The recent winter storm in Atlanta was a trying time for residents and visitors, such as the more than 1,100 exhibitors and 25,000 attendees at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), January 28-30. However, a well thought-out weather preparedness plan proved to mitigate problems.
“The winter storm presented us with some challenges staffing the event,” said IAVM member Patrick Skaggs, assistant general manager at GWCC. “We had over 100 employees stay overnight on rotating shifts to ensure that the sidewalks and roadways in and around our campus were cleared. We also had to perform all of our regular duties in cleaning and converting almost three million square feet of space that the event used within the facility. These monumental challenges would have been impossible for us to take on without the team members and equipment from the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park (also managed by the GWCC Authority).”
An “Inclement Weather Plan” was created more than three years ago, Skaggs said, and it’s an extension of the venue’s “Emergency Operating Procedures.”
“The plan came in very useful during this weather event, but it’s one of those documents that is constantly being improved,” he said.
At the time of the interview, the event was still moving out of the facility, so a comprehensive debrief hadn’t been conducted yet. The main goal, though, was to ensure a great guest experience, and Skaggs said he’s proud of the GWCC team for doing whatever was necessary to provide “best in class” service to attendees.
“I’m very pleased with how our team handled this winter storm and IPPE in general,” he said.
Do you have a current weather preparedness plan in place? How often is it updated? Please contribute to the conversation in the comment section below.
It’s National Storytelling Week…well, in the U.K. at least. Still, whether you’re celebrating it here in the U.S., across the Atlantic, or anywhere else in the world, storytelling is an important part of the human psyche. It’s how we convey information, entertain each other, and comfort ourselves. Even in this age of listicles, storytelling is what drives creation and the desire for immortality . We’re drawn to stories in all types of mediums.
For example, a Johns Hopkins researcher conducted a two-year study of 108 Super Bowl ads and found that people rated commercials with dramatic plotlines (e.g., exposition, rising action, climax, denouement) higher than those without storytelling elements.
“People think it’s all about sex or humor or animals, but what we’ve found is that the underbelly of a great commercial is whether it tells a story or not,” Keith A. Quesenberry, a lecturer in the university’s Center for Leadership Education in the School of Engineering, told the Hub.
Quesenberry says that when marketers tell a complete story, an ad ranks higher in polls and causes more people to want to view and share it.
Let me take this chance to share with you, then, a bit of my editorial philosophy for FM magazine. As you may have guessed, it’s rooted in storytelling, and it’s what I wrote about in the Opening Words column in our latest issue. Too often, association magazines simply want to impart information and they neglect the humanity of the organizations. It doesn’t have to be that way. Association magazines can hold their own against time-honored, narrative-driven publications such as Harper’s, The New Yorker, or Wired, and my plan is to hold FM to that standard. If we focus on complete storytelling (e.g., exposition, rising action, climax, denouement), we’ll not only have a much richer magazine but a more memorable one, too, one that you can’t wait to share with your family, friends, co-workers, or employees. It’s an ambitious goal, sure, and I believe we can achieve it together.
“Consumers want infotainment, not information,” said author Gary Vaynerchuk in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. “Information is cheap and plentiful; information wrapped in story, however, is special.”
As I concluded in my column, let’s together show how special the venue management industry really is. It’s definitely a great story to tell.
If you have a story idea, please feel free to email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh wow, what a game. Total nail-bitter down to the end. No, no, I’m not talking about the actual play on the field. I’m talking about the commercials. I watched them all, hoping to be impressed. I was less than impressed. Sure, the Doritos time machine ad was clever, the Budweiser puppy and horse ad was cute, and the Stephen Colbert pistachio ad was funny. There was one ad, though, I knew would irritate a few people when it aired.
Coca-Cola ran an ad in which “America, the Beautiful” is sung in a variety of languages. I believe it was done to showcase the melting pot that is our country. However, others took it another way, and you can check out some of their social media responses over on UPROXX.com.
My co-worker and I were talking about the commercial this morning, and we got into a discussion about learning languages. Okay, sure this intro is a roundabout way of getting to my point, which is that learning languages is beneficial to your brain. For one, learning a foreign language can help your brain grow. It can also help with your memory and change the way you see the world.
Learning a new language can be fun, too. I’m currently learning French, and there are two websites that offer free language learning courses—Memrise.com and Duolingo.com. Both offer smartphone apps, and Memrise goes one better by offering an app called CatAcademy. Yes, it’s exactly how it sounds. Cats will teach you a new language (see video above). Currently, the cats only teach Spanish, and the app is only available for iPhones (which rankles my Android hide). More language lessons are forthcoming, along with Android accessibility (I hear the cats have a fear of robots).
See, this blog post wasn’t so bad. We started off on a serious note and ended up talking about cats. That’s pretty much how the Internet operates anyway.
IAVM’s 2014 Performing Arts Managers Conference is just weeks away. Since time is winding down to register, we want to remind members to make plans to take advantage of the conference and Kansas City’s vibrant performing arts scene while they are in town. Not only will you be inspired by the conference’s the great education and networking opportunities, but you’ll be energized by the rich array of venues and performances you can experience during your stay.
We will visit a few of these great venues as part of the conference, or you can plan to attend the following performances during your free time:
Kansas City Ballet’s Dracula at Kauffman Center
Kansas City Symphony with Indigo Girls at Kauffman Center
Kauffman Center Presents National Geographic Live at Kauffman Center
Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s When I Come to Die at Copaken Stage
Kansas City Irish Center Presents Paul Byrom at the Folly Theater
Carlsen Center presents David Finckel and Wu Han
Sprint Center Presents PBR: Professional Bull Riders at the Sprint Center
We’ll go back stage for behind the scenes tours during the conference and from 1:30 to 5 pm on Tuesday, February 25, so plan your departure flight accordingly.
Music Hall – an art deco theater that hosts Broadway tours
The Copaken Stage – a theater inside the HR Block headquarters
Midland Theatre – a Loew’s movie palace from the 1920s now manager by AEG Live
Starlight Theatre – an outdoor venue for 8,000 with a climate-controlled stage
Olson Performing Arts Center – performance home to the University of Missouri-Kansas City music, dance, and theater programs
Performing Arts Managers Conference
February 22-25, 2014
Kansas City, MO
There was a lot of news this past week you may have missed. Here are some headlines that caught our eyes.
Organizing a Safe Court-Storming Celebration
“The issue of court-storming in college basketball was thrust back into the spotlight last spring after Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski criticized the handling of the situation after an upset loss to Virginia, claiming his players were endangered by onrushing fans.”
Boston Data Theft Protection Summit Slated
“The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority will host a conference designed to help protect trade show and convention attendees from credit card information theft.”
Centerplate’s Hague is on Top of His Game
“Hague, 46, knows all about the pressure and pride of creating an exciting Super Bowl experience. His company has hosted 12 Super Bowls, including three of the last four—New Orleans, Miami and Indianapolis. It has also serviced 20 World Series and 15 U.S. presidential balls.”
What’s Keeping Fans Out of Stadiums
“Most professional sports teams rely on filling stadiums as their main revenue source, but that’s not the case for football. Ironically, it’s the league’s biggest revenue source, TV, that has become its biggest competitor for getting fans in stadium seats.”
Carolina Panthers Running Back DeAngelo Williams to Make Cameo Appearance in Broadway’s Rock of Ages
“Broadway’s Rock of Ages has announced that All-Pro running back DeAngelo Williams of the Carolina Panthers will join fellow NFL superstars Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers, Joique Bell of the Detroit Lions, and four-time Pro Bowler Ahman Green in making his Broadway debut in a special cameo role at the Helen Hayes Theatre.”