Here’s where we spotlight some of our favorite Instagram photos we’ve seen from the past week. The photos are from members and venues worldwide. If you haven’t followed us on Instagram yet, now is a good time. By following us, you’ll be entered into our monthly drawing where you can win prizes such as conference registrations, full-page ads in FM magazine, and textbooks. The next drawing will be November 7.
Also, this week will be our final week of the #iavmweekly5 spotlight series. Next week we will share a recap featuring all 50 of our picks from the past ten weeks! But don’t worry, if you share incredible photos of your venue, or job, we will still repost them.
So behold, this week’s top five!
The International Association of Venue Managers has named Ronald Melton as the organization’s new Chief Operations Officer/Chief Financial Officer. Melton will be joining the staff mid-November. He will oversee all operational and financial areas of the organization and will assist the President and CEO in overall management for the association.
Melton brings over 25 years of experience in the industry, most recently as COO and Interim CEO of Visit Baltimore where he managed the administrative, information technology, research, human resources, membership, accounting, finance and visitor services operations of Visit Baltimore. Melton attended both Colorado State University and the University of Texas at Dallas where he studied Business Administration with and emphasis in Accounting. His professional career also includes positions with Travel Portland, Conference Meeting & Assistance Corporation, Continental Parts Company and the Dallas Convention Center where he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
While with Visit Baltimore Melton was active with various professional and local organizations including serving on Boards of Directors for the National Academy Foundation School and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. In a letter to the members of the Baltimore Convention Center & Tourism Board, John Frisch, Chairman Visit Baltimore, stated “Ron provided excellent and thoughtful leadership during a critical time of transition for the organization, for which I remain incredibly grateful”.
“We are thrilled to have Ron leading vital teams inside our organization.” said Brad Mayne, CFE, IAVM President and CEO. “Ron’s background in our industry, coupled with his operational expertise, gives our members a strong proponent in professional growth and greater success as an association. I personally look forward to working with Ron as we look for new ways to bring more value to our members.”
The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) currently has over 5,200 members worldwide. Founded in 1924 as the Auditorium Managers Association, IAVM is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to issues relevant to the management of public assembly venues. Association members include venue managers from amphitheaters, arenas, auditoriums, convention centers/exhibit halls, performing arts venues, stadiums and university complexes. The International Association of Venue Managers, having significant influence in a global industry, is the acknowledged organization providing superlative leadership, cutting-edge innovation, advanced education, supportive advocacy, opportunities for networking and connection between venue professionals around the world. Committed to international membership growth and development, the IAVM is the preeminent source for all public assembly related research, information, services, and life-safety issues worldwide.
To receive images or other information, email Christy Jacobs, Director of Sales & Marketing, or contact her at (972) 538-1015.
Here’s where we spotlight some of our favorite Instagram photos we’ve seen from the past week. The photos are from members and venues worldwide. If you haven’t followed us on Instagram yet, now is a good time. We may just include your photos in a future post.
By following us, you’re also entered into our monthly drawing where you can win such prizes as conference registrations, full-page ads in FM magazine, and textbooks. Congratulations to Abby Hunt, who is our recent winner. The next drawing will be November 7.
Behold, this week’s top five!
Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to transition from sales into an operational role, as the newest event coordinator at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. My first task was to inform all of my inherited clients of our new security policy. I understood why we were tightening our security policies, but I didn’t fully understand why we would enforce such strict polices on all events happening in the facility. At the time, my events varied in size and type, but typically stayed in the sub 20,000 attendees- all day band or high school football type event. This is a story all about how my events got twisted upside down, so I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there and I’ll tell you how I handled my first security threat. (Yes, I went there and you’re welcome- that song will be stuck in your head the rest of the day).
My very first phone call was to one of our “legacy” events – meaning they had been a client and partner of the Georgia Dome for over 10 years…let’s just say that call did not go over well. They are a smaller, non-profit event with a tight budget and here comes the new girl talking about wanding, clear bag policies and bag check tent locations. These increases were not going to be cheap, and the client was not thrilled about their options (or lack thereof).
