It seems fitting that we’re announcing a new podcast series on World Radio Day, because podcasts are essentially the new radio. Their popularity has grown over the last few years as more people rely on the Internet for news, entertainment, and social interaction. And because we want to offer you content in a variety of ways for your busy lifestyle, we’re happy to present The Amplifier podcast, a free, educational program about marketing events and venues with conversations with some of the best minds in your profession.
“The new Amplier podcast series are relevant and timely discussions on how to market your venues’ events; insights from thoughtful and creative industry leaders,” said Gina Brydson, IAVM’s director of membership. “The beauty of this on-demand radio programming is that you can listen on your smartphone, in the office, when riding in your car…whenever the time is convenient for you. Another nice feature of your IAVM membership, for free! Who can dispute that value?”
The first episode features Errol McKoy, president of the State Fair of Texas. In the interview, host Kendra Wright talks with McKoy about how the State Fair of Texas has gained national presence, what McKoy has learned in his years in the industry, and his thoughts on Big Tex burning, the reaction, and how the fair was able to turn something bad into something good.
As I mentioned, The Amplifier is a valuable addition to your membership, another opportunity for us to inform, entertain, and inspire you. There are three ways you can listen.
1) Click the orange “Play” button on the episode below (it works on mobile devices, too).
2) Subscribe on iTunes, so you’ll always have the latest episode on your device.
3) Or subscribe to The Dirt, and we’ll make sure you’re always in-the-know.
The Amplifier is brought to you by Saffire Events in cooperation with IAVM, the International Association of Fairs & Expos, the International Festivals & Events Association, and the Western Fairs Association.
Please let us know in the comments section if you’d like to be on a future podcast episode or your thoughts about the podcast. Thank you for listening!
Boot camps are a great way to learn new skills or beef up the ones you already have, and at this year’s Performing Arts Managers Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, Feb. 22-25, attendees will learn about crisis communication. Here’s the teaser description:
Tickets have been sold, the reception is planned, artist contracts are in hand. Suddenly, you and your staff are faced with significant changes to the original plan – the artist is no longer available, the menu requires a complete overhaul AND an unexpected guest is creating all sorts of challenges. Everything is turning upside down!
Through a series of table-top strategy sessions and active hands-on activities, participants will explore how various departments interact when major challenges come down the road. Assisted by industry professionals and experts, participants will explore the interdepartmental collaboration critical to the success of a performing arts venue.
Millie Dixon, principal at Theatre Projects Consultants Inc., and Don Fassinger, manager of the Tempe Center for the Arts, are leading the boot camp this year.
“The initial conference theme was ‘crossroads,” Dixon and Fassinger said. “As the Boot Camp team began the planning process, we discussed how projects often involve multiple departments within a facility operation and how a decision in one department impacts all others. For example, a last minute artist change ripples through all departments with necessary changes resulting in marketing, ticketing, hospitality, production, concessions, etc.”
Dixon and Fassinger said that effective and complete communication is probably the greatest challenge in getting different departments to work together in times of crisis. To supplement how to manage that, attendees will participate in several hands-on activities.
“The Boot Camp focus is all about hands-on activities throughout the afternoon—that’s what makes the Boot Camp exciting,” they said. “Participants will be involved in change overs with lighting and audiovisual equipment, front of house logistics, technology, etc.”
It sounds like it will be a great camp, and there’s still time to register for the conference if you haven’t already.
(Image: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts | Tim Hursley)
Being exposed to, and influenced by, a great leader is one of the most important tools we can provide to young managers in our industry. To see first-hand an individual who demonstrates compassion and inspiration, leads with strength, grace, seemingly boundless energy, and a clear vision is a valuable experience for those looking to lead the next generation.
Sometimes leadership seems like an elusive trait, and the concept of a “born leader” versus a “learned leader” is highly debated. Emotional intelligence (EI) is just part of the recipe that makes a great leader. EI is the ability to express and control our own emotions, and it includes our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. You can learn more about EI with a story recently posted on our blog, “Making Better Decisions Through Emotional Intelligence”.
I wanted to find out a bit more about leadership, so I reached out to Kate Walsh, PhD, an associate professor of organizational management at the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University. Dr. Walsh is also an instructor for IAVM’s Senior Executive Symposium (SES), the association’s four-day, deep dive into leadership training held each year at Cornell University.
