Why We Exist
The IAVM Foundation contributes to the success and vitality of public assembly venues and their communities worldwide. The Foundation was initially conceived when The Cincinnati Task Force in their 1980 report, following “The Who” concert tragedy (1979), made a heartfelt request to the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) to develop and implement crowd management safety standards so that venues across the nation could learn from this devastating tragedy. As a result, the IAVM Foundation was propelled from the drawing board to a focused existence in 1982, and since then, has provided over $3.2 million in funding for professional development and education, research, and best practices development to ensure the safety and advancement of the public assembly venue industry.
The IAVM Foundation seeks the philanthropic gifts from individuals, companies, foundations, and governments, so that together, we may ensure the perpetual success and growth of the public assembly industry. The Foundation is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to which donations are fully deductible to the extent of U.S. tax law.
That every public assembly venue throughout the world has a professional workforce, a base of knowledge and adequate resources to ensure safety and enjoyment of the public, security of assets, and business results that contribute to economic development and quality of life.
The mission of the IAVM Foundation is to increase the positive impact and vitality of the public assembly industry by funding research, education, and resource development.
Why Support for Public Assembly is Important
Billions of dollars are invested in building public assembly venues worldwide, relied upon by communities to spark pride and enjoyment, to expand development, attract tourists, residents, new businesses, and to energize local economies.
In this “experience economy,” knowledge, technology, and service are the key differentiating factors that create a competitive advantage and ultimately determine success. The potential return on the venue investment expands when led and operated by an educated, experienced, and capable workforce that can identify, prevent, and respond to problems, protect the millions in their care on a daily basis, and ensure financial viability and for the landmark assets in their communities.
The world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Emerging markets, increasing energy costs, supply and demand fluctuations, squeezed public funding, intense competition, and shrinking margins; detached social structures; threats of terrorism, severe weather, pandemics, and the like—the changing world demands a public assembly venue workforce prepared and capable like never before.
The IAVM Foundation has more than a 30-year history of success in working with industry leaders to identify and fund the development of solutions, resources, and education in critical and emerging areas in public assembly. As the world and the industry becomes more complex, the need is greater than ever to ensure that each and every public assembly venue has a professional workforce, base of knowledge and adequate resources to ensure safety and enjoyment of the public, security of assets, and business results that contribute to economic development and quality of life.
Programs Made Possible by the Foundation
IAVM Foundation funding, made available primarily through annual support and the IAVM Foundation endowment, resulting from the Tickets to the Future I and II campaigns and government grants, turns generosity into innovation. Each project funded over the course of the IAVM Foundation’s rich history has served an important purpose, providing professional development, research, education, and best practice resources that are in use every day in venues across the globe.
You may be aware of some of the flagship IAVM programs and public assembly venue industry initiatives that exist thanks to start-up or special funding from the IAVM Foundation:
Launched at VenueConnect 2015 in Baltimore, this program focuses on identifying and developing the talent of venue industry professionals, 30 years of age and under, through increased access and exposure to industry networking and thought leadership. The program provides year-round continued education for professional growth in the venue industry and helps program participants become better, more productive employees. Selected applicants will receive one full, complimentary registration (Value: $1,185) to VenueConnect, IAVM's Annual Conference & Trade Show, a travel stipend of $850 to be used on travel accommodations and a complimentary one-year Young Professional Membership (Value: $250). Honorees are recognized throughout the annual meeting and formally at the Venue Industry Awards luncheon.
The Joseph A. Floreano Scholarship + Internship Program was established after the untimely passing of Joseph A. Floreano, CFE, a long-time IAVM member, Foundation Trustee and the first and only Honorary Chariman of the Foundation Board of Trustees. Floreano was known for giving selflessly in both time and money to worthy industry causes. His leadership was aspirational and he took great pride in mentoring and supporting the advancement of the venue management industry. Through continued support, the IAVM Foundation will be providing an unprecedented 38 scholarships + internships annually for students, young professionals, and mid-level management to attend IAVM events such as the Academy for Safety & Security (AVSS), Arena Management Conference (AMC), International Convention Centers Conference (ICCC), Performing Arts Managers Conference (PAMC), Venue Management School (VMS), and VenueConnect, IAVM's Annual Conference & Trade Show.
VenueDataSource is the research arm of the International Association of Venue Managers, providing research to venue professionals around the world. Generously funded by the IAVM Foundation, VenueDataSource offers industry performance and benchmarking data at your fingertips in two easy-to-access formats: through detailed reports and the PeerFocus reporting tool.
Venue Emergency Preparedness Training and Risk Self Assessment Tool
IAVM has been working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over the past 6 years in a variety of capacities, with one significant area being the development of the Risk Self Assessment Tool (RSAT), which develops risk information by breaking the data collection and analysis into three distinct areas: Venue Characterization, Threat Ratings, and Vulnerability Assessment. The RSAT provides an effective means to assess their vulnerability to a full range of threats (all-hazards), receive guidance on safety and security enhancements they can consider, and evaluate their preparedness as compared to other public assembly facilities.
The first Academy for Venue Safety and Security, funded by the IAVM Foundation, took place in August 2004 and continues to be an essential annual educational experience. Since its inception, the Academy has become self-sustainable and is highly regarded for both the experience and the content. Year two curriculum includes the following areas of instruction for the public assembly facility workforce: Risk Management, Developing an Emergency Plan, Internal and External Emergency Communications, Safety and Security Documentation for Life and Asset Protection, Security Plan Development, Using Physical Security Systems, Synergistic Relationships with First Responders, and Training Techniques to enable transfer of knowledge to the venue's entire workforce.
