Giving a Warm Welcome

Hospitality training program enhances the visitor experience

Football’s biggest game will be at an outdoor, cold-weather stadium for the first time ever next February but guests to the Meadowlands will be offered the warmest welcome, according to the Meadowlands Regional Chamber (MRC), the Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau (MLCVB) and Bergen Community College’s Division of Continuing Education.

These entities have teamed up to create a comprehensive one-day hospitality training program for employees of Greater Meadowlands-based companies specializing in the retail, tourism, hospitality, sports, transportation and leisure industries. Excellence in Visitor Experience, A Warm Welcome, prepares employees for the influx of tourism brought in by major events like the Big Game, Formula 1, Special Olympics and more. People who complete the program receive the Excellence in Visitor Experience Certification.

The program uses an interactive approach to draw participants into discussions that expand their knowledge and help them hone their customer service skills. Participants also gain knowledge of the many transportation assets related to points of interest in North Jersey and the surrounding area. The initial focal point is on the New Jersey Meadowlands region, but Excellence in Visitor Experience also will provide an overview of the historic, cultural, entertainment and shopping venues throughout northern New Jersey.

“We fully understand that visitors coming from all over the country for the Super Bowl may in fact have cold weather to deal with. It will be our job to provide those visitors with ‘a warm welcome’ and great customer service. This training program will be the heart of that effort,” said Jim Kirkos, CEO of the MRC.

“Bergen’s Division of Continuing Education, Corporate and Public Sector Training has the depth of experience and the flexibility to provide comprehensive, specialized training that will enable our business partners in the Meadowlands to stand out in the services they provide,” said Bergen Community College President B. Kaye Walter. “This training will take place at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands. However, the College can bring the program to employer locations.”

While the program addresses the needs of people employed by Meadowlands’ companies, the College, the MLCVB and the MRC expect it will interest individuals seeking employment in the hospitality industry.

Classes cost $45 per person and the College offers them on a single-day or two-evening schedule to accommodate people working various shifts. For more information about Excellence in Visitor Experience, please contact Ria Bloss, (201) 447-7488, in the College’s Division of Continuing Education.  Day classes run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the College will offer the two-evening course from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Class schedule and course numbers

  • Saturday, July 13, 2013 (CD 101-004) – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday and Tuesday, August 5, and 6, 2013 (CD 101-005) – 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Course includes training on the following:

  • Developing and Maintaining Great Customer Service
  • Customer Service Operational Elements
  • Customer Service Skills, Activities and Techniques
  • Organizing for Service of a Service Model
  • Communicating: Solving problems and dealing with difficult customers
  • Transportation Resources
  • Selling and Keeping People in New Jersey and the Meadowlands
  • Shopping & Entertainment
  • Night Life
  • Museums & Historical Related Locations
  • Food & Lodging

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Joe Garavente

Joe Garavente

Joe is the director of publications and communications for Meadowlands Media. He oversees editorial, advertising, production and distribution for all Meadowlands Media digital and print products. Meadowlands Media is the media and communications division of the Meadowlands Chamber, Meadowlands Live! | Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Meadowlands 2040 Foundation. Meadowlands Magazine—which has been serving the region’s business community for over 40 years—is the flagship publication of Meadowlands Media and reaches over 50,000 business owners and executives. It is the official publication of the Meadowlands Chamber. Meadowlands Media has also grown to publish for consumer, business and visitor audiences across print and digital platforms, offering readers critical information and advertising partners prime exposure for their brands. Joe can be reached at (201) 939-0707 or JGaravente@meadowlands.org

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