Taco Bell Arena, home to the Boise State University Broncos and Boise State University, announced it has partnered with KultureCity to make the venue the first Certified Sensory Inclusive College Arena in the United States. Taco Bell Arena is now equipped with 50 Sensory Bags that contain a variety of items that can help an individual who is experiencing sensory overload during an event. Each bag is equipped with noise canceling headphones, a variety of fidget tools, verbal cue card, and a weighted lap pad.
KultureCity is a non-profit that is committed to spreading awareness for Sensory Sensitivity for those with Autism, Dementia, PTSD, or other like conditions. These individuals may find a live event to be too stimulating, and these tools within the Sensory Bag may assist those individuals in such circumstances. This new initiative promotes an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory need who visit the Taco Bell Arena.
KultureCity is recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs. In the past year alone, KultureCity has created several sensory inclusive venues and events, including the NFL Super Bowl, NFL Pro Bowl, about 19 NBA arenas, a growing number of NFL and MLB stadiums, as well as public facilities like zoos, science centers, and aquariums across the nation.
Sensory sensitivities, or challenges with sensory regulation, are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation by noise, sound or crowded environments. With its new certification, the Taco Bell Arena is now better prepared to assist guests in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending any event.
“Being able to witness a large university make such an important and monumental change to it’s culture and community, in order to improve the lives of each of their community members, no matter their ability, is truly astonishing. Knowing that Boise State University is the first university to have an arena that is sensory inclusive leads the movement in higher education becoming inclusive for all,” said Traci Johnson, executive director of KultureCity.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (“HML”) took pride in the successful conclusion of Art Basel in Hong Kong, which was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (“HKCEC”) from March 27-31. The HML team welcomed 80,000 private collectors, representatives, curators, and trustees from more than 100 leading international museums and institutions, as well as art lovers from around the world.
Together with an additional 600 temporary supporting staff every day, the HML team of 950 professionals strived for enhancing the overall experience of Art Basel’s exhibitors and visitors. The fair’s successis a true testament to the commitment and professionalism of the HML team in providing world class services in full support of the organiser, from event planning, crowd management, venue cleaning, catering, to coat check service, etc.
The HML’s F&B team worked closely with the organiser to provide tailor-made menus and services for the attendees of the fair, offering a range of Asian and Western cuisines across 11 restaurants and eateries, five VIP lounges with extensive menus, and 31 private events and functions by individual exhibitors and the organiser.
Impressive figures illustrate the meticulous preparation. Over the five show days, the HML team served 11,684 glasses of wine, 11,557 cups of coffee among all kinds of beverages, and 63,190 food items including 11,200 charcuterie platters.
At the same time, a total of 20,025 items were handled by the HML team and helpers at coat check.
Closed on March 31 with strong sales recorded across all levels of the market, Art Basel’s sixth edition in Hong Kong featured 248 premier galleries from 32 countries and regions. It is now one of the leading art fairs worldwide. With numerous gallery openings and an expanded program of well-attended parallel events taking place throughout the city, the Art Basel week once again attracted international spotlight onto the HKCEC and Hong Kong’s vibrant art scene.
Richard Andersen, CVE, is one of those individuals blessed to have worked in most sectors that the public assembly venue world offers. With a background immersed in arenas, stadiums, ballparks, fairgrounds, and more, it is safe to say that Andersen can separate what is unique between venue types and what elements cross over from one sector to the next.
When he serves as the keynote speaker for the Amphitheaters & Fairgrounds sector on Tuesday, July 24, from 9:15-10:15 am (ET) at VenueConnect in Toronto, he sees this presentation as one that can rally attendees from across the sector spectrum.
“Definitely,” said Andersen, a past IAVM chairman and current president and CEO of Seattle-based Seafair. “I come from that background (most recently with Alberta-based Northlands) and was fortunate to run a large fairgrounds in Canada. I certainly understand the trials and tribulations of running an amphitheater and running a fairground. Having said that, this session will be valuable for leaders from all types of venues.”
Andersen’s “When Team Does Have An I” will have a situational leadership focus, he said. Andersen said that this interactive session will explore how leaders can be adaptive to the current work climate we live in.
“There are typically a couple of trains of thought,” Andersen said. “One is that this is the way I am as a leader, so therefore all the people that like my style will be just fine. That works a little bit in some areas but typically employees are afraid to be vulnerable to really tell you the truth, especially when they have to adapt to a specific style that they may not be comfortable with. The situational leader is one that learns to look at any given situation and diagnose what the issue is.”
