With our extensive refurbishments underway, we took some time out to speak to Allan Curtis, Leith’s customer services manager, to find out what brought him here, what he thinks about the changes the venue is undergoing and the customer experience that awaits…
Hi Allan, how long have you worked at the QEII?
I have been working at the QEII as part of the Leith’s team since 2006 as a freelancer and last year came on board as a full time customer services manager. I have worked in exhibitions and conferences all over the world for nearly 40 years and was the VIP Royal Liaison for all ship namings at P&O, the Event Director for a Sun Group Wedding in India – working with Lady Elizabeth Anson, House Manager for the London International Horse Show and even featured on an ITV documentary with Alan Titchmarsh called ‘All the Queen’s Horses’. My career has been rather eclectic! I’m very much a people person and the events world is without doubt people-centric.
What do you like about working at the QEII?
The range of people that I meet from all walks of life and from different types of businesses. No day is the same and with the variety of events that take place here at QEII, every event is unique. This has been a refreshing change, as exhibitions which I have worked in before tended to be very similar, with the same old faces.
How do you feel about the new refurbishments?
I am extremely excited about the modernisation of QEII. I think regular clients will be impressed and I honestly believe the changes will attract new business. Introducing our new onsite café, QEII Sanctuary, will give attendees the opportunity to relax and enjoy a coffee before an event or conference and perhaps a beer or glass of wine afterwards, enhancing their experience. As long-term catering partners, we’re also investing in new cutlery, china and menus to give a more modern air to the traditional hotel buffet presentation.
How will the refurbishment affect the client’s experience?
The refurbishments taking place are to heighten client’s experience. We are creating changes we know will be really appreciated and will deliver even more value for money. The customer journey will become far more seamless.
What do you think makes a good customer experience?
Delegates and clients should arrive to a well organised event within a truly accessible venue. They can start their day with a delicious coffee, attend their event and then enjoy memorable food at lunch. All the while, staff are friendly, attentive and willing to help however they can, making the whole event enjoyable and purposeful.