More than 150,000 spectators will pour into Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, the largest and highest-profile U.S. sporting event since last month’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.
What they’ll witness is a scene that became familiar in stadiums nationwide after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: a heightened security presence that will include electronic wand searches of patrons for suspicious objects and a fresh ban on coolers in the infield of Louisville’s storied Churchill Downs.
But who are the private security guards protecting the nation’s stadiums? Are they more often tasked with subduing an inebriated fan than defusing a terrorist plot in the making? How good are they?
No venue wants its revenue stream to become a trickle. That’s why sessions and discussions about non-traditional revenue streams are always among the most popular. Who doesn’t want their revenue stream to turn into a flood of money?
One such stream gathering steam is FanPhotos, a concept from Brand Affinity Technologies, Inc. that engages patrons at events by having roving photographers snap pictures of the event-goers that are sold to the patrons to capture the memory and experience. The company announced a recent partnership with AEG Events that includes FanPhotos fan activation services at 10 select AEG-affiliated venues.
Score one for Houston as it becomes the first United States destination to host the Human Genome Meeting in 2016, an accomplishment made possible through joint efforts by the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Texas Medical Center. Continue Reading →
The Dallas City Council voted unanimously 11-0 to rename the Dallas Convention Center the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in honor of the state’s retired U.S. senator, who served from 1993 until this year. The move puts Dallas in line with other major cities which have named their convention centers for political leaders but is especially significant in that this is the first major convention center in the country named for a woman.
Hutchison’s legacy includes bringing federal tax dollars to Texas for a host of projects, including the Trinity River project in Dallas. Her work was enough to unite Democrats and Republicans on a city council that is often fragmented.
As for the renaming of a venue that takes out the city’s name and inserts a name that might not be known to most outside of Texas, the issue of how the brand is impacted bears watching. Continue Reading →
This year’s VenueConnect will be July 27-30, in New Orleans, LA. The conference will be an opportunity for venue managers from all venue types to gather fresh ideas and many useful resources to ‘take back’ to their facilities to increase revenue, work smarter and see an immediate return on their conference investment. At the same time, venue managers attending VenueConnect will have the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the conference host city, New Orleans, in the form of a Legacy Project.
There will be a broad mix of educational sessions at this year’s VenueConnect. The keynote speaker, actor and humanitarian, Wendell Pierce, will discuss how venues can be a positive force within their communities. Attendees will also receive information on some of today’s most relevant venue industry trends and challenges such as, increasing revenue through technology, creating allied partnerships to book new business and incorporating sustainability efforts into venue operations.
Other session topics will include: managing funding, board or public expectations during renovations or new construction; a sneak peek into this year’s hottest concert tours in an agent and promoter panel; navigating the world of outsourcing venue service providers; and vital pre-planning steps to take prior to a catastrophic property loss at your venue. Click here to see the full list of VenueConnect educational sessions.
As the VenueConnect planning committee considered keynote speakers, one name seemed synonymous with the this year’s conference location – Wendell Pierce. The well-known actor has taken on an important role in revitalizing his home city of New Orleans, and in particular, his former neighborhood of Pontchartrain Park. This area was just one of many devastated by hurricane Katrina and has struggled to rebuild since. Pierce’s foundation, the Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corporation, was created to rebuild affordable and environmentally friendly homes and provide access to fresh wholesome food for the neighborhood. His efforts are gaining national attention and are the inspiration for the first ever IAVM Legacy Project.
On the morning of Saturday July 27, VenueConnect attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an act of kindness in a neighborhood just 7 miles from downtown New Orleans. The idea came from VenueConnect Planning Committee Chair, Kim Bedier, CFE, who was looking for a way venue managers could show their appreciation to the host city. “70% of the residents of the (Pontchartrain Park) neighborhood are over 70,” Bedier says, “so we will be helping in their yards, painting front doors, etc. The Legacy Project helps us harness our collective IAVM energy for some good! It allows us to leave a place better than we found it but also to work side by side with our peers – a special kind of networking.”
We know that giving back to a community leaves us with a feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment and a sense of getting more than we gave. We are certain you will leave VenueConnect with this same feeling.