SWIFTEL CENTER ANNUAL REPORT
Cannot RAVE enough! I don’t know about you, but often large venues can be intimidating to book and often get overlooked. “There could be more than one wedding reception going on...” “What if I can’t make it intimate enough?” I heard it all while looking at venues. BUT, with the pandemic, original plans had to change and the entire wedding day was moved to the Swiftel Center - I do mean everything - getting dressed, family pictures, ceremony yep all there! And guess what? There WAS another wedding reception was being held :), - so you may be thinking “this is a rave?” YES - OMG - YES Here is why - we never noticed the other wedding party. We never heard them, saw them. The facility is soundproofed! Dinner was plated and served. ON time and the staff was so professional and polite! The food was AMAZING! Oh and guess what - the other wedding dinner was 15 mins apart from ours! Coordination at its finest. We had one main point person, Jenna, I wish she could run my life! Constantly floating around and just eyeing things, a dropped toy from a little one (she picked it up and played with him), helping clean tables and serve with staff. I notice these kinds of things. And it was those little details that made me appreciate her so much more. The staff worked with everyone, DJ, and photographer to ensure lights, setup, timeline were all on track. I cannot say enough amazing things about my experience working with the Swiftel Center. I don’t plan on ever getting married again, but I do plan on letting people know about the great experience I had! RODRIGUEZ & VANOVERBEKE | Wedding Reception
CONTENTS Full-Service Venue Management & Staff Director’s Desk Facility Partners Eventful Events Spotlight On Numbers Noteworthy Venue Market Reach Industry Training Local Involvement Facility Improvements Financial Performance
4 5 8 10 12 14 18 19 20 21 22 24
FULL-SERVICE VENUE BO O K I NG & E VE NT MANAG E ME NT We are constantly seeking opportunities to host new events as well as managing a healthy portfolio of repeat clients. From the initial booking to locking up after the last guest, our staff is here to make every event the best possible experience.
F O O D & B E VE R A G E Our food and beverage services are performed entirely in-house including concessions, catering, bar and beverage service. We create unique menus and present food with imagination, creativity and visual appeal.
F IN A N C E Our goal is to maximize revenue through the hosting of numerous, well-attended events and minimize expenses through efficient and cost-effective facility operations.
TICKETING We control the guest experience at every ticketing touch-point. This translates into increased repeat guests via all sales channels including online and at the on-site ticket office.
MARKETING Our in-house marketing department creates fresh materials designed to attract audiences through strategically placed advertising, ensuring maximum visibility and on-budget advertising plans.
OP E R A T I O N S Our on-site operations crew facilitates the set up and tear down of every event. Event set up is executed using state-of-the-art equipment, transforming our facility and bringing any event you can imagine to life.
MANAGEMENT & STAFF 2020 SWIFTEL CENTER A DV I SO RY CO M M I T T E E
2020 SWIFTEL CENTER F U L L-T I M E S TA F F
2 0 2 0 B RO O K I N G S C I T Y CO U N C I L
LAURA SCHOEN CARBONNEAU
VisitBrookings Chamber Representative
Associate Executive Director
KYLEIGH CRAMER Volunteer Service Bank City Representative
Associate Director Event Operations
South Dakota State University University Representative
Self-Employed City Representative
Director of Food & Beverage and Executive Chef
Daktronics City Representative
Principal Financial Group City Representative
OPE NIEMEYER NICK WENDELL DAN HANSEN (TERM ENDED 2020)
KRISTINA LANKOW Sales & Marketing Manager
Sideline Productions City Representative
Ticket Office Manager
City of Brookings City Liaison
HOLLY TILTON BYRNE
Food & Beverage Manager
Director of Finance
NATALIE PAGE JENNA PALMER
2020 SWIFTEL CENTER F U L L-T I M E S TA F F (F O R M E R) DUSTIN HUBER (2016-2020) Operations Manager
JAKE MELIUS Operations Supervisor
“I wanted to write you today with my sincerest gratitude to the team at the Swiftel Center for their hard work in securing the three cattle shows this past July. This year has been filled with cancellations that seem endless. Shining as a light in the darkness is our team at the Swiftel Center! With almost half a million dollars in lost revenue up to this point, the quick response and hard work of the Swiftel Center helped to recoup almost half of that deficit just during the month of July. I know they continue to work hard to bring events and business to our area and for that I am very grateful.” MELISA YAGER | General Manager, Holiday Inn Express and Suites Brookings
