Monday, December 8, 2014

JOHN PAUL JONES ARENA RECOGNIZED AS 2014 GREEN ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR

(Charlottesville, VA – December 5, 2014) SMG managed John Paul Jones Arena has been recognized by the Virginia Green Program as the Green Attraction of Year.  The arena was one of 12 partners chosen as Virginia Green Travel Stars, the highest level of recognition in the program.  John Paul Jones Arena will receive the award at the Virginia Green Travel Conference at the Science Museum of Virginia next week. 

The Virginia Green Travel Star Awards is the recognition program of the Virginia Green program, Virginia’s voluntary initiative to encourage green practices in the state’s tourism industry. The program is run through a partnership between the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association.

Virginia Green now has more than 1550 tourism partners that have self-certified that they are engaged in a wide range of green practices and commitments. Virginia Green partners include hotels, restaurants, parks, museums, festivals and events, wineries and breweries, welcome centers, and supporting organizations – all aspects of Virginia’s tourism industry. The program also challenges green-minded consumers to Travel Green by choosing Virginia Green partners whenever they travel in Virginia by searching for Virginia Green at www.VirginiaGreenTravel.org.

This is the 5th year of the Virginia Green Travel Star Awards. Recipients are those Virginia tourism businesses that have distinguished themselves by embracing green practices in their operations and supporting green tourism efforts in Virginia. Participants applied in the categories of (1) Green Programs of the Year; (2) Most Innovative Green Projects; and (3) Green Supplier of the Year. This year, Virginia Green chose 12 partners as Virginia Green Travel Stars, the highest level of recognition in the program. Virginia Green is also awarding 16 Virginia Green Travel Leader awards for exemplary commitments to green practices in 2014.

2014 Virginia Green Travel Star Award Winners:
·       Green Attraction of the Year: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville
·       Green Brewery of the Year: Port City Brewing, Alexandria
·       Green Hotel of the Year: Lorien Hotel & Spa, Alexandria
·       Green Inn / Cabins of the Year: Shadow Mountain Escape, Luray
·       Green Restaurant of the Year: Local Roots Restaurant, Roanoke
·       Green Winery of the Year: North Gate Vineyard, Purcellville
·       Green Supporting Organization of the Year: Norfolk International Airport
·       Green Supplier of the Year: Natural Organic Process Enterprise, Richmond
·       Most Innovative Green Projects:
·       Hyatt Regency Reston Laundry Project, Reston
·       Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, Richmond
·       Inns at Montpelier Virginia Green Project, Montpelier

2014 Virginia Green Travel Leader Award Winners:
·       Adventure Kayak Tours, Chesapeake
·       Arcady Vineyard Bed and Breakfast, Charlottesville
·       Blue Mountain Escape, Linden
·       Broad Appétit, Richmond
·       Clay Corner Inn, Blacksburg
·       Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Richmond
·       Mountain Song Inn, Floyd
·       Natural Bridge Hotel & Conference Center
·       Oak Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast, South Boston
·       Richmond Multisports, Richmond
·       Salamander Resort and Spa, Middleburg
·       Sandbridge Blue Realty, Virginia Beach
·       The Westin Richmond
·       University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg
·       Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach
·       Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

Friday, December 5, 2014

SMG WICHITA SET TO HOST THOUSANDS OF GUESTS IN DOWNTOWN WICHITA THIS WEEK


Wichita, KS (December 2, 2014) – INTRUST Bank Arena is set to host thousands of guests in downtown Wichita this week. Two concerts and a Wichita State men’s basketball game will take place at INTRUST Bank Arena beginning this Thursday through Saturday. 

“Between Eric Church, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Wichita State game, we’re anticipating hosting more than 30,000 guests at our venue this week,” said A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager. “Our mission statement reads that we’re in the business of creating memories, through world-class entertainment, one guest at a time. This week, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to create thousands of lasting memories and raving fan experiences for our guests.” 

Eric Church’s ‘The Outsiders World Tour’ kicks off the busy week on Thursday, December 4 at INTRUST Bank Arena. The concert features special guests Dwight Yoakam and Halestorm. Limited tickets are still available for the concert which starts at 7:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Fans who purchased seats in designated paperless ticketed areas are reminded that they will need to bring the credit card they used for purchase and a government-issued ID to the venue on the night of the event for entry. 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a rock holiday tradition, returns to INTRUST Bank Arena Friday, December 5 with their live debut of The Christmas Attic. Tickets are still available and range from $34.50 to $74.50. The show begins at 8:00 p.m. and doors will open at 7:00 p.m. 

