An interview with Craig Kuehne, director of marketing for Sears Centre Arena.
Q: Tell us about Sears Centre Arena.
Phone: (847) 649-2222
Owner: Village of Hoffman Estates
Number of employees: 14
When business opened: 2006
Web address: www.searscentre.com
A: The Sears Centre Arena is an 11,000 seat multipurpose family entertainment, cultural and sports arena that opened in 2006. In addition to being the home of the Windy City Bulls, NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, we host a wide variety of events that range from large scale concerts and family shows to trade shows and corporate events.
Q: What's unique about the venue?
A: Although primarily known for hosting large events with thousands of people coming through the doors, we have several spaces throughout the venue that can be utilized depending on the size and scope of the events our clients and partners bring to the arena. Whether looking for a meeting space, event space, or dining area our skilled staff are able to find the right fit for our clients that cater to their individual needs.
Q: How do you cater to corporate meetings and events?
A: For every event that we host, our experienced events team works directly with the client to come up with a custom plan that best utilizes the space while keeping their costs down. The most obvious event space we have is the event floor itself which offers a great setting for large meetings or receptions. The 17,000-square-foot space is able to accommodate 600+ guests and offers a unique setting that you will not get anywhere else in the area.
One of the unique features of this space is the ability to utilize our video wall and ribbon board for a customized company message or presentation. Another favorite meeting area, the Club, is one of the premiere meeting and reception locations within the Sears Centre Arena.
Complete with casual lounge seating, a full bar, a floor to ceiling HD projection screen, private restrooms, and plasma televisions; this newly renovated space is ideal for private stand-alone functions or in conjunction with one of our events. The Club is a perfect location for a small meeting or larger reception and can comfortably accommodate up to 250 people.
We also host events on our private suite level which is ideal for meetings, dinners, and receptions ranging from 10-250 people. In addition, suite lounges may be rented for preshow activities. Host a business meeting or corporate gathering and stay for an exciting event or Windy City Bulls game. Ticket packages with customized catering are available.
All catering at the arena is provided by Levy Restaurants and our expert staff can provide catering suggestions or create a customized menu specific to the needs and desires of the client.
Q: What are people in your industry talking about?
A: We're seeing more and more that event planners are looking for something that doesn't feel prepackaged. They are looking for a more customized experience that fits the goals and needs of their meeting or event and that's what we are here to do.
We have a very creative staff in addition to our events team, with years of industry experience, that are all eager to contribute ideas and come up with ways to create the best possible experience for our clients.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What is your past experience in the industry?
A: I started my career here at the Sears Centre Arena as the sales and marketing intern while completing my degree at Northern Illinois University in the fall of 2012. From there, I have been fortunate enough to move up through the company and gain experience on the group sales side of the business as Group Sales Manager before eventually making the transition over to director of marketing.
Q: Tell us one interesting fact about the venue that most people may not know.
A: The arena is built near the site of the former Poplar Creek Amphitheater that was well known for hosting some of music's best performers from 1980-1994.