EAST RIVER POOL TOURNAMENT | DAKOTA TERRITO
WILL SUMMIT | HOME SHOW
| WILL LUNCH | PAWS
MATT FERRANTI | NAIA BANQUET | WHITETAILS UNLI
4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS | AMERICAN-INTERNAIONAL AMERICAN
REDS ON THE PRAIRIE | SDHSAA STATE AA VOLLEYBA
ORY GUN SHOW | TRI-COMPANY DART TOURNAMENT
S FOR WINE | WINTER EXTRAVAGANZA | BRETT YOUNG
IMITED BANQUET | STATE 8-BALL POOL TOURNAMENT
L CHAROLAIS ASSOCIATION JUNIOR NATIONAL SHOW
ALL TOURNAMENT | MG LEAGUES DART TOURNAMENT
DIRECTOR’S DESK It is my pleasure to present the 2020 Annual Report for the Swiftel Center on behalf of VenuWorks. Who could have imagined what was in store for the Swiftel Center and our industry when COVID-19 emerged as a world-wide pandemic? We started the year with great success in January with several annual events and in February we continued that trend with a sold-out Brett Young concert hosted on Leap Day (February 29). March kicked off with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Indoor Track Awards banquet where we served a gourmet pasta buffet to 1,400 student athletes, coaches and administrators in less than 40 minutes. We also hosted the South Dakota State 8 Ball Pool Tournament, lining our arena with pool tables with each having its own individual light hanging above the table utilizing our arena rigging system. Just days later, we closed the building for the first time in facility history due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The live event industry is by nature constantly shifting and changing, which means that our team is well-suited and familiar with pivoting and thinking outside the box. We quickly shifted gears into securing new business and projects to stay viable even with the building closed to the public. Collaborating with the United Way of Brookings, we connected with ICAP which provides the 60s Plus Dining program for the community. Throughout March and April, our team prepared nearly 4,000 meals, helping fill the increased demand for meals with more people isolating and staying home. In April, we secured more than $250,000 through the PPP CARES ACT. This was possible because VenuWorks is a private company and we applied for and received these funds on behalf of the City of Brookings. In May, we met with the Charolais cattle show organizers to strategize and confirm event details, officially deciding that our facility could safely and effectively host this large-scale cattle show even with the concerns of COVID-19. When word got out that the Charolais show was going forward with this show in Brookings, other shows began reaching out to our team. The result was negotiating and booking two additional cattle shows, with the Simmental show being an even larger show than Charolais. Our team worked for weeks to create maps and event plans, working around the clock to set up the facility and orchestrate equipment rentals from around the region to accommodate shows of this magnitude. Our team filled in all positions necessary to pull off the event seamlessly, with our full-time staff working as custodians, banquet servers, bathroom attendants, and whatever other jobs needed to get done. The result was 20 days of a bustling facility, filled with more cows than people. And more than $2.78 million dollars in direct economic impact to our city during a time when our community needed business more than ever. Continuing to think outside the box, VenuWorks’ quick action in March to purchase electro-static sprayers meant we were able to bid on and secure the disinfecting services of City facilities. This new revenue stream for our operation budget helped our goal of obtaining a balanced 2020 budget, no small feat for a year with building closure and limited in-person event potential. Obtaining a balanced budget has also meant we had to freeze open full-time positions and furlough full-time staff members, which means we are currently operating at our usual high “MIDWEST HOSPITALITY” standards but with only half of our full-time staff. Thank you to the Brookings City Council, City Management, Swiftel Center Advisory Committee and all our fans, clients and business partners for your continued support and patronage. We are look forward to brighter days ahead.