For the fifth consecutive year, the Wichita State men's basketball team will compete downtown at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Shockers, who have enjoyed success in their previous four appearances at INTRUST Bank Arena, will face the Saint Louis Billikens Saturday, December 6. Limited tickets are still available for the game which tips off at 5:00 p.m. Doors for the game will open to the public at 3:30 p.m. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

SMG Venues to Host Four Upcoming NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships

West Conshohocken, PA (December 1, 2014) - SMG-managed facilities were awarded four bids when the NCAA announced host sites for upcoming NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships last month. The Smoothie King Center (New Orleans, La.) was selected to host the Women’s Final Four in 2020 and the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Stockton Center (Stockton, Calif.) and Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Okla.) were selected as hosts for upcoming regional play.


“We appreciate the NCAA’s continued confidence in SMG-managed facilities to host women’s basketball championships at the highest level. The venues awarded championships worked tirelessly to secure these bids, and will work diligently to ensure the fans, athletic departments and student-athletes have an unforgettable experience during their time at our venues,” said Doug Thornton, Executive Vice-President Stadiums and Arenas.

The Smoothie King Center in New Orleans will host the Women’s Final Four for a record fourth time in 2020, with games played April 3 and April 5. The arena previously hosted national championships in 2004 and 2013.

Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, which opened earlier this year, was awarded its first bid for 2016, which will also be the first championship games ever played in the state of South Dakota. The Stockton Center also received its first hosting opportunity in 2017.

“The committee continues to look for new markets and venues in which to play the championship and were pleased that new hosts like Sioux Fall and Stockton joined the other more veteran sites in providing a home for our championship,” said Dru Hancock, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate commission at the Big 12 Conference.

Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., will serve as a host site in 2017. It had previously hosted regionals in 2008, 2009 and 2013.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

SMG Scores 5 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Games Including 2019 Final Four

West Conshohocken (November 18, 2014) - SMG is proud to announce the NCAA has selected five SMG-managed venues to serve as host sites for NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament playoffs and championships beginning in 2016.
The breakdown of SMG-managed facilities hosting the tournaments are as follows:

2016

Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK) – 1st & 2nd rounds
Dunkin Donuts Center (Providence, RI) - 1st & 2nd rounds

2017

BOK Center (Tulsa, OK) - 1st & 2nd rounds

2018

INTRUST Bank Arena (Wichita, KS) 1st & 2nd rounds

2019

New Minnesota Stadium (Minneapolis, MN) Final Four

“SMG is honored the NCAA once again has chosen SMG venues to serve as host sites,” said SMG President and CEO Wes Westley. “Having the NCAA recognize SMG venues’ past success in serving as host sites is a tribute to our venues and dedicated staff that will provide a first-class experience for the NCAA and the student athletes competing in these championships,” added Westley.

The NCAA made the announcement November 17. Sites were selected by the respective sport committees, made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, and ultimately approved by the appropriate division championship cabinets or committees. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wichita Selected to Host 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship First/Second Round

WICHITAKS (November 17, 2014) — A news conference today at 1:30 p.m. announced that NCAA chose Wichita State University and the Missouri Valley Conference to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship on March 15 & 17, 2018 at INTRUST Bank Arena.

“Today is another example of the Shocker excitement that has Wichita charged,” said Eric Sexton, Wichita State University Director of Athletics. “WSU, in conjunction with the Missouri Valley Conference, is thrilled to be the host institution for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. As we did with last year’s historic season, WSU will continue to represent Wichita with poise and class.”

“It’s a testament to how much Wichita loves basketball,” added A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager for INTRUST Bank Arena. “We realize how much this means to the community and cannot wait to have Wichita’s world-class facilities in the national spotlight.”

“Throughout the arena’s construction, we all had dreams of hosting this tournament,” said Bob Hanson, president and CEO for the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. “During the 2004 campaign, the most frequently asked question was whether or not Wichita could host the NCAA tournament again. As we build toward 2018, the Sports Commission will continue to advocate for hosting the very finest sporting events.

