By R.V. Baugus
As founder and CEO of Southlake, Texas-based Abiding Strategy, Lisa Harrington excels in getting businesses “un-stuck” and learning to communicate. Is it fair to say that the public assembly venue industry — like so many others — is stuck today as we navigate the change wrought by COVID-19?
“The venue industry will lead the way into our recovery and heal the hearts of the people of this country as we are able to re-engage and begin rebuilding our economy,” Lisa likes to say.
She will share that message and more as the Opening Keynote speaker for VenueConnect 2020. The author of “Taking in Strays: Leadership Lessons from Unusual Places,” Harrington likes to look at the amazing skills that people have and help to bring out their best.
She took a few minutes to visit with us about her session, one that you will want to make sure to have on your calendar and to participate in.
Share with our readers just a little about yourself and the overarching mission of Abiding Strategy.
After 30+ years in the corporate executive ranks, Sapphire Enterprises d/b/a Abiding Strategy was founded after I learned that only about 20% of American businesses have a plan for their companies. Strategy is my expertise and my favorite subject! Building a full strategy is a critical element of success, especially when there are challenging circumstances in the economy or in the organization. Businesses who have a vision, live by their values and stick to their mission are much more likely to weather the storm. Among other things, I created a six-hour workshop to help businesses of all sizes build a strong foundation and plan for their future, with templates for the tactical execution, a visual aid for their crew and more.
Speak some to how your areas of expertise work well within our industry of public assembly venue management.
Having worked in the association industry for 15 years, I fully understand the challenges of the venue and conference business. I held the CAE certification for about 15 years, and have worked with non-profit boards at many levels, both as a volunteer board member and as the coach and trainer to help boards understand their role in the organization.
Noticed on your email sign-off information you identify as a Vistage Chair and Strategy Coach. Help us understand those disciplines a little better.
Vistage is a 60-year-old coaching and peer group organization. Our members are 25,000 strong in over 20 countries around the world. As a contracted Vistage Chair, I have several groups and 30+ members who come together monthly in groups to help each other make better decisions for their companies. The membership includes the group meetings and 1-1 coaching sessions with me, and more.
As a Strategy Coach through my own company, Abiding Strategy, I teach clients how to leave a legacy with their work and lead their crew into the future by focusing on the long game and getting out of the weeds. This includes managing their own expectations, aligning their actions to the vision of the organization, and getting out of their own way.
What will be some highlights of your keynote closing presentation that should make attendees want to attend?
Venue managers will have an enormous impact on the healing of our country from the pandemic. The human spirit needs to be in the presence of other humans, and we have lacked that connection for a long time. Knowing how to lead your organization into the future despite the challenges we’re facing will help your venue, your crew, and your community to come back together. In this way, we can help launch our economy back into the prosperity that we have all worked so hard to achieve. This means we, as leaders, must keep ourselves healthy, so that we can help the organization effectively. This will include learning to pivot our thinking and maybe even our service offerings, adjust to new realities all while managing the stress that will accompany those changes. All change causes stress, even when it’s positive. Since leaders are responsible for everyone in the group, it’s imperative that we stay ahead of these things. Our legacy will then be ensured. We’ll talk about all these things and more.
How about takeaways. What will some of those be?
Reframing the concept that self-care is selfish is one element that will be valuable for the session. How can we recognize the symptoms that will cause us to be pulled off our mission? How well have we planned for this, and can we stick to the roadmap we’ve developed? What should you look for in your crew to be sure they are handling all these things effectively, handling the day to day details while continuing to see the big picture? How can we make good long-term decisions despite the uncertainty of the short-term situation?
I have to ask this, but what have you most discovered about people and/or businesses during this current pandemic?
The range of reactions has been astonishing. At first, many hoped it was so short term that we could treat the isolation and lock downs as vacations. As the issue wore on, there was significant anticipatory grief, and even anger or shock. We’ve seen how isolation can affect our reactions to simple issues. Everything is exaggerated and emotions are high due to the feeling in our ancient brain that we are continually under threat. It’s always been lonely at the top, and right now it’s even worse. The best leaders were able to reach out to peers, and help each other find their way through. It’s one of the advantages of Vistage and other peer groups. I’ve seen very strong personalities realize that they needed more than coaching, and engage therapists. This is the right move, since the ability to think clearly is so much more important when we’re in crisis like this.
