In my short career, I’ve learned that nothing is more important than hard work and dedication. Success in the sports industry is about being the first one in and the last one to leave and maintaining that mentality through your career. My realization of this came at a young age when I was playing competitive soccer. Growing up on the West Coast of Canada (Vancouver) there were little opportunities for women soccer players beyond youth level. When I was 16 years old and a junior in high school, I transferred to a new school in Scottsdale, Arizona, in order to pursue my dream of training with an elite U.S. soccer club and ultimately playing NCAA Division 1 soccer. Since I had to leave my family at such a young age and live with another family, I was forced to grow up and mature extremely fast. After two years of hard work, I was offered a full athletics and academic scholarship at New Jersey Institute of Technology. As a student athlete, it is extremely difficult to balance countless hours of practices, games, team meetings, and athletic events. Athletics together with classes, school work, and social life can become stressful. However, through hard work and strong time management skills I was able to succeed.
As my soccer career came to a close, I knew I wanted to gain professional growth in the industry while getting an MBA in Sport Management at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). The great aspect of FAU’s program is it requires you to have an internship or employment during the entire length of the program. This was the key element that separated the program at FAU from others schools. I held internship and employment with the Vancouver Whitecaps, the New York Red Bulls, the Miami Dolphins, and the Florida Panthers. I knew that if I wanted to succeed, I had to get my foot in the door in every way possible. At one point at FAU, I had three internships while managing a full course load. Certainly, it wasn’t easy. But overcoming challenges and obstacles is what makes the most successful individuals. I could tell countless stories of lugging tables, chairs, tents, and anything else I could get my hands on at all hours of the night during my internships. I wanted to show that I was willing to do any task no matter how tedious it may be.
I was proud to join IAVM in order to continue to network in the industry. The sporting industry is so small that it is important to have connection within. The internship program at the annual conference helped me network with successful individuals that I look up to. I hope to someday return the favor to aspire young individuals.
As I aspire to have a successful career in the industry, I will never forget the countless hours of hard work and dedication. In order to be successful, it’s about doing any task that comes your way no matter how unexciting it may be. It is about taking risk and bouncing back after you fail. The greatest triumph is not in never falling, but rising after you fall.
(Image: Orange Photography)
We’re ready to launch the next “class” of venue professionals, allied partners, students, faculty, or young professionals and wanted to let you know how to get involved. To kickoff these spring partnerships, the Mentor Connector Program webinar is this month, Wednesday, March 18, 3-4 pm EDT.
If you are interested in signing up as a Coach, Mentor, or Mentee, please register by entering this address in your browser: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4723610069813115393.
Did you know you can earn CFE points? Learn all you need to know about the program by signing up for the free webinar.
To participate in the program, you must be a current IAVM member. Please submit your Mentor or Mentee application by Wednesday, March 25. This will allow the IAVM Mentoring Task Force time to pair you with a mentor and coach. Please return your form to me, your member care manager, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email or call if you have questions.
Download the application form from www.iavm.org/mentor-connector-program. We look forward to your participation in this incredible FREE benefit of IAVM membership!
I want to point you in the direction of a good article on TechCrunch written by one of our Allied members. In “4 Ways Stadium Hospitality Technology is Defending the Live Event,” Centerplate’s Bob Pascal asserts that innovation at stadiums is reinventing the guest experience.
“Rather than fighting an either-or battle against technology, live event venues are increasingly seeing the additive benefits of emerging technologies,” wrote Pascal, the company’s chief marketing officer. “The same features and devices once seen as threatening to in-person presence at live events are becoming the keys to unlocking an even greater venue experience when integrated on-site.”
Pascal outlines four tech examples of what fans can expect in the future.
1. Wireless Networks
“High-density wireless networks are becoming more commonplace, as stadiums increasingly need more than just a standard router to handle the universal use of smartphones by today’s fans.”
2. High-tech Stadiums
“The venue-specific, context-aware apps offer such features as food and drink delivery to seats, seat finders and the current status of bathroom/concession lines, all delivered straight to the fan’s phone.”
3. Cashless Payments and Paperless Tickets
“Trips to the ATM have become less frequent, and consumers increasingly want to pay with plastic or their mobile phones.”
