In preparation for the Shenyang New World EXPO soft opening on March 1, EXPO’s senior staff completed final training at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC) in December.
EXPO General Manager Diane Chen is confident that the staff is prepared to meet the demand of EXPO’s initial customers.
“EXPO’s association with HKCEC as a sister venue and our direct access with its senior management team are enormous benefits to EXPO and Shenyang,” she said. “Three prestigious exhibitions will be held in March followed by three more in April. This specific training as well as the ongoing training EXPO received through HKCEC during the last many months help to ensure a greater level of professionalism when responding to our clients.”
The opening event on March 1-3 will be the DPS Sign & Expo China-Shenyang 2017; the 19th Northeast China International Dental Equipment & Affiliated Exhibition Symposium on Oral Health 2017 will be held March 16-19 followed by the 23rd Northeast China International Building and Decoration Exhibition on March 23-25.
April will be busy beginning with the 17th China (Shenyang) Auto Fair Expo on April 1-4, followed by the 5th China (Shenyang) Wedding Industry Exhibition 2017 on April 8 and 9 and the 19th Northeast China Public Security Exposition on April 20-22.
Cliff Wallace, CFE, chairman of EXPO’s professional and private management company, Shenyang New World EXPO (Management) Ltd., remains very optimistic about the regional exhibition market of Liaoning Province and its capital city Shenyang.
“The response by the exhibition organizers and interest in booking the venue is most encouraging,” Wallace said. “EXPO’s soft opening will continue through September after which bookings are shaping up to be better than expected once EXPO’s adjacent hotel and retail and leisure elements open this autumn. We are very encouraged that this venue will be a model for China’s second tier markets.”
Jane Kleinberger has enjoyed the almost four decades of experience and friendships that the public assembly venue industry has given her. That illustrious career has now given her the industry’s most decorated honor for Allied Members, that of the Joseph J. Anzivino Distinguished Allied Award that she will receive at this year’s VenueConnect in Nashville from August 7-10.
Kleinberger, founder of Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement and accomplished veteran in the ticketing industry will become the
latest name to be added to an illustrious group in honor of her extraordinary contributions to the Association and the professional venue management industry it serves.
“The Anzivino Award reminds me that our shared commitment to excellence is really a partnership between Allied and Professional Members,” Kleinberger said. “We rely on one another to give our best, to build lasting friendships, and to innovate together. It is always an honor to be recognized by your peers, but an award like the Joseph J. Anzivino Award reminds me of the great service that all my predecessor award recipients have contributed, and encourages me to do even more.”
Kleinberger co-founded Paciolan in 1980 and has served in multiple capacities during her tenure, including CEO and chairman of the board. Her work today focuses on both client and industry relations, and she is a key member of the senior management team focused on strategic development.
Spectra’s Ticketing & Fan Engagement division is a leader in ticketing, fundraising, marketing, and analytics solutions with over 35 years of experience. Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement enables college athletic programs, arenas, professional sports, and performing arts clients to sell more than 120 million tickets per year.
“Our Allied Members are important partners with IAVM in all that we do, something that Jane Kleinberger has always taken to heart,” said Mark Mettes, CFE, IAVM chairman. “To honor Jane with this award is a true testament to her professionalism and passion. She is a pillar in our industry.”
“When I received the call from Mark, I was excited to call him back as I thought we were going to speak about chairman-to-chairman stuff (IAVM-to-INTIX),” Kleinberger said. “When he informed me that I was receiving the award, I was absolutely surprised and very humbled. There are so many wonderful Allieds Members who contribute so much … I could not be more honored. I was even more humbled and somewhat emotional when Mark informed me that so many industry greats had taken the time to write letters of support. I can’t believe they all took the time out of their crazy busy lives to share their encouragement. Very simply, I am honored, grateful, and humbled.”
Kleinberger credits the success in her career to an attitude of wanting to give back after so many helped her grow and learn.
“Like many of us, early in my career I accidentally found myself employed by the industry, and I never looked back,” she said. “It’s a life gift that I do not take for granted. After 37 years, I can clearly say that I am blessed. I have had the privilege to work alongside amazing co-workers, clients and colleagues who not only deliver excellence in their day jobs, but who also make an impact on our industry through association service. The gift keeps giving and I’m reminded of my need to continue giving back.”
By his own admission, John Siehl, CFE, is not one to often be left speechless. In fact, he calls it a rarity. But the cat got his tongue, so to speak, when a recent call arrived from IAVM Chairman Mark Mettes, CFE, to share the good news that Siehl would be receiving the industry’s most prestigious recognition in being named recipient of the Charles A. McElravy Award, to be given during VenueConnect in Nashville, August 7-10.
“When Mark called to tell me the news, well, you don’t catch me speechless too many times but I was at that moment,” Siehl said. “As I told Mark, I have been in this industry for 53 years now, having started as an usher in 1965, and this is an incredible recognition. I am honored to join ranks with the great group of individuals who have received this award.”
Thus Siehl, vice president and chief operating officer of VenuWorks, joins the list of professionals to receive an award initiated in 1963 that is granted for extraordinary contributions to the Association and the professional venue management industry it serves.
