Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SAVOR Chosen to Serve McCormick Place

SAVOR the wholly-owned food and beverage subsidiary of SMG has been selected to provide food and beverage service for McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. SAVOR was chosen in a competitive bid process. Shaun Beard, Senior Vice President, SAVOR stated, “Being chosen to provide the food and beverage service at the prestigious McCormick Place is a true honor. SAVOR already provides culinary services to many high-profile convention centers such as the Moscone Convention Center and the Hawai'i Convention Center. We will bring our boutique approach of quality food and exceptional customer service to Chicago.”

Beard went on to explain how SAVOR will introduce various processes to improve the quality and variety of food offerings, and speed of delivery. He stated, “It is SAVOR's intention to provide a truly customer-focused operation in keeping with the recent initiatives of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. SAVOR is committed to enhancing all aspects of the food service presented to the McCormick Place customers and clients.”

Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG/SAVOR, also expressed his delight at the selection. “We are extremely pleased with the announcement. SAVOR and SMG will ensure the highest quality of service to our customers. The combination of food and management truly aligns the interests of everyone and allows for a seamless service delivery.”

Parent company SMG was selected to manage the day to day operations of McCormick Place in a separate bid process earlier this year.

Friday, July 22, 2011

SMG Best Practices in Action: Ice School 2011

SMG again exhibited its commitment to Best Practices in Entertainment and Event Center Operations this past week with its 2011 Ice School training program held at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The two-day course attracted more than 40 participants from the 56 SMG-managed arenas with ice sheets. All attendees successfully obtained certification as an SMG Ice Technician, with an average exam score of 98%.

Subjects were geared towards the advanced ice technician, including ice-painting techniques and Zamboni operation. The classroom and hands-on training were conducted by renowned experts and SMG's vendor partners. The Ice School was lead by Greg Tesone, GM Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, Tim Vogt, Regional Director of Operations, Ryan Weiss, Operations Manager & Ice Technician based at the BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center in Tulsa, OK and Phillip Ransford, Director of Operations at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, LA. The industry's best-in-class vendors who participated were: Cimco – Toromont, Jet-Ice, ImageOne, Polygon (formerly Munters), Sports Systems Unlimited/Athletica, and Zamboni.

Ice School is an SMG Operations initiative under the Corporate-lead SMG – O.S.C.A.R. (Operations Support through Communications And Resources) program. SMG holds the philosophy that the management and operation of its venues is local, with support from Corporate through defined Best Practices and standards.

Training such as Ice School is one of many ways SMG Corporate Operations supports its venues. “We at SMG strive to excel at venue management. Our Best Practices are derived from experience and knowledge that has been accumulated over the more than 34 years SMG has been operating venues. This knowledge base, along with the constant energy to improve, is a tribute to our staff. The Ice School is one of many ways we challenge ourselves to improve our work in producing and marketing the world's leading events, and providing guests with the best experience attainable,” said Michael Godoy, Executive Director of Operations, who leads the Operations division from SMG's Corporate Headquarters.

SMG is awarded Full Management Contract for Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile

Hiller Inversiones has selected SMG, the global leader in convention, arena, and stadium management, as private manager of its Movistar Arena. The arena complex with 31,000 square meters of indoor space has a capacity of 16,419 people for concerts, includes two multipurpose sport courts, 23 private suites and boxes, 5 private meeting rooms, 2 exhibition halls, and parking for more than 2,000 cars.

“All of us at SMG are delighted with this decision. We have enjoyed a close and productive working relationship with Hiller Inversiones. We look forward to its continuation and the opportunity to provide world-class events and management for this terrific arena," said Wes Westley, President and CEO, SMG.

SMG was chosen following a highly productive three year consulting contract, during which time the facility acquired a major naming rights deal and in 2010 surpassed more than a 100 days of occupancy.

Movistar Arena is South America´s premiere indoor concert venue, hosting international acts such as WWE, Jamiroquai, John Fogerty, Kenny Rogers, Ennio Morricone, Backstreet Boys, Motley Crue, Seal, and Ozzy Osbourne, during 2011, and is SMG´s first full management account on the continent.

Daniel Hiller: "In the past three years SMG has provided us with a great deal of support and ideas to improve our business and product. The next logical step in our relationship was to pursue the full management agreement and allow SMG the opportunity to fully demonstrate why it continues to be the industry vanguard.”

VP of Business Development, Jochi Davila who has worked on the project since first initiating contact with Hiller Inversiones in 2007, leads SMG´s developmentefforts in Santiago and neighboring areas. “For the past three years SMG has been so proud to have been involved with the Movistar arena and Hiller Inversiones. We look forward to capitalizing on the successes we have achieved and to many successful years together,” said Jochi.

Friday, July 15, 2011

SMG in the News: Rink workers chill out at in Providence at Ice School 2011

"The Dunk is unseasonably cold this week for Ice School 2011, which brought about 50 people from event centers around the country for three days of really cool training.

Phillip Ransford, 36, stood on the ice Tuesday and wished he had brought heavier socks. The director of operations for the Century Link Center near Shreveport, La., has been making ice for 10 years, so this was a refresher, he joked after consulting his smart phone for the current temperature back home: 104 degrees.

It was 107 in Oklahoma City, where Chris Muldrow, 30, works at the Cox Convention Center. He has been making arena ice for 3½ years, but he and three colleagues were seeing “all the new stuff” from such vendors as Zamboni, ice-paint maker Jet Ice and Athletica, which makes the aluminum “boards” that hockey players crash into.

Usually, The Dunk's hockey rink is created in September, removed for Monster Trucks and the circus, reinstalled, painted over for skating shows, and then scraped down to the hockey lines again for the rest of the Providence Bruins' regular season, which usually ends in May, said Lawrence Lepore, The Dunk's general manager.

Lepore works for SMG, a company based in Pennsylvania that operates arenas around the world. Ice School is SMG's in-house training for venue managers, technicians and engineers. The company last held an Ice School in Tampa six years ago, and it was time for another, said Lepore. Providence was chosen because its crews have been making ice every year since 1972."

Read More: Rink workers chill out at in Providence at Ice School 2011