Sunday, April 12, 2009

COSI Innovation Grand Opening - Chez Sez - What if no one shows up? - Dream a little bigger, work a little harder, take more risks

Last Wed I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at COSI's Innovation Showcase Grand Opening.What an icredible event. Congrats to COSI and thanks to everyone who attended.

Following is an excerpt from  David Chesebrough, President and CEO of COSI Columbus

Do you host parties and then have great anxiety wondering if anyone will show or if the party will be a bust?
I spend most of my days having a first thought and assessment of whether people will be showing up at COSI that day. Weather, timing factors, school schedule, competition for people’s “leisure” time all get quickly factored in and then checked as I observe the entrance out of my office window or when I’m in and out of the parking lot.
Our good team at the box office know to start pulling up the computer system numbers as soon as they see me walking their way. So why am I so obsessed with this?
Because COSI relies on over 50% of its support funds from earned revenue and the single largest contributor is the admission and membership income from people visiting us. With the serious cuts we’ve taken in our public funding sources our earned income has become more important than ever.
This week has been a particularly anxious week for me. With a significant number of schools on Spring Break and with this being Good Friday, we traditionally count on significant attendance, and income, during this week. But we added to that anxiousness with the opening of our Innovation Showcase on Wednesday evening. We have been a long time planning this changing exhibition area where we pull out cool stories of local innovation and the scientists, engineers, and researchers behind them. We will build programming off of those stories and people so you can meet some of them. And it was a new idea and a new type of relationship for us, and a potential source of new revenue through sponsorships and program revenue. But ‘til now it’s just been an idea with aspirations attached to it.

click here for the rest of the story...


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