After that humble stint as an usher to begin his career at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio, Siehl quickly moved into management and was named general manager in 1982. He joined the staff at the Ervin J. Nutter Center at Wright State University in 1990 and served there as general manager for more than 20 years. Siehl served IAVM as its president (now called chair) in 2010-11.
“It’s quite an honor and it has been an incredible life,” Siehl said. “I can’t say much more. It’s the industry that has helped me accomplish so much. I just love it and am humbled and proud to join the ranks of all the people that have been McElravy winners before me. I just really couldn’t be any happier right at the moment.”
“The passion and dedication that John Siehl has for our association and industry comes through in everything that he does,” Mettes said. “Whether it is his time as chair of IAVM, his work on the Academy for Venue Safety & Security (AVSS) or the many other ways he has served our association, this honor is well deserved.”
Based in Dayton, Siehl serves on many local boards including Ronald McDonald House Charities, The Aullwood Audubon Center, Greene County Foundation and Special Wish. He was two-time president of the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce and is past president of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau. Siehl is also a volunteer in Dayton as a bereavement counselor.
Siehl said he had not thought much in advance about the award but that once he was notified it was the “capper” to his career.
“It’s something you just don’t think about,” he said. “I can’t say I had given it much thought. Other people receive the award at VenueConnect and you think, oh, that’s really nice, and, boy, they really deserve it, but you just never really put yourself in that place. It’s just an absolute incredible honor. I literally was speechless.
“But I am absolutely thrilled to be able to be honored by an association that has literally been my life and industry that has given me so much. I just hope that I have given back to them.”
Please welcome our newest members who joined IAVM in January 2017. Thank you for being a part of the association!
Also, let us get to know you better by participating in the I Am Venue Management series. Please visit http://www.iavm.org/i-am-venue-management-share-your-story to share your story and photo.
When Nathaniel Porter and Allie Stites took on the roles of co-chair for a two-day Region 6 Future Industry Leaders Conference on January 30-31 in Tulsa, they had no idea whether the first-ever such event targeted toward mid-level venue managers would warrant a second look. But after the final severe weather session ended on Tuesday, they said they could see the event happening again in Tulsa, if not somewhere else.
“When we started we really didn’t know,” said Porter, senior event services manager at the SMG-managed BOK Center. “We wanted to make it successful this first year. It went well enough that we would want to think about doing it again in Tulsa or even helping somewhere else in another venue.”
Stites, senior events manager at the Cox Business Center, came away impressed enough that she strongly advocated other regions get involved in doing something similar.
“I would highly encourage other regions to do this,” she said. “With our attendance of more than 80 for each day, it showed that there really is a need for a conference for this level of manager in our industry. We tried to keep this cost-minimal while still providing a wonderful experience for everybody, but I highly recommend other regions create something like this because right now there is not a whole lot out there for mid-level managers or people right out of college or people looking to broaden their knowledge a little bit at an appropriate cost level. We would be happy to help people and be a sounding board.”
The sound from the conference in Tulsa was one of applause for an event that on the first day included several sessions covering a wide range of industry topics including sales and booking, best practices in venue management, backstage catering, security demonstration, in-house special events and professional development. The second day focused on severe weather and included numerous sessions on that topic near and dear to those in the severe weather belt.
“We were really happy with the turnout just from our region,” Porter said. “The speakers were really engaging with the audience, and we got a lot of positive feedback from all of our guests on all the people that presented on the first day and our severe weather on the second day. We had a good mix of people all the way from college students to people who have been in the industry for 20 years.”
Porter and Stites said that they worked together in their co-chair roles and utilized a committee of some 10 people who helped in the planning process as well as shaping some of the various content for sessions. Stites called being a co-chair and serving on the committee a highlight in her career.
“I learned so much through that process and would encourage other IAVM members to join those committees because it’s a learning experience,” she said. “It challenged me to think outside the box and out of my comfort zone and required me to brush up on some skills I had not used in a while.
“At the conference a takeaway I had was to remember the bigger picture that’s going on. It is easy in my position at the convention center to just get focused on my tasks and lose track of all of the other parts of the wheel that make an event happen. The bigger picture is all the departments working together.”
Porter added that having a group of leaders from different venue types on the first day was an effective learning experience for him.
“The first panel that we started off with was our GM at the BOK Center, Jeff Nickler, the assistant GM from the Cox Business Center, Kerry Painter, and Peter Lane, the CEO of the Walton Arts Center/Walmart AMP,” he said. “Anytime you can learn from people who have been in the business and had success in the business is something you need to do. I got to spend some time with them that maybe I wouldn’t in another setting. Just hearing their insights from an arena, convention center and theater/amphitheater was beneficial for me.”
Attendees received points toward their Certified Venue Professional (CVP) designation, and Porter said that the education was tailored perfectly toward the audience.
“Again, it was something more cost effective for more of the mid-level to low-level manager just starting out,” he said. “This gives them an opportunity to get out and learn from people and be able to go to a conference and check that box off the CVP checklist.”
Porter said that as he and Stites began reaching out to others in the industry for advice and suggestions in forming a conference, he noticed the immediate help that came. It is a favor, he said, that he would like to repay in the future.
“That’s what I love about this industry,” he said, “being able to learn from others and just call them and see what they’re doing and how can we help each other. That was one of the points of the conference, to get together with people of similar backgrounds but different types of venues just to see what works best and what maybe you can take back home.”