We invite you to join us for an exciting day of competitive/fun, great food, networking, games and prizes – all for a very worthy cause!
The IAVM Foundation’s largest single day fundraising event is the Annual Golf Tournament at VenueConnect. Your participation and generous support in this outing will help finance unfunded programs and projects providing professional development, research, education, and best practice resources that can be used every day in venues across the globe.
This year’s golf outing will take place at Chateau Elan Golf Club, the south’s premier golf experience, on Monday, August 2nd, from 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Few golf destinations possess the beauty and variety of Chateau Elan Golf Club. From the rolling Georgia hills of the Woodlands greens to the serene valley lakes that distinguish the Chateau’s fairways, their courses are unique in character and design.
Registration for the golf outing can be done through the the VC21 website. Register by Friday, June 25th, and you will save $75!
Transportation from the conference hotel downtown will be provided. If you don’t have clubs, you can add club rental to your registration for a nominal fee.
Thank you for supporting the IAVM Foundation! We look forward to see you in Atlanta!
Not yet registered for VenueConnect 2021 in Atlanta? Save $200 by registering before the 25th through our Early Bird rate! Register Now!
By R.V. Baugus
I’ve known Randy Brown, CVE, for as long as … well, I’ve known Randy Brown for awhile.
Never known a more affable man. Always quick before you could open your mouth to say, “What can I do for you?”
And he meant it. Any time I called Randy at his 33-year home where he served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, IN, he was quick to answer the phone. If Randy knew I was calling and that he might not be at his desk, he made sure to tell me to have him paged so he could take the call.
I call that old-school. I also call that something I often miss.
No, this isn’t some crusty old geezer pining for the old days, the ways things used to be. This is simply my recollection of working with Randy on a professional basis, including his 2011-12 year as Chair of IAVM. I never got to ask Randy, but I am sure he was a “handshake” guy who preferred to conduct business that way even though of course these days those arrangements can often sadly be risky propositions.
Randy sent me an email on Monday (see, I told you this was not about the “good old days”) to tell me that he had an announcement forthcoming three days later on Thursday, June 17. Now, that kind of gave me an idea what the announcement might be, but Randy verified it as I continued reading the email asking that it be kept mum until the announcement.
Anything for my friend, Randy Brown.
Thursday arrived and so did the announcement Randy was transitioning into the retirement phase of his life.
Randy, buddy, you deserve all the riches and rewards of retirement. May you continue being blessed as you enter a fun new chapter in your life. You have meant so much to so many in this industry and this association. You have been and always will be a treasured friend. Oh, and you are welcome to write for Venue Professional magazine anytime you like, even in retirement. Handshake deal on that?
We pick up now on the press release shared by Randy’s venue.
Randy L. Brown, CVE has announced his intention to retire, effective October 1, after 33 years of leadership at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“My goal has always been to leave it better than I found it. Today, it is a state-of-the-art multi-purpose complex of over 1 million square feet that is recognized throughout the country as one of the most successful venues of its type in the country,” Brown said. “We have an exceptional staff and board of trustees. I cannot thank them enough for their tireless work on behalf of our clients and guests. I will miss working with all of them immensely.”
Brown made the announcement to staff this afternoon (June 17) and informed the Memorial Coliseum Board of Trustees at their meeting today.
Brown came to the Memorial Coliseum in August of 1988 as the Event Manager. He has spent the last 31 years as the Executive Vice President & General Manager of the complex. His career has included active involvement with the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) for over 40 years and he was its chairman of the board in 2011 and 2012, representing venues worldwide. He continues to serve on the Arenas committee for IAVM. He also serves on the boards of Visit Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University Bloomington and was awarded the Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana.
By R.V. Baugus
As shared last month in IAVM News, Ungerboeck and EventBooking, two leading software providers of event and venue management tools, announced a merger that will enable the unified company to offer customers an integrated set of capabilities that further enhance the world-class solutions they provide today. The consolidation will provide customers with expedited technology enhancements and accelerated innovation, while continuing the focus on customer success.
In the midst of the busy time spent bringing the merger to fruition, we were able to capture time with the leaders of both companies as Manish Chandak of Ungerboeck and Steve Mackenzie of EventBooking joined me for an interview to further discuss the merger.
RV: What strengths do you bring to each other as you blend into an organization?
Steve Mackenzie: Certainly, one of the strengths that EventBooking brings to the merger is being a newer company in terms of the technology and some newer innovations that we’ve done with a really big focus on customer service. Obviously, Ungerboeck has had a big focus on that, too, but we’re looking to where we can really help each other. There are definitely some things to learn between the two of us there. From the EventBooking side, what we’re definitely excited about is the ability to now have a much stronger presence in Europe and the international realm. We have just started working in those areas recently and so having the maturity of a company like Ungerboeck that is already established there is really going to help strengthen the brands there as well.
