San Diego Convention Center to Host Regional Venue Industry Leader Conference

San Diego Convention Center to Host Regional Venue Industry Leader Conference

The impact of your San Diego Convention Center goes much farther than you might think. In fact, San Diego is on the international map when it comes to leadership, trends and decisions that impact the convention, meetings and venue industry globally.

That is why we are proud to host the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Region 7 conference. Registration for "Ahead of the Wave" is now open. The two-day regional conference from February 19 through February 20, 2019 is open to any venue management professional.

"There were many extremely qualified and worthy applicants this year,” stated Kathryn Eades, IAVM Foundation Director of Development.
IAVM meeting overview
Educational sessions will include: 
  • Situational awareness with IAVM security expert Mark Herrera
  • Risk management
  • Food and beverage trends
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human resources practices
  • Communications and storytelling
  • Women in leadership 

Representing public assembly venues from around the globe, IAVM’s 5,900 active members include managers and senior executives from auditoriums, arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, stadiums, performing arts centers, university complexes, fairgrounds and amphitheaters. Region 7 members hail from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

San Diego Convention Center Senior Event Manager Dianne Javier is the Region 7's treasurer.

"Being a part of IAVM Region 7 has been very rewarding. The knowledge I’ve gained from other venue managers has been vital," she said. "It’s great to collaborate and learn how different venues managers approach certain situations. I’m looking forward to the Region 7 Conference for the dynamic educational sessions and valuable networking opportunities."

How is your San Diego Convention Center team impacting the meetings and conventions industry, as a whole?

Our staff, from the executive leadership team to our operations supervisors, are part of the IAVM global family.

San Diego Convention Center President & CEO Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe is on the IAVM Board, serving a four-year term. He is currently the Second Vice Chair of the IAVM Board of Directors and will take on the Chairman position in 2020-2021.

"It is an incredible honor to be selected to serve in this position," said Rippetoe. "I am passionate and dedicated to our industry. We all work together in public assembly venue management to convene millions of patrons to an amazing variety of events. I look forward to working with my peers to educate, advocate for and inspire our professionals, worldwide."

Geri Koenig, the San Diego Convention Center's Visual & User Experience Designer, was selected to the 2018 30|Under|30 class.

"There were many extremely qualified and worthy applicants this year,” stated Kathryn Eades, IAVM Foundation Director of Development. "Tough choices were made by the Foundation’s large group of judges, which included members from the Foundation Board of Trustees and numerous certified venue professionals. Those chosen exemplify the characteristics of leadership and developing talent necessary to the future of our industry.”

"As a UX designer, my Number One goal is to understand the user, the most important being our Convention Center attendees. By working towards this goal, I am able to create both digital and physical experiences that delight and enhance their time at the Center."

Geri joins Daren Smylie, Facility Services Assistant Manager, in the 30 under 30 ranks. Daren was named a winner in 2017.

Three other Convention Center staff members earned scholarships that allowed them to attend the IAVM International Convention, including Javier.

Karla Gonzalez is a Facilities Services Supervisor. Her role is to manage the teams that keep our facility clean. She won the IAVM Foundation's scholarship for Outstanding Leadership in Convention Centers.

"I learned that the venue industry is amazingly supportive of each other; your problem is their problem and they are happy to help you solve it, or at least share what did not work," she said.

Ronald Huntjens, Facilities Services Manager, won an internal San Diego Convention Center staff essay contest, which allowed him to attend VenueConnect. The highlight for him was, "Networking, networking, networking."

"I learned a lot (to say the least), but the most fundamental thing I learned is that there are so many people that deal with similar issues and challenges as we do in San Diego, and I was able to benefit from all of the resources and information IAVM provides its members," he said.

In addition, our Chief Operating Officer Karen Totaro is a former Board Chair of IAVM and our Director of Security Services Josh Layne serves on the IAVM Security Council. We also have had 14 staff members attend the IAVM Venue Management School, considered one of the best professional education programs available for venue managers.

This participation means that your San Diego's Convention Center team continues to play an important role in the shaping of the convention, meeting and events industry.

Authored by Barbara Moreno

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  • San Diego Convention Center
    111 W Harbor Drive
    San Diego, CA 92101
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