Wichita was selected from a highly competitive group of qualified cities. Collaboration between the partners who submitted the bid and WSU’s basketball momentum helped position Wichita well.

Seven entities including Wichita State University, the Missouri Valley Conference, INTRUST Bank Arena, Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita came together to create a winning bid. The comprehensive bid packet showed Wichita had the necessary facilities and a supportive community to host fun events such as a proposed three-day Fanfest.

“Wichita will provide a fantastic welcome to sports fans from across the country,” said Susie Santo, Go Wichita President and CEO. “Visitors will not only enjoy great basketball but also the community’s numerous amenities and well-known hospitality. This is a huge win for Wichita.”

GARTH BROOKS BREAKS HIS TULSA RECORD


(Tulsa, Okla.) November 14, 2014 – Garth Brooks has broken his Tulsa record! Garth sold 79,855 tickets over 5 shows during July 17th-21st back in 1997 at Driller Park. Today he ha15,000 tickets for BOK Center and is still selling!

About Garth Brooks
Certified by the RIAA in 2000 as the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history, Garth Brooks is now certified at 134 million albums and has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist.

In 2001, Garth retired and moved back to Oklahoma to raise his children. In 2008 the President-elect, himself, requested that Garth headline President Obama's Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. A crowd of over 300,000 did the "wave" to Garth's performance of "Shout" while the President sang along. That same year the Governor of California asked Garth to help the State. Garth performed 5 concerts in 2 days with the proceeds from 83,000 tickets sold donated to efforts to prevent fire catastrophes. Portions of the live concerts were shown as a TV special, "Garth Brooks: Live in L.A." allowing viewers to donate as well.

In December 2010, Garth finished an astonishing 9 sold out concerts in 6 days to raise money for the flood relief efforts in Tennessee. ABC World News Tonight declared Garth The Person of the Week and the Mayor of Nashville announced that this was a record December for downtown Nashville merchants due to the over 145,000 who attended the concerts.

In January, 2012 he was named the best-selling artist of the last two decades by Billboard, Nielson and SoundScan, with a whopping 68.5 million sales. Brooks also sold out his recent appearance at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede. The sell out 15,000+ seats happened in less then a minute. Garth was recently inducted into the International Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York as well as the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In October he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Performing for his induction were his heroes George Strait, James Taylor and Bob Seger.

On November 29th, 2013, Garth took the night with almost 9 million viewers watching his CBS special "Live From Las Vegas." That very day Garth released his new boxed set, Blame It All On My Roots, which debuted for the 13th time in Garth's career at #1 on the country charts. The boxed set also rose to the top of the Billboard 200 Chart making it the 9th time Garth has been able to achieve that feat.

Garth's performance of "Friends in Low Places," was the last thing heard on The Tonight Show as Jay Leno ended his 22 year reign as The Tonight Show host.

On Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014, Garth released a new single, "People Loving People." It was his first new single since 2008.

On Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, Garth released Man Against Machine, his first new studio album since 2001.

For more information please visit www.garthbrooks.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Nominated for Best New Major Concert Venue

SIOUX FALLS, SD (November 10, 2014) – The SMG-managed Denny Sanford PREMIER Center received one of the entertainment industry’s highest honors this week with a nomination for Pollstar’s Best New Major Concert Venue. Other nominees include the Forum (Inglewood, Calif.), PPL Center (Allentown, Pa.) and The SSE Hyrdo (Glasgow, UK).

The facility opened last month with the sold out Jason Aldean’s Burn it Down tour with Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr, and has hosted several additional concerts. A diverse line-up of other events are scheduled including sold out Cher and Eric Church concerts, Nickelback, Cirque du Soleil, WWE, Disney Junior Live, Monster X Tour, and Sesame Street Live.

“We appreciate the commitment the touring industry has shown in the Sioux Falls market and the PREMIER Center,” said Chris Semrau, SMG Assistant General Manager in charge of booking the facility. “This market is hungry for great entertainment and we are committed to securing diverse programming and continuing to host fantastic touring events.”

SMG General Manager Terry Torkildson added: “This nomination is a testament to the City of Sioux Falls and the ticket purchasers who have supported this venue since our very first concert. To be nominated along with venues from much larger markets proves that Sioux Falls is a viable destination for live entertainment.”

