Convention Centers Sessions

All sessions held in Music City Center 205, unless otherwise indicated.

EMSSI Update & VenueDataSource
Monday, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Moderator: Mark Herrera, Director of Education, IAVM

Speakers: Bruce B. Davidson, Director, Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, US Department of Homeland Security; Matthew R. Dimmick, PSP, Principal Consultant, Ross & Baruzzini; William F. Flynn, President, GARDA Risk Management, LLC; Fred Peterson, Deputy Director, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)

This session provide an update on the current progress of EMSSI.  In 2016, the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events TM (IAEE) and the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) came together to address the # 1 priority of our membership. The safety and security of our attendees, members, stakeholders, employees and the general public that attend meetings, conferences, conventions and exhibitions every day around the world. All of us recognized the need and potential for greater collaboration and to address this priority. Given the current threat assessments provided by the top security professionals, it became clear that we must establish national guidelines for convention centers and related venues around the U.S. and align ourselves with the Department of Homeland Security and the SAFETY Act office. Learn more about what has already been put into action, and the strategic approach and objectives for what is yet to come.



Moderator: Barry Strafacci, IAVM Research Committee Chair, Moderator

Speakers: Steve Schwartz, IAVM Research Committee, Past Chair, Walter E. Washington Convention Center; Justin Ungerboeck, IAVM Research Committee Vice Chair, Ungerboeck Software International

“Discover the latest remarkable findings and highlights from this year’s Venue Data Source Surveys: Safety & Security, Social Media, Technology, Funding Sources and Food & Beverage Reports. What is on the horizon to make the VDS product even more valuable in the coming year! Learn about Key Performance Indicators that can help you to determine how your venue is performing in today’s competitive marketplace. Don’t miss your opportunity to shape your venue’s future by ensuring you will have the tools you need to remain competitive!”


Convention Centers BootCamp
Monday, 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM & 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM
Music City Center

Please select your BootCamp sessions from the list below during registration.

A/V Made Easy
"Why doesn't my image fit the screen" A guide to basic projection; "Is this thing on?" How to ensure your speakers are heard.

Loading Dock Safety Best Practices
Session occurs on the Docks.  Controlling access to the docks from the facilities perspective and hear from Expo Dock Freight Manager and MCC Director of Security how to create a safer environment on the docks.  Max 30 people

Plate Up 
A study of plate up and distribution of served meals.  Chef Max will discuss the planning process, teamwork, communication, preparation and execution necessary to put a plate before our guests amid large groups.  He will also speak about specialty meals, special requests, food safety, food quality and the considerations necessary to address these challenges.  As available, this will be a hands on demonstration and tour to give participants a the best idea of the scope and realities of this important aspect of food service.

Rigging 101
General rigging practices- how to read rigging plots, mark floors for motor/truss placement, wrap trusses, use of motor hoists, use of rigging hardware, and determine load/weight distribution. Safety- how to guarantee rigging safety with equipment, materials, and fall protection. Aerial lifts - general uses for aerial lifts and how inspect. Demonstration on hanging truss and motor.

From restroom policies to tipping/gift giving by clients to entry policies (bag checks) and hiring policies/nepotism, convention centers today are facing new challenges and uncharted territory. Participants will team up and be faced with real (and some not-so-real) scenarios that present a multitude of ethical and legal challenges. The solution may feel like the right thing to do, but how will our visiting attorney respond to the team solution?


Sector Orientation
Tuesday, 8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Speaker: Neil McMullin, Vice President, Shared Services, Fern Exposition & Event Services & Matt Hollander, CFE, General Manager, Miami Beach Convention Center

Welcome to ICCC @ VC 2017!  As part of the conference, the ICCC Programming Committee has created exciting and informative sessions on many different aspects of our business including the EMSSI program, VenueDataSource, recruiting talented employees, sales trends and technology. We look forward to you joining us for a great week of education and networking.

Round Tables
Tuesday, 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Sponsored byVoyage Control

Large –Sized Convention Centers (500,000+ Square Feet Exhibit Space): Brad Gessner, CFE, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Los Angeles Convention Center; Ron King, Executive Director, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas

Mid-Sized Convention Centers (100,000-500,000 Square Feet Exhibit Space): Courtney Dyer, CFE, General Manager, Virginia Beach Convention Center; Elisa “Putt” Putman, Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Music City Center

Small-Sized Convention Centers (Under 100,000 Square Feet Exhibit Space): Stephanie Curran, General Manager, Spokane Convention Center; Stacy Graven, Executive Director, Meydenbauer Center

Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to discuss current topics with other venue managers.  Broken down into large, medium, and small venues 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.



Recruiting and Retaining High End Talent 
Tuesday, 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Sponsored by Edlen Electric

Moderator: Mark Gnatovic, Senior Vice President, SearchWide

Speaker: Erin Hampton, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice President of Human Resources, Music City Center; Vince Quattrociocchi, VP of Operations, Metro Toronto; Karen Totaro, CFE, Executive Vice President/General Manager, San Diego Convention Center

This session will feature a panel discussion on what human resource professionals, recruiters and convention center staff face when recruiting and retaining top talent. The discussion will feature how to best attract and keep great employees, both top level executives and the line staff that is critical in a successful convention center operation.