TOM RICHTER Executive Director | Certified Venue Executive (CVE)
FACILITY PARTNERS MANAGEMENT
RIGHTS FACILITY NAMING
CONFERENCE CENTER NAMING
“Even though this location is a little over 1,000 miles from my home, I would be happy to have this Charolais Junior show there every year due to the small-town atmosphere, lack of congestion, plenty of parking, friendly staff and many other great things.” TODD THOMPSON | American-International Charolais Association Junior National Show
ROS E T O T HE C HA L L E N G E Congratulations to the Swiftel Center and outstanding staff on another great year. Despite the pandemic, the Swiftel Center and staff rose to the challenge and continued to provide for the quality of life and economic impact for Brookings. It would have been easier to close the doors and send staff home, but that is not the mindset of the Swiftel Center leadership. The staff looked for new ways to support the community efforts throughout the pandemic. The team supported the community by producing ICAP meals and helped deliver more meals to elderly Brookings community members who were most at risk. The staff assisted the City by assembling yard waste containers in the arena as well as purchasing equipment to sanitize City buildings. The Swiftel Center staff continued hosting world-class events during the pandemic while adhering to CDC and City of Brookings guidelines. They hosted three back-to-back-toback cattle shows, boosting the economy of Brookings and brought dollars to town when many retail stores, restaurants and hotels expected to experience a significant loss. The City of Brookings is blessed to have the Swiftel Center and its outstanding staff. We look forward to many outstanding years ahead.
Mayor | City of Brookings
B ROO K I N G S, SD #2 B E S T PL ACE TO L I VE I N SOU T H DAKOTA NICHE.COM | 2020 RANKING
D A Y IN A N D DAY O U T The City of Brookings takes great pride in its welcoming spirit. The Swiftel Center and its team exemplify this effort day in and day out as we celebrate each event and welcome visitors to our premier venue that offers first-class services. Brookings’ success and attraction are founded on exceptional amenities, special events and impeccable service. The Swiftel Center and its team provide a professional experience which is second-to-none for any entertainment event, business meeting or special occasion. On behalf of the City of Brookings, we are proud of all the 2020 success and look forward to an amazing 2021.
City Manager | City of Brookings
“The staff was amongst the best I have ever seen in 40 years of traveling to cattle shows. They were pleasant and extremely adaptable and accommodating.” JIM HERR | American Junior Simmental Association National Classic
AMERICAN-INTERNATIONAL CHAROLAIS ASSOCIATION JUNIOR NATIONAL SHOW JULY 4-11, 2020
AMERICAN JUNIOR SIMMENTAL ASSOCIATION NATIONAL CLASSIC JULY 11-17, 2020
MINNESOTA STATE HOLSTEIN SHOW JULY 20-24, 2020 5 DAYS - 400 HEAD OF CATTLE - 4 STATES
“The staff is by far the highlight of the facility. When we came, we knew that Brookings had a lot to offer with the university and the community being a small-town feel. When we started planning this two years ago, the staff wanted to learn more about our event to make this facility fit what we needed. They came to our events the last two years in Iowa first and then Fort Worth, Texas. That dedication is what made this week such a success.” KAITLYN CHISM | Director of Youth Activities & Foundation, American-International Charolais Association
8 DAYS - 625 HEAD OF CATTLE - 29 STATES
7 DAYS - 729 HEAD OF CATTLE - 31 STATES AND 1 CANADIAN PROVINCE
$2,788,200 ESTIMATED ECONOMIC IMPACT
SPOTLIGHT ON NUMBERS
JULY Cattle Shows
54,918 TOTAL ATTENDANCE
“I wanted to share some numbers we generated from the events you held in July. We anticipated a slow July in light of all the cancellations of events we generally are providing food for. What happened was totally unexpected. Because of the events held at the Swiftel Center in July, we were actually 30% positive in sales for the month. What I really expected was to be down 20% in sales so these events were a huge lift for us. The economic impact provided by the events in July were huge!! Thanks to the team at the Swiftel Center for all you do!! SCOTT MCMACKEN Operating Partner, Papa Johns Brookings
141 TOTAL EVENTS
27 NEW EVENTS
1 .4% 5.0 %
2 .8 %
COMMUNITY & CIVIC
MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS
3.8% COMMUNITY & CIVIC
0.4% INTERNAL USE
MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS
13.0 % CONSUMER SHOWS
27.2% EVENTS BY
NOTEWORTHY VENUE A WORLD OF HEARTS March 31 The Swiftel Center invited a local artist (Ashley Biggar) to handpaint a heart mural in the main lobby, joining in the worldwide #aworldofhearts movement as a way to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mural was featured through August and spanned the entire main lobby, with hearts filling every window panel.
WASTE CART ASSEMBLY April 22 The Swiftel Center team assisted the City of Brookings Landfill by assembling 793 of the new Brookings yard waste carts. A semi full of cart materials was driven directly into the arena where the team unloaded materials and worked together while maintaining proper social distancing to assemble the yard waste carts.