“The wait was worth it and we think our new Event Center is extra special,” Mayor Mike Huether says. “Concerts have proven to be one of a kind here!”


Pollstar is an industry trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry. Each year the publication hosts the Concert Industry Awards. The nominating committee is comprised of industry leaders in all facets of the entertainment business including arena managers, artists, artist managers, agents and promoters from across the country and abroad. Winners are determined by votes from international readership and will be announced February 21 at the Pollstar Live! Awards Ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.

Monday, November 10, 2014

SAVOR Receives State of Illinois Sustainability Award

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA (November 10, 2014) – Confirming SAVOR’s sustainability commitment, SAVOR…Chicago and its team at McCormick Place, the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America, received the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award (Governor’s Award). The recognition from the Office of the Governor recognizes the organization in Illinois that demonstrates a commitment to economy, society and the environment through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.

The award from the Governor of Illinois commended SAVOR’s green practices, “Your organization’s commendable green practices serve as a model of environmental stewardship for residents, businesses and institutions throughout our state. Implementing energy efficiency upgrades, fuel savings, pollution and waste reductions, and other sustainability improvements requires vision, strong leadership, and the dedication of individuals throughout an organization.”

“SAVOR…Chicago has a commitment to both sustainability and to innovation,” said Connie Chambers, general manager, SAVOR…Chicago. “We are doing it because it is the right thing to do. We want our guests to know that we have put thought into their meal and with care for the environment. With recognition like the Governor’s Award and our Green Seal Certification we know we are moving the right direction and we will continue to make an impact for each guest.”

Sustainability has been a part of SAVOR’s culture for over thirty years, with its parent company SMG, operating the greatest number of LEED certified buildings in the industry. A number of these facilities are locations where SAVOR provides food and beverage services – McCormick Place, Knoxville Convention Center, Irving Convention Center, Wilmington Convention Center, Jekyll Island Convention Center and most recently Moscone Center, Broward County Convention Center and ShoWare Center attained the prestigious LEED Gold Certificate for the entire operation.

Many of SAVOR’s locations contribute to its sustainability efforts and success by participating in the SAVOR Earth Program, a robust and industry forward program founded in 1983 with guidelines for making food and beverage services as sustainable as possible within a venue’s geographic, regulatory and economic confines.  “Our mission is to be the industry leader in “green” initiatives and sustainable programs by minimizing our carbon footprint through recycling, composting, purchasing locally” states Shaun Beard, SAVOR Senior Vice President.

Another example of SAVOR’s commitment to sustainability is the sustainable seafood program.  SAVOR, in partnership with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, and the Seafood For The Future Program, offers seafood choices that come from documented sustainable wild stock and aquaculture sources.  Menus for all locations include sustainable seafood choices to make it easy for patrons to select this option.  “Stewardship of the ocean and the natural environment is an important consideration in everything we do”, says Beard.

Sustainability has been a part of SAVOR’s culture for over thirty years, with its parent company SMG, operating the greatest number of LEED certified buildings in the industry. A number of these facilities are locations where SAVOR provides food and beverage services – McCormick Place, Knoxville Convention Center, Irving Convention Center, Wilmington Convention Center, Jekyll Island Convention Center and most recently Moscone Center, Broward County Convention Center and ShoWare Center attained the prestigious LEED Gold Certificate for the entire operation.

Friday, November 7, 2014

SMG Awarded Management Renewal for ShoWare Center in Kent

SMG, the Worldwide Leader in Venue Management, is proud to announce that the Kent City Council has unanimously voted to approve an extension of the SMG contract for continued management of the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA. The vote occurred during the council meeting on Tuesday, November 4. SMG will continue to provide top quality, industry-standard-setting day-to-day operational services for the region’s newest sports and entertainment arena. The new agreement is for an additional five years and also calls an additional five year renewal option after the initial term.

"SMG is proud of its partnership with the City of Kent and we are thankful for the opportunity to continue to build upon the success of the ShoWare Center," said Joe Romano, Senior Vice President for SMG.