For the first time in the history of the event (country wide) we would be wanding every participant and inspecting every prop / instrument prior to granting them access into the facility. It was a large undertaking and something we had never attempted to accomplish before. I made two trips to their headquarter city to help prepare and iron out the details. There was major push back from the client who did not fully see the value in wanding participants, but in order to maintain the integrity of a “clean venue” we stood our ground.
Now, fast forward a few months to the day before my first ticketed event. We had just concluded the pre-event meeting and were walking around the facility when I received a call from my boss. This was not a normal Friday afternoon call- it was my first ever Code Red. I followed our security procedures, gathered my clients (a team of 20 or so), loaded them on golf carts and transported them to our gathering spot.
While awaiting further instructions, I received a call from another member of the group who was not yet in Atlanta. She was unaware of the situation currently happening, and informed me that the CEO needed me to call him immediately. I soon learned that the client had their own Code Red that involved the local FBI department. I was then dealing with two separate emergency situations with no clear indication of whether or not they were related (again, at my first ticketed event!). A few hours later we were given the all clear and the original threat was deemed invalid and unrelated to the event related threat.
That still left us with a real, event related threat. I made the decision to inform my main on site point of contact of the situation and instructed them as to how we would proceed. We started the day off as if nothing was lingering in the back of our minds. We tightened security, stuck to our policies and about half way through the event, we received a call from the FBI informing us that the threat had been located and we were no longer in danger – HUGE sigh of relief! Once I delivered the message to the client, she finally took a breath for the first time all day, and proceeded to thank me for pushing the additional security.
So what did this incident teach me about security in this industry? It taught me five things:
Pictured above (Front row, left to right): Bill Flynn, Bruce Davidson, Ray Bloom (Back row, left to right): Brad Mayne, Larry Arnaudet, Eric Roszenberg, Richard Vaughn, David DuBois, Kevin Olsen
How Prepared is the Meetings Industry for Elevated Threats of Terror?
Recently the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) came together to address the # 1 priority of our memberships. The safety and security of our attendees, members, stakeholders, employees and the general public that attend meetings, conferences, conventions and exhibitions every day around the world. We all recognized the need to address this priority and the potential for greater collaboration. Given the current threat assessments provided by top security professionals, it became clear that our industry must establish national guidelines for convention centers and related venues around the U.S. and align ourselves with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Safety Act office. Being known as the Life Safety and Security experts in our industry IAVM was a strategic fit for leading this initiative. Together with IAEE, ESCA and several industry executives the Exhibition and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) was created.
Goal of the Initiative
EMSSI is the conduit for organizations and individuals to participate in the shared responsibility of addressing industry wide needs for safety and security. EMSSI represents an opportunity for companies and individuals who have benefited from the industry’s growth to give back. The more organizations and individuals contribute to the safety and security of conventions centers and related venues around the U.S., insuring we have established industry wide security guidelines and smart practices, the greater the industry will prosper for generations to come.
The Current State of the Industry
Today, the Convention Industry Council (CIC) has estimated that meetings, exhibitions and business travel has an economic impact of $283 billion dollars, generating $44.9 billion in taxes and representing 2.3 million jobs. We have seen unprecedented growth over the last 7 years and forecasts for the future remain strong. It is vital that we maintain eternal vigilance in our efforts to protect this economic engine, and more importantly, to insure the safety of the millions of people every day that attend and serve this vibrant community.
Terrorist Threat Environment
We live in a very dynamic threat environment and DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have expressed their continued concern about the potential for Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVE) — especially those adhering to the Islamic State’s (ISIL) violent ideology — to conduct attacks against a range of soft targets (e.g., convention centers) in the U.S. with little to no warning. They urge federal, state and local authorities, as well as private sector security partners, to work closely in their security planning and response protocols. They also highlight the continued threat we face:
Given the ever-present threats we face from acts of terrorism and other emergencies; our industry requires a coordinated approach to protect our patrons, employees and economic resources that incorporates best-in-class security practices in collaboration with government partners. This is why EMSSI has created a public/private partnership that aligns convention center security guidelines with federal programs (National Preparedness System, National Infrastructure Protection Plan, etc.) and the Department of Homeland Security/Safety Act Office. To learn more or to donate to this important initiative please visit us online. You can also see the EMSSI announcement by watching the video below (starting at about 1:10).