It’s 5:59 a.m. on a crisp cool Friday morning. Four tour buses and eight tractor trailers are making the turn on to the street that is closed down in order to have secure parking for the tour. The tow truck is on its way to move a student’s car that was illegally parked overnight. As one of the basketball coaches pass by, I have to remind him not to park on the road this morning. The tour bus door opens and I meet the tour manager, hand him his sold map and show him the house. He reminds me about the 30 person crew, bus security and the hot coffee he requested during the advance and I assured him that everything would be ready. I introduce him to our operations manager and the student production director. My operations manager reminds him that our crew is comprised entirely of students and the crew lead is also a student. I can immediately see the worry in his eyes. The old stereotype that students don’t know what they are doing, load-in will take forever and their equipment will end up damaged.
While on a call with the Universities committee recently, I heard people say there was no difference in hosting a major event on a university campus compared to a privately managed building. Most of my industry experience comes from managing a university facility. I know there is a difference. A major event on a college campus has more obstacles and takes a great deal more time, coordination and preparation than the private buildings. In addition, we count on students to manage crews, work with tour staff and make timely critical decisions. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that we faced on the morning described in the first paragraph. Continue Reading →
Many sporting events have become all-day spectacles. Just tune in on any Saturday for college football and any Sunday for pro football and see just how early you can begin getting your fix for the day. Major League Baseball stadiums also get plenty of tailgating action, although not quite as pronounced in a sport that plays 81 homes games.
But when it comes to Opening Day of the baseball season across the United States, you better believe those tailgaters are gearing up … likely about now on how to throw their party at their favorite team’s stadium. Continue Reading →
February was a good month for content, with a strong Performing Arts Managers conference, a successful AVSS program, and the launch of an improved magazine. The magazine was redesigned and a new focus placed on timely, useful and interesting content, as determined by a recent reader survey. We have received some very positive feedback so far. One of my favorite comments is below.
Excellent magazine. We are out for RFPs on a new addition to the Midland County Horseshoe Arena, and several of the articles address specific issues we have met in the meeting planning process. How can I get more hard copies or electronic copies to share with planners, officials and architects? — Mike Dooley, Midland, Texas Continue Reading →
To understand exactly what the March 1 imposed sequestration means to the public assembly venue industry it is first best to understand exactly what the term means. Essentially, sequestration is a term used to describe the practice of using mandatory spending cuts in the federal budget if the cost of running the government exceeds either an arbitrary amount or exceeds the gross revenue it brings during the fiscal year. Essentially, it is the employment of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts in the face of annual budget deficits. Beyond that and relevant to our industry, sequester can (and does already) mean loss of events and venue-related jobs.
Jan Addison, CFE, deputy general manager of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, has become intimately familiar with the word and the definition and has her own opinion on the subject. Continue Reading →
At VenueConnect 2011, IAVM’s annual conference and tradeshow, the SMG managed BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. was presented one of the Association’s most prestigious awards – the Venue Excellence Award (VEA). This yearly award recognizes the best of the best in venue management in arenas, convention centers, stadiums and performing arts halls. Criteria for winning include demonstrated excellence in the management and operation of a public assembly venue including: providing staff with team-building and professional development; safety and security training; and demonstrating service to the community.
We spoke with John Bolton, CFE, General Manager of the BOK Center and IAVM’s incoming Board Chairman, about the BOK’s 2011 Venue Excellence Award for arenas, what it took to win and how the win has impacted his venue. Continue Reading →