Guests sit on them, hotel staff stack, store, unstack and maintain them, and set them out in classroom or banqueting format, while hotel General Managers milk them for all their worth to maximise return on investment and protect the operating bottom line.
The dedicated conference and banqueting chair can cost anything from AUD$80 to AUD$160 with quality hotels generally spending over AUD$120 on orders which typically run to around 400 units, according to Jamie Glaister (pictured), national sales manager of conference furniture supplier Innova Group, an exhibitor at the recent AHICE conference in Melbourne.
“A chair’s lifespan is determined by the property’s asset replacement plan which tends to run in seven year cycles. Most chairs are replaced between seven and 12 years’ service,” says Glaister.
“Quality properties focussed on winning return business are more likely to upgrade within their asset plan timetables whereas others marketing to one-off customers may work their chairs for up to 15 years.
“With interior design more influential than ever before within hotel event space, the lines may have become blurred as to why a banquet chair is a banquet chair.
“Good looks alone are not sufficient for such a chair to be operationally successful, viable and compatible, and to produce a significant, rewarding and sustained return on investment over many years.
“Not only can the right chair provide an ROI in durability and reliability, the right chair and fabric design can also enhance the aesthetics of the event space and subsequently increase the revenue opportunity, says Glaister.
“It is certainly true also that the wrong chair, battered, out-dated or inappropriate, can substantially reduce the revenue that an event space can command, and indeed can even lose the property business, especially from demanding corporate and wedding markets.”