Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SMG Tulsa Honored as Great Company to Work For

SMG Tulsa, the management company for both the BOK Center and the Tulsa Convention Center, is recognized as one of “2012 Great Companies to Work For” in the December 2012 issue of Oklahoma Magazine. The annual list recognizes employers who were nominated and then voted on through a panel review.

“We are honored to be recognized as a ‘Great Company to Work For',” said SMG General Manager John Bolton. “We have an excellent team of employees who take great pride in working for SMG and representing the City of Tulsa. It's always nice to be recognized publicly for those efforts.”

SMG Tulsa was specifically highlighted for its charitable giving within the community. SMG Rocks is the charitable arm of SMG Tulsa and was specifically created to allow employees the opportunity to give back to the community as a part of their job. The committee meets regularly to determine which charities it will support and the best way to contribute. Contributions include donations to United Way, in kind donations of supplies, food drives and volunteering.

Monday, November 26, 2012

SMG & SAVOR Understand the Importance of Being Green

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 98th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, held November 25 - 30 at McCormick Place in Chicago, has several "green" initiatives in place to minimize the environmental impact of the world's largest radiology forum.

RSNA has joined with McCormick Place, Savor Catering Services and Chicago hotels and restaurants in implementing more than two dozen recycling and conservation efforts throughout the 2012 RSNA annual meeting.

"A green meeting means we're planning and practicing ways that will minimize the impact our meeting may have on the environment," said Janet Cooper, C.M.P., director of Convention Operations for RSNA.

Noting that interest in sustainable meeting practices has been growing over the last five years, Cooper cited the aim of the Green Meeting Industry Council.

"Our capacity as planners and suppliers to act in partnership to minimize waste, purchase responsibly and educate delegates has the potential to benefit the environment, our economic bottom line, ourselves and generations that will come after us," she said.

Green initiatives at McCormick Place at RSNA 2011 led to an environmental waste diversion rate of 64 percent, up 1 percent from 2010. RSNA diverted more than 244 tons of materials from the landfill. Conservation initiatives saved 3,803 trees, 85,015 gallons of oil, 917,719 kilowatts of electricity, 733 yards of landfill space and 1,566,073 gallons of water. In addition, the food service company, SAVOR, donated 2,100 pounds of food to a Chicago-area food bank.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

DeVos Place Recognized As Most Sustainable

Altogether SMG-managed Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place were up for three separate Downtown Awards this year. The Downtown Awards is a program to recognize exceptional accomplishments in the ongoing investment in downtown Grand Rapids through seven different categories. Now, the Downtown Alliance has announced the winners and DeVos Place is among the list.

Having enacted a variety of tactics to make DeVos Place energy efficient and sustainable, downtown Grand Rapids' own convention center was awarded a Downtown Award in the category of Sustainability. DeVos Place is committed to increasing economic and environmental efficiency by minimizing the use of resources and reducing the amount of waste produced from meetings, banquets and trade shows. Within this past year, DeVos Place has also installed two electric car charging stations to continue their efforts.

“I'm sure I can speak for everyone at SMG Grand Rapids when I say we are humbled to be recognized for these very special awards. There are many great organizations and entities downtown who are doing spectacular things, so for The Downtown Awards, coming from community members who see what we do day in and day out, to recognize us for our green efforts is truly rewarding,” said Richard MacKeigan, SMG Regional General Manager for DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena.

A leader amongst venues, DeVos Place emphasizes reduce, reuse and recycle practices to become as energy efficient as possible. We have adopted the latest methodologies in sustainability into practice, such as a membrane style roof that is light in color to help reflect heat away from the building, thereby reducing energy costs. To help minimize power usage, the building also uses a computer controlled lighting and HVAC system. The system is designed to control lights, heating and cooling during peak event activities.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SMG-Managed Venues Receive Two Pollstar Awards Nominations

SMG-managed venues received two nominations for the 24th annual Pollstar Awards. The BOK Center (Tulsa, Okla.) was nominated for Arena of the Year, and the Coliseo de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR) received an International Venue of the Year nomination.

