ConventionCalendar.com is the first official Convention Center Calendar of Events. It was announced “Live” in Vancouver, British Columbia, during the International Convention Center Conference (ICCC) in October.
The beta program is now online and features several notable launch partners, including the world’s second largest convention center—Orange County Convention Center. Also on the site are the Spokane Convention Center, the Santa Clara Convention Center, the St. Charles Convention Center, and the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Several other convention centers have signed on and are uploading to the website.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of customers that desire to work directly with our venues, and the Convention Calendar program addresses this critical need,” said IAVM President and CEO Vicki Hawarden, CMP, during the ICCC panel discussion “Adapting To and Overcoming New Challenges.”
ConventionCalendar.com is being broadcast around the world to subscribing event planners, local stakeholders, convention sales staff, and exhibitors.
The holidays are full of cheer, joy, family, and trash. Yes, tons of trash. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about one million extra tons per week. This trash includes wrapping paper, food waste, packaging, decorations, and old “toys” that are dumped for new ones every year.
The holiday season is a great way for venues to take action and save the holidays by making them greener. Instead of using a real tree, use a fake one that can be stored and reused each year. Also, find decorations that can have multiple purposes and reused in different fashions for a new look from year to year. Facility managers can even encourage employees to bring in unused items from home that they can use to help decorate the facility.
When using holiday lights, remember to use LED and energy efficient lights. LED lights consume 80 percent to 90 percent less energy and last up to 100,000 hours versus 3,000 hours for incandescent. Also, if you set them on a timer, you can save energy when the facility is vacant. And remember to be gentle when the season is finally over so you can pack them away to be used over and over again.
Another way to be more green this holiday season is to send electronic cards to vendors, sponsors, co-workers, and all your important business contacts, instead of mailing cards that get tossed in the trash.
Finally, encourage holiday party clients to be more environmentally friendly by donating leftover food from parties, recycling wrapping paper, and reusing decorations.
For more tips on going green this holiday, visit: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/hi-winter.htm or http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/16/news/economy/holiday_trash/. So instead of a “Blue Christmas,” how about making it a Green one?!
Getting lost is a thing of the past for visitors in Nashville’s Music City Center (MCC) thanks to its new wayfinding app.
“This new technology will change the way visitors experience this building,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. “It’s a big building, and getting turn-by-turn directions on a phone will make it easier for visitors to get where they need to go. This wayfinding app also highlights Nashville’s emergence as a tech city and a place where entrepreneurs and Web developers feel empowered to come up with tools to make life easier and better.”
The app uses beacons installed in the building’s walls to direct users from point A to point B in the venue. At 1.2 million square feet, the MCC is the largest building in the country with an indoor wayfinding system that uses beacon technology. It is available as a free app for iPhone and Android users.
The app was created by Jules White, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Vanderbilt University—along with a team of Vanderbilt students as a part of a class project. The public/private partnership between the MCC and Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems led to the development of the wayfinding technology and the launch of White’s new Nashville-based startup company, Ziiio.
The MCC wayfinding system functions like indoor GPS and is the first of its kind to clearly show users turn-by-turn how to find where they want to go inside a building using 500 photos. The machine-learning approach that Ziiio uses allows the MCC to rely on fewer beacons. Currently, 62 beacons have been deployed in the convention center. These beacons were donated by BKON, a local manufacturer of the iBeacon hardware.
A video demonstration is at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_HZ5vVmyi8kZ1ZIRjkxQl9WeEE/view?usp=sharing.
Congratulations to IAVM member Kim Stone, executive vice president and general manager of the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. She was recently inducted into the University of North Carolina’s Hall of Fame in Journalism.
Stone has been with the Miami Heat organization since the mid-1990s and has worked in several capacities, from media relations to director of operations to her current role as general manager.
Prior to joining the Heat, Stone was the sports publicity director for the University of Texas Women’s Athletics Department from 1992-94. Before that, she was an assistant in the University of Miami’s sports information office.
Stone received the 2013 Women of Influence award from Venues Today magazine, and she was honored in 2009 by the South Florida Business Journal in its inaugural class of Influential Business Women.
Stone graduated with a degree in journalism and public relations from the University of North Carolina, where she assisted in the sports information office. In 2003, she graduated with honors from the University of Miami with a master’s degree in international business administration. She is formerly an adjunct professor in the St. Thomas University Masters of Sports Administration program and serves as a board member of the University of Miami’s President’s Council, Miami Downtown Development Authority, and is currently president of the Florida Facility Manager’s Association.
Launched in April 2013, Business Barometer is a tool to help IAVM members monitor current and future business conditions and provide early identification of trends that can create opportunities or provide advance warning of an impending storm. IAVM recruited a panel of 250 venue managers to take part in this initiative. All panel members agreed to participate in short, quarterly surveys that ask questions related to current business conditions compared to last year, and their professional outlook for next year. IAVM developed the survey questions with input from its Research Advisory Council, the IAVM research manager, and other internal management staff.
In this first quarterly, venues across the industry are seeing increases in attendance and revenue over the year prior—and the outlook for the coming year is even better. More than two-thirds of professionals across sectors (64 percent) say that overall business conditions are better than 2013. Next year? Eighty percent see a healthier future.
Anecdotally, for those citing the greatest influx of business, touring acts and the types of events may have improved since last year, which means better ticket and merchandise sales—and higher prices—for some and more exhibit hall space booked for others.
Consider this when looking at the marketplace environment overall: 18 percent of venues report worse business conditions than last year—but only 5 percent see that continuing into the next.
Please read the Business Barometer to learn more about venue industry business conditions.