Voting is now open and will remain so through July 12, 2019. The complete slate including biographical information and photos can be viewed on the IAVM web site. Our voting process has changed with the introduction of a new nomination/application process for sector directors. The ballot you will see this year will only include the Second Vice Chair election, and if you identified as one of the following sectors: Convention Centers, Performing Arts Centers, or Stadiums you will find the election for that Sector Director. At most, you will be voting for two incoming positions on the 2019-2020 Board of Directors.
As you know, each regions’ members elect their slate of officers (to include Region Director) and does not require a ballot for the entire IAVM membership’s approval.
All voting members should have received an email titled “2019-2020 IAVM Board of Directors Election-login information below”. The email contains a generated user name and password to use when logging in to submit votes. If you haven’t received the email, please contact Rosanne Duke via email or by calling 972.538.1025.
Once again, the ballot is available through Survey & Ballot Systems allowing complete confidentiality and security to our members.
The results of the voting will be posted following the closing of the ballot on July 12. However, join us in Chicago for VenueConnect, July 21 – 24 and have the opportunity to meet the new board members in person. Every minute of this year’s program is exceptional, offering new dynamic sessions, topic roundtables, boot camps, and the largest industry trade show and networking events only possible at VenueConnect!
Bill Carl “BC” Johnson, Chief Listening Officer of the BCJ Group, will keynote speak at the Amphitheaters & Fairgrounds sector meeting at VenueConnect in Chicago on “Creating the RIGHT Culture for Your Organization.”
As one who worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for 20 years at The Walt Disney World Resort and led major client engagements for the world-renowned Disney Institute, consider Johnson way beyond qualified to speak on the topic of culture.
In addition to his stellar work with Disney, Johnson has worked with the NFL on five Super Bowls, launched a league wide customer service initiative for the NBA, shaped the cultures of multiple franchises, and crafted strategic plans for major college athletic departments.
With that impressive background, it was time to catch up with BC before VC.
You will speak on Creating the RIGHT Culture for Your Organization. Does that right culture vary from organization to organization?
Whether they realize it or not, every organization has a culture that drives behaviors. Cultures are either carefully designed or happen by default. In order to optimize success, the culture needs to support the values and mission of the organization. So yes, cultures can and should vary from organization to organization. For example, the culture of a cruise ship is going to be very different than the culture of a government agency.
How do you best get customers and employees to love you, which is obviously more preferable than tolerating you?
Very simply, you have to ask for a heart before you can ask for a hand. When employees feel cared for, valued, and appreciated, they will more likely be committed and not just compliant. Employees, like customers, have options on where they work. Committed employees demonstrate the culture and behaviors of the organization which helps to drive customer loyalty. Customer love is tricky. Customers will say they are loyal and love you but it only takes a few service failures that aren’t handled properly and then they are gone. That’s why it is so important for employees to be committed and aim to do the right thing on a consistent basis.
What are some of the vaunted Disney best practices you can share that will enable literally any organization to be successful?
Intuitively, organizations know that in order to drive business results, they need to have happy customers, motivated employees, and inspiring leadership. Disney understands that you need to have equal investment in the leadership experience, employee experience, and customer experience to drive exceptional business results.
You have worked successfully with the NFL and NBA. We have members who obviously are involved with those leagues. How would you describe those cultures?
The NFL and NBA both clearly understand that their customers have two very valuable assets … their time and their money. The cultures of both leagues are carefully designed to promote creativity and innovation. Expectations of fans are influenced by companies like Netflix, Amazon, Uber, etc., and they bring these expectations to the stadium/arena. This means their experience expectations are going up fast and continuously.
You will have folks in your session from all of our sector types. Are there lessons and takeaways that regardless of sector type they can learn and take back to their respective venues?
The sun rises and sets on leadership. When an area is underperforming, there is a high probability that the root cause can be traced back to things leaders are or aren’t doing. If you want to immediately improve your organization, focus on leaders and how you develop them.
Jeffrey Blosser, Washington State Convention Center’s President and Chief Executive Officer, has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by IAVM.
“Jeffrey Blosser has spent 40 years dedicated to enriching our industry,” said Matt Hollander, CVE, chair of IAVM’s Convention Center Sector Committee. “His ongoing commitment to IAVM, and the industry in general, can be seen through his leadership on numerous industry boards along with his impressive mentorship of staff members who have gone on to leadership roles.”
The IAVM represents public assembly venues worldwide. Its active members include managers and senior executives from auditoriums, arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, stadiums, performing arts centers, university complexes, and amphitheaters.
Blosser has served as the President and CEO of the Convention Center for nine years. He began his venue management career in Kentucky and was the Executive Director of the Oregon Convention Center for 22 years before coming to Seattle.
The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) is located in the heart of Seattle and within walking distance to world-class hotels, restaurants, entertainment and attractions. The Convention Center has been the Northwest’s premier meetings and events facility for over 30 years. WSCC welcomes thousands of visitors from around the globe each year, offering industry-leading service, award-winning catering and a comprehensive range of services for event planners, exhibitors and guests. With a longstanding commitment to sustainability, public art and modern technology, WSCC serves its surrounding community and provides visitors with a truly unique Northwest experience. Learn more at www.wscc.com.
On February 21, 2007, Rimrock Auto Group announced a 10-year, $1 million naming rights deal for MetraPark, the arena that opened in 1975 in Billings, Montana. Beginning July 1, 2007, it became known as the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.
That will change this month following a naming rights deal to name the venue the First Interstate Arena.
Ray Massie, director of marketing and sales at MetraPark, said the goal is to have the new signs up by MontanaFair, which begins August 9. Expect the venue’s other signage to change at about the same time.
Some changes are more immediate, such as the changes people will see on sold tickets identifying First Interstate Arena and not Rimrock Auto Arena.
In January, Yellowstone County Commissioners accepted the bid from First Interstate Bank to replace the expiring deal with the Rimrock Auto Group. It was one of two primary bids that were considered. The new deal is worth $875,000 over five years.
Many remember a devastating tornado that tore through Billings on June 20, 2010, that even earned a name as the Father’s Day Tornado. The arena suffered major damage and was remodeled in 2010-11 with a number of improvements including improved acoustics, more restrooms and concession areas, and easier access from the parking areas. The arena is an energy efficient building with contemporary aesthetics. On April 10, 2011, with the outer arena still under construction, Elton John played the first concert in the Rimrock Auto Arena since the tornado.
Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark has also been home to two teams with the Indoor Football League IFL. The Billings Outlaws played in the league from 2000 to 2010 before disbanding following the June 2010 Father’s Day tornado. In 2015, the league expanded adding the Billings Wolves but only lasted two seasons before folding. The arena seats 12,000 and is also home to numerous concerts and family shows and events.
Michael Gray will join the Kentucky Venues Sales Team at the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) on July 1. Gray most recently worked as a Sales and Marketing manager for the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources and the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. He has 15 years of experience within the cabinet.
“I have always been a strong ambassador for the city of Louisville and all the wonderful attractions it offers,” Gray said. “I’ve worked hard to bring tourism, business, and meetings to the city. Working at KICC, I will be able to continue that mission on a daily basis.”
Before joining state government, Gray worked in the sales departments of GE, Pharmacia Corporation and Provident Bank. He graduated from Morehead State University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Marketing.
“We’re excited to bring Michael onto our team. His experience working in both the private sector and state government will be an asset as we continue to attract new and returning business to our beautiful downtown convention center,” said David S. Beck, president and CEO of Kentucky Venues.