“Really good managers control, direct, and manipulate,” Walsh said. “Outstanding leaders do the opposite. They create a shared vision, and through how they share their power and ideas, as well as rewards, inspire others to work toward that vision.
“Lots of individuals make wonderful managers, and as they are promoted to more senior positions, still act as managers! They fail to understand that their role is to gradually let go and stop managing. Instead, they need to guide their organizations through how they connect with others. Their emotional intelligence is key to their ability to do so.
“EI is comprised of four components: Self-awareness, self-control, an understanding of one’s environment, and mostly importantly, relationship management skills,” she continued. “All these skills can be learned. And it’s exactly what we discuss in the Senior Executive Symposium. As these executives progress in their careers, they need to let go of some of the behaviors that got them to their success today. Instead, we focus on how these leaders can use their unique skill set to authentically lead in many of the ways discussed in the Forbes article. The class I facilitate is completely focused on the participants and through surveys, experiential exercises, applied discussions, and action plans, we have a lot of fun, developing meaningful takeaways that participants can immediately apply to their own venues.”
Senior Executive Symposium curriculum covers leadership culture, ethics, diversity and conflict management, and loyalty and brand management. It’s ranked as one of IAVM’s most valuable tools for leadership training. There is still time to apply for the Senior Executive Symposium taking place May 12-15 at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Apply today.
Richard Sherman may give you an askance look if you were to ask him about the notion of home field advantage. Then again, if you were to ask him that at CenturyLink Field, he may not be able to hear you above the roar of Seattle Seahawks fans in the stands.
It’s partially due to the fans that the Seahawks were so successful during their home games this past season. Sure, athletic ability and architecture also played roles, but home field advantage was definitely a key route in their playbook.
According to an interesting new research paper, home teams win approximately 60 percent of all athletic contests. Mark S. Allen (Department of Applied Science, London South Bank University) and Marc V. Jones (Centre for Sport, Health and Exercise Research, Staffordshire University) reviewed recent research on conceptual models about the phenomenon and discovered three ways home advantage affects—positively and negatively—players and officials.
“The decisions of sports officials appear to be influenced by the behavior of the crowd, athletes show a territorial response that is consistent with that shown by nonhuman animals, and home support seems to disrupt athletic performance in win-imminent situations of high importance,” Allen and Jones wrote.
Let’s consider the officials.
“Experimental studies have demonstrated that officials are more likely to award discretionary decisions that favor the home team (e.g., extra time) and harsher punishments for the away team (e.g., warnings) in the presence of crowd noise compared with a no-noise control situation,” the authors wrote.
That makes sense. It’s human nature to want to win over an audience.
A home field is also a territory that needs to be defended.
“In many non-human animal species, an invasion of one’s perceived territory invokes a protective response that is associated with heightened testosterone concentrations and a higher occurrence of overt aggression,” Allen and Jones wrote.
The authors suggest that higher levels of testosterone could contribute to increased “risk-taking behavior and the metabolic rate of muscles and by improving spatial ability.”
Finally, another hormone, cortisol, actually increases during home games and causes a negative response.
“The finding that cortisol levels are highest in home venues supports qualitative evidence that athletes can feel under pressure to perform in front of their own fans,” Allen and Jones wrote.
Cortisol, the authors wrote, “is associated with a ‘threat’ response to psychological stress and this response, in turn, has been linked to poor athletic performance.” In other words, the fear of failing in front of a home crowd is stressful. The athlete then becomes conscious of automatic movements, and this awareness then results in poor play.
The researchers say that more studies need to be conducted.
“For athletes, we need an integrative model that explains why a home environment can sometimes benefit, and at other times harm, athletic performance,” they wrote.
In the meantime, keep those cheers loud, even if it stresses out the athletes.
Congratulations to Sodexo, one of our Global Partners, for inclusion on the “2014 NAFE Top 50 Companies for Executive Women” list! The National Association of Female Executives‘ list “recognizes American corporations that have moved women into top executive positions and created a culture that identifies, promotes and nurtures successful women.”
“Sodexo is proud to be recognized by NAFE as one of the Top 50 companies for women executives,” said Steve DiPrima, president of leisure services at Sodexo. “It further validates our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion throughout our teams while also providing opportunities for professional development and growth.”
Key stats about this year’s list, according to the NAFE Executive Summary, include
This is Sodexo’s third year on the list, and of the company’s total employees, 59 percent are women. Once again, congratulations!
(Image: Sodexo Group Media Library/Stéphane REMAEL)