By Wenger Corporation
In April, ground was broken for the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences in Lubbock, Texas. Slated to open in early 2020, it will include a 2,200-seat main theater; smaller studio theatre with 425 seats; multipurpose room, bistro and dance center. We plan to cover different aspects of this interesting project in upcoming articles.
But before ground is ever broken for any performing arts center (PAC) project, extensive planning takes place. What factorscontribute to successful projects – those that meet deadlines, budgets and objectives? Over the next two weeks, we’ll consider the general topic of PAC planning from the perspective of the developer involved in Buddy Holly Hall; we spoke with Greg Garfield, President of Garfield Public/Private LLC in Dallas.
In Part 1, this week we’ll learn about the work of his firm and its partners, including development services, market studies, community engagement and conceptual design.
“Our firm has focused exclusively on public or public/private projects for the past 20 years,” says Garfield. These projects include courthouses, government office buildings, schools, parking garages, hotels, arenas and performing arts centers, among other facility types. Customers are typically municipalities, educational institutions, other nonprofits or some combination of these.
Garfield’s firm provides complete development services: initial business planning; selection of architect, engineers, consultants and contractors; negotiating contracts, including operating agreements; financing/fundraising; and oversight of design and construction. A guaranteed maximum price and completion date are provided using turnkey contract methods. Garfield states they’ve always met deadlines and budgets. “We offer a creative alternative to the old design-bid-build-occupy method,” he explains.
Before an architect is hired to create conceptual plans for any PAC, Garfield recommends pre-development strategic analysis, which typically includes a market study and business plan, as well as programming, conceptual design, conceptual estimate and financing and fundraising plan. For PAC market studies and business plans, Garfield engages an outside consultant specializing in this industry.
For Buddy Holly Hall, that consultant was Webb Management Services in New York. “We developed the market study that confirmed the need and opportunity to develop this facility,” explains Duncan Webb, President. His firm also wrote the preliminary business plan that confirmed how the recommended facilities at Buddy Holly Hall should be programmed, operated and financially sustained.
The market study considers existing facilities and routing patterns for touring national shows that might visit. It recommends seating capacity, capabilities and other programmatic elements. The community’s user groups are surveyed; outreach also includes promoters and other entities that may want to use the building.
“In the initial interviews, we don’t put on any limits or boundaries,” says Garfield. “We ask for the stakeholders’ dreams and aspirations, along with their wants and needs.” The resulting information is distilled and refined into concrete recommendations.
Garfield considers community engagement vital on many levels. “We only want to plan new facilities that will help existing arts groups and established venues in that market,” he remarks. “Successful facilities help everyone. We really believe that old adage: A rising tide raises all ships.”
The market study also includes an activity profile outlining expected programming and average attendance. This information helps create a financial model for the first 5-10 years, showing expected operating revenue, expenses and net income/loss. If a loss is projected, earned revenue will need to be supplemented with fundraising separate from the capital fundraising for the building’s construction.
“A theater consultant and architect are engaged to develop a spatial program and conceptual design, which may also include site identification and analysis, considering maximum economic impact, access and visibility,” explains Garfield. The conceptual design typically includes a building program, site plan, floor plans, elevations, building system narratives and perhaps some renderings. These visual elements can be helpful in generating excitement for the project and jump-starting the fundraising process.
This article was originally published by Wenger Corporation on its performing arts blog at http://performance.wengercorp.com/blog/
Next week: Garfield discusses budgeting, ownership options and other financial considerations.
ExteNet Systems, a leading provider of Distributed Network Systems (DNS) enabling advanced cellular, wireless and broadband connectivity, announced it has reached a milestone of 25 sports and entertainment venues across North America with operational distributed networks. ExteNet’s multi-carrier networks connect and engage fans in these 25 venues covering over 25 million square feet of indoor space, alongside a corresponding 1,500 acres of outdoor space. ExteNet’s footprint in the sports and entertainment market continues to grow as venue owners recognize the increasing need for the underlying communications network infrastructure to meet evolving expectations for the fan experience.
