The Hussey Seating Blog, where you'll find the latest news and industry information coming from Hussey Seating Company. Our latest installations, innovations and insights on audience seating, school construction and design, gymnasium bleachers, auditorium chairs, stadium seating and spectator seating in general.
We have 13 new "graduates" from the esteemed Hussey University. Thirteen of our newer dealer salespeople have been here in Maine for the last 3 days, getting a crash course from the Hussey Seating "faculty" on how to be an expert in seating solutions, and how to bring value to their customers.
This is actually a rigorous program, and covers, in depth, all of the various high quality Hussey products - specs, positioning, features, and benefits. We teach how to do after-sale service most effectively; how to use national contract purchasing tools; how to use our renowned AIA presentations; the ins and outs of Hussey's social media content and strategy; and training on our newest tool, Revit models for architectural and contractor use.
The course includes several site vists, as well as classroom time - and of course, informal time enjoying the hospitality of Hussey employees, and the mandatory lobster rolls in Kennebunkport!
Our business truly is about delivering value to our chosen customers, and it takes real expertise to share all that value. We can't do it alone from the factory, and have long relied on expert partners (our dealers/disbributors) around the world to be the best vehicle to get our value proposition out there and in use. I am very happy we have 13 more talented and very motivated experts ready now to conquer the seating world!
It seems like the most basic rule of business success – listen to your customers, understand their biggest challenges, their needs, their wants... and then deliver solutions that meet those needs and fulfill those desires. Sounds simple, yet there are plenty of businesses that focus instead on developing a product or service first, then try to convince potential customers why they need it.
At Hussey Seating, we've always believed in the power of the Voice of the Customer. First and foremost as the surest means of developing the right solution for a particular customer's needs, one that delivers the maximum value to that customer. But also as the best possible endorsement of our capabilities once the job is done.
If you're looking to get the most from your audience seating space, give a listen to the voices of our customers here on our website. And if you like the idea of working collaboratively with a partner who starts by listening, let's get to work on the best seating solution for your facility.
I recently attended ArcUS12, a three-day networking event that brings together architects, designers and suppliers for seminars, scheduled 30-minute meetings and lots of opportunities to socialize. The event was superbly planned and executed (kudos to Bond Events, the organizers of the forum), and an excellent reminder that "social networking" existed long before LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter etc. appeared on the scene, and that the old school version of face time with your customers is as relevant and powerful as ever.
According to the 15th Annual School Construction Report, the mean price per sq. ft. of new high school construction currently underway nationwide is $203.13, and the mean size is 250,000 sq. ft. That puts the mean price tag for a new high school at around $51 million.
Most of these schools will include large spaces dedicated to specialized activities, like cafeterias, gymnasiums and auditoriums. Many may include other common areas like multi-purpose rooms as well. Given the generally large footprints and specialized equipment contained within these rooms, these are often some of the most expensive spaces in a new school building. And yet, due to their specialized uses, they can be some of the least utilized.
An interesting trend in school design and construction is the movement towards creating multi-use flexibility in these large common spaces, with the intent of increasing the utilization these dedicated spaces and reducing the overall footprint of the school, thereby decreasing construction costs. Many of our dealers have partnered with architects to find creative solutions to this challenge – here are four of the most common and cost-effective solutions:
Combining a Multi-Purpose Room and Auditorium: The Multi-torium
A terrific example of multi-use space flexibility, Reynoldsburg High School in Reynoldsburg, OH relied on our local expert, Farnham Equipment Company to create a space that could be used for a variety of events, large and small. Using a blend of our MAXAM+ Telecopic Platforms, Metro Chairs and a Hussey Seatway traveling telescopic platform, Farnham created a space that will accommodate everything from cheerleader practice or a small chorus practice to a full scale band concert or drama performance.
Combining a Cafeteria and Auditorium: The Cafetorium
An integrated solution developed for Whitmore Lake, MI High School by our dealer, Architectural Systems Group. A 500-seat cafeteria abuts a 173-fixed Quattro seat performance theatre. A MAXAM+ Reverse Fold telescopic platform with Metro seats creates a wall-to wall divider between the spaces in the closed position, and when deployed it opens into the cafeteria, adding 459 seats to the performance space and creating a 632 seat performing arts theater. The smaller performance venue provides the intimate space preferred for teaching and small performances, while the open cafeteria space space is used daily for everything from lunch to dance classes. And the combined venue is used for large school performances and community events – a truly flexible space that increases use and the cost-effectiveness of the design.
Combining a Classroom and Auditorium: The Exploratorium
When Eckles Architecture designed Eden Hall Upper Elementary School in Gibsonia, PA, they included a large interactive learning space called "The Learning Tree" that was designed as an education auditorium for a wide variety of learning experiences. With a flat floor design and the inclusion of three sections of MAXAM+ Telescopic platform with Metro chairs, the solution developed by our local dealer, C.M Eichenlaub Co., is highly configurable and ADA friendly since no ramps are required. Carpeted decks add desired acousitcal and aesthetic qualities, and the individual seating sections can be configured to acommodate any class size. And when fully deployed, the space becaomes a large performing arts or community event space.
Combining a Gymnasium and Auditorium: The Gymatorium
Lonoke High School in Lonoke, AR had a predicament that’s becoming more and more common these days - they had surpassed the needed seating capacity in their auditorium where all of their plays and performances were held. Unfortunately, due to fiscal constraints expanding or building a new auditorium wasn't an option. Hussey Seating dealer Terry Greene of School & Office Products of Arkansas was already working with Lonoke’s architect on specifying new gymnasium bleachers when he heard about their auditorium problem. Terry proposed that they combine multiple Concertina Stage units to create a large portable performance stage in their gymnasium – a venue that can comfortably seat 3,000+ – and accomplished it at a fraction of the cost of new auditorium space.