Unfortunately, the percentage of leaders who have a coach (or therapist or both) is remarkably small. There’s never been a more important time to get help, even though it can seem like a bad time to spend that money. One bad decision by a leader due to distraction can have a domino effect on the entire organization. The leaders that realize this are managing their reactions, responding thoughtfully, and looking past the temporary so they can maintain their vision of the future.
By Jasmine Shannon
The Venue Safety and Security Committee (VSSC) hosted its first Zoom meetings of the 2020-2021 term on August 20 and September 17. There is a good mixture of new and returning committee members representing all venue sectors (amphitheaters, arenas, convention centers, complexes, performing arts centers, stadiums, and universities) along with several Allied Members — which is exactly the mix of expert input the committee needs to be successful.
VSSC had high hopes of a year full of productivity at the beginning of our 2019-2020 season. However, our year was quickly derailed by the pandemic. Soon our conversations revolved around the issues and challenges faced due to the spread of COVID-19. The aspirations of productivity took a back seat while we all tried to navigate a foggy future directly affecting everyone’s safety and security.
Since then, there have been many COVID-19 IAVM committees dedicated to helping our industry rise back up in a safe manner. Therefore, VSSC is ready to take on all safety and security matters – not only those related to COVID-19 – and produce helpful tools and resources across every venue sector.
Call To Action
Each sector has a separate subcommittee chaired by a member of the Venue Safety and Security Committee (VSSC) that meets once a month. It’s an informal setting where anyone who is interested in safety and security can be involved in the conversation whether you are an IAVM member or not. These calls are a great way to stay in the know on what VSSC is talking about regarding your sector. We provide a safe space to talk through safety and security challenges to find out what works and doesn’t work. Each subcommittee creates an avenue to push these topics up the chain to the VSSC to ultimately find solutions and resources. If you or a member of your team is interested, please email email@example.com to get added to your sector’s monthly call. If the meeting option isn’t ideal for you, email VSSC@iavm.org any safety or security questions you would like the Venue Safety and Security Committee to explore.
It is an exciting time for all of us. We look forward to being a committee that creates and enhances the value of your IAVM membership.
Jasmine Shannon is Event Coordinator at the Berry Center in Houston, Texas, and a member of the Venue Safety & Security (VSSC) Committee.
VSSC Committee members include: Joe Levy, CVE, Chair; Kathryn Carlson, CVP, Vice Chair; Russell Dyer, Past Chair; Rachel Bomeli; Jeremy Brown; Liz Collins; Joe DeGeorge; Brendan Farley, CVP; Ross Girouard, CVP; Colin Holman; Eddie Idik, AVM; Andy Jabbour; Elizabeth Jones; Alexander Keen, ETCP; Mark Montgomery; Kerry Painter, CEM, CMP, CVE; Zach Rutledge; Jasmine Shannon; Russ Simons; Heidi Snyder.
By Stacie Bauer
Ungerboeck, the world’s event software, is further expanding their support to the industry by releasing a series of Reopening Solutions to help their customers welcome back face to face events with confidence. The technology provider has developed enhanced features for their platform to facilitate visitor tracking, social distancing management, and venues sanitation.
“Now more than ever, Ungerboeck remains committed to serving our customers. Our team has been working hard to help venues and event professionals prepare for the new world and reimagine their events. Our Reopening Solutions suite has been developed to assist answering government regulations and ensure the safety of venue staff and patrons”, says Manish Chandak, CEO at Ungerboeck.
These new solutions are released less than 2 months after Ungerboeck announced the launch of their new Certification Program available on their Learning Center, where over 7,000 event professionals are already taking advantage of the free educational platform to upskill and enhance their professional development.
“These new solutions are just the beginning and we’ll soon announce the release of a new platform, that will transform the way we deliver events in the digital age,” adds Mr Chandak.
For more information about Ungerboeck’s Reopening Solutions, visit https://go.ungerboeck.com/reopening
Stacie Bauer is Event & Sponsorship Coordinator, Marketing for Ungerboeck.