“Broadband wireless network infrastructure enables and enhances fan engagement during games, concerts and other events,” said Ross Manire, President and Chief Executive Officer for ExteNet Systems. “Venue owners have an inherent desire to differentiate and attract people to the venue on game day. ExteNet helps achieve this differentiation with our distributed networks. These networks can also support first responders and deliver critical emergency communication services should an incident arise. Sports and entertainment venues remain one of our strategic market segments and we continue to invest in new builds and network expansions.”
ExteNet’s footprint in the sports and entertainment market now features deployments across the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, AHL, NCAA and Formula One. Some of the venues include Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Barclays Center, Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Madison Square Garden, Marlins Park and Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Each of these premier venues have multiple wireless carriers supported on the distributed network operated by ExteNet.
“Our guests rely on our venue’s communication network and mobile connectivity, especially during major sporting events like the recent 2017 Home Run Derby® and 2017 MLB All-Star Game® which we hosted,” said David Enriquez, Senior Director of Information Technology at Miami Marlins and Marlins Park. “We are always looking for avenues to improve the guest experience and are extremely proud of our state-of-the-art 4G LTE wireless network system, which is operated and managed by our partner ExteNet Systems. Our network ensures a superior experience for our guests and further distinguishes our venue.”
IAVM is pleased to announce that it has successfully worked with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish, and approve as an industry best practice, Common Sense Rules for Wi-Fi usage in public assembly venues.
“The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau’s recent activities created confusion in the events market as to what actions could or could not be taken to manage the wireless spectrum on the tradeshow floor,” stated Brad Mayne, IAVM President and CEO. “IAVM felt it was best to take a proactive stance with the FCC in their understanding of the needs of our stakeholders to establish clear direction on what wireless network management actions are permitted.”
The work was done as part of the Communication Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). The CSRIC is a Federal Advisory Committee that provides recommendations to the Commission regarding best practices and actions the Commission can take to ensure optimal security, reliability, and interoperability of commercial and public safety communications systems.
The CSRIC’s Working Group 9 was tasked with developing, for CSRIC’s consideration, recommended best practices for promoting enhanced security for networks and devices utilizing Wi-Fi spectrum bands. Members of the Working Group included representatives from various industries, including telecommunications providers, higher education, wireless equipment manufacturers and the events industry.
In addition to Mayne, others from IAVM’s Wi-Fi Coalition who participated in the Working Group included Scott Craighead, Vice President of Exhibitions and Events for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Mark Sims, Chief Information Officer at the Javits Center and Mark Haley, President of Smart City Networks.
The Working Group accepted the best practices for improving Wi-Fi Security from across various industry groups, including IAVM’s Common Sense Rules for Wi-Fi Security, as well as other best practices to deal with rogue access points.
Additionally, the Working Group recommended that the FCC resolve the policy and legal issues regarding the ability of enterprise customers or network operators to use de-authentication to protect Wi-Fi users from legitimate cybersecurity threats.
Don’t miss Mark Haley’s Venue Chat on these new rules at VenueConnect: “Venue Chat: Working with the FCC: Common Sense Rules for Wi-Fi in Public Venues” on Tuesday, August 8th, at 10am and 10:40am, Booth in Nashville.
Voting for the 2017-18 Slate of Officers remains open through July 22, 2017. The complete slate including biographical information and photos can now be viewed through the ballot site as well as on the IAVM web site.
All voting members should have received an email titled “2017-2018 IAVM Board of Directors Election – login information below”. The email contains a generated username and password to use when logging in to submit votes. If you haven’t received the email, please contact Rosanne Duke via email or by calling 972-538-1025.
Once again, the ballot is available through Survey & Ballot Systems allowing complete confidentiality and security to our members.
The results of the voting will be posted following the closing of the ballot on July 22. However, join us in Nashville for VenueConnect, August 7-10 and have the opportunity to meet the new board members in person. Every minute of this year’s program is distinct, offering new dynamic sessions, topic roundtables, and the largest industry trade show and networking events only possible in a city like Nashville!
