Facility Managers Set Ambitious Agenda for IAAM

26 Jul

The International Association of Assembly Managers convenes Friday for its annual VenueConnect tradeshow at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

This year’s show conference has over 700 registered attendees, including a large contingency from Texas venues who will descend on the conference panels in search of answers to pressing industry questions and walk the trade show floor, seeking new products and venue solutions. Venues Today caught up with a number of Texas venue professionals and asked about their plans for this year’s annual conference.

Daniel Huerta, Executive General Manager, Fair Park Dallas

WHAT HE’S LOOKING TO ACCOMPLISH: Like everybody else I think the challenges across the country are reduced budgets, especially reduced travel budgets. I have to pay to go to the conference myself this year. I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone is combating reduced budgets.

WHAT HE’S SHOPPING FOR: I always look for new products, whether they be new trash receptacles or new booking systems. I just love the trade show! There are new seating, lighting and firework companies. We do a lot of festivals, so I’m always looking for a bit of everything.

WHERE HE’S NETWORKING:  I’ll definitely be attending the mentoring program reception — I’m really proud that we launched it this past year. I’ll be going to the outgoing president’s reception and I’ll be doing a presentation at the new members breakfast.

Contact: (214) 670-8483

Al Diaz, Operations Manager, McAllen Convention Center

WHAT HE’S SHOPPING FOR: We’re at the end of the year and we’re trying to get some tables and chairs, plus a new stage since we’re doing a lot of concerts now (including a Daddy Yankee show on Sept. 26). We’re also looking at networking material, texting outlets and information booths. We’re growing over here so much that we’re trying to advance a bit more in our technology. Things change so fast now that it takes work to keep up.

WHERE HE’S NETWORKING: We’re bringing several newcomers, so they’ll be going to the orientation breakfast. We always go to the House of Blues for the Chairman’s Reception on Friday night. Eventually everyone has something they invite us to and we, unfortunately, can’t make it to everything.

Contact: (956) 681-3828

Scott Manley, Assistant General Manager/Sr. Director, Arena Operations, Toyota Center, Houston

WHAT HE’S LOOKING TO ACCOMPLISH:  I’m really hoping to get a lot of knowledge toward some of the key issues that are taking place in the industry today. Sustainability is a big one. It will be good to see how other facilities are operating in terms of their usage of energy and how we can be more responsible for the environment.

WHAT HE’S SHOPPING FOR:  There are no real challenges that I’m looking to address. I think there are a lot of broad ideas that can be touched on. I’d like to see some general ideas of what people are doing at different venues.

Contact: (713) 758-7253

Carol Roberts-Spence, Executive Director, Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, University of Texas, Permian Basin

WHAT SHE’S LOOKING TO ACCOMPLISH: I’m hoping to get lots of information and networking. Since I’m opening a brand new building, I want to tell people about it. I just want to make sure everyone knows what’s going on here in Odessa.

WHAT SHE’S SHOPPING FOR: Since we’re opening a new facility, I’ll be shopping for new products at the trade show. I have a list.

WHERE SHE’S NETWORKING: I plan to attend as many social events as I can because that’s how you network and reconnect with old friends. Part of this industry is about making relationships and sustaining them. It’s really a face-to-face business.

Contact: (432) 552-4432

Michael Dooley, Facilities Manager, Somervell County Expo Center & Texas Amphitheatre, Glen Rose

WHERE HE’S NETWORKING: I’m going to be leaving early, but I’m really looking forward to the trade show opening reception. That’s always my favorite part and I get to see everyone.

Contact: (254) 897-4509

— Jessica Boudevin and Dave Brooks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: