Ajax Convention Centre
For the last six years at 550 Beck Crescent, a short distance from Highway 401 and Salem Road exit, the Ajax Convention Centre has serviced the Durham Region along with the Eastern side of the Greater Toronto Area. “Certainly we are an alternative for some of those peripheral business locations,” says Paul Micieli, Director of Sales and Marketing.
The building holds 30,000 square feet of utilizable space. The design of the venue is upscale and timeless. “The décor itself is set up so that it can blend with any type of atmosphere that the client is looking for. It can easily be dressed and enhanced, but does not take away, if the client wants the focus on their event or presentation,” explains Micieli.
Along with social occasions, the venue holds corporate events and galas that cater to as little as 12 or as many as 700 guests. According to Micieli, “The bulk of our corporate clients are from the Ajax/Durham region. We also have a number of not-for-profit organizations that we do a lot of work with.” Large spaces are versatile and can be converted to smaller spaces using air walls to meet the needs of a client. Smaller function rooms are also available for hosting intimate events.
The Ajax Convention Centre offers full in-house catering. “The kitchen staff, led by Kevin Packard, the head chef, is very, very accomplished with over 25 years of experience,” Micieli says. Offering personalized culinary services and catering to clients’ diverse needs is a top priority at the facility. “We offer all types of cuisine,” Micieli says. “We can work from pre-packaged corporate packages, and can also customize, so if there are any dietary restrictions, or the client is looking for something that is a little unique and not just run-of-the-mill, we can provide anything.” Accomplished kitchen staff have European training and previous experience at other high-end venues.
Outside the kitchen, the team at the Ajax Convention Centre is comprised of experienced corporate and social sales staff. Kim Brigden, General Manager, head of Social Sales has been with the Ajax Convention Centre since its inception.
Client Darlene writes of her experience, “We just had a wonderful night and the reviews were over the moon from all who attended,” she said. “The room was perfect, and the service fabulous, and of course the details and final preparations surpassed our expectations.”
Rachel Small, Corporate Sales Manager, is responsible for not only approaching the business community, but also facilitating events and guiding clients through the planning process. “In my 31 year career in association management, delivering conventions all over Canada (all over Ontario for the past 26 years), I have only rarely encountered the high level of service that I have with [Ajax] Convention Centre,” Small wrote. “[Their] friendly atmosphere helped my staff and I deliver our 2011 events without a hitch. I would recommend the facility to anyone of my fellow association management team members,” boasts Bruce Gavel, President of the Ontario Accommodation Association.
The Ajax Convention Centre won The Reader’s Choice Diamond Award for Premiere Banquet Facility in the Durham Region. The success and high standard can be attributed to the meticulous attention to detail. “That’s great recognition that the community at large, first of all, nominated us for the award,” Micieli says. “Considering us as the top venue in the area, our reputation has always been to offer top of the line service and the idea is always to make sure that our clients come back. So we have built a very, very strong repeat business. The Reader’s Choice Award shows us that our clients consider us one of the top businesses in the area. So it is a great honor for us to have them think that.”
The Ajax Convention Centre team takes pride knowing that they promote growth in the business community of Ajax. “We feel that with every corporate event that comes through our doors, we reflect those businesses,” Micieli says. “So when we approach any type of event, whether it be a board meeting for five people or a gala for 700, we definitely want to make sure that we are representing the client’s main needs and reflect their core values. Being able to work with the clients and getting to know exactly what they are trying to accomplish when they come to us is very important.”
The current success is rewarding and a big motive for the team to constantly improve and re-analyze their service. “It is almost an immediate gratification, when we look at our clients who have been with us since we opened the doors,” says Micieli. “That is when we think that we are accomplishing our goals. But we are always pushing ourselves to continuously get better and to anticipate what the needs of our current and our new clients is going to be down the road. So it is an ongoing process.”