“SMG has done a tremendous job for Kent establishing ShoWare Center as a community asset in a highly competitive market and doing it in tough economic times,” said Ben Wolters, Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Kent and Contract Administrator for ShoWare Center. “Together with SMG and our anchor tenant the Seattle Thunderbirds, we look forward to continue growing ShoWare Center as the premier destination in the city and the region.”

“The Kent City Council’s unanimous approval of the SMG contract is a proud moment,” said ShoWare Center’s General Manager, Tim Higgins. “As we approach the celebration of our 2 Millionth guest, this multiyear renewal is a testament to the energetic efforts of our entire staff. Thank you to the City of Kent for their confidence in the SMG/ShoWare Center team.”

ShoWare Center, home to the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds, annually hosts over 175 events. These events include concerts, family shows, and community events, attracting approximately 400,000 people to downtown Kent each year.

SMG has provided full management services, as well as preopening responsibilities, for the ShoWare Center in Kent since the building opened to the public in 2009.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ORPHEUM THEATRE DIRECTOR NOMINATED FOR INDUSTRY AWARD

Wichita, KS (November 5th, 2014) – Wichita’s Orpheum Theatre, an SMG-managed facility, is honored to announce that Theatre Director, Barney Byard, received a nomination for the Venues Today 2014 Hall of Headlines Award. The annual awards celebrate individuals who made a difference in the facilities industry in the last year and are awarded in four categories-News, Bookings, Marketing and Concessions.

Byard received a nomination in the Bookings category for instituting new programming at the Orpheum Theatre with the Emerging Artist Series. The series is designed to bring new musical talent to the community, help those artists grow a following in Wichita, and place the Orpheum at the forefront of the effort to promote interesting and eclectic new music.

With the support of presenting sponsor, Scholfield Honda, and media sponsors, KMUW, 105.3 The Buzz, F5 Paper, ICT Music + Art, Fliphound and City Blue Print, the Orpheum and SMG Wichita hosted the following up-and-coming acts: The Tontons, Jared & the Mill, Graham Colton, Wild Moccasins with The Eastern Sea, The Nearly Deads with Not A Planet and Rev Gusto, and Love Canon.

“We are very proud of Barney and our entire SMG Team at the Orpheum Theatre for creating this series from the ground up. The Emerging Artist series received a lot of positive support in its first year, while offering a diverse lineup of young new musical talent in our market,” said A.J. Boleski, General Manager of SMG Wichita.

Venues Today is an industry trade magazine that reports on live entertainment and events and tracks industry trends internationally. Hall of Headline nominees are voted on by Venues Today subscribers and staff, and the winners will be featured in the Year-End December 2014 issue.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

SMG Hires Peter Jelinski as General Manager of Medicine Hat Regional Event Centre

West Conshohocken, PA (November 4th, 2014) - SMG Canada is pleased to announce that Peter Jelinski will now be taking over as General Manager of Medicine Hat Regional Event Centre in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, effective immediately. The Regional Event Centre, currently under construction, is scheduled to open in August, 2015.

As a 20+ year veteran of the entertainment industry, Jelinski most recently worked as the Booking & Entertainment Manager for Edmonton Northlands in Edmonton, AB.  In this position, Jelinski handled booking at the Rexall Place Arena at the Edmonton Northlands, developing and maintaining relationships with regional and national promoters and producers of live entertainment and maximizing revenue for both the venue and the shows.  Before that, Peter held the position of Assistant General Manager for the University of Regina Students Union.  During his time with the University of Regina, Peter was involved with campus event programming, policy and strategic plan development, talent buying, and department budgeting.

“Peter Jelinski is a very well respected industry professional with a track record of success in both venue marketing and the live entertainment business,” said Harry Cann, SMG Senior Vice President of Operations & Business Development.  “Peter’s experience, positive working relationships and enthusiasm made him the ideal choice for this position. We are thrilled to have him join the SMG Canada team and I am confident that the Medicine Hat Regional Event Centre and the City of Medicine Hat will benefit substantially from Peter’s expertise, creativity and leadership.”

“I am truly honored that SMG has entrusted me to lead their efforts in Medicine Hat,” said Jelinski. “Having been part of the live entertainment industry for many years, I am very much aware of the solid reputation SMG has earned at many venues and I am proud to join their team. Working with local government, businesses, and the community to achieve the City’s goals for the Regional Event Centre and helping to position Medicine Hat as a destination of choice for businesses, visitors, and residents is an exciting opportunity.”

