I first saw the Royal Pavilion one sunny afternoon in July 1993.
I had just finished my last GCSE exam when a friend suggested a celebratory trip to Brighton. I remember driving past the Royal Pavilion having no idea what this exotic building was, but it was one of the most beautiful places I had seen.
My next visit to Brighton was in my last year at University in 1998. I fell in love with the city, instantly making it my home. I enrolled on a Museum Management course and, while studying, read an article by the Royal Pavilion & Museums‘ Head of Retail.
At a time when national museums became free to visit, she was writing interesting thoughts on the importance of income generation. This was right up street and I applied for work experience. As my student loan trickled away, the gift shop manager took pity on me and arranged some paid work, eventually leading to a full time position.
Our head of commercial and business services was already looking at how we developed our customer service and I found myself at the exciting centre of creating a new booking office and implementing a new ticketing and telephone system across our venues.
This sweeping change has been an amazing challenge and the benefits for customers and the Royal Pavilion & Museums service have been bountiful. Constantly striving to improve how we work, my team has been actively engaged in systems thinking, a performance improvement exercise, and I recently had the great pleasure of watching a demonstration of the Business Objects work my booking office colleague has been involved in. This is a powerful piece of reporting software that will quietly revolutionise how we gather and present our figures giving us tools to further develop the service in a much more customer led way.
I have been so fortunate in the opportunities I have been given with the Royal Pavilion & Museums and the support I have received. Although the beautiful Royal Pavilion is thankfully little changed since I first clapped eyes on it back in 1993 I can now count myself among the number of people actively improving that all important income generation I read about as a student some 11 or so years ago. I look forward to an exciting future.
Lucy Cheffy, Booking Office Manager