HCHB has also been able to save a considerable amount of money by hosting events at UofL, according to Pack.
“Most were charging us not only a large amount to use the facility, but also a large amount for catering [or to outsource catering to a provider]. That is a high expense,” Pack says. “It honestly saved us 50 percent of the original cost we were paying, which is easily probably $8,000-$9,000.”
He was also surprised to see UofL included free Wi-Fi in its room rental package.
“That was a big help for us,” Pack says. “We had to either pay for Wi-Fi at previous places or bring hotspots in. We’ve saved probably close to $1,000 to $2,000 on each meeting by receiving complimentary Wi-Fi.”
Working with one facility on a consistent basis can also provide other advantages.
HCHB doesn't have to try to assess a new floor plan, for instance, or figure out where beverage stations should be situated before each event. Pack knows he can trust the staff to be fully prepared and on-site when the first people arrive around 7:30 a.m. and the general audience walks in by 9 a.m. At a previous venue, planning meeting attendees pulled up to find the building was locked and had to line up and wait outside.
“We can focus on the purpose of the planning meeting, and not all the legwork. You actually feel like you’re getting your money’s worth because the staff is very attentive and provides such good service.”
“The UofL team is exceptionally helpful,” Pack says. “It’s really convenient whenever you can walk in and the facility staff is there with the doors open and the place lit. Everything is ready. We can focus on the purpose of the planning meeting, and not all the legwork. You actually feel like you’re getting your money’s worth because the staff is very attentive and provides such good service.”
Find the Ideal Venue for Your Event
Learn how the facilities and staff at University of Louisville’s ShelbyHurst Campus can help make planning your next event a breeze. Contact us online or call 502.852.0360.