Emily Jensen is a Marketing Coordinator at Tacoma Venues & Events, which oversees the Tacoma Dome and Greater Tacoma Convention Center, where her primary focus is social media and fan engagement. After nearly five years working in PR and marketing for live events, Emily knows how to foster a positive relationship with fans and communities – and it isn’t mastering the art of emojis on Facebook. Outside the office, Emily has entered the world of stand-up comedy to hone her communication, leadership, and writing skills; serves as Vice President of Public Relations for her local Toastmasters chapter; and somehow still finds time to volunteer with the cats at the local humane society.
Join your Foundation in congratulating Emily on being honored as one of the 30|UNDER|30 Class of 2020 and don’t forget to come back each Thursday as we spotlight another honoree!
IAVM is launching a new advocacy media campaign for ALL of our venue members. As we move into the holiday season we want our venues, performers, guests, and the elected officials who represent us to talk about the live events they will miss most this holiday season. An “our favorite things” campaign will highlight the loss of joy these many holiday events bring to our communities, performers and guests alike. Elected officials at both the state and federal level need to understand how important local venues are to the communities they serve.
Earned media – via stories reported in local TV news and newspapers, letters to the editor and opeds, are the most impactful way to get the attention of lawmakers. We challenge every venue to work with your local media, chambers of commerce, local elected officials (mayors, city managers, etc) and even your guests on this campaign.
The social media component is important as well. If we work together, we can successfully highlight the fact that closed venues need federal and state assistance. Congress needs to act now.
Sample social media messages for IAVM members:
Some of our favorite things about the holidays – live events and our guests. Congress, we need your help now so we can bring back live events, including our most cherished holiday events in 2021.
What we will miss most – our annual production of the Nutcracker. Congress we need your help to bring it back for 2021.
What we miss most this holiday – our annual Disney on Ice show. Congress, help us so we can bring back live events in 2021.
This holiday season won’t be the same without our annual production of the Christmas Carol. Congress, don’t be a Scrooge, help us bring back our holiday tradition in 2021.
While no jingle bells will be playing or choirs singing, our Christmas spirit remains – Congress, feel the Christmas Spirit and help bring back our Christmas traditions in 2021
Missing our annual (name of fundraisers) that brings some much joy to (recipients of fundraisers) – Congress help us bring back our annual (name) for the holidays in 2021.
We’re thankful for our guests and live events. We miss both. Congress, please pass COVID relief now so that we can remain afloat during this difficult time and safely re-open when appropriate. #SaveLiveEvents #CongressActNow
Social media messages for local officials:
This Thanksgiving we are grateful for all that XXXX (fill in the venue) does for our community even during a pandemic. We need you back, hosting live events again. Congress pass COVID-19 relief for live events and venues. #SaveLiveEvents #CongressActNow
We are missing live events this holiday season and can’t wait until the XXXX (fill in the venue) reopens at capacity. In the meantime, they need the help of Congress. Pass COVID-19 relief now. #SaveLiveEvents #CongressActNow
By R.V. Baugus
Another VenueConnect out of the way — albeit it a virtual conference — the Baugus family decided to celebrate by doing something we had not done since early December of last year: get the heck out of Dodge.
Along with our daughter, Charla, and her future husband, Blake, we left the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on a crisp Sunday morning on November 1 to snake our way off the beaten path to head south for a relaxing getaway to the historic German town of Fredericksburg in the Hill Country of Texas. All the gear was packed with the new-normal additions of masks and hand sanitizer, for a vacation that we could only base how it would play out from our outings near home the previous 11 months.
Let’s just say that our wonderful bonding time together proved really no different as far as restaurants, shops and other establishments that we had been visiting throughout a pandemic which again is taking a steep turn for the worse in our country as far as cases and the strains on hospital rooms go. Masks were worn, social distancing was effectively practiced, sanitizer and hand soap was to be found everywhere.
Yet, just as in our outings at home, something seemed just a bit … off.
Ever been to Luckenbach? For those of you old enough, yep, it’s the “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” made famous in song by Waylon Jennings (“with Willie and Waylon and the boys”). Charla and Blake were newbies to Fredericksburg, which sits about five miles down Highway 290 west of Luckenbach, and like many who have heard the song likely expected a much more grandiose Luckenbach experience.
Nope, it is still the little general store chocked full of Luckenbach merchandise, parking space for motorcycles, cold beer served up longneck style, a rooster that rules the property, and a stage where beginning in the morning folks show up to just jam and croon western favorites before time-drifting crowds seated on picnic benches. Even while painting this picture for you, and hopefully it makes you want to go to Luckenbach, it was obvious this was not the Luckenbach of rip-roaring times. Granted, Monday afternoon impromptu jams are not the things of which crazy crowds are made, but still …
My father-in-law served in World War II aboard the naval minesweeper, USS Density. The bell of the Density is on display in Fredericksburg at the War of the Pacific Museum. Fredericksburg happens to be home to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who played a major role in the naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, commanding Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War II.
I always love going through the museum to show the bell displayed under glass to my guests, but such a visit would not be possible on this trip as the museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday for “deep sanitization cleaning.” I truly understand that and am grateful for the care they show for guests and their own staff, and it reminded me once again it is a sign of the times.