Manish Chandak: It’s not so much what do you bring and what Ungerboeck brings because, yes, that’s obviously very important, but I think the word you said was “blend.” I think that broadly our brand can benefit from somebody who has been out there. Steve was formerly Ungerboeck. We look at Steve as sort of our brand ambassador for customers, and I think that in and of itself already is a good value-add.
The other thing I think we bring together is just the breadth and depth of the number of venues that we serve. We really now have a lot more onus to sort of say, let’s do some really, really good innovations because we have so many customers together now that are depending on it. Very shortly, it’s just going to be one company. All of these brands that we have will all be under one umbrella. A lot of times somewhere early in the process we were looking at what’s good here, what’s good here, but for the future is, No. 1, having such people like Steve and John (Platillero, EventBooking Founder) and others and the other is the benefit of that scale, where we can actually do more interesting things together.
Definitely both of us have a lot of history in the industry, but the common international experience and a lot of the common things that we do we don’t have to do as separate companies anymore. We can now just take the platform and do what needs to come in the future. The industry is going to be amazed in how we pivot to take the goodness in the platforms and sort of re-route some of the investments that we have been overlapping with each other and route it into something that is really and truly extraordinary in terms of the new value that we can bring. The scale allows us to do those types of things. Individually, it would have taken a lot more on either of our sides to do that.
RV: When did talks begin and why?
MC: I’ve been talking to Steve forever, ever since I came to this company!
SM: To Manish’s point, ever since Manish has been at Ungerboeck, we have met each other several times over the years and it’s been great and really friendly. Even though we were obviously competing for business, I truly value Manish for what he’s done for Ungerboeck and now I’m super excited with him leading the way with the new company. As much as he’s given me a rep, I want to give him one, too. The sky is the limit now with instead of us thinking how can we beat each other up, now it is what can we do for the industry?
RV: Will the company be Ungerboech?
MC: The company name will be Ungerboeck; we love the brand name. We will continue to grow those brands. The brand name will live and probably do very good things going forward.
What reaction do you think you will get from your clients?
SM: I think there will be a lot of jaw drops. What we’ve been telling our respective teams and that has been a gradual process over the past few weeks is it has been fascinating watching because unfortunately a lot of this with COVID had to be on Zoom, but it has been amazing watching the reactions and I don’t think that anybody picked that this was going to happen.
RV: Ungerboeck headquarters in Missouri and EventBooking in Tennessee. What happens to the offices?
MC: We have our offices in Singapore and Australia , China, France, and Germany. The staff that we have in Knoxville … this is not at all about any kind of cost reduction, but the kind of talent that we’re going to bring in to the company. Those people comfortable coming to the Knoxville office or the people here who ask, Can I go to the Smoky Mountains for a month and work in the Knoxville office. But we definitely want to keep all of the talent that we have. For EventBooking, if they are comfortable working there, then by all means we’ll continue to do that.
RV? Are there any other ways that staff is impacted?
SM: Just to Manish’s point, all of the discussion and conversation has been how can we scout even further? We’re on a rocket ship and adding fuel to it. So, it’s exciting to know that now we’ve got the resources behind us to really start innovating as Manish mentioned earlier. Resources means capital, and human capital too.
MC: On the staffing side, I want to add one other thing. Over the last 20 years we have probably hired around 30 or 40 people from the industry who did not want to continue at the venue they were at or were furloughed or whatever. Between our companies even more so we’ve been hiring people and the reason we’ve been doing that is because our company needs industry expertise. We’ve hired people from the Washington Convention Center, and from other convention centers and trade show people who have actually come to our company. So, from a staffing standpoint I wanted to point that out, because I think it’s really important and the reason we have been doing the staffing is because we absolutely believe that the events industry is going to come roaring back in six months, nine months, whatever it is, and we don’t want to be caught or unprepared for the growth and for the consulting and the help that our customers are going to need. That sort of addresses the other point of what we’re going to do with staffing for the path that we’re on.
RV: I know that you both are extremely excited about the prospects for the future. Just how excited can you share that you are?
SM: What I get excited about is now we can serve the industry even better. We’ve been talking about this idea of one company and one mission. That’s truly what it’s going to become. The focus is now wholly and solely on how we can serve this industry so much better. That’s stuff that’s getting me excited. I can’t wait to get going.
MC: In addition to what Steve just said, I think that there is now so much more value that technology providers can bring to this industry. It is an industry that is not necessarily using all that technology has to offer for today. I would say this is the beginning of us really making significant moves in terms of really bringing technology to this industry that is built on customer service. We’re not a typical software company that is out there. We’re going to be very, very integrated and very, very focused on this industry. So basically, it’s software developed by the people in the industry with an industry type of mindset is what we’re going for.