When Andersen speaks of diagnosing, he explains it by saying it is important to know what NEEDS to happen in order for a job project to have a successful outcome with a particular person doing a particular job. In his experience serving on the faculty of the Venue Management School at Oglebay and at the VMA School in Australia, Andersen said that a common refrain deals with leadership styles and the various aspects of it that leaders struggle with or in some cases have success with.
“Generally, it is around things that aren’t working for them as well as they want,” Andersen said. “The question became, is there a preferred style of leadership? I was asked to look at that. We will talk about four distinct styles of leadership that any leader can fit into. We will walk through each of those styles and show how easy they are for anyone, even someone inexperienced, to adapt these highly successful ways in their workplace to create an enhanced culture and better outcomes, reduce stress, and increase the joy meter. It is a simple applicable system that is tried-and-true. It is tested and has worked famously for all sorts of great leaders.”
As for successful outcomes on the job, Andersen cited an example whereby a leader might ask an employee talented at writing press releases to write one, but on a subject matter totally foreign to the writer.
“The point is there’s different strokes for different folks on different things,” Andersen said. “You are not just delegating everything because somebody is a good guy. You might say, I appreciate you have confidence in me but you are asking me to do something and I don’t know how to do it. I want to be good at it. If you don’t employ the right leadership style or technique to the given situation, it can create a lot of fear and consternation and then frustration for the employee. It requires a good analysis, good diagnosis of what the situation is and you being able to flexibly adapt the various leadership styles that might fit.”
Andersen said that he will address the four situational leadership styles of Directive, Coaching, Supporting, and Delegating. “There is a clear and simple system for taking any given situation and applying it to the person and situation,” he said.
“We will have a fun and engaging time that is hands-on to get people involved,” Andersen said. “That is the way I like to facilitate. I will share some stories and some insights but this will be a highly engaging and fun, interactive session. When it is said and done, people should have a couple of tools they can put in their toolkit and take home and immediately find ways to enhance the outcomes they are trying to achieve from work.”
Justin Aquino, an accomplished county fair and corporate event professional, has been named operations manager of the San Mateo County Fair.
“We are pleased to welcome Justin to our leadership team,” said Dana Stoehr, chief executive officer for the San Mateo County Event Center and Fair. “Justin has an impressive background in the diverse aspects of a county fair, from concessions to exhibits to execution of large-scale events. We are delighted to welcome him back to California where his county fair roots were established.”
As the fair operations manager, Aquino is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating the activities of the San Mateo County Fair. The fair is an annual Bay Area event that attracts more than 120,000 guests each year. “The county fair has a special camaraderie and family atmosphere,” Aquino said. “Memories are formed into traditions that create joyful reunions for employees, vendors, and guests. There is no better opportunity to celebrate the successes and talents from those living in our county than at the annual fair.”
Aquino comes to San Mateo from the Utah Valley Convention Center, where he spent the last three years as event manager with Spectra Venue Management. He also served as the center’s exhibitor services manager, show manager and catering and sales manager. Previously, Aquino worked for the Orange County Fair and Event Center as year-round event coordinator. The Southern California fair is a month-long event that attracts more than one million fair guests each year. His duties included commercial and concessions coordination.
“The fair industry is where my career began,” Aquino said. “Even in a management development program with my former employer I shared that I saw my future as a fair manager. The fair business is in my heart and soul; it is where I have the most passion.”
Aquino holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the IAVM’s Mentoring Committee. Aquino is a former board member of the Equestrian Center in Utah.
Concession industry leader Gold Medal Products Co. announced the hiring of Joe Macaluso as vice president of sales for the U.S. & Canada.
In this role, Macaluso will be responsible for new business development, key relationship management, and sales leadership. He comes to Gold Medal with more than 30 years of professional sales experience. The majority of his tenure was spent with Weaver Popcorn Company, most recently as senior vice president of sales – concession division (U.S. and Canada). Macaluso has a solid history of consistently increasing revenue and strengthening strategic partnerships. His proven skills and accomplishments clearly demonstrate the value he brings to Gold Medal.
“We feel privileged to have Joe Macaluso join the Gold Medal team. With sales knowledge that’s second-to-none and a well-respected reputation in the industry, he has all the characteristics necessary to drive success,” said Gold Medal President Adam Browning.
Macaluso enters the role with innovation on his mind. “I chose Gold Medal because of their investment into physical and human resources and their unquestionable commitment to growth. As a company, they reach for higher expectations. I plan to work diligently to find ways to grow existing customer business and develop new opportunities that expand the size and scope of Gold Medal’s business.”