As we inch closer out of the 2020 abyss and toward a 2021 that honestly none of us can truly predict but only prepare the best for, the outing gave me pause to now look back on the beauty of our vacation and the memories made with family that will forever be cherished. It told me that it still IS possible to enjoy life even if it means some of the full availabilities and amenities that we always had will likely never show up again, or at least not for the foreseeable future.
Restaurants will continue to seat us six feet apart. Doors to any type of establishment will continue to have a “must wear mask to enter” sign affixed. Sanitizer can be found anywhere to your left and to your right. But the main thing is we do and can continue living as long as we smartly adhere to protocols to not endanger ourselves and those about us.
Lord only knows what another full and complete lockdown will do to our industry. We have suffered enough without sports, concerts, meetings, trade shows, plays, ballets, family shows, etc. We have been creative in bringing a mixed and unusual array of events to our venues that we would never have imagined this time last year. But even while doing that, we have seen our workforce decimated through layoffs and furloughs. It has been painful, to put it mildly.
Just as we were able to spend what counts most — time together — I encourage you to do the same. No, it won’t fix or cure what is currently ailing our country and our industry, but it still means that we are living life. And that, friends, is what we should all be doing.
By Nancy Walker
The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), owned by the City of Los Angeles and managed by ASM Global, announced the facility’s “Roadmap to Recovery” has been awarded a Platinum MarCom Award for Strategic Communications in the Communications and Public Relations category of “Crisis Communication Plan or Response.”
LACC’s Roadmap to Recovery: We’ll Meet You There is a strategic 41-page action plan developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to assist event planners as they produce their events through the eventual reopening of the facility. The LACC’s Roadmap to Recovery can be found on the LACC website.
MarCom Awards, administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talents exceed a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. There were over 5,000 entries from 20 countries in the MarCom Awards 2020 competition.
“We are thrilled to be recognized at the platinum level for this prestigious award,” said Ellen Schwartz, General Manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center. “Effective communication with our partners and stakeholders is of paramount importance as we navigate this challenging environment.”
Adds Carisa Norton, VP of Event Services for the LACC, “In the best of times, our clients and contractors require comprehensive information from our team to plan their future events. In these most unusual times, it is even more crucial to provide specifics on how to create a safe environment. Winning this award demonstrates we are committed to successfully communicating these details.”
The Los Angeles Convention Center was the first convention center on the West Coast to be awarded the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. Additionally, the LACC strictly adheres to the ASM Global VenueShield Program ensuring facilities are clean and certified at the highest standards for the safety and health of our co-workers, clients and guests. Communicating the information and protocols that make up these two programs was the basis for the award-winning LACC’s Roadmap to Recovery: We’ll Meet You There strategic plan.
Nancy Walker is Vice President, Sales & Marketing, for the Los Angeles Convention Center.
By Nadia Vanderhoof, MA
The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando has announced the launch of its new state-of-the-art digital broadcast center for hybrid conventions and tradeshows, the OCCC Executive Studio.
Conventions and trade shows of every size can access digital equipment solutions to produce innovative and scalable hybrid events. Developed in partnership with LMG, the OCCC’s on-site preferred audiovisual partners since 1998, the OCCC Executive Studio will allow customers to execute their event remotely, while connecting to their audiences, speakers, and presenters through extraordinary audiovisual experiences.
“The OCCC is excited to provide a variety of custom and unique virtual solutions for our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “Our expertise in leading safe conventions, combined with our customer service excellence and innovative technology offerings, makes the OCCC Executive Studio an ideal venue for hybrid events.”
From extensive conferences to board meetings, the OCCC Executive Studio options will allow clients to host their event remotely using flexible and interactive tools that integrates both new and familiar technologies. With an in-depth knowledge of the facility and a state-of-the-art equipment inventory, the OCCC can connect organizers with LMG, preferred audiovisual partner of the OCCC, to broadcast an array of educational and breakout sessions, alongside other virtual needs.
The OCCC Executive Studio will be based out of the Lecture Hall in the West Building of the Center and features classroom-style seating to accommodate a physically distanced audience, while providing a customizable canvas for lighting, AV and digital solutions. This offering includes a fully equipped studio that combines the benefits of the venue’s space and the audiovisual company’s virtual solutions. The studio will be available for booking starting early 2021.
“Our mission is to go beyond technology by providing innovative solutions through an unparalleled approach to quality, service and support,” said President and CEO of LMG Les Goldberg. “Producing an immersive convention from a virtual reality environment with your content is easily within reach at the OCCC Executive Studio.”
Meeting planners will also have the option of using the Linda W. Chapin Theatre, which has a 97,000-watt audio system, extensive in-house lighting offerings and a full proscenium stage with fly system. The cutting-edge Destination Lounge, in the North-South Building, is also available for use as a virtual studio and provides a technology-focused sophisticated environment – perfect for any forward-thinking virtual meeting. For more information about booking the OCCC Executive Studio, visit www.occc.net.
Nadia Vanderhoof, MA, is Marketing and Communications Manager | Marketing and Communications Division at the Orange County Convention Center.