Le Meridien Chicago takes AV services in-house

Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center has approximately 4,000 square feet of event space. Photo credit: AVaStar

Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center has installed audiovisual/event technology services from AVaStar, taking the AV services in-house instead of using third-party providers. The property has approximately 4,000 square feet of event space, and a few months ago, management began looking for a solution that would increase revenues and drive profits. 

The AVaStar program is built upon a single, dedicated software-as-a-service platform for conducting all AV technology activities, including planning and providing audiovisual services, managing meeting needs, scheduling resources, getting guided technical assistance and tracking financial performance. It ensures that equipment and services are delivered and meeting customer expectations by prompting nontechnical users with interactive, step-by-step sales, setup and troubleshooting procedures. By ensuring that equipment is where it needs to be, when it needs to be and in peak working condition and appearance, the customer experience is improved, revenues are tracked and expenses are managed. 
The AVaStar subscription includes a layer of above-property support for audiovisual. This support provides on-going assistance to each subscriber property and has a resource for advice, assistance and AV training on common equipment usage and techniques.
“We’ve enjoyed an almost 40 percent year-over-year improvement in profitability in just the first five months,” Martin Schooley, VP of operations at Wischermann Partners, manager of Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center, said in a statement. “AVaStar has been creative and responsive, as we have tailored a program that meets the needs of our hotel and our guests.”

Part of the AVaStar service was to identify the equipment inventory that would be required to support the day-to-day needs of business meetings and social events and assist the property with AV procurement. Since the inventory covers the standard meeting and event needs, the hotel has only occasional need to rent specialty or supplemental items, like additional microphones. Using the purchase order system within AvaStar, these cross-rented items are tracked so that current needs are met and invoiced properly, and future purchase assessments can be made to ensure a maximized return on investment.
“In addition to implementing the AVaStar platform, Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center took the extra step of adding a full-time AV supervisor position to better support planners and event attendees,” AVaStar Managing Director Eric Bracht said. “We are pleased to report that the event planning experience has improved significantly, now that the same person is supporting customers ‘on the floor’ from beginning to end."