It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the passing of Edward “Ed” Cohen on Saturday, August 25. He was 62 years of age. The former Senior Vice President for Event Operations with the WWE was a face often seen at IAVM events, particularly VenueConnect, to which he often brought top billed wrestlers to provide entertainment.
“IAVM members knew Ed as a formidable professional who wanted what was best for WWE, and he needed information on his time frame,” said Brad Mayne, CVE, IAVM President and CEO. “Those of us who knew Ed personally, knew him as a friend and a mentor whom we greatly respected. We offer our saddened hearts and heartfelt sympathies to Cheryl and their families, filled with memories of great times and success created by our friend Ed Cohen.”
Cohen spent more than twenty years with the WWE, during which time he was vital to the organization’s rise to prominence during the 1980’s – 1990’s. He was vital in establishing the touring brand, schedule, and securing venues for many of the WWE’s most successful events, such as Wrestlemania III at the Pontiac Silverdome. Throughout his career with the WWE, Cohen was responsible for booking thousands of dates for live events at arenas and stadiums across the globe.
He is survived by his wife, Cheryl, a longtime IAVM member and former WWE colleague of Ed’s. Her work in the venue industry continues as a marketing executive for the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
Cohen’s funeral will be held Wednesday August 29th at 9:30am in Temple Beth-El, 70 Orchard Street, Providence, RI. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Providence Animal Rescue League, 34 Elbow St, Providence, RI 02903 or to the CharterCare Foundation, 7 Waterman Ave, North Providence, RI 02911.
(First posted as a Walton Arts Center blog)
Mark Herrera, IAVM director of education, and Paul Villotti, director of life safety for Henderson Engineers, came to Northwest Arkansas to lead Trained Crowd Management Phase 2 classes for staff at each of its venues, Walton Arts Center and the Walmart AMP. In addition, the event drew representatives from local churches, police, fire, schools, sports venues, theaters, museums, clubs, restaurants, community arts organizations, and event organizers
Walton Arts Center has more than 100 employees and contract security staff who have completed IAVM’s Trained Crowd Manager Program and are certified. As an organization that can host hundreds of thousands of visitors during a season, it’s important to have the staff at each venue trained and ready to handle any situation.
Herrera also led a three-hour Situational Awareness-Mindset training which gives venue operators the observational tools they need to be safer and more secure.
“We knew we wanted all of our staff to go through this situational awareness training, and we had the capacity to accommodate more people, so we opened the training to more than 40 community organizations, businesses and local law enforcement,” said Nick Zazal, director of events and patron services at Walton Arts Center.
Community members were invited to participate in the training free of charge.
“We appreciated WAC taking initiative to share this experience with the arts and venue community,” said Kathleen Trotter, executive director of the Arts Center of the Ozarks. “It was informative and certainly something we all need to address to keep our communities safe.”
Herrera’s training emphasizes risk mitigation through customer service, active shooter preparedness, media relations during a crisis, all practices that are applicable to a wide variety of businesses and organizations.
“I thought it was a great experience,” said Summer Fallen, airport services manager for the city of Fayetteville. “The speaker approached the subject from a realistic standpoint and made me question my personal plan of action, as well as the plan for my employees.”
There was common feedback from participants that having the correct mind set is imperative to surviving emergency situations.
“I found it informative with the emphasis on ‘mind set’ and what your responsibilities are and what your actions should be,” said Matt Partain with the Fayetteville Police Department. “I’m a firm believer in being prepared, and this training can put you on the path to being prepared. I’m asked many times what can I or we do to recognize a threat and I tell them attend training like this.”
When it comes to meeting destinations, San Diego is among the top choices for planners and event professionals. Cvent’s 2018 ranking of top meeting destinations around the world ranks San Diego as the fourth top spot in the United States.
Cvent, a national meeting software and services company, is the world’s largest platform for sourcing meetings and events. According to their press release, the meetings industry is strong. “More events are being held all over the globe,” according to Cvent which “highlights the overall strength and positive impact the meetings and events industry has worldwide.”
Here is the list of the top 5 cities from the survey:
Las Vegas, Nevada
San Diego, California
“We hear our customers tell us time and time again that San Diego is about the whole package,” said San Diego Convention Center Corporation President and CEO Rip Rippetoe, CVE. “Meeting planners say they choose the San Diego Convention Center because we go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service, plus our city boasts beautiful scenery, perfect weather, world-famous attractions and thousands of hotel rooms, many within walking distance.”
The San Diego Convention Center is a LEED Gold certified venue which also gets high praise from our customers. They want to host meetings at venues that are sustainability leaders. Just this summer, for the first time, the Convention Center’s food and beverage team worked with our long-time customer Esri, whose events team began the effort of “zero plastics” during their meeting. (Read the story here.)
In addition, the San Diego Convention Center just underwent $25 million in infrastructure upgrades, with the most visible improvement being a new LED lighting element in the newly renovated Sails Pavilion, a 90,000 square foot iconic meeting space.