4. Drone Tech
“Teams like the Sacramento Kings are beginning to explore the usage of drones for their new arenas as a means to survey available parking spaces and provide unique in-arena camera angles.”
(Image: Alfredo Mendez/Creative Commons)
Venue managers must constantly keep their minds in the present and in the future, sometimes at the same time. It’s difficult and taxing, but sometimes there are ways to accomplish both without straining physical and mental resources.
One way is to re-frame your thinking. For example, The Langham, Hong Kong changed the name of its housekeeping supervisors to guest experience managers. This small change had a big impact on the hotel’s operations.
“Our main guest satisfaction measure, a guest survey completed by guests post departure, has shown a 7 percent post implementation of our guest experience manager roles,” Dean Dimitriou, the hotel’s executive assistant manager of rooms, told Dr. Michael Oshins in an interview. “We also receive up to 30 guest comments per month from guests reflecting how impressed they are with the service received by these guest experience managers.”
Dimitriou said that the guest experience managers’ sense of accomplishment increased because of their opportunities to engage with guests. And then there are the financial benefits.
“A dollar figure cannot be placed against the increase of guest satisfaction; however we have seen a 50 percent increase in enrollments into our loyalty program based on our guests satisfaction during their stay, which is in turn resulting in an increase in the repeat guest ratio,” Dimitriou told Oshins. “So the increase in guest satisfaction is increasing the number of loyal guests we have and the fact our repeat guests not only will enable us to secure future repeat business, their off-spend and average rate is typically higher than average.”
Dr. Oshins is one of the many great teachers at this year’s Senior Executive Symposium (SES), May 11-14, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is a professor at Boston University, where he teaches hospitality leadership, among other courses. For SES, he will help attendees learn to re-frame their thinking in order to be more creative and how to build service quality and value for their organizations.
These types of high-level, status-quo busting courses are exactly the right fit for many venue managers who feel they’ve “been there, done that” and are seeking new ideas and strategies.
“The teachers at SES, the intimate settings, and being on the college campus created and fostered an environment for learning new material because the teachers who taught are top-notch,” said IAVM member Kim Stone, executive vice president and general manager of the AmericanAirlines Arena. “I learned quite a bit while I was there about more overall management leadership topics. I found it really thought-provoking, it was a wonderful place to learn, and it really stretched your thinking as an executive. It’s just invaluable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another organization that I’ve been affiliated with that had that type of curriculum, and I think it’s fantastic.”
SES this year focuses on visionary management for leaders, and applications are still being accepted.
Theatre critic Maddy Costa wrote an editorial The Guardian this week that I find fascinating, probably because it’s new concept for me. She raises the question: “What might the theatre landscape look like if it were more relaxed, not occasionally, but all the time?”
“For an art form so dedicated to thinking about human behaviour and interactions, theatre is remarkably bad at allowing its audiences to be human beings once they take their seats,” Costa wrote. “You might have bought your ticket weeks before, but if you’ve had the bad luck to catch a cold in the interim and enter the auditorium with a cough, you can expect to be pretty much despised. And disability is much more stigmatised.”
Costa offers an example of a theatre patron who has Tourette’s syndrome, which makes her tics impossible for her to be silent during a performance.
“As a result, she has been made to feel unwelcome by other audience members, and for many years stopped going to the theatre altogether,” Costa wrote. “The gradual introduction of one-off ‘relaxed’ performances, aimed at people with disabilities and their carers, have given her greater access, but these are still few and far between.”
Why is that?
“At the root of the problem is the expectation that people in an auditorium should be homogeneous, conforming, and undifferentiated, so as not to distract either the performers or each other,” Costa wrote. “But the whole point of theatre is that disruption should be possible: that’s what it means to be live.”
A recurring conversation at the 2015 Performing Arts Managers Conference was about how to engage communities and find new audiences in an era of declining attendance. Perhaps one solution (and I’m not saying it’s the best solution) would be to offer “relaxed” performances, ones where you can rustle a loud candy wrapper or send text messages to your friends without being told to put away your phone.
Maybe some of our performing arts centers are already offering these types of shows. If so, please speak up. I’d love to know how they work for you.
(Image: David Gilmore/Creative Commons)