By R.V. Baugus
Hear about the big news this week?
Gotcha! No, we are not talking about the presidential election, although Lord knows it has been battered and filleted every which way since Tuesday. Instead, we are talking about something that is so under the radar it could not be located by a Hubble Space Telescope.
Interestingly, it was called to my attention in a text message on Wednesday from former IAVM colleague Dana (Glazier) Hoffman, who shared a Facebook post she made on November 4, 2010, that stated, “We have a new name! I now work for the International Association of Venue Managers.”
Yes, these 10 years have flown by, have they not? There was plenty of news about the change, including the Association’s statement that the change was “to better reflect members’ jobs and current industry vernacular.”
Indeed, just a change of one word, but a word that most all can agree makes perfect sense today. “Our annual conference is now called VenueConnect, our new proprietary social network platform is VenueNet and our new awards are the Venue Excellence Awards. The concept to change our association’s name made perfect sense,” said Shura Lindgren, immediate past chair at the time. Even the letters of CFE after Lindgren’s name would change to CVE as the industry’s premier designation went from Certified Facilities Executive to Certified Venue Executive with Certified Venue Professional also joining the ranks.
“Changing ‘assembly’ to ‘venue’ does not change who or what we are. We will preserve all that our brand represents and yet reflect all we can become in the future,” said then IAVM President and CEO Dexter King, CVE, in a comment to Successful Meetings. “Regardless of our name, this organization is committed to being relevant by encouraging and equipping today’s venue professionals worldwide. Through its many program offerings, IAVM will continue to assist its members with commerce, advocacy, research and education.”
John Siehl, CVE, IAVM Board Chair at the time, also added to Successful Meetings: “Our new name clearly characterizes our industry and aligns the organization with what our members do — manage and operate thousands of venues in communities, metroplexes, cities, counties, territories, countries and more worldwide. We will likely witness other changes as we continue to evaluate our brand portfolio to ensure that it is nimbly meeting the needs of our members and the industry it serves.”
And there were other changes. The Public Assembly Facility Management School (PAFMS) became the Venue Management School. As recent as this past July, the association’s 35-year-old magazine moved from Facility Manager to Venue Professional.
More than 85 years old, IAVM was started in 1924, when it was called the Association of Auditorium Managers. Over the years, the organization’s name has changed several times. It became the International Association of Auditorium Managers, for instance, in 1934 and IAAM in 1996.
The name change 10 years ago was actually voted on electronically prior to the annual conference and trade show in July in Houston, where the results of the ballot were made public during the keynote address.
Venue so easily now rolls off the tongue and is certainly less bulky than some of the predecessor names for the association’s schools and programs.
Dexter King, always a very dear friend as much as a boss at the time, brought some humorous perspective to the IAAM logo etched outside World Headquarters. Even as a member as a venue manager, King would visit the association office and upon seeing the logo had an immediate thought to what it resembled.
“With the two A’s sticking up, it looks like Felix the Cat,” he would say.
Just one more reason to love Dexter, and one more reason 10 years ago this week to celebrate the formal name change to your International Association of Venue Managers.