All sessions held in Metro Toronto Convention Centre 715, unless otherwise indicated.
Sessions and times are subject to change.

Universities Welcome and Student Employment Panel
Monday, 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Speakers: Adonis "Sporty" Jeralds, CVE, Clinical Instructor, Carolina Coliseum; Allen Johnson, CVE, CMP, Chief Venues Officer, Orlando Venues; Doug Booher, CVE, Executive Director of University Events and IU Auditorium, Indiana University;

This panel, comprised of student employee advisors, will discuss the joys and challenges involved with student employees. These mentors will share strategies and tips regarding recruitment, retention, motivation, training methods, and anything else the audience would like to cover. This will be an interactive session, and audience participation is encouraged. Feel free to submit questions in advance, or bring a list to ask the panel. Panelists will be announced soon.



Monday, 4:15 PM - 6:30 PM

BootCamp sessions are at various locations around Toronto. UVMC attendees are welcome to pre-register for any of the sector BootCamp sessions.



Controversial Speakers on College Campuses
Tuesday, 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Speakers: Andy Jabbour, Co-founder and Managing Director, Gate 15; Nancy Chrystal-Green, Ph.D., Senior Director for Student Engagement, University of Florida;

Promoted as "the market place of ideas," colleges and universities encourage open dialogue and public expression. However, in this era of increasing polarization, managing the controversy some of these ideas bring can be difficult. Join us as we discuss how one campus managed such an event. This session will discuss the logistics of facilitating both venue, speaker, and protesters, how security was coordinated, and how communication with the media worked. We will also discuss what did and did not work, and lessons learned so participants can develop strategies for their own venues.



Universities Keynote: A Conversation With Beth Ali, University of Toronto
Tuesday, 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Speakers: Beth Ali, Executive Director, Co-Curricular Athletics and Physical Activity Programs, University of Toronto;

The Universities sector’s third annual A Conversation With an impactful executive discussing venue management leadership, values and practices takes advantage of this year’s VenueConnect location with Beth Ali, the Executive Director of Co-Curricular Athletics and Physical Activity Programs at the University of Toronto. Beth is a recognized leader in Canadian inter-university and high-performance sport, with 20 years of professional and volunteer experience in administration, coaching, event management and program development. Among her responsibilities is active engagement with U of T’s busy athletic venues and facilities. Through both her personal and professional experience, Beth is a dedicated supporter of sport development and the benefits of sport in the development of the whole person, especially the positive impact they have on a student-athlete’s university experience. She will share her perspectives in her conversation with IAVM veteran and Universities Committee chair Bobby Goldwater. Beth also will take questions during the session from VenueConnect audience members.


eSports on Your Campus
Tuesday, 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Speakers: Chad Weeden, Assistant Director for the School of Interactive Games and Media & Esport Advisor, RIT; Tyler Schrodt, CEO, Electronic Gaming Federation;

Panel discussion to introduce the world of electronic gaming and explore how universities are meeting these demands. What is the appeal of eSports to student stakeholders? What do facilities need to do to execute on technology driven events, and what does the short term future hold?



Virtual Reality Training: The Future of Employee Training in Venue Management
Tuesday, 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM
Room 714A

Speakers: Michael Kanters, Professor, NC State University; Mike Cuales, Creative Director, NC State University;

Virtual Reality (VR) training immerses participants into a fun and engaging environment that closely simulates actual work situations.  Trainees can learn and make decisions without the fear of making mistakes.  Faculty and staff from NC State University recently partnered with PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC to create a VR training program for their guest relations employees.   Session participants will experience the VR training first hand and learn how they can create their own VR training program with a design and production process model.



Universities Town Hall
Tuesday, 4:45 PM - 5:45 PM

Are you struggling with an issue on your campus that you can't seem to solve? Are you implementing the next great idea that you want to share with the rest of the industry? In the Universities town hall, we are going to hit on the items that you want to talk about. Come equipped with these items and be prepared to walk out of the session with answers to your issues and ideas to help your staff be successful.



Preparing to Teach: A Panel Discussion with Venue Management Educators
Wednesday, 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Speakers: Doug Booher, CVE, Executive Director of University Events and IU Auditorium, Indiana University; Philip Rothschild, Ph.D., Director of the Entertainment Management Program, Missouri State University; Tricia Baldwin, Tricia Baldwin, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts;

The role of faculty is critical in providing the foundation necessary for a successful transition from the classroom to the industry. A panel of experienced faculty (both full-time faculty and industry professionals serving as adjuncts) will share their experiences in the classroom, including how they got started, the challenge of teaching such a practical topic, effective teaching strategies, connecting to today’s students, and advice for those considering venturing into the classroom.



Connecting Research and Practice: Venue Data Source and Academic Venue Research / Social Media Use in Sports & Entertainment Venues 8 Years Later
Wednesday, 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Speakers: Lawrence Henley, Director of Alumni Affairs and Community Engagement, University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts; Philip Rothschild, Ph.D., Director of the Entertainment Management Program, Missouri State University; Phil Stout, CVP, Assistant General Manager, Bryce Jordan Center;

Part 1: Information allows businesses to make informed decisions. There are a number of sources available to venue managers to assist in decision-making, evaluation of day-to-day operations, long-term planning, and negotiations, amongst others. This session will highlight IAVM’s Venue Data Source including completed research and findings, as well as current applied academic research being conducted by faculty.

Part 2: Venue managers are called upon to rent their facility and promote events within an exceptionally competitive market, and today, social media is an essential marketing tool for public assembly venues.  This study examined how social media is administered and perceived among managers of various types of facilities, including arenas, stadiums, performing art centers, and convention centers.  We will discuss the main findings and implications for venue managers, and compare the results to the same study conducted in 2010.



Blackboard to Bleacher: Teaching Staff to Success
Wednesday, 1:45 PM - 2:30 PM

Speakers: David Salomon, Director of Athletic Facilities, Sacred Heart University; Sam Dores, CVP, Director, Client Services, Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University;

Public assembly venues on college campuses serve a dual role as event venue and classroom. Student staff working in university venues are afforded the opportunity to learn venue management skills that can be applied regardless of eventual career path. As such, venue managers have an inherent responsibility to tie educational outcomes into their management strategy. This panel discussion will explore how to implement an effective atmosphere that emphasizes the importance of transferring job skills to career goals for student employees while also building venue environments that improve the guest experience and drive return client business.



Non-Athletic Venues on the University Campus: It’s More than Just Tailgating
Wednesday, 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Speakers: Cynthia Tucker, Event Venue Manager, USC Trojan Event Services; Zakiya Smith-Dore, Event Coordinator, University of Florida Performing Arts;

There are various venues on the University campus that are non-athletic that require venue management. These include performance venues, ballrooms, meeting rooms and outdoors spaces. In this workshop, you will hear from a panel of experts to discuss best practices, navigating university politics, suggested tips and tools for managing these venues with events coordinated by student organizations, departments and the general public.

Thank you to our global partners.