Adaptive Sales Culture
Tuesday, 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Speaker: Tammy Gilbert Cardona, CMP, Associate Director of Sales, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation & Antwone Stigall, CMP, DES, President, West Wing Events | Destination Management & Special Events

Learn how successful sales teams and meeting planners are learning from their diverse clientele to meet the new demands of a changing customer demographic. With more international shows and four generations in the work place, meeting planners are asked to provide a variety of food requests (both catered and concessions), places for their attendees to pray, and changes regarding bathroom designations. Join our panel of sales professionals and meeting planners to discuss the differences in their attendees profiles and what we, as convention centers, will need to do to meet their expectations in the future.



Internet of Things
Tuesday, 4:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Sponsored by: tapin2

Speaker: Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, Principal, Corbin Ball & Co.

This session will cover one of the most revolutionary developments taking place around the world today, and will outline the latest products and current opportunities for venues, meeting planners and other suppliers, while also addressing the challenge to remain competitive over the coming decade as these new developments disrupt current ways of doing business, managing events and building operations .  From wearable technology to augmented reality, from smart buildings to diagnostic tools that help make sense of vast new streams of data, this session will provide practical advice on how to enhance your current business practices, and give you insights into the changes you’ll need to make in the near future to provide the best and most efficient attendee experience.

Learning Objectives:

  • Experience a range of IOT tools including wearable and location-aware tools, beacon technology, virtual reality/augmented reality systems and much more
  • Learn best practices and case studies to get the most out of these tools
  • Receive apps, links, web tools, which you can use to harness their power



Featured Speaker: Sarah Trahern
Wednesday, 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Speaker: Sarah Trahern, CEO, Country Music Association



IAVM/DMAI: 6 Key Factors to Collaborative Economic Impact Reporting
Wednesday, 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Moderator: Dave Anderson, Regional Vice President, Spectra Venue Management & General Manager, Palm Beach County Convention Center

Panelists: Brad Gessner, CFE, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Los Angeles Convention Center; Brett Mitchell, General Manager, Overland Park Convention Center; Christine "Shimo" Shimasaki, CDME, CMP, 2synergize, Inc. and Consultant for DI/IAVM City Pairs Task Force

Traditionally, it has been difficult for convention centers and CVBs to get on the same page on a number of issues, let alone reporting on an event’s total impact.  Until now.  In partnership with IAVM, seven city-pairs of convention centers and CVBs have teamed up to identify and discuss the key components to collaborative reporting of the economic impact of events.


Convention Center and CVB Relationships: Incentives Used to Lure Business
Wednesday, 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

Panelists: Brian Ivey, VP of Sales, Music City Center; Robert (Bob) L. Jameson, CTA, President and CEO, Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau; Ellen Schwartz, Assistant General Manager Los Angeles Convention Center, AEG Facilities; Kay Witt, Chief Sales Officer, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

In today’s competitive market, it is more critical than ever for Convention Centers and Convention & Visitors Bureaus to work together effectively.  What mechanisms do successful destinations use to balance rent incentives that spur economic impact with maximizing a center’s profitability? This panel will share examples of successful partnerships and what they are doing in their cities to win business creatively.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe examples of positive Venue/CVB relationships
  • List trends in meeting planning regarding discounts and incentives
  • Describe how economic impact is calculated and it's impact on discounts and incentives



CEIR: Research to Energize your Customers' Experience
Wednesday, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Speaker: Nancy Drapeau, PRC, Senior Research Director, Center for Exhibition Industry Research

How Does Your Venue Help Exhibitions Deliver Engagement Experiences that Rock? Which Sectors Offer the Most Promise for Your Business Development Efforts?                                 

Come to this session to hear about CEIR’s latest research to empower you with the insights to best support your exhibition customers and win more business! Discussion will cover key results and examples of how organizers and exhibitors are successfully responding to these trends.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear the latest CEIR INDEX numbers on the state of the exhibition industry to help guide your business development efforts:  overall, which sectors are growing and which sectors are under fire; learn about a consultative selling tool to share with your organizer customers
  • Insights to help you understand your exhibition organizer’s customers:  1) What motivates attendees to visit an exhibition repeatedly   2) Why exhibitors exhibit, how they aim to engage with attendees and what is most effective
  • What role does digital play during a live exhibition? What do you need to have as an offering to help your exhibition organizers, exhibitors and attendees have a successful experience at your venue?



Town Hall
Wednesday, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Sponsored by HKS

Speaker: Neil McMullin, Vice President, Shared Services, Fern Exposition & Event Services & Matt Hollander, CFE, General Manager, Miami Beach Convention Center

Are you struggling with an issue in your building 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 ICCC 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 team be successful.  


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