By Chris Munz
Virtual reality is certainly one of the new kids on the technology block, and an extremely intriguing one at that. The utility and potential of VR is a relatively unexplored frontier, featured mostly by the gaming and entertainment industries. But, as VR becomes more developed and as more people have the necessary hardware to explore VR, other industries have started to experiment with it.
Convention centers are among them. Convention centers are exploring virtual reality as a way to enhance marketing and sales, and to improve the experience of guests, attendees, exhibitors and even staff. I’m sure we’ll see this at IAVM’s upcoming VenueConnect Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Nashville, August 7-10. (If you’re not already planning to go, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn, network, and hear from some real pros).
One example of VR being used by convention centers is a project that we’re proud to have been a part of: Florida’s massive 7-million square foot Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) – the second largest convention center in the U.S. – will soon be launching concept3D’s VR-enabled interactive mapping and virtual tour platform, atlas3D, complete with a new space design tool called MapSpacer. This new tool – developed in close collaboration with OCCC – uses a SketchUp application to allow event planners and pros from OCCC to collaborate on a custom room layout, saving hours of time and back and forth, and presenting 2D and 3D layouts that draw from the convention center’s inventory of chairs, tables, stages, buffets and other needs.
As convention center pros, we’ve all seen how VR draws people into an exhibit. But how can we use VR to make our jobs easier (and potentially more fun)? Here are a few ways VR is going to change things for convention centers:
Virtual Reality and Your Bottom Line: Marketing and Sales
When it comes to convention centers, the ability to market or sell space boils down to how well visitors can grasp the potential of that space. What if they can’t visit in person? How do you convey the magnitude of the space available, from exhibit halls to breakout areas, concessions, and more? Virtual reality can serve as the ideal solution to put an event organizer right in your space, even if they are on the other side of the world. The position of saving that organizer the time and money involved in traveling to see the space in person goes a long way, and can easily change the conversation from a potential lead to the planning phase. Aside from the added utility VR provides, the technology is an intrinsically interesting experience.
So you get the thumbs up to host the next big convention. Virtual reality can now be used as a major asset in developing the strategy and plan for that event. In terms of dividing up floor space for exhibitors and dividing overall layout, using virtual reality adds a new perspective to the experience that was unharnessed by using blueprints or two dimensional floor plans. With VR, you can take a deeper look into what the event will look like while the stakes are much lower.
Concept3D’s MapSpacer tool creates 2D and 3D models of a custom event space. The 3D versions can easily be viewed through VR-capable fly-throughs. Additionally, convention centers could capture events, so organizers could experience – as if they’re right there in person, walking the floor – what a similar event would be like.
Facilities, Operations and Logistics
The capabilities of VR are in no way limited to the convention center floor. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. Loading bays, parking areas and security don’t receive the lion’s share of attention during events, but they all play critical roles in keeping things running smoothly and safely. With VR, pros involved on the logistical side of events could see exactly where a truck needs to be backed up for unloading; where deliveries need to be made; explore security, and more. Hard-to-reach areas could even be captured by a VR camera for plumbing, HVAC, and other needs.
Profiling Current / Future Construction
Convention centers are constantly improving – adding new amenities, space, etc. With VR, you can let someone fly through buildings and new facilities that are currently under construction as well as those that won’t be under construction for another ten years. That’s exciting, especially for major events that plan years if not decades ahead. Show them your best! This example may have particular interest for convention center pros to show municipalities the potential of the new space, and all that the addition will offer from a regional economic development standpoint.
We’re just scratching the surface of what VR will be able to bring to event planners and convention center professionals in any role. It’s an exciting time in event tech, and we’re going to see rapid advancements through VR and many other technologies in the coming years!
I hope to see you at VenueConnect!
Chris Munz is Vice President of Business Development at concept3D. Learn more at http://www.concept3D.com