Aug 8, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Summer slow-down? Beach vacations? Not at Conference Services!
Just as the academic year ends, temperatures start to rise and so does the workload for a relatively small team of conference professionals and student staff, based out of Commander Commons on West Campus. This is our office – Georgia Tech Conference Services.
Summer conference season 2018 began as early as May 6 with Georgia Tech students transitioning into summer intern housing. The next week was spent fielding calls and planning logistics, while 24 full-time and nine part-time student employees went through an intense set of trainings.
The summer operation continued with staff working and available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.
During the course of a three-month period, coordination and services were provided to 5,970 guests, participating in 64 programs, staying 69,500 bed nights. This includes 782 guests living with us for the majority of the summer, as part of the Intern Lodging Program and Georgia Tech Departmental Extended Lodging Program.
A point of pride not only comes from the number of guests served and exposure to our wonderful campus, but also the financial benefit and extra employment opportunities provided to our campus partners and students.
During summer 2018, on behalf of our clients, Conference Services purchased 473 parking passes and 59 bus loops. We coordinated and purchased 1,506 meeting spaces and processed 2,164 pieces of mail (none lost!). We worked in conjunction with Georgia Tech Dining Services (Sodexo) to purchase and coordinate 66,383 meals for our guests. This is particularly satisfying as our guests are a reason why Sodexo is able to maintain employment for workers that may have otherwise been laid off during the summer months.
In the end, why are we here? Answer: Students!
Not only do our revenues go to decrease student fees, but our operation gives students an opportunity to hone customer service, logistics and general business-related skills, along with adding to their resume’s. This is structured through a hierarchy system of conference assistants, student managers and interns that encourages collaboration, responsibility and growth. This past summer we employed 24 conference assistants, seven student managers and two interns. It was enjoyable and fulfilling for professional staff to watch each student grow into their role as the summer moved on.
Lastly, we take a lot of pride in helping our Housing colleagues prepare for new student arrival in the fall. Our set-up crew did an incredible job installing bed rails for traditional buildings, raising and lowering beds and executing room checks for extra furniture purchase. We also worked closely with facility management to work around renovation projects and provide a master list of building issues, so they would be ready for the new academic year.
So, no. There is no summer slow-down. But, that’s just the way we like it!
John H. Nussear IV
Director-Housing, Conference Services