We still have our training going on big-time. As a way to get a job here our employee from the Washington Convention Center actually got himself certified. He was like, look guys, I am so interested in working for Ungerboeck that I got certified. To me, when people go out of their way to say, I’m willing to learn and get certified, that’s just gold. We’re like, OK, we don’t need to ask any more questions. You’re hired!
We just had over 1,000 people get certified. This is only during the COVID period. It’s just been mind-blowing for us. When events are dead, what purpose do you give them? I think that was a big driver of this. Let’s give them something that they can go back and do something that they feel they’re moving forward in this profession because they felt they weren’t getting a ton of experience.
SM: Talking about the certification that Ungerboeck did during that time, so many companies I think in our industry when COVID hit they took the approach of let’s be like a turtle and crawl under a shell and try to just wait this out, save money, and hope we make it to the other end. This is one of the great synergies I think between EventBooking and Ungerboeck is that both companies saw it as an opportunity to say what can we do to better serve the industry and what can we do so that at the other end of this we come out stronger and to Manish’s point earlier that we’re prepared for this. We know that events are going to come roaring back bigger and better than ever so what can we do to be prepared for that. Again, that was one of the key synergies that allowed us to bring this deal together is that we are thinking of the same things. We were seeing COVID as a terrible thing, probably the worst thing to ever happen to
By ISSA and R.V. Baugus
Over two-thirds (67%) of Americans are planning to travel this summer as COVID-19 cases continue to drop and more cities lift social distancing measures. To prioritize traveler health and safety and enhance visitor confidence, several must-see venues in North America have teamed up with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council™, (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, to help their local businesses achieve GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation.
“The world is opening up, but it is essential that the global cleaning industry continues to offer consistent information based off of our decades of knowledge that can’t simply be ‘Googled,’” said ISSA President Steve Lewis. “The GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation program establishes step-by-step procedures for facilities designed to attain a heightened level of cleanliness that consumers, and especially travelers, expect moving forward. We are not just cleaning for appearance anymore; we are cleaning for health.”
The latest public assembly venues to earn GBAC STAR accreditation include:
Columbia Convention Center in Columbia, S.C.
Hir Expo Internacional in Mexico City
Stadiums or Arenas
Desoto County Convention and Visitors Bureau/Landers Center in Southaven, Miss.
Performing Arts Center
Fillmore Silver Spring in Silver Spring, Md.
“Even well after the pandemic has passed, GBAC STAR and our dedication to cleanliness will remain extremely relevant, protecting travelers, guests, staff, and everyone in between,” Lewis added.
Learn more and apply for GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation at gbac.org/star.
Find accredited facilities and those pursuing accreditation via the GBAC STAR Facility Directory at gbac.org/directory.
IAVM members seeking to apply for accreditation through GBAC, please use the link https://gbac.issa.com/iavm/!
ASM Global, the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences, announced an extension of their agreement with Ticketmaster to continue serving industry-leading digital ticketing technologies to many of ASM’s premiere North American stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and performing arts facilities.
ASM’s venues produce a vast array of events with partners ranging from professional sports to family entertainment and premier concerts with the world’s top promoters including AEG and Live Nation. ASM Global is also expanding its relationship with Ticketmaster by enabling the company to conduct ticket sales for Live Nation-promoted shows at other ASM Global venues throughout North America.
The partnership will give the more than 8 million fans that come to ASM’s venues each year easy access to the most sought-after live experiences in the U.S. and Canada. Ticketmaster is focused on creating solutions that help venues and event operators make the event-going experience easier for fans. With digital tickets, fans receive the benefits of state-of-the-art venue access with contactless entry, mobile box office support, instant transfer when sending a ticket to a friend or selling it to another fan, as well as anti-counterfeiting features, which eliminate ticket fraud by using an encrypted barcode that refreshes automatically every few seconds. Ticketmaster’s foundation of digital ticketing enables the rollout of regular upgrades and innovations.
ASM Global President and CEO Ron Bension said, “With amazing content in all of our venues as a powerful foundation, we continue to discover imaginative new methods that leverage breakthrough technologies to create unparalleled consumer journeys including innovative food and beverage and premium VIP treatment for fans. Aligning with industry leaders like Ticketmaster is a critical component in providing millions of people with the most seamless and secure live experiences.”
“ASM is our largest partner in North America, and we are proud to grow our great work together,” said Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “We are committed to supporting ASM’s efforts to provide fans with best-in-class ticketing and fan-engagement now and into the future.”
Ticketmaster’s Live Analytics dashboard will enable ASM to build stronger relationships with its fans. The analytics platform will provide ASM with insights and tools for better fan engagement across events of all kinds.
“We are committed to helping ASM deliver world-class events where the ticketing process elevates the entire fan experience,” said Mark Yovich, president, Ticketmaster. “Like Ticketmaster, ASM cares deeply about the customer journey and the value of building strong relationships with fans from the moment they purchase a ticket to well after the event ends.”