Today, we are announcing that we are back, we are stronger than ever, and we are COMMITTED to getting and giving to the POWERFUL WOMEN in the industry. Starting today…right now… we are getting back together to continue what we started – 100+ WOMEN of IAVM | DONATE 100+.
Launched four years ago by your IAVM Foundation, the 100 + WOMEN of IAVM Campaign 2020 is committed to generating funds for five (5) women, one from each sector, to attend VenueConnect conference and two (2) women to attend AVSS (one woman for each year). The idea is simple – 100+ Women (or Men) each giving $100 (or any other amount), which means $10,000+ each year!
Together we will bring $10,000+ annually to this amazing initiative, and change six women’s lives. So commit right now and be the catalyst to change the future of women in our industry!
There is a new generation of female students, young professionals, and future female leaders, and this is OUR chance to help these women in our industry further develop their career and skill set. Support your IAVM Foundation and your industry by making a donation today. The process is fast, easy, and secure… and you can be sure that it will benefit a great cause. CLICK HERE to donate!
Thank you to Kerry Painter, CVE, CEM, CMP, for announcing our 2020 launch with THIS VIDEO!
Here is a list of the 2019 100+ Women of IAVM investors!
Anne Wheat Castro
Christy Castillo Butcher
Kevin & Shannon Duvall
Khori Girard Currie
Sarah Kate Rogers
Tom and Betsy Cornwall
By R.V. Baugus
When the Monster Energy AMA Supercross was shut down after completing 10 of its scheduled 17 races this past March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no finish line in sight for the conclusion of the FIM World Championship event.
So, when Feld Entertainment announced that the racing would resume on May 31 at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, not only was there a huge exhaled sigh of relief from those involved, but for the industry as a whole and for Aaron White and his team in particular.
“We have a great relationship with Feld,” said White, who serves as director of Rice-Eccles Stadium/Jon M. Huntsman Center. “I’ve been here 26 years and have spent time over those years playing in the mud and digging bikes out of the mud. My relationship with Dave Prater (executive director of Supercross) goes back to 2001 and a number of groups made it possible that we would resume Supercross.”
The seven races concluded on June 21 and took place on Sunday and Wednesday beginning on May 31. The final seven made-for-tv races were broadcast on NBC networks without fans in attendance. The Utah Sports Commission, a longtime partner of Supercross, coordinated the race’s return to Utah, where finals were scheduled to be held.
“Then the COVID hit and everything got canceled,” White said. “That was on May 2 for us. Then I got a call the second week of May from Sue Quinlan, Feld’s booking director, asking if we would be interested in hosting the seven televised races with no fans.”
White noted the Utah Sports Commission’s partnership as well and that after visiting with Jeff Robbins, the commission’s president and CEO, things got closer to the event taking place.
“When the University closed we did not want to be seen as taking the front seat in this,” White explained. “The sports commission stepped up and they became the primary sponsor for the event. Between Jeff working the political side and my working with Supercross, we put together the start plan and how we would manage riders. Basically, it was estimated 900 people would be here for each event. Getting them all tested (for COVID), getting them all in and out would go into the plan. We did that and started moving in on May 15.”
There were still hurdles to clear including selling the event to the University’s administration and working with various health department agencies.
“We had to get everybody to sign off on it,” White said. “The state health department had to say yay or nay. It fell to Jefferson Burton, who is now the director of our state department and was appointed at the time of the outbreak. It was basically the governor (Gary Herbert) and General Burton saying we are doing it.”
White said the logistics of getting dirt on the field and what the tracks would look like took care of itself. The more intense issues would be getting people into the venue, “so we required everybody be tested before they came onsite. People were flying in to the state and all had to be tested and have a negative test before they were allowed in.”
On the opening race day, all who entered filled out a questionnaire that asked about COVID symptoms. Any positive answers resulted in individuals meeting with an onsite medical group that would do a follow-up and determine whether admittance would be allowed. From there, it was on to will call, where individuals provided their names that would show up on a database.
“We knew every single person on site,” White said. “They got a wrist band and were allowed to go to the gates where they would have their temperature taken and depending on that allowed in or not.”
