Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artexis easyFairs and SMG sign strategic alliance

Artexis-SMG joint venture will manage European event venues

(Brussels and Philadelphia) October 20, 2014 - Eric Everard, CEO of Artexis easyFairs and Wes Westley, SMG President & CEO today announced that they have finalised a strategic alliance and established a joint venture company, Artexis-SMG, which will be based in Brussels and will offer highly specialised venue management services in Europe and beyond.

Eric Everard commented, “SMG is the world’s leading company in venue management, with a portfolio of 74 exhibition and convention centres. It sets the ‘gold standard’ in public facility management and I am delighted that we will be working together. Here in Europe, there is strong demand from public and private owners of congress, convention and exhibition centres for specialist expertise to maximise revenue streams and to help them host top quality events. Our new joint venture, Artexis-SMG, is better placed than anyone to meet this demand.”

Wes Westley added, “I have been very impressed by the professionalism of Artexis operations at its eight venues in Belgium and Sweden. We share similar values and a belief in the energising effect that venues can have on local economies. With his extensive experience of managing multi-format venues and as one of Europe’s recognised industry entrepreneurs, Håkan Gershagen is the ideal choice as Artexis-SMG’s Vice President, Business Development.”

The new joint venture will function independently from Artexis easyFairs’ activities as an event organiser. It will adopt SMG’s proven formula for professional venue management and apply them in the European context. “The combination of locally based Artexis-SMG personnel, with their deep knowledge of European markets, and SMG processes and best practices, will deliver exceptional added value to our customers,” said Everard.

“For convention planners, the SMG name carries the brand promise of a well-run facility and unparalleled expertise in all phases of convention planning. Through web links, email news blasts, bulk advertising buys in trade publications and participation in major convention planner trade shows, SMG offers its clients in North America exposure that may be prohibitively expensive to buy on their own. We also utilise the full range of electronic capabilities, including a proprietary online events calendar and booking system, which enables SMG onsite sales directors to share leads and co-sell properties. Property owners benefit from the full force of SMG working to send business their way, and events planners gain the ability to check SMG venues and available dates 24/7,” said Gregg Caren, executive vice president of SMG’s convention centre division. “We are hugely excited at the prospect of our joint venture offering a similar added value proposition in Europe.”

The joint venture’s immediate geographical scope extends across all of Europe (not just the EU) with the exception of Belgium and Sweden where Artexis already plays a leading role in venue management. Artexis-SMG will focus on exhibition and conference centres, the agreement not addressing other SMG core businesses such as theatres and sports stadia where the SMG name is already well-known in Europe.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pensacola Bay Center Ranks as One of the Country's Top Venues

(Pensacola, FL) October 17, 2014 – The Pensacola Bay Center is giving a standing ovation to all of its fans!

With their help, the Pensacola Bay Center, managed by SMG, is ranked 64th in the United States and 121st in the world in Pollstar Magazine’s 2014 Third Quarter Top 200 Arena Rankings. Rankings are based on tickets sold for shows played between 1/1/14 and 9/30/14.

So far this year, Pensacola Bay Center has hosted seven of Pollstar's top 100 tours including Disney on Ice, World Wrestling Entertainment, The Harlem Globetrotters, Cirque du Soleil – Varekai, Elton John, Miranda Lambert and Jeff Dunham. Of those top tours, Elton John and His Band and Miranda Lambert’s Platinum Across America Tour were both sold out! Screaming, happy fans filled the arena with their outstanding energy. 

“We really had some great shows come into the Pensacola Bay area so far this year and that certainly helped us rank where we do. And because of that we  want to say thank you,” said SMG General Manager Cyndee Pennington.  “Thank you to the artists and promoters who are bringing terrific shows to our venue, and thank you to the ticket buyers in Pensacola who help make these events a success.”

Pollstar is a weekly trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry.