CATERING COLLABORATION March & April In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiftel Center fulltime team recognized the on-site kitchen as an asset to support local community programs. The team connected with the InterLakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) and Brookings Area United Way. In total, the team cooked and packaged more than 3,950 meals.
FACILITY RE-COW-GNITION July 10 & 16 The Swiftel Center team received recognition at both the Charolais and Simmental formal banquets. At each banquet, the team was presented with an award to honor and commemorate the dedication, time and organization of the staff in preparing the facility and executing incredibly successful events.
SOCIAL DISTANCE SPACE September 8 The Swiftel Center hosted the first offsite Brookings City Council meeting. The event was designed to adhere to proper social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, providing ample space so community members could feel comfortable practicing social distancing while also having the opportunity to attend and/or participate in the City Council meeting.
2020 BROOKINGS WEDDING GUIDE 20,000 Distribution
2020 GONNA GET WED BRIDAL SHOW (SIOUX FALLS) Exclusive Venue Sponsor of the Pre-Show Bridal Brunch
2020 THE VOW PLANNER 3,500 Distribution
EXCLUSIVE BRUNCH PRESENTATION LOBBY & SPONSOR BOOTH BANNERS POST-SHOW DIRECT MAIL DIGITAL LOGO ROTATION & WEBSITE ADS TAGGED ON ALL SHOW ADVERTISEMENTS
2020 COMMUNITY GUIDE 35,000 Distribution
WEDDING GUIDE DOWNLOADS
WEDDING INFO INQUIRIES
+ 13.3 %
NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, spending on marketing initiatives was halted on March 13 and the Sales & Marketing Manager was furloughed on August 31. These events created significant challenges for the market reach for the facility.
INDUSTRY TRAINING S E R V SAF E
Staff completed Food Handler certification as training for responsible food service measures. Additional COVID-19 training included:
• SERVSAFE TAKEOUT: COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS • SERVSAFE DELIVERY: COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS
Staff completed Sensory Inclusive certification to learn about sensory needs and providing maximum inclusiveness. Additional COVID-19 training included: • KULTURECITY: COVID-19 MEDICAL SENSORY TRAINING
FT & PT STAFF
completed virtual trainings during closure
HI L L YA R D U NI V ER S I TY
Staff completed COVID-19 courses to facility cleanliness and additional disinfecting procedures, including: • CORONAVIRUS DISINFECTION PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES • CORONAVIRUS - PRECAUTIONS AND PREVENTION • CORONAVIRUS - PLANNING FOR A PANDEMIC • CLEANING PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES • CLEANING PRODUCTS AND APPLICATIONS
MI D W E S T HOS PI TALI TY
The Swiftel Center published a five-part series of hospitality white papers to provide continuous guest services training: • IT’S SHOWTIME! ALWAYS GIVE A STELLAR PERFORMANCE • 6 WAYS TO ROCK AT GREETING GUESTS • 8 COMM. SKILLS FOR EFFECTIVE GUEST INTERACTIONS • 10 BODY LANGUAGE TIPS FOR ROCKSTAR GUEST SERVICE • 12 STEPS FOR DEALING WITH ANGRY GUESTS
EM PLOYEE POR TAL
The Swiftel Center launched an online employee portal for all team members to access training documents, videos, photos, white papers, and other internal trainings. Members can download interactive “high five” cards to award to other staff. A private Facebook group allows members to share stories, ask questions, and celebrate event successes.
LEADERSHIP BROOKINGS GRADUATE
BROOKINGS WILL GEAR UP SUMMIT
Jenna Palmer, Kristina Lankow, Molly Nagelhout
HI G HW AY 1 4 DI TCH CLEANI NG
I C AP ME AL COLLABOR ATI ON
While the facility was closed, the Swiftel Center team continued to keep the building operational by cooking meals for ICAP, producing more than 3,950 meals to accommodate for the increased demand in meal delivery service for elderly community members throughout the pandemic.