Perhaps the IAVM Foundation’s best-known “success story,” seed funding and ongoing financial support has been provided to the Venue Management School at Oglebay (VMS) for over 20 years. The result: over two thousand professionals have developed a higher level of expertise that benefits themselves, their employers, and local communities, and the future of the entire industry. Thanks to the Foundation’s ongoing commitment, IAVM’s VMS @ Oglebay School is now self-sustaining, enabling an unlimited long term impact. The IAVM Foundation has also funded curriculum development for the European Venue Management School, modeled after the highly successful VMS at Oglebay.
The IAVM Senior Executive Symposium currently presented at Cornell University meets an ever-increasing industry demand for high level public assembly facility executives to develop leadership and strategy development skills to meet the demands of their multi-million dollar operations. The IAVM Foundation has funded program development and scholarships for this key program since its inception.
University Venue Management Student Scholarships
Young professionals are the future of the public assembly venue industry. These scholarships will be used to enhance the academic education of college students studying and preparing to enter the industry, by offering practical, professional-level skill development as well as providing them with networking opportunities for future employment.
Significant work funded over multiple years by the IAVM Foundation has developed and advanced the industry’s approach to crowd management. The resulting curriculum and resources continue to serve as basic training and standard reference for thousands in the public assembly venue industry.
Body of Knowledge College Textbook
Public Assembly Facility Management: Principles and Practices is the first-ever college-level textbook written for the development of future leaders in the industry. The text is used in academic programs at numerous colleges and universities. Funded by the IAVM Foundation, a second edition of Principles and Practices has just been released.
Advances in Professional Development
The much-anticipated Certified Venue Professional (CVP) mid-level certification launched in 2015 at VenueConnect and the IAVM Foundation is providing the resources needed to ensure that this new certification provides essential credentialing to further careers and strengthen the future of our industry.
The Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) designation, established through an IAVM Foundation grant prior to the Tickets to the Future campaigns, has become a significant indicator of professional quality for those at the highest levels in the industry. Through Tickets to the Future funding, the program was further developed and has resulted in increased awareness and representation spanning the globe.
Online Professional Development
WebTracks, created from the work of the Body of Knowledge Task Force of experts, are a series of educational sessions that focus on four core principles of facility management: Sales & Marketing, Administration & Fiscal Management, Facility Services & Operations, and Leadership & Management. These short training modules use rich media to provide engaging and thought-provoking learning experience. WebTracks courses are approximately three hours in length and need not be completed in one session.
Training videos have been developed, produced and widely disseminated for use on site with all levels of the venue workforce. Topics include: Customer Service, Service Awareness with Patrons with Disabilities, Post 9/11 Safety and Security Planning Video Series, Emergency Planning, Safety Awareness, Crowd Management, and topics of special interest to Smaller Venues and Markets.
Development of Public Assembly Facility Evacuation Procedures Template and Training Syllabus
This project draws upon the collective experiences, existing procedure documents, lessons learned, expertise and collective wisdom to create a model document for use in the preparation of a venue’s evacuation procedures. Additionally, it will create the syllabus and training plan for a class in the development of a public assembly facilities evacuation plan, which will be held at the IAVM Academy for Venue Safety and Security.
Venue Safety and Security Magazine
The IAVM Life Safety Council, along with an alliance of other organizational affiliates, established a magazine to share specific expertise on Venue Safety and Security topics. A recent readership survey reinforced that an overwhelming 97% of readers say that VSS is “as valuable” or “more valuable” than other safety and security publications and 62% say it is “extremely important” to receive safety and security information that is specific to venues (as opposed to the general information provided by other publications). This magazine provides valuable information to over 4,000 readers bi-monthly.
Ensuring a diversified venue workforce was articulated as a priority for the Tickets to the Future campaigns. In response, and with available funding, special sessions have been held at IAVM Annual Conference and Trade Shows, highly attended and rated; a mentoring program has been developed and led by the Diversification Committee; Diversity information has been added to our member database with 1,324 respondents offering demographic information to allow us to better track improvements in diversity in the industry. Recently, a new permanent column on diversity in Facility Manager debuted in February 2007.
"MegaShelters" Best Practices protocols on Managing Facilities as Shelters was developed by industry experts of the IAVM Life Safety Council after Hurricane Katrina brought the whole concept to reality. The recent emergency responses of facility managers in providing shelters for hurricane evacuees revealed a need for resource materials and planning guides for this activity.
Life Safety Council
After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001, we all realized that we operate in a different world, one full of risk and threats. The Safety and Security Task Force was established in early 2002 and has since evolved into the IAVM Life Safety Council. This team of volunteer subject matter experts focuses on developing best practices, protocols, and seminar curriculum to sustain proper crowd management, protect venues, fans, and performers from all hazards, and to provide education on security and emergency planning.
Additional Industry-Wide Certifications and Standards
A variety of programs have been funded to promote setting high standards in specialties across the industry, including funding for the ESTA Rigging Certification Program, Rigging online training development, APEX - Accepted Practices Exchange, an Initiative of the Convention Industry Council
Advances in Research
Seed funding to establish the IAVM Venue Research Institute
Public assembly venues offer important benefits to their communities, enriching the quality of life and increasing economic impact. Seed funding will provide a research structure to increase support for effective day-to-day decision-making, as well as to communicate the industry’s impact and return on investment.
Funding for Gathering IAVM Oral Histories and Digitizing IAVM Archives
The industry pioneer with an 83-year heritage, IAVM must capture the wisdom and history of its leaders to ensure the lessons of the past are not lost, but are instead leveraged, to provide learning opportunities for the future. Following the collection of IAVM archives funded by the Tickets to the Future Campaign, archives housed at the University of Texas-Austin will be digitized to enable electronic /Internet access.
Multiple years of Industry Profiles and Research Bank maintenance contributed to day to day as well as long-term decision-making within the public assembly venue industry. These were solely made possible through support of the Tickets to the Future campaign.