“We are extremely proud to have two SMG-managed facilities nominated for Pollstar awards,” said SMG President and Chief Executive Officer Wes Westley. “The BOK Center and the Coliseo de Puerto Rico are both shining examples of the type of management SMG provides and are very deserving of the nominations.”

This is the fourth consecutive year the BOK Center has been nominated for a Pollstar award. The venue, which opened in the fall of 2008, was nominated for Best New Major Concert Venue in 2009 and Arena of the Year in 2010 and 2011. General Manager John Bolton won Facility Executive of the Year in 2011.

The BOK Center hosted many of the top industry tours in 2012 including Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL – Cirque du Soleil, George Strait, The Black Keys, Roger Waters “The Wall Live”, Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks, Kiss and Motley Crue, Journey, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Still on the schedule for 2012 are Carrie Underwood, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Eric Church and Cirque du Soleil Dralion.

The Coliseo de Puerto Rico won the International Large Venue of the Year award in 2005 and was nominated for the same award in 2006.

The Coliseo de Puerto Rico also hosted many of the top tours in 2012 including Luis Fonsi, Ricardo Arjona, Encuentro – Robi Draco Rosa, Juan Luis Guerra and Ruben Blades, Ednita Nazario, Lady Gaga, Il Volo and Pitbull with Michel Telo. Still on the calendar for 2012 are Cirque du Soleil Saltimbanco, Creed and Jennifer Lopez with Wisin and Yandel.

The winners are determined by Pollstar subscribers and will be announced at the 24th Annual Pollstar Awards on February 7, 2013 in Los Angeles.

Friday, November 16, 2012

SMG Convention Centers Receive Nine ConventionSouth Reader’s Choice Awards

Nine SMG-managed convention centers have received 2012 annual Reader's Choice Awards from “ConventionSouth” magazine, the meeting planning industry's top trade publication in the Southeast.

“The staff at SMG Convention Centers are the best in the industry and always deliver a great experience for our guests. We're proud that their hard work has been recognized by the readers of ‘ConventionSouth' with this important award,” said SMG Senior Vice President Bob McClintock.

Award recipients were selected from sites nominated by professional meeting planners throughout the year for exemplary customer service and excellent amenities. More than 1,500 voters participated this year in the selection process. “The value in receiving this prestigious recognition is that it comes from the United States' top meeting professionals who book events held in the South,” said “ConventionSouth” Publisher J. Talty O'Connor.

The SMG Convention Centers will be featured as award recipients in the December 2012 Awards Issue of “ConventionSouth” magazine, which is distributed to more than 18,000 meeting professionals located across the county who book meetings. Celebrating 30 years as a leading meeting planning resource, “ConventionSouth” magazine is based in Gulf Shores, Ala.

SMG Convention Centers receiving the 2012 Reader's Choice Award from “ConventionSouth”:
• Savannah International Trade & Convention Center (Savannah, GA)
• Shreveport Convention Center (Shreveport, LA)
• Jackson Convention Complex (Jackson, MS)
• Wilmington Convention Center (Wilmington, NC)
• Cox Convention Center (Oklahoma City, OK)
• Tulsa Convention Center (Tulsa, OK)
• Knoxville Convention Center (Knoxville, TN)
• Ford Park Event Center (Beaumont, TX)
• Hampton Roads Convention Center (Hampton Roads, VA)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Christine Pileckas Name Named INTRUST Bank Arena's Director of Sales and Marketing

SMG announced today the promotion of Christine Pileckas to Director of Sales and Marketing for INTRUST Bank Arena. Pileckas previously served as Marketing Manager for the venue since 2010. “Christine has worked extremely hard during the past two years advertising and publicizing shows at INTRUST Bank Arena and has helped our facility to be a constant leader within the arena marketing field,” said General Manager, A.J. Boleski. “Her vision and drive has also enabled our venue to have a much stronger presence in all areas of social media. “We greatly appreciate Christine's passion for the industry and dedication to our facility and look forward to seeing her lead our Sales and Marketing Department to a new level of success in the future.”

