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Pennsylvania Convention CenterThe Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority has announced that the much-anticipated elimination of an 8 percent labor management fee will formally take effect on July 1, 2012.

The fee elimination, first announced in April 2012, is one of several changes designed to enhance customer service at the Center, including mandatory hospitality training of workers, a new customer service booth on the show floor, and increased transparency of labor rates and hours.

“The elimination of the 8 percent labor management fee reflects our commitment to reducing costs for our customers, as well as improving the overall customer experience,” said Ahmeenah Young, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA).  “Customer service is our top priority, so when customers voiced their concern about the fee, we took steps to respond. Other changes, such as mandatory hospitality training and improving transparency on labor hours and rates, reflect our desire to provide the best experience possible for anyone who walks through our doors.”

The elimination of the fee is expected to significantly improve the Center’s ability to serve existing customers and enhance its competitiveness for future conventions and meetings.  Similarly, as part of its commitment to transparency, the Pennsylvania Convention Center plans to begin posting its labor rates online at www.paconvention.com, where they can be readily reviewed by customers, including contractors, show managers and exhibitors.

This week, the Center will also complete an initiative to provide mandatory hospitality training forPennsylvania Convention Center every individual who works in the building.  That effort, which trained approximately 700 individuals, has already been paying dividends.  One meeting planner recently told The Philadelphia Inquirer she was “blown away” when labor unions approached her after an event to thank her for her business.  She noted it was a stark contrast to the reputation of labor within the meeting industry.

In recent weeks, the Center also established a new Show Floor Customer Service Booth to answer exhibitor and customer questions, as well as troubleshoot potential problems from the moment they arise.  Other recent changes, instituted at the suggestion of customers, include a ban from workers using cell phones or mobile devices on the show floor, as well as a dedicated break area for workers.

“We recognize that hosting a successful event is a team effort, requiring the commitment of our staff, as well as labor and contractors,” said Young.  “Good teams need to undergo a constant self-evaluation process with an eye toward identifying opportunities for improvement and innovation.  So while these short-term changes are a good start, we continue to work on a number of longer-term projects to improve the level of satisfaction of our customers and ensure that every customer is a repeat customer.”

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