You Have Spoken - March 2017
Monday, March 6, 2017
Posted by: Kevin Shea
We Hear You!
We appreciate your feedback through the GEDA evaluation surveys and want to respond, as well as provide some additional information for your consideration. Last month we had our February monthly luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown Hotel, as we have on a couple of occasions in the past year. There were a number of problems that we experienced at this meeting and many of you shared your concerns with us, from the food quality to the room temperature to the parking. We have let the Crowne Plaza staff know that we were not pleased with a number of things, including some of these items mentioned. We have met with them in person and have asked them to “up their game” significantly for our future GEDA luncheons.
I will address these issues below, but first, some of you have requested that we meet regularly at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, since it is directly across the street from Centergy One building, where many project managers have their offices. While we would like nothing better than to have such a short commute to lunch, especially Kelly, who would only have to use a cart or two to transport the meeting’s registration and marketing materials, instead of driving and paying for parking at another location. Unfortunately, the Georgia Tech Hotel does not give us much notice to reserve their ballroom. Many times, it is less than two months in advance, if it is available at all, when we will learn that they are open to us using their facilities. However, it is difficult to plan our meetings without knowing where you are going to be with less than two months’ notice. Georgia Tech would prefer to receive more revenue from an organization that might purchase sleeping and meeting rooms, in addition to banquet meals, instead of only our luncheon. Other properties in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta are available sometimes, but many times their cost is more than our revenue. We will continue to evaluate our meeting locations and make the best selections from what is available to us each time.
As for our meeting at the Crowne Plaza Midtown last month, the food, particularly the chicken, was not good, and we heard, in many cases, that it was not even edible, and that is not acceptable. At our upcoming monthly meeting on March 13th, we have requested salmon for our lunch entree. If anyone does not want, or cannot eat, fish, please let your server know and they will provide you with an alternative lunch for you. The hotel has done well with its food in the past and we have reminded them of that. Part of the problem could have been the type of chicken, and rest assured that we won’t choose that selection in the future. We are planning for and trusting that we will have very nice meals at future lunches there.
There were several other issues that we heard from you, and noticed on our own, too. One problem is of our own-making; the location of the registration table. We are moving it away from the ballroom entrance and to the right at the top of the stairs. This location will allow for a better networking area and not crowd the entrance doors of the banquet hall. The temperature of the pre-function area and the ballroom was rather warm at the last meeting, as at least one pregnant-member told me, among others. We are requesting that both areas be cooled down prior to the registration and lunch. Also, the wait-staff was rather noisy in their comings and goings from the ballroom, so we have requested that the servers stop clearing the tables while the program is going on, so that the noise will be kept to a minimum. The sound system also left something to be desired and we have alerted the Audio-Visual staff to this so that we can allow all in attendance to hear the program clearly.
Parking was also mentioned as a problem for some. The hotel has valet parking available, but it takes time for our group to disperse after the luncheon. We have asked that the hotel staff-up for this time of the day to alleviate your wait-time to have your automobile delivered to the front entrance. The garage across Spring Street from the hotel is under different ownership from the hotel, so we will try to contact them and ask for assistance in exiting the garage after our meeting.
We will meet at the Crowne Plaza for three more of our monthly meetings this year, in March, August and October. This next meeting in March will be a good test-case for us. We ask you to be patient with the Crowne Plaza staff and us as we work through these issues. If you have other concerns that we have not addressed, please let your GEDA-staff know.
Again, we thank you for your comments, and encourage you to keep them coming. It is only through hearing from you that we can address these shortcomings and improve the experience for you, our members. Thanks again for your membership in GEDA. We trust that the value that you receive will be enhanced in future engagements with our great organization.