By ISSA and R.V. Baugus
Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City kicked off the 2020 NFL season as a GBAC STAR Accredited Facility to Enhance Cleanliness. The stadium, home to the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, has achieved GBAC STAR accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a Division of ISSA. The stadium, which will welcome fans at a reduced capacity for its home games, has demonstrated that it knows how to prepare, respond, and recover from infectious disease outbreaks and biohazard situations. GBAC STAR also accredited 50 additional facilities this week, including Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, home to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto, and Hyatt properties around the world.
“More than ever, facility occupants are concerned about the quality and frequency of cleaning,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “GBAC STAR accreditation provides added assurance that an organization truly understands the why and how of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention.”
To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, facilities must demonstrate capability and compliance with 20 key program elements, including personal protective equipment, personnel training, emergency response, and more. With seating for approximately 73,000, Arrowhead Stadium will host approximately 16,000 fans and conduct pre- and post-game cleaning and disinfection to provide the safest environment possible. The University of Kansas Health System Training Complex, the Chiefs’ practice facility, has also achieved GBAC STAR accreditation.
The following facilities have earned GBAC STAR accreditation this week:
· Arrowhead Stadium & The University of Kansas Health System Training Complex in Kansas City, Mo.
· Banc of California Stadium, home to Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC, in Los Angeles
· DC Armory in Washington, D.C.
· Entertainment & Sports Arena, home to the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, in Washington, D.C.
· Honda Center, home to the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, in Anaheim, Calif.
· Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland
· Spectrum Center, home to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, in Charlotte, N.C.
· Servi-Tek, Inc. in Encinitas, Calif.
· ASM Global – Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico
· Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City
· Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas
· Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington
· Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah
· Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif.
· The Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City
· Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto
· Independence Visitor Center Corporation in Philadelphia
· Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort in Wailea, Hawaii
· Diamonds Athuruga Maldives in Athuruga Island, Maldives
· Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas
· Grand Hyatt Bali in Bali, Indonesia
· Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Kauai, Hawaii
· Grand Hyatt Xi’an in Xi’an, China
· Hotel Le Negresco, a Leading Hotels of the World member property, in Nice, France
· Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston in Boston
· Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
· Hyatt Centric Park City in Park City, Utah
· Hyatt Herald Square New York in New York City
· Hyatt House Austin/Downtown in Austin, Texas
· Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai, China
· Hyatt Place Delray Beach in Delray Beach, Fla.
· Hyatt Place New York City/Times Square in New York City
· Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South in New York City
· Hyatt Place San Jose Airport in San Jose, Calif.
· Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center in Denver
· Hyatt Regency Liberation Square Chongqing in Chongqing, China
· Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago
· Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
· Hyatt Regency Seattle in Seattle
· Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa in Honolulu, Hawaii
· Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle in Zurich, Switzerland
· Le Sirenuse, a Leading Hotels of the World member property, in Positano, Italy
· LEVEL Furnished Living Vancouver in Vancouver, B.C.
· Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif.
· Park Hyatt Bangkok in Bangkok, Thailand
· Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono in Hokkaido, Japan
· Parker Palm Springs, a Leading Hotels of the World member property, in Palm Springs, Calif.
· Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas
· The Legian Seminyak, Bali, a Leading Hotels of the World member property, in Bali, Indonesia
· The Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
· United Scrap Metal in Charlotte, N.C.
By Jennifer Norris, CVE, MFA
Join the Northern California Chapter of IAVM for a virtual education conversation with Metallica Production Manager, John “Lug” Zajonc, and San Francisco Giants Executive Vice President of Administration, Alfonso Felder, on Tuesday, September 29, from 3:30-4:30 PST.
After countless calls of ever-changing information and hypothetical situations planning for our return to events, we’re excited to bring you a session focused on lessons learned from unique “events” that have actually been hosted during the pandemic.
From Metallica’s secret concert filming for release in drive-ins throughout the country to the Giants’ modified baseball season, our esteemed speakers will share their experience planning and executing events these past few months. We’ll hear about what worked, what didn’t, insights on the future of our industry, and other valuable information relevant to all venue types.
*Registration is complimentary. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting.
Following the session, there will be an optional social happy hour to help bring our Nor Cal community together.
To register for this informative and entertaining conversation, click here.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Jennifer Norris, CVE, MFA, is Assistant Managing Director of the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center in San Francisco.