“The City of Medicine Hat welcomes Peter Jelinski to our community.  With his extensive experience in the industry and the support of SMG professionals, we are confident that he will hit the ground running and be a great addition and provide strong leadership to the new Regional Event Centre,” said Grant MacKay, Project Lead for the Medicine Hat Regional Event Centre project.  “The City is looking forward to a long term successful relationship with SMG and appreciates being involved in the hiring process of this very important General Manager position.” 

Taylor Swift to open tour in Bossier City

(Taken from The Shreveport Times).
Taylor Swift is headed back to Bossier City.
The Grammy award winner announced Monday she will launch her 1989 world tour May 20 at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City. The tour will hit North America and Europe before heading to Australia in December 2015.
The first tickets go on sale to the general public Nov. 14, with TaylorSwift.com members and American Express Card members having access to tickets Nov. 7.
“SMG has a great relationship with her management and promoter team, and this is something we’ve been working on for a number of months,” said CenturyLink Center general manager Rebecca Bonnevier. “The fact we’re able to announce it today (Monday) and be part of not just the tour but have her kick off her tour here means a lot to us.”
The upcoming show will not be Swift’s first performance at the CenturyLink Center. The 24-year-old previously performed in 2009 and 2011, both of which were sold out shows, Bonnevier said. She anticipates the same for the May 20 show.
“1989” is Swift’s fifth studio album. It was released Oct. 27 and and has exceeded two million downloads in the U.S., according to a news release announcing the tour. The album is poised to surpass one-week sales records for an album by a woman, set by Britney Spears’ “Oops! ... I Did It Again” in 2000, according to Billboard.com.
Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy will open North American dates. Shawn Mendes will join the tour on select dates.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Florence Civic Center Wins ConventionSouth’s Annual Readers’ Choice Award

For Immediate Release

Florence, SC (November 3rd, 2014) - Winning yet another award this year for venue excellence, Florence Civic Center has been awarded as one of only two convention centers in the entire state of South Carolina to win the ConventionSouth Magazine’s 2014 Annual Reader’s Award.

“Winning Convention South’s Readers Choice Award is very rewarding for the entire SMG Florence staff,” said Kendall Wall, General Manager of the Florence Civic Center. “Our team has worked very hard to educate planners about what Florence has to offer. The growth of the hospitality district surrounding the venue has enabled Florence to become a key player in the market.  Planners love having the SMG Advantage, the amenities of over 1000 hotel rooms, numerous restaurants, a regional shopping center and the perfect location at the intersection of Interstates 95 and 20 for easy travel access.”

ConventionSouth has been distributing this award since 2001 and provides the opportunity for readers to vote on which venues in the South present the highest level of service and quality facilities. The recognition comes from the country’s top meeting professionals who host events in the region and they have determined that the Florence Civic Center has demonstrated the necessary level of professionalism and service to meet their high standards.

“This is a well-deserved award for the Florence Civic Center,” said SMG’s Executive Vice President, Convention and Exhibition Centers, Gregg Caren. “The management and staff all work hard to provide the best possible experience for both exhibitors and attendees and the results make the venue a central hub for activity in the Florence area.”

The Annual Reader’s Award is the third award the Florence Civic Center has received this year, with the venue previously winning Facilities Media Group of New York’s 2014 Prime Site Award as well as ConventionSouth’s 101 Largest Expo Halls.

SMG TULSA GENERAL MANAGER RECEIVES BOOMTOWN AWARD

(Tulsa, OK) November 3, 2014 - SMG Tulsa General Manager Jeff Nickler received the 2014 Boomtown Award for the category of "The People People." Presented by Tulsa Young Professionals (TYPros), the award is given to recognize business leaders who are champions of Tulsa working to promote quality of life, retention of top talent and recruitment of the next generation of business and civic leaders.

"This is a great honor and one that Jeff definitely deserves. He's played a pivotal role in the success of the BOK Center since it opened, and now is leading the venue in all its continued accomplishments," said John Bolton, SMG Vice President of Entertainment. "His ability to attract the top touring acts to BOK Center contributes significantly to Tulsa's vibrant music scene and overall quality of life."