As Marketing Manager, Pileckas was responsible for event marketing including negotiating advertising buys for shows, event public relations and the venue's social media. While at INTRUST Bank Arena, Pileckas has been nominated for the Venues Today Magazine Hall of Headlines Award in 2011 and 2012 and was responsible for the INTRUST Bank Arena's inclusion in the Venues Today Social Media Power 100 Chart.

“I am very excited to take the next step in my career with SMG at INTRUST Bank Arena,” said Pileckas. “Wichita is a great community for live entertainment and INTRUST Bank Arena is a top venue to work in. Furthering my career path at this facility is a great opportunity and I'm thrilled to get started in my new role.” As the Director of Sales and Marketing, Pileckas will oversee the arena's event marketing, sponsorship sales, premium seating, venue public relations and industry advertising.

Prior to INTRUST Bank Arena, Pileckas spent more than two years at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J. as Marketing Manager. Pileckas is originally from Mechanicsburg, Pa. and graduated from West Chester University (West Chester, Pa.) with a bachelor's degree in marketing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SMG Receives Two 2012 Hall of Headlines Awards

November 13, 2012 – SMG, the world leader in venue management, received two awards in the 2012 Venues Today Hall of Headlines, the annual awards given to people who are making headlines and events within the venue industry. SMG's Sarah Haertl and SAVOR chef Vincent Lai were voted best in their categories, marketing and concessions respectively. Haertl and Lai will be showcased and caricatured in The Venues Today Year-End Issue December 2012.

“We congratulate Sarah and Vincent on their 2012 Venues Today Hall of Headlines Awards and our proud of our 8 other SMG nominees,” said Wes Westley, President and CEO of SMG.

Sarah Haertl, Former Director of Sales/Marketing/SMG at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan. won for a 4 part trade advertising campaign with each ad highlighting a specific customer service initiative offered to promoters, tours and artists from the building. Haertl has since moved to BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., but looking at numbers for 2012, Intrust Bank Arena ranked #47 and #51 in the first two Social Media Power rankings in Venues Today. Haertl created a campaign that was unique and eye-catching and highlighted specific qualities that set the venue apart from others in the industry and response from promoters and industry peers has been incredibly positive.

Vincent Lai, Chef for SMG's SAVOR... Chicago at McCormick Place for cooking for 19,000 for the NATO Summit held at McCormick Place in May. There were more than 7,500 individual delegates with an additional 5,000 foreign ministers in attendance and support staff. More than 2,000 members of the media were reporting back to their countries. With more than 2,000 journalists present and reporting on a job well done, their objective was to give their visitors a taste of Chicago and they made sure each visitor left the Windy City craving more.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

INTRUST Bank Arena Breaks Attendance Record at Oklahoma City Thunder Game

October 26, 2012 (Wichita, Kan.) – The SMG-managed INTRUST Bank Arena set a new attendance record at the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA preseason game Wednesday, October 24, 2012. The sold out game was the highest attended event in the Arena's history, reaching the maximum capacity of 15,004.

"We are humbled by the loyal support of our fans in Wichita – culminating with the record attendance at INTRUST Bank Arena,” said Brian Byrnes, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Oklahoma City Thunder. “Our players, coaches and staff appreciate the enthusiastic environment and look forward to returning again soon.”

“Playing a preseason game in Wichita was our opportunity to extend the Thunder fan experience throughout southern Kansas. The strong support is illustrated by the demand for tickets and merchandise as well as the commitment from our partners with Fox Sports Midwest, which will televise virtually the entire Thunder broadcast schedule this season."

The match-up between the Thunder and the Mavericks marked the last preseason game for Oklahoma City, who defeated Dallas 88-76. This was the first time INTRUST Bank Arena has hosted an NBA game since opening its doors in January 2010.

“The way the Wichita community supported and embraced this event was incredible, and we couldn't be more thrilled with the record attendance we achieved,” said AJ Boleski, SMG General Manager. “The Oklahoma City Thunder is a first-class organization. Their partnership with Fox Sports Midwest allowed us to showcase our facility to a regional audience and we truly look forward to a longstanding relationship between INTRUST Bank Arena and the Oklahoma City Thunder.”