By Karen Daniels
When the doors to the Stafford Centre opened in March of 2004, it wasn’t known at that time how successful the complex–a theater and convention center–would be. The goal was to bring culture to the area, have an impact on the quality of life, and contribute to the economic development of Stafford. All three have been accomplished. The Stafford Centre has achieved record revenue for seven out of the eight years of operation. What is the key to their success? “Building loyalty and repeat business,” says Bryan Blaum, President of FMsquared, the facility management and marketing company in charge of daily operations.
Last year the Stafford Centre hosted over 300 events. This includes weddings, concerts, plays, fundraisers, trade and consumer shows, dance competitions, festivals, and auctions. Some of the repeat business consists of Texas Body Building Competition, Sugar Plum Market, Houston Hot Sauce Festival, and the UP Experience.
The Stafford Centre is also the resident home of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming events include Peter Noon and Herman’s Hermits on August 25th; the Nayani Dance Expression on September 22; and Dennis DeYoung, formerly of Styx, on October 11. Previous performances have included BJ Thomas, Steve Martin, Charley Pride and Peter Frampton. The theater has only 1,154 seats, but there isn’t a bad one in the house.
Several events held at the Stafford Centre are specific to benefit’s. Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa has performed there on several occasions for the students of SMSD, promoting the charity “Blues in the School.” The presentation takes the students on a musical journey tracking the evolution of blues music from the Deep South late 1800’s through today. And on October 6, benefitting the Fort Bend Women’s Shelter, Rick Springfield will perform.
What does the future hold for the Stafford Centre? Mr. Blaum had this to say, “Expansion of the facility with a hotel component, a greater awareness of the Stafford Centre to the surrounding Houston area, and the opportunity to rebrand the City of Stafford.”