Friday, October 10, 2014

SMG to Extend Contract with Coliseo de Puerto Rico

For Immediate Release

HATO REY, PUERTO RICO (October 10th, 2014) - SMG, the leader in venue management, recently renewed its management con
tract for Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot for an additional five years.  SMG has been the management company for the venue before its opening in September, 2004.  The contract renewal with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority (PRCDA), the local government agency in charge of overseeing the Coliseo operations, was finalized before the celebration of the Coliseo’s 10th Anniversary.

“Over the last ten years, SMG has been providing stellar service and entertainment to Hato Rey,” said SMG President and CEO, Wes Westley. “This extension allows us to continue bringing top-tier events to Coliseo de Puerto Rico while making attendance for patrons an enjoyable and comfortable experience.”

SMG, the Government of Puerto Rico and the Coliseo definitely have something to celebrate – over the last ten years of operation, the Coliseo has hosted 887 events, 5.6 million visitors and tickets sales have grossed over $254 million.

“The success of the venue is a showcase of what we can accomplish if there’s a synergy between good partners, which the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has been the last 10 years plus”, said Jochi Dávila, Regional VP Business Development from SMG Latin America and SMG’s ongoing employee in Puerto Rico since 2002.  “The renewal of the management contract gives us another reason to celebrate during the tenth anniversary.”

The Coliseo hosted an exciting celebration event, themed “Party Like a Rock Star”. Coliseo sponsors, local promoters, vendors, VIP Clients and partners enjoyed a night full of entertainment.  From paparazzi, props for invitees, live music with the performance of Jochi Davila, Wesley Cullen, venue General Manager, flying from the ceiling and the first time performance in Puerto Rico of international comedian Gabriel Iglesias AKA Fluffy, the guests enjoyed an unforgettable night to kick off the next decade. Victor Suarez, Executive Director of the PRCDA, was also part of the event and thanked SMG and the local team employees for the success of the venue.

“The opening of the Coliseo forever changed live entertainment in Puerto Rico. A greater variety of events are possible and the level of comfort and service have been taken to a whole new level,”  said Wesley Cullen, General Manager of the Coliseo.  “SMG has become a key ally for promoters to grow their businesses. We have great relationships locally to create success for everyone involved with the facility. We are very happy with the renewal and ongoing partnership we have with the PRCDA.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

EcoWorks Designates Cobo Center a Sustainable Communities Champion

The entire Cobo Center Green Committee
DETROIT Oct 8, 2014 - Thom Connors, SMG regional vice president and general manager of Cobo Center, is pleased to announce that Cobo Center is the proud recipient of the EcoWorks Sustainable Communities Champion award.

During the annual EcoWorks breakfast Sept 19, Cobo Center, along with three other agencies leading the Detroit area in sustainability practices, was designated a champion for aligning with the EcoWorks mission of large scale innovative education, training, consulting, social business and advocacy in the sustainable use of energy natural resources.

Right to left: Thom Connors, SMG Regional Vice President and GM; Mary Klida, marketing and communications manager and Green Committee Co-Chair Cobo Center; Cedric Turnabore, senior manager production services and Green Committee chair Cobo Center, Claude Molinari, AGM Cobo Center.
At the event, a spokesman for EcoWorks explained, “Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) has helped to set an example for what we can accomplish when we unite as a region. The renovation of Cobo Center helps secure its position as a symbol of Detroit, but that alone wouldn’t garner an award. In addition to the regional cooperation and the great greening work that they did, they have shared the story with clients, conference attendees and our region. The Cobo Center hosts ‘temporary communities’ if you will, leaders from many fields come to the center for a brief time of learning. And now each of those communities experiences what green renovation can do.” The Cobo Center Green Committee was formed in 2011 to develop green event support and achieve green certifications for the center. Cobo became the largest Green Venues Michigan facility in 2012.

Now in the final phase of a $279 million renovation, building features like a living green roof, Kone EcoMod energy saving escalators and elevators, dock enclosures, induction lighting that uses 40% energy in all exhibit halls, and new energy saving HVAC units are already in place.