The next morning, attendees cut off their wristbands and completed the paperwork once more in order to get banded for the second race. Testing was not required again. White estimated that some 1,300 people in total were tested, including riders, their families, and other essential workers.
White said that one immediate necessity was the creation of a safety committee that consisted of White, his operations manager, Feld’s safety officer and legal counsel, health department, and emergency response team.
“We realized right away it was taking too long to communicate changes in the plan and things that were happening,” White said. “So, we initiated the safety committee and met on Monday and Friday each week. We discussed what had happened at the previous event and what things we were doing to prepare for the upcoming event. That committee became invaluable because we were able to share information among all the power people that was delivered directly. We had the COVID thing we were dealing with and had a positive test come back and had to isolate and do some different things, but the plan worked exactly the way it was designed.”
As any venue manager worth his building’s keys will tell you, it is a life of preparing for the unexpected. Turns out this event was no different.
“We dealt with the positive test, we had a lightning storm come through and had to do a lightning delay,” White said. “The delay passed and we thought we were good but then lightning hit a sub-station about five miles away and knocked our power out. It fried a bunch of stuff so we had to react to that.
“Then we had the protests the day before a race. It got intense and then there were protests the day of the race. We had about 2,500 protestors right below our paddock. We had one other race where the skies just opened up and ended up with mud and water everywhere.
“Dave was like, ‘you’re sitting in a table top exercise and going, OK, let’s just make a list of things that can go wrong at the event and discuss how we would deal with them.’ I think we put a check in every box.”
Still, White said it was a great event that brought $13 million to the Salt Lake area.
“As a University, you look at seven events like that and think, oh, we’re going to make a ton of money. Well, a lot of that money comes from concessions and ticket sales. It wasn’t so much about us making money as it was about us being able to pull people back off of furlough and put them to work and do what we do. That’s what it was about.”
SX 2020 Quick Facts
Friday May 15th to Wednesday June 24th (35 days)
Seven Televised Events
– Sunday May 31st
– Wednesday June 3rd
– Sunday June 7th
– Wednesday June 10th
– Sunday June 14th
– Wednesday June 17th
– Sunday June 21st
546 Dump Truckloads of dirt
62 Semi trucks race teams and event
3000 linear feet of fence
250 bike barricade
62 hand sanitization stations
Tested 1376 individuals for Covid 19
Follow up tested 19
Managed one Positive
Denied access to 26 individuals per an answer on the questionnaire
Denied access to 13 individuals per symptom check at the gate
Average 846 staff and teams on site throughout the event
Concessions staff provided an estimated 5500 meals for staff, promoter, and Broadcast
Generated an estimated $13 million for the Utah economy
Issues Encountered and Managed during the Event:
Covid 19 Pandemic
– Implementation of Prevention Plan
– Testing Coordination State, County, National Guard, four locations
– Employees not wanting to come back to work
Set up and management of an RV park in the guardsman lot
Protests and Riots
– Lightning Delay
– Rain for two races storm water and mud
By Rebecca Kearney
Former Chief Operating Officer of Byron Bay’s Bluesfest, Steve Romer, has been appointed General Manager of The Events Centre (TEC) Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.
Prior to Bluesfest, Romer was Chief Executive of the Venue Management Association Asia Pacific (VMA), the peak industry association representing Performing Arts Centres, Convention Centres, Entertainment Arenas, and Sports Stadiums.
He was also the former General Manager of the Sydney Entertainment Centre (SEC) responsible for the venue’s live music concerts, family shows, corporate events, and sporting events. During Romer’s tenure the SEC was ranked the #2 arena in the world, according to Billboard magazine.
Prior to this, he held various management roles including Director of Operations at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Chief Executive of Blacktown International Sports Park, Director of Operations at Dreamworld, and Show and Entertainment Manager at Sea World.
Romer has served on many industry Boards including nine years on the VMA Board (the last three years as President), three years on the Board of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), five years on the Board of the Talent Development Project (TDP), a professional program nurturing the creative talents of aspiring artists in their entertainment careers, and most recently four years on the Board of HOTA (Home of the Arts – Gold Coast).