Nickler was promoted to SMG General Manager in February 2014. Prior to that, he held the position of Assistant General Manager of BOK Center, Director of Booking and Special Events Manager. He is an active member of TYPros.

"Thank you TYPros for this award. It's an honor to be recognized by an organization that brings so much to Tulsa," Nickler said. "I'm luck to work with such an amazing team of employees at SMG. Without them, awards such as this and the overall success of both BOK Center and Cox Business Center would not be possible."

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS: FROZEN BREAKS RECORDS FOR FAMILY SHOWS

NOVEMBER 3rd, 2014Think back to that time… the lights were low, the Arena was full, and there was a brief pause in between songs from your favorite artist. You hear the first chords and immediately you see the flicker of lighters and the harmonious sounds as everyone in the building joins in to sing every lyric of the song. Fast forward to 2014 and you see camera phones, Ipads, and cameras flashing. The first notes begin to play. Instead of your voice it is your child’s voice singing strong and loud to the Disney mega-hit Frozen.

From Wednesday, Oct. 29th through Sunday Nov. 2nd Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen enthralled sold out crowds; the magic of Disney as powerful as ever. Royal Farms Arena staff witnessed the delight of children from all over the mid-Atlantic as they sang every song and squealed with delight as their favorite story was re-told on ice.

Frozen has surpassed all family shows in the history of the Arena, “…it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. This particular Disney was our bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, tied game where the batter hit it out of the ball park; nothing short of amazing… Feld Entertainment has a long and storied history at the Arena. They have been with us since we were the Civic Center. We are thrilled that we were part of this historic event, a part of their history…” Frank Remesch, General Manager, Royal Farms Arena.

Years from now, long after the faces have faded on their souvenir cups and the plush toys purchased are nowhere to be found, when the children that were here for Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen are talking about their experiences at live events to their children, we have no doubt that among the many concerts and sporting events they will attend in their lifetime, this show will rank in the top; it will be a part of the soundtrack of their lives.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bahía Urbana surpassing 100 events in 2014

Originally published in Caribbean Business Magazine.
(Puerta de Tierra, San Juan, Puerto Rico) October 27th, 2014 - Bahía Urbana’s General Manager Linnette Isona is touting the San Juan Bay venue’s successful 2014 with more than 100 events between box office and free events for the community, and an estimated 250,000 attendees.
An additional 12 events are on the agenda for November and December.
The “Christmas Illumination Fantasy,” a family event with live music, fireworks and artisans, and “Guavate en la Bahía” will both be held on November 30.
Other scheduled events are this week’s “Flash Back Halloween Party” on October 30 with 1980s and 1990s music, and “Navitown,”an amusement park with machines, games and bounce houses from December 24 to January 2015.
“This is a unique venue in the San Juan Bay area, a privileged location that welcomes visitors and tourists throughout the week,” Isona said. “But we are also blessed with the support of our people. Puerto Ricans Rican have turned Bahia Urbana into a successful space where they can enjoy variety of events that run the gamut from concerts, movie nights and sports parties to culinary festivals, salsa dancing nights and jazz sunsets.”
Isona commented that the outdoors space they provide and the round-shaped “Festival Lawn” are attractive sites for producers, promoters and the different audiences they appeal to “because they know that besides a breathtaking spot and five-star service we pride ourselves on our surveillance and security protocols.”
Among the new attractions at Bahía Urbana, a children’s carousel that operates on weekends as well as colorful candy popcorn and cotton candy machines. This area can be rented out for birthdays and private parties.
Café Ocho, the onsite signature tapas bar, is now open on Fridays from 5p.m., Saturdays from 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m.
As a tribute to traditional Puerto Rican Christmas cuisine: “Guavate en la Bahía,” a culinary festival from November 30 will offer the best roasted suckling pig, pork cracklings, rice with pigeon peas, blood sausages, fritters and other Holiday delicacies.
Isona, who also announced the launch of an advertising campaign appealing to different audiences on social networks, said that every space of Bahía Urbana is available for corporate groups, private parties, birthdays and even romantic proposals. The latter, which have gained popularity recently, are designed with the client and a local events company to fulfill the fantasies of demanding and adventurous couples who want to build Bayside memories that romantics dream about.
“We are here to serve our customers, always,” she said.

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.