The San Diego Convention Center is a part of a thriving tourism ecosystem and a growing innovation economy. Meeting planners are able to host events here and take advantage of our region’s biotech, life-sciences and technology sectors, as well as our international connections with Mexico,” Rippetoe said. “Even San Diego’s world-famous craft beer culture proves the destination is thriving with opportunity for innovative business ventures.
“The cities featured in this year’s Top Destinations lists have invested significant time, energy, and resources into building premier locations that entice organizations, large and small, to plan meetings and events in their areas,” said Chris McAndrews, Vice President of Marketing for the Cvent Hospitality Cloud. “With meetings representing more than 13 percent of total travel and tourism spending and generating $845 billion in sales in the U.S. alone, they have become a major economic driver for these markets.”
Rankings were determined by a set of qualifying criteria including unique RFPs received, RFPs awarded as well as total room nights and room nights booked.
In fiscal year 2017, the San Diego Convention Center generated $1.1 billion in regional impact and produced a record 844,382 hotel room nights. Hotel and sales tax revenues equaled $25.4 million, and those funds go directly to the city’s general fund to pay for police and firefighter salaries as well as paving of city streets.
Daktronics has partnered with Citizens Business Bank Arena to design, manufacture, and install a new centerhung LED display system inside their venue in Ontario, California, this fall.
“We sent a survey to our ticket buyers, and we review and take seriously all comments from our guests. With our existing centerhung being 10 years old, we made arrangements to bring a new scoreboard to Citizens Business Bank Arena in 2018,” said Michael K. Krouse, President & CEO. “Not only our sporting competitions will be seen with better clarity, but our graduation ceremonies will benefit from this brand-new large LED screen board.”
Four main video displays will create the square-shaped centerhung system. Each main display will measure 11.5 feet high by 21 feet wide to bring larger-than-life imagery to fans in every seat. Connecting the corners of the main displays will be four wedge-shaped displays, each measuring 11.5 feet high by 3 feet wide. Four displays form a ring round the configuration, each measuring 2 feet high by 21 feet wide.
All of these displays feature a tight 6-millimeter line spacing to bring increased resolution and image quality to viewers at every event.
“We have worked with Citizens Business Bank Arena since it opened in 2008, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to continue to partner with them for their upgraded centerhung video display system,” said Robin Hall, Daktronics regional manager. “The fans will benefit from larger displays with LED corners to improve their overall experience. Citizens Business Bank Arena home teams and their partners will have a greater inventory and opportunity for their promotions as well.”
The main displays are capable of variable content zoning allowing each to show one large image or to be divided into multiple zones to show any combination of live video, instant replay, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages.
The Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD), which covers the premium seat marketplace, has partnered with Soccerex, who have brought together the global soccer (football) industry for over 20 years, connecting the game’s key stakeholders from over 40 countries around the globe.
Bill Dorsey, Chairman and Founder of the 29-year-old ALSD with 1,300 members explains:
“The ALSD is doing its first international conference in London, where Soccerex is located, this October 10-12,” said Bill Dorsey, chairman/founder of ALSD. “Soccerex is doing a major conference in Miami this November 15-16. We are complementary to each other, and do not compete. So, we simply decided to partner to market, promote, provide materials, and support the conference at Soccerex in November; they in turn will assist the ALSD in reaching its global audience in much the same way.”
The collaboration makes further sense because of the FIFA World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States in 2026, and the enormous growth of MLS and USL soccer leagues in the U.S. Soccerex partners with global leaders in the soccer marketplace, such as Concacaf, LaLiga, and MLS.
“The sports world is getting smaller. We are seeing major leagues in the United States encroaching upon the rest of the globe. At the same time, soccer is now firmly established in the United States,” Dorsey said.
“The growth of premium seating is phenomenal,” Dorsey added. “In 1990, only 3% of the seats were considered premium. Today, 20% of a major venue’s seats are considered premium, which can account for nearly 40% of the ticketing revenue. It’s our assertion that premium seating or rather a premium experience will grow exponentially around the globe, and in all soccer venues.”
Soccerex have delivered 44 events across the world over 22 years taking in 17 cities in 13 countries, connecting over 60,000 senior attendees from clubs, leagues, federations, and venue and supplier sides of the marketplace.
The November conference will cover topics such as stadia technology and design, growth of soccer in the U.S., fan culture, digital fan engagement, social influencers, and esports.
“In today’s soccer industry, revenues from VIP, corporate and hospitality services are an important part of a club or federations commercial model,” said David Wright, Soccerex marketing director. “Working with ALSD, we will be able to call upon their expertise and unrivalled network in this sector to ensure a better experience for stadium professionals attending Soccerex USA in November in Miami through tailored topics and networking opportunities. In exchange, we are delighted to be supporting ALSD in our home city of London, a city with world-class stadiums that are home to some of the best Premier League clubs and The FA.”