ES S EN T I A L W O R K E R T IC K ET G I V E A W AYS
B R OOKI NGS S TAY SAFE PLEDGE
M US I C M ADNESS BR ACKET CON TEST
FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS C OM PL E T E D DU R I N G B UI LDING CLO S U RE 9 Deep cleaned the entire facility 9 Deep cleaned all kitchen, kitchen storage, concessions, and food shelving 9 Disinfected the entire facility 9 Completed full equipment inventory of food and beverage equipment 9 Completed full equipment inventory of operations equipment 9 Removed a wall in East Concessions to maximize the space for concessions and serving 9 Built a portable popcorn machine stand 9 Installed portable plexiglass shield at all points of sale 9 Painted the wall in South Concessions 9 Cleaned and sorted Mezzanine to maximize space and storage 9 Re-organized Cove to maximize space 9 Re-organized liquor room including installing additional shelving to maximize storage capacity 9 Cleaned, sorted and re-organized the Employee Rooom to maximize space and storage 9 Installed “Shout Out” board for Hospitality Training program 9 Sorted and took complete inventory of all staff uniforms 9 Scrubbed, cleaned and disinfected every seat in the arena 9 Created social distance maps including pod-style seating charts 9 Created Ungerboeck Standard Operating Procedure – Master Document 9 Created Ungerboeck Standard Operating Procedure – Wedding Template 9 Created New Event Staff New Hire presentation 9 Created Supervisor Standard Operating Procedure 9 Conducted full website audit and content strategy initiatives 9 Published full series of facility tour videos to ehance sales initiatives 9 Implemented “Strong Together” marketing campaign 9 Implemented “Music Madness” marketing campaign 9 Hosted virtual Easter Egg Hunt in collaboration with VenuWorks facilities 9 Conducted survey of facility patrons 9 Created online Employee Training Portal for enhanced training 9 Created online Promoter Portal for enhanced sales experience
H E ALTH S AF E TY P RO G RAM We actively strive to maintain a facility that provides a diverse, exceptional and positive guest experience. Which includes providing a clear and transparent safety program. Our team worked with the City of Brookings and Brookings Health System to create this comprehensive program based on the most effective health safety practices available. In response to COVID-19, the Swiftel Center is thoughtfully and conscientiously following the recommended guidelines of the CDC as well as the City of Brookings ordinances. In addition to our standard cleaning practices, we are frequently monitoring, cleaning and disinfecting all touchpoints. Touchless hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the facility. Guests are required to follow posted signage and encouraged to practice recommended social distancing. Guests should monitor their individual health and should stay home and seek care if experiencing symptoms. Ensuring your health, welfare and safety has always been and continues to be our highest priority. It is crucial for our services to meet and exceed health guidelines, continuing to provide “MIDWEST HOSPITALITY AT ITS BEST” and ensuring you can come back with confidence.
H E ALTH S AFETY S IG NAG E
H E ALTH S AF E TY VIDE O We know that the best experiences begin with providing a safe and comfortable environment. Our focus is to meet your needs while doing our part to keep our community safe. To prepare for your visit, here’s what you need to know.
E C O N O M I C I M P ACT The Swiftel Center is a catalyst for economic development and consumer spending by attracting attendees. Visitor spending multiplier boosts commercial, retail, restaurant and hotel business throughout the entire region.
“I just wanted to pass along the quick THANK YOU! You guys rocked it. I personally love it when a venue is prepared and ready to go when I arrive…especially the 2nd day out. Your date was probably the easiest date I have had in a bit and I appreciate all the work you did prior to us rolling in.” HOLLY JO ANDERSON Production Manager, Pepper Enterainment, Brett Young Concert
Transfer in Sales & Use Tax
Transfer from 3rd B Tax
Service / Operations
Capital Improvement Projects
TOTAL INCOME & TRANSFER Personnel Services General Administrative
Travel & Motor Vehicle
O P ERAT I O N A L R E V E N U E V S . CI TY OPER ATI NG TR ANS FER $2,500,000
“Thank you for allowing us to have the Pink Ladies State Dart Tournament in Brookings again this year! The Swiftel Center went above and beyond repeatedly sanitizing the entire building as well as taking care of the tournament issues we have to endure. The facility was properly prepared for social distancing! The entire Swiftel Center crew as usual handled everything perfect.” RANDALL OLIVER | Pink Ladies Tournament Director
HOME FREE A Country Christmas Tour December 17, 2016
MIDWEST HOSPITALITY AT IT S BEST. The mission of the Swiftel Center is to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the region by providing a gathering place for cultural, recreational, educational and community events, thereby positively impacting the economy of Brookings.
824 32ND AVENUE | BROOKINGS | SOUTH DAKOTA 57006 605-692-7539 | WWW.SWIFTELCENTER.COM
It is my pleasure to present the 2020 Annual Report for the Swiftel Center on behalf of VenuWorks.