By R.V. Baugus
Bobby Goldwater, CVE, Georgetown University Sports Industry Management faculty and long-time IAVM member, along with IAVM Education Manager Greg Wolfe, will launch a new series of live ZOOM question-and-answer sessions between industry executives and student members and young professionals beginning this Thursday at 4 pm Eastern Time. The sessions, titled 2020 Vision, will run for at least the next eight Thursdays.
“I put together a sub-committee and we determined that there was enough interest and there were a number of projects that deserved and could be received in some form from an academic perspective,” Goldwater said. “This was not to replace any other committee and was not to do something that someone else was doing but there were just things that frankly no one was doing. I and others thought that this would benefit the association by having this kind of a focus. We are happy it got approved.”
Goldwater well understands the challenges and quite frankly the confusion that many graduating seniors and those in his graduate program are facing when it comes simply to guessing what the future holds.
“Greg and I were talking and we certainly understood that people in venue management, whether they were still in school as undergraduates or graduate students or young professionals, might have a lot of questions, might need some guidance, and might need to hear from about the industry and what might be next,” Goldwater said.
Goldwater cited IAVM’s Upstart program that began years ago at VenueConnect and the session called Game Changers.
“It was IAVM executives, kind of like speed dating with executives,” he said. “Two executives sit at a table and students and young professionals get to go sit at a table and meet with the executives, talk to them for 15 minutes, and then move to the next table about the 15 minutes are up. I said to Greg, why don’t we just do a version of Game Changer? We’ll do it once a week and have one executive and a conversation to offer career insights and perspectives on the future of venue management for the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes would be Q&A from the participating audience of young people.”
Goldwater pointed out that all the executives lined up so far have participated in the Game Changer sessions, so they know exactly what this is about. “I will give them some questions and they will answer and provide their very distinctive career insights and then answer some questions,” he said. “We hope it will be both instructive and informative, and hopefully inspiring, too.”
Goldwater placed a little extra emphasis on the word inspiring, especially in light of these very uncertain times caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“What is going on right now is a speed bump,” he said. “We are going to get over the speed bump. We are going to continue down a path where venue management is a privilege. It is a wonderful career. Whether it is a student studying it or a young professional at the beginning, it is a wonderful career, a privilege to be a part of. That needs to be reinforced.
“As we talked about this, we both recognized that we wanted to maintain engagement with the next generation of our industry and young professionals, or as I call them, the young and aspiring professionals. That’s what they are. To be able to maintain that contact, to allow executives to interact with this audience, to provide and share some guidance, some career advice, talk about some experiences that they have had, that’s what these live sessions are designed to provide.
“We will kick off with Angie Teel. If there is anybody in our industry more energetic than Angie Teel … she is a great person to kick off. We are frankly envisioning this may go on (beyond eight weeks). The first handful of dates are pretty well set up. We also have Mac Campbell, Joyce Leveston, Richard Andersen, Jimmy Earl, and Julia Slocombe. That’s the first group and others that we’re waiting to hear from.”
Goldwater said that the response from the original group of speakers has been nothing short of impressive.
“Again, all of these people have participated in previously in the Upstart Game Changer session at VenueConnect,” he said. “We know that they have a history of participating with this audience. We are very excited that this provides the opportunity for them to do that again but more importantly for the aspiring and young professionals to get the benefit of their experience.”
Goldwater also cited the support of others in launching the program, including his contacts from the university world in Jim Wynkoop and Dusty Saine, and from IAVM Brad Mayne, Mark Herrera, and Tammy Koolbeck.
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