“We are very proud of this recognition from EcoWorks and the Detroit area sustainability network. However, Cobo Center is not content to rest on what has been accomplished. Our Green Committee is moving very quickly to rapidly increase our waste diversion rate, implement a kitchen waste composting program and apply for other green certifications that will establish Cobo as an industry leader,” said Connors.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SMG to Begin Managing Tucson Convention Center

West Conshohocken, PA (October 7th, 2014) - SMG, the worldwide leader of public assembly facility management, is proud to announce it will begin managing the Tucson Convention Center, Tucson Arena, Tucson Music Hall and Tucson Leo Rich Theater on October 1, 2014. The firm was selected after a recent “request for proposal” process conducted by the City of Tucson.

“We are pleased and excited to welcome the Tucson Convention Center to our family of SMG-managed properties and are confident the facility will thrive under our leadership, combined with SMG’s booking network, client base and other resources and generate a greater economic impact and higher activity level for the City of Tucson,” said Gregg Caren, SMG executive vice president for convention and exhibition centers.

“We are pleased to welcome SMG as the new facility management company, and we look forward to enhanced business activity in our facilities as well as a renewed focus on customer service for our guests,” said Greg Jackson, contract administrator for the City of Tucson.


Construction has already begun on $8.8 million in renovations to the Tucson Arena. The focus of the upgrades will significantly improve the patron’s event experience and will include new seats, updated concession stands, a new sound cluster and video board. The renovations are being funded by Rio Nuevo and the City of Tucson.

A grand opening event is slated for January 3, 2015.

The Tucson Convention Center (TCC), southern Arizona’s largest multi-purpose facility, is located in downtown Tucson and occupies twenty-eight acres. The TCC opened in 1971 with a total of 205,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. The complex also incorporates  the 511 seat Tucson Leo Rich Theater, the 2289 seat Tucson Music Hall and the  8920 seat Tucson Arena.

SMG Connects at IEBA

West Conshohocken, PA (October 7th, 2014) - SMG, the worldwide leader of public facility management, connected with hundreds of other entertainment buyers at the International Association of Entertainment Buyers Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, September 27-30.  SMG sponsored the inaugural Promoter’s Alley event during the conference connecting SMG venues with event promoters throughout the USA and Canada.  “Our SMG-managed venues partner with event promoters every day to bring the
biggest acts and attractions to our arenas, theatres, and stadiums, and our sponsorship of this inaugural event signifies our support of this very important part of our business,” said Jim McCue, SMG Senior Vice President of Entertainment.

In addition, SMG also sponsored a private luncheon connecting more than 50 agents and promoters with SMG’s venue General Managers and Booking Executives.  “There is an ease of doing business with SMG in our family of venues, and continuing to make connections with our key partners is critical to our future success,” said John Bolton, SMG Vice President of Entertainment and a member of the IEBA Board of Directors.


Also speaking at the entertainment buyers convention was Jeff Nickler, General Manager of the SMG managed BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma (nominated for IEBA Venue of the Year).  “It was a pleasure to speak on the importance of customer service we place in our SMG venues throughout our nationwide network,” said Jeff. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pinnacle Bank Arena’s Tom Lorenz Receives Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award

For Immediate Release

LINCOLN, NE (October 1, 2014) - Tom Lorenz, General Manager of the Pinnacle Bank Arena was awarded the Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award during the Celebrate Business Awards event on Tuesday, September 30th. This award is given to individuals who have utilized their leadership and public service in order to help shape the community. Working in the industry since 1976, Tom Lorenz joined SMG in 2000 and has since been a part of the opening teams for the Laredo Energy Arena and the BOK Center. A graduate of the IAVM Public Assembly Facility Management School in Olgebay, WV, Tom serves on the Parking Advisory Council and is a board member and trainer for the Responsible Hospitality Council.

“Tom Lorenz’s dedication and commitment to Lincoln has been a huge factor in the success of the Pinnacle Bank Arena and we congratulate him on this significant recognition,” says SMG Senior Vice President of Stadiums and Arenas, Joe Romano.