Arenas Sessions

All sessions held in Metro Toronto Convention Centre 718A, unless otherwise indicated.
Sessions and times are subject to change.

Arenas Welcome and Family Assistance Centers: Serving a Greater Purpose
Monday, 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Speakers: Craig Borkon, Assistant Director, Orlando Venues, City of Orlando; Kathy DeVault, Director of Strategic Partnerships, City of Orlando; Sam Dores, CVP, Director, Client Services, Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University;

Under normal circumstances, most of us regard our venues as a place where the community comes together to make memories with friends and family. However, in the immediate aftermath of a mass tragedy, these same venues can play a vital role in the response and recovery by becoming a Family Assistance Center (FAC). Our experienced panel will share lessons learned from coordinating the FACs following the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando and the Route 91 Harvest shooting in Las Vegas.



BootCamp Session 1&2: Design Charrette
Monday, 4:15 PM - 6:30 PM

The sky is the limit, or in this case, the sky bar is the limit.   Design the ultimate experiential space…for you.  Today people prefer to spend money on experiences instead of goods, and this new emphasis on experiences is changing the role and design of the modern-day arena. 

This collaborative session will allow each participant to imagine the kind of experiential space they would find most satisfying if they could design their new area/experience.  A modern, well positioned venue provides something for everyone.  If the sky were the limit what would your something be? 

Each participant will be given a specific set of parameters, and an area within a venue allowing you to tap into your inner creative soul to cut, paste, draw, and ultimately design your ideal experience. Let your hair down, cut loose, and remember…….there is no budget.



BootCamp Session 1
Monday, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

BootCamp Session 2
Monday, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Air Canada Centre


Dealing with the Media

Rigging: Gravity Loves Stupidity – Body Mechanics & Overhead Rigging
Join Mark T. Black, veteran rigger with decades of hands-on experience, to talk about proper body mechanics and safe overhead rigging. Learn how to mitigate the risk of injury caused by repetitive motion and overworked muscles. There’s more to body mechanics than picking up boxes!



Take a Chance on Me: Secondary and Tertiary Markets
Tuesday, 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Techniques used by Secondary and Tertiary Market bookers to create relationships with new promoter partners, and how they drive additional content through their buildings.



Large Arenas Utilizing Data to Improve the Guest Experience
Tuesday, 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Speakers: Kayla Hicks, System Administrator- Security and Mission Control, Golden 1 Center;

Entire departments are now built around the fan experience. Now you can leverage this focus to improve venue safety and security too. Attend this session to learn from both the Amway Center and the Golden 1 Center on how they worked with their respective incident reporting software providers to improve their guests’ safety and game day experience.



Arenas Keynote: How To Thrive in the Expression Economy
Tuesday, 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Low production costs, easy distribution, and suddenly, everyone’s a creator. Consumers can now fill their day with content dedicated to their hobbies, passions, and the things that interest them most. For business, that’s a problem. Consumers used to vote with their wallets. Now, they vote with their time. And you know who’s winning the battle for time? Other consumers. Right now, your customers are more creative than you are. They’re more innovative than you are. They’re more authentic than you are. Often, they’re even more helpful than you are. In the battle for time, your competition isn’t the category leader–it’s the consumers. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product, pitching a new idea, or trying to get a raise, your biggest challenge is getting a customer to willingly give you the time to do it. Ron Tite’s humorous and insightful talk helps people learn how to win other people’s time. Highlighting operational and personal innovation, authenticity, creativity, and more, Ron teaches individuals how to act like customers by being more interesting and thus, win more of their customer’s time.



Arenas Round Tables
Tuesday, 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to discuss current topics with other arena venue managers. This is a chance to hear what other venues similar to yours have to say about current issues and/or exchange ideas on best practices.



Agent & Promoter Panel
Tuesday, 4:45 PM - 5:45 PM

An interactive discussion with some of the top promoters and agents in the music industry.



Buildings Built from 1990-2000: The Millennial Generation of Arenas
Wednesday, 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Speakers: Beth Paul, General Manager, Bon Secours Wellness Arena; Chris Foy, President, Impression Sports & Entertainment;

Fifty (50) Arenas, with a capacity greater than 10,000, were built from 1990-2000 in major and secondary markets across the United States. Millennial arenas face new opportunities and challenges of being a “grown-up” and may consider, Where-Do-We-Go-From-Here? Leading experts will explore strategies for renovations and expansions, successful renegotiations of major long-term contracts (Naming Rights, Pouring Rights, Ticketing, F&B, Management, etc.), managing budgets of an aging facility, and other ways to maintain relevance in a highly competitive industry.



Arenas Producing Their Own Content
Wednesday, 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Have you ever considered creating your own event, but never landed on a specific idea to pursue? This panel will highlight arenas who produce their own events in-house. Panelists will share specific event ideas and discuss how they research, create and execute these events year-after-year



Be a Social Media Butterfly:  The NHL’s Keys to Success
Wednesday, 1:45 PM - 2:30 PM

In this session you will learn how the National Hockey League (NHL) utilizes social media to execute their marketing strategies.  You will hear how they are prioritizing social media at the NHL and the role it plays in growing their business.  You will come away from this session with concepts and ideas that can immediately be put to use in your operation.



Ticketing 2018: Now What?
Wednesday, 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Speakers: Dan DeMato, President and Founder, FutureTix;

What would VenueConnect be without a riveting, stimulating, engaging, timely discussion about ticketing? Don't fret this, because this year will be no different! Join our knowledgeable, and of course entertaining, panel of industry experts to discuss what issues and trends around ticketing.



Arenas Town Hall
Wednesday, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Speakers: Scott Mullen, CVE, Executive Director, TaxSlayer Center;

Our annual gathering of Arena professionals to talk shop, vent, celebrate, learn and head to the bar immediately thereafter. Cheers!


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