After an information-rich experience like VMS, Melanie Taylor shares about her experience at the Asia-Pacific Venue Management School and how it’s impacted her thought processes and actions since.
As we move throughout our professional life, we are exposed to a lot of learning opportunities. After attending the Asia-Pacific Venue Management School (VMS) in Kingscliff, NSW, it struck me that I want to explore this question more deeply: How do we integrate what we learn into real world practice—turning new knowledge into tangible, valuable experiences that benefits ourselves and others?
In my experience, there are 3 different levels of learning:
- Base Level: Understanding a concept in your mind. However, you do not have a daily commitment to using it.
- Deeper Understanding: Feeling the benefits and understanding the concept more profoundly. You start to live out this value and put this information into practice more regularly.
- Embodiment: You emanate of the concept you’ve learned. It is a core value or principle that informs the way you live, work, or make decisions on a daily basis.
How does one go from head knowledge to embodying a core value or concept?
- Find a “partner in crime”— someone in your venue or organization who also cares deeply about this concept or principle. This could be a mentor, colleague, coach, or direct report.
- Keep it simple— find just one action-item that can be carried out with this new knowledge in mind, rather than being a generalist. Once this action item is completed, focus on the next one. Become known as an expert in championing the practice of your principle.
- Live out the value— embody the “why” behind the new concept. For example, why is venue safety important? Why is internal communication important? Let the answer to the “why” be your motivation as you carry out those safety measures or enforce new communication practices among your team.
Some things that really stuck with me from the VMS were:
Venues deal with people in such emotive settings—in what some would consider one of their peak experiences. Their favourite team may be competing, or their favourite artist may be performing. Alcohol and large crowds are often involved. What would it look like for you to consider—not just in the risk management meeting—but in everything you do, the “why” behind ensuring the safety of your guests? Constantly focusing on the inherent value and well-being of that guest will not only ensure practices to protect them, but will also create a safe, inclusive, and friendly atmosphere for them to experience.
There may be staff people in your venue that are “quiet achievers.” They are observers, hard workers, and don’t put their contributions on blatant display. These team members have invaluable insight, and they may notice things others don’t.
An environment must be fostered where all team members (especially the quiet ones), are encouraged to contribute. Some important questions to achieve this are:
- Do people feel safe and welcome? Why or why not?
- Is our staff welcoming, warm, and considerate of others? Why or why not?
- Are they focused on being of service personally? Why or why not?
- In this same inclusive and intentional spirit, have all of your patrons and their needs been considered so that everyone is served well?
While I may not work in a venue on a regular basis, I came home from the VMA Venue Management School with a renewed energy and desire to use the knowledge I obtained for the good of those around me in the industry. I’m excited to continue on the journey of moving from “head knowledge” to embodying the values that underlie all the new information I received.
About the Author: Melanie Taylor is the Asia Pacific Sales Director at EventBooking, the world’s first cloud-based venue software company. Melanie has extensive experience in software as a service, business growth, and finding the best solution to meet the complex needs of venue professionals in Australia and New Zealand.
How do we turn new knowledge into a more profound, valuable experience that benefits ourselves and others?