Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 29th Declared Paul McCartney Day in the State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has declared May 29, 2013, as Paul McCartney Day in the State of Oklahoma as part of the kickoff to McCartney’s back-to-back performances at the SMG-managed BOK Center May 29 and 30. The concerts are part of the BOK Center’s 5th Anniversary Celebration. McCartney also headlined the BOK Center’s first anniversary concert in 2009.
The Proclamation highlights McCartney’s career as the most successful composer and recording artist of all time for having sold over 100 million albums and 100 million singles. McCartney was also recognized as a true philanthropist promoting international charities related to causes such as animal rights, poverty and music education.
“We worked in conjunction with Governor Fallin to roll out a warm welcome for Sir Paul,” said SMG General Manager John Bolton.  “We are incredibly honored to have him back at the BOK Center to help us celebrate our 5th anniversary. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to mark this milestone.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

SMG Atlantic City Employees Receive Customer Service Honors

The 16th annual Atlantic City Host Awards were held on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall. Presented by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority division of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, 27 individuals in the tourism and hospitality industry were recognized for providing exemplary customer service to visitors of Atlantic City.
Employees from SMG/Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center received the Host Award in three of the four categories the company was nominated for, including Jennie Thomas from the Boardwalk Hall Box Office for Best Concierge/Guest Services, Juan Guzman from the Atlantic City Convention Center for Best Heart/Back of the House, and Walter Dyitt for Best Security Personnel. Natalie Bruce from the Atlantic City Convention Center was also a finalist in the category of Best Public Area Personnel.
“We are very pleased that four of our employees were recognized as finalists for the 2013 Atlantic City Host Awards, and even prouder that three of these individuals won,” said Greg Tesone, General Manager/SMG of Historic Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center. “It is clear that the success of our company is due to the abundant talented and dedicated team members that we have on board. One of SMG’s greatest assets has always been its people, and this important recognition illustrates our commitment to customer service. We are grateful to the Host Awards Advisory Committee for recognizing the hard work of Jennie, Juan, Walter and Natalie; they are in good company with the other nominees and winners.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

SMG in the News: Cobo Surplus Sets Worthy Example

Originally published in Crain’s Detroit

As Detroit reorganizes the way it conducts business, it has one textbook success as a model.
With regional leadership and professional management, Cobo Center reported last week that it has a surplus for the first half of its fiscal year of $744,000.
It may still post a loss for the full year because of contingencies set aside for its massive, $279 million expansion/renovation project. The renovations are expected to be completed in time for the North American International Auto Show in January 2015.
Cobo was transferred to a regional authority in 2009. Regional hotel and liquor taxes are funding the renovation and expansion of exhibit space. The regional authority hired SMG, an international conference venue management firm, to run the center.
Since Cobo was the tip of Detroit’s political corruption iceberg, leading to the unraveling of the criminal enterprise under convicted ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the center’s improved fortunes make a convincing case that professional management pays off in the short — and long — term.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Peoria Area CVB Honors Civic Center General Manager

Jim Wetherington, General Manager of the SMG managed Peoria Civic Center, was honored at the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Annual Meeting on May 9, 2013 with the Steve Kouri MVP Award. Wetherington has been with the Peoria Civic Center for 23 years, and has been the General Manager for 2 of those years.
The award Wetherington received is named after Steve Kouri who was instrumental in acquiring the IHSA State Boys Basketball Tournaments in 1996. The PACVB recognized an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the betterment of the economy and quality of life in the Peoria area through conventions or sporting events.
“He [Wetherington] would come in to our office almost every day to check on the sales team and staff to see if we needed anything and to help us stay focused with the business of generating leads and gaining new business. He not only helped in the replacement of our leadership but went above and beyond in so many areas. He also assisted with the resurrection of a PACVB-Peoria Civic Center booking agreement,” said Lelonie Luft, Marketing Manager for the PACVB, who presented the award to Wetherington.
“Receiving this award is truly an honor for me. I look forward to continuing this relationship with the PACVB,” said Wetherington.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

NHL Launches 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series

The Chicago Blackhawks will play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a regular-season outdoor NHL® game at Soldier Field on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT, the National Hockey League announced today.
The event is part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ – a group of NHL regular-season games planned for outdoor locations during the 2013-14 season. It also marks the return of hockey at Soldier Field, most recently with this winter’s Hockey City Classic collegiate double-header with Notre Dame playing Miami (OH) University and Wisconsin taking on Minnesota.
“We are very excited to serve as a marquee venue of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, said Chicago Park District General Superintendent, Mike Kelly. This is another example of the blockbuster events hosted at Soldier Field attracting thousands while generating revenues which ultimately benefit local parks.”

SMG in the News: 1st Mariner Arena: Staging Some History

Originally appeared in US Business Executive, April 2013

Baltimore, Md., is nicknamed “Charm City,” but there was a time when event promoters weren’t as enamored with the historic seaport. Part of a congested corridor, overshadowed by Philadelphia to the north and Washington, D.C., to the south, Baltimore was seen as a tertiary market beginning in the late 1970s and extending throughout much of the ’80s and ’90s.
However, the management staff at the Baltimore Arena, currently known as the 1st Mariner Arena (an SMG-managed facility), knew the quality of both venue and audience that they had, and they have been wooing back the big acts successfully for well over a decade. They have been so success that in 2009 1st Mariner Area was named the No. 1 arena (10,001 – 15,000 capacity) in the United States by Billboard Magazine and Venues Today, and it has continued to rank in one of the top two spots every year since.
“Our building wasn’t designed perfectly – it’s square, it has got its quirks, and it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles – but you’re not going to beat the experience,” says Frank Remesch, general manager of 1st Mariner Arena. “It’s more intimate than the giants [Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center and Washington, D.C.'s Verizon Center], it’s clean, and we never forget the importance of customer service.”