The February/March issue of FM magazine is at the printer and will be mailing soon. However, the digital edition is ready for reading, and one of the articles we’re most excited about sharing with you is the one featuring IAVM member success stories from this year’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. Four stadium staff members talked about their experiences before, during, and after the big game.
For example, Aaron Schmitt, assistant director of guest services, talked about the one piece of advice he and his team found helpful:
Matt Surabian, director of parking and concessions, told us about his most proud moment of the event.
The article also features stories from Anne Wheat, director of guest services, and Alan Kashian, senior director of facility operations. We hope you read the article, and please join us in congratulating these IAVM members from MetLife Stadium for helping make this event such a success.
(Image: Ariele Hecht Goldman/MetLife Stadium)
Facebook surprised the tech world yesterday when it said it was buying Oculus VR, a virtual reality gaming company.
“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his company’s site. “For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining, and personal experiences.”
Zuckerberg wrote Oculus’ mission is to “enable you to experience the impossible,” and he sees (no pun intended) a variety of ways in which this new partnership can work.
“Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world, or consulting with a doctor face-to-face—just by putting on goggles in your home,” he wrote. “This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”
Let’s get that imagination ball rolling. Tell us how you could see (once again, no pun intended) harnessing this technology for your venue’s own benefit. I’ll start with one: Perhaps now if a concert is sold out, special virtual reality tickets could be sold for those who want to experience it at home. Now, your turn. Let your imagination go wild and please share your thoughts in the comments section.
Our International Stadium Management Conference takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, May 7-9. This is a great opportunity for stadium and racetrack managers to meet together, learn from one other, and make new connections.
Over the weeks leading up to the conference, we’ll have many of the presenters and organizers offer their thoughts about the event and why you should attend. This week we feature Jason Rittenberry, CFE, president and CEO of IRG Sports + Entertainment.
I am a strong believer in face-to-face interaction and networking with our colleagues and other leaders in the industry. While the Stadiums Committee has provided a knowledge base through webinars the past two years, there is no replacement for personal interaction with your peers when it comes to learning. The return of ISMC after a few years marks a resurgence in interest from our members in the stadiums sector. Whether you are an executive leader or a young professional, this conference will have something to offer everyone with educational sessions and panels, opportunities for networking, and fun social events.
What’s one topic or session that attendees will benefit from and why?
While I feel all of our sessions are strong, I am looking forward to the session on managing legal issues. Insurance and legal issues are sometimes topics that stadium managers want to avoid and hope they don’t have to deal with. In this session, we will hear from the experts in the insurance and legal fields on some easy things we can do to minimize our risk and make things easier for us when something does happen in our stadium.
This week, Trade Show News Network reported on EXHIBITOR2014, a trade show held in Las Vegas, and tailored to its own—trade show and event industry professionals. So with our own planning and preparations well underway for IAVM VenueConnect Annual Conference and Trade Show, taking place July 26-29 in Portland, Oregon, we thought it would be a good time to remind our Allied members, current exhibitors, and potential exhibitors about how much fun it can be to put on a great show for the attendees.
The stars of the 2014 EXHIBITOR show:
A giant Earth Harp by William Close, an artist from the Elan Artists Group, created the biggest buzz and drew huge crowds (most holding their iPhones high to catch the spectacle) inside the Global Experience Specialists booth. Since the instrument took up pretty much the entire exhibit, the GES booth became an ‘unbooth,’ with staffers equipped with iPads working around the perimeter.
The theme of an ‘unbooth’ continued at IQ 3D. Initially conceived to explain projection mapping, it turned out that it can also work well for exhibit designers as well. The company created a completely white exhibit sporting the sign “Where’s the booth?” Attendees were invited to put on a Google Glass and voila!—a virtual exhibit appeared all around them.
A ‘selfie on steroids’ was gathering a crowd at the Pixe Social space, where attendees could get their photo on the cover of Exhibitor magazine, even if just for sharing on Facebook.
And finally, at Kaon Interactive, the booth sported a 3D display application with animations and a badge scanner that instantly sends an email with a link to the company’s webinar.
We are excited to see what our own exhibitors will be unveiling at VenueConnect 2014 in Portland. There are still booth spaces available, and we’ll be recognizing the most creative and informative booths at the show.
(Image: From Exhibitor magazine’s Facebook page)
Fans of the Urawa Reds hung a “Japanese Only” banner in Saitama Stadium during a March 8 match, and it stayed up until the game was over. Because of this, the football (soccer) team was forced by the Japanese Professional Football League to host a game in an empty stadium on Sunday, March 23. The league’s chairman, Mitsuru Murai, said that Urawa’s failure to take down the banner made the club just as guilty as the fans who put it up.
“At first we only thought that the banner ‘could be construed as a discriminatory message’ but we were too lenient,” a Reds team official told the Japan Daily Press. “We now consider it as definitely ‘a discriminatory message.’’’
The 63,700-seat stadium, which is one of the planned football venues for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, had advertisements taken out of the stadium on game day and replaced with signs promoting the United Nation’s Sports for Peace program. And even though they played to empty seats, the athletes supported the league’s punishment.
“One thing I can say is that sport is not something to bring discrimination into,” Reds player Tadanari Lee told the Japan Times. “I’m a football player and all I want to do is play football. I’d really like this kind of thing to stop. Through the media, a lot of people know what this game was all about and why it happened. We wore the Sports for Peace T-shirts and we were happy to play our part. Hopefully we can keep doing so.”
How do you think people would react to punishment like this in a U.S. venue?
(Image: Japan Daily Press)