In 2012 Steve was the recipient of the prestigious ‘Venue Professional of the Year’ award.
TEC Chairman Tim Dwyer welcomed Romer’s appointment and commented, “On behalf of the Board we are thrilled to have Steve as our new General Manager and look forward to his leadership, skills, and experience in shaping the future of the TEC.” Dwyer also gave a heartfelt thanks to retiring TEC General Manager Gary Mears, who provided “outstanding leadership and many significant contributions over the past seven years.”
Rebecca Kearney is Marketing Coordinator at The Events Center, Caloundra.
Fulton County is partnering with the Atlanta Hawks to create Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct at State Farm Arena, starting with early voting on July 20 for the Georgia General Primary Runoff Election on August 11. This unique partnership will allow tens of thousands of voters to cast their ballots for upcoming elections while maintaining CDC-recommended social distancing requirements at the state-of-the-art facility. In addition, Fulton County Registration & Elections will conduct other elections support operations at the site, including absentee ballot processing and more.
Leadership from the Hawks offered use of State Farm Arena to Fulton County as a venue for early voting and other elections operations as part of their commitment to serving the community. The Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority, a government agency, is the owner of the property and leases the site to the Atlanta Hawks organization. In addition to offering the venue, hundreds of Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena full-time and part-time employees will be trained to serve as election workers to further support the operations.
“Fulton County is grateful to the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for being an outstanding partner,” said Chairman Robb Pitts. “Tony Ressler, Steve Koonin and their organization have once again demonstrated that the Hawks are True to Atlanta”
“When our ownership group purchased the Hawks & State Farm Arena five years ago, we were clear that we felt it was our responsibility to make sure the organization was an important civic asset to the city of Atlanta. Utilizing State Farm Arena and our incredible staff to make the arena an accessible and vital polling site in an important election year is a fulfillment on that promise,” said Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena Principal Owner Tony Ressler.
In February, State Farm Arena was named the Best New Concert Venue in the United States by Pollstar Magazine and prior to that was honored by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) with the 2019 Venue Excellence Award (VEA). For the second consecutive season, the Hawks finished with the NBA’s top ranking in overall in-game experience, a wide-ranging category made up of the following areas where the team rated highly: arena ushers, in-game entertainment, in-arena technology, in-arena retail, in-arena food experience and more.
“State Farm Arena is an ideal solution to help us serve thousands of voters while maintaining social distancing requirements,” said Mary Carole Cooney, Chairperson of the Fulton County Board of Registration & Elections. “We appreciate the Hawks for coming to us with this creative solution.”
To provide greater accessibility to voting, the Hawks Foundation will be providing free parking to individuals accessing the venue to vote. More than 1,500 parking spots surrounding the arena will provide complimentary parking for vehicles with a voter.
By Paul Pettas
Sodexo and Centerplate are hosting a webinar entitled Convention & Conference Centers Reimagine Live Events, on Wednesday, July 8, at 11 a.m., Eastern Time, with IAVM First Chair Rip Rippetoe, CVE, featured as the guest expert.
In the midst of never-before-imagined circumstances, convention and conference centers have an opportunity to set a positive course for the next normal. By embracing new ways to live our lives, we can reimagine what is possible.
In this webinar, we will discuss the importance of live events in the COVID-19 world. Rippetoe, President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, will provide his point of view and vision for the future.
We will share proprietary research and quantitative insights by Harris Interactive for Sodexo focusing on consumer sentiment about attending a live event in the COVID-19 world.
Steve Pangburn, CEO, Sodexo Sports and Leisure North America, will share the company’s comprehensive approach to help you prepare for the changes ahead and his vision of emerging trends. Technology and Corporate Social Responsibility are more important than ever.
Other panelists include Nathalie Bellon-Szabo, CEO, Sodexo Sports & Leisure Worldwide, and Claire Morris, Global Marketing Head, Sodexo Sports & Leisure.
To register now for the webinar, click here.
Also, attendees will need to download WebEx for this webinar.
Paul Pettas is Communications Director for Centerplate.