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Road to VenueConnect: Week 3 Recap

That’s a wrap! Our third and final week on the Road to VenueConnect concluded in Nashville, TN, at the IAVM VenueConnect Conference. Watch the highlight reel of our last week on the road and read the final thoughts from our founder & CEO, John Platillero.


After driving about 6,000 miles and visiting people from over 50 venues in 17 cities, I am waking up to a brisk morning in Nashville, Tennessee—our final destination and the destination of this year’s IAVM VenueConnect Conference. I can currently see the sky, colored orange, as the sun begins its own journey for the day. Later, I’ll be donning a name badge and gathering with hundreds of others who may have traveled many miles for this same purpose.

Why? What is it about gathering together that we enjoy so much? To name only a few, we gather to learn, to grow, to share insights and an exciting experience with others. There is something inherently communal that exists in each one of us and which, if you can see where I am going here, is the very thing that fuels the careers of this industry.

We are the special ones that get to fulfill this desire by providing venues for people to gather. We are the ones who contribute to a great event, concert, and show. We get to see them smile and hear the stories of memories made as a result of our efforts. When the last truck leaves the ramp and the lights go out, we are the ones who have the satisfaction of knowing we did something special for others. How great is that?

That’s on a grand scale, but what about the day-to-day? After all, the day-to-day is what the larger picture is made of.

Visit to Chesapeake ArenaAs I sat around the table listening to your stories, I was struck with the enormous amount of details that are, by necessity, tracked and shared (if they can be tracked and shared). Some of the biggest challenges venue professionals face is obtaining the details themselves. We heard countless examples of event managers receiving tech riders a couple days before an event, or marketing directors struggling to obtain marketing assets from more amateur clients.

Another challenge seems to emerge as important event details are updated. Different departments may share information but it changes regularly—so knowing what truly is the latest information becomes a headache. I recall one event manager who described how she would distribute a document among staff in the morning, only to spend the afternoon running to everyone’s desk with updated hard copies in hand. The better half of her day would turn into a reconnaissance mission to find old documents and replace them with new ones.

Many inefficiencies and challenges boiled down to a matter of collaboration and communication. Which tasks need to be completed, and who needs to collaborate to complete them? Answers to these questions are fundamental to an events success, and how quickly they are answered and acted upon dictates how quickly one gets gray hairs! While technology can certainly help—and people are using a variety of tools—team dynamics, internal practices, and interactions with people working externally have great bearing on the success (or lack thereof) of an event. Continuous improvement in these areas have to be the cultural norm in this industry for any event life-cycle to be successful.

Ticketmaster, our partner on this Road to VenueConnect journey, was motivated to join us because they too understood that venues are using a variety of software tools—but oftentimes these tools are used in isolated silos. Why is there not more collaboration between software vendors to serve these venues more comprehensively?

It’s true that we are almost back home, but we know the conversation is just beginning. There is more to discover and plenty to implement. Please talk to us and your other software providers to share your ideas and concerns for how we should work together to serve you better.

Let’s build a better tomorrow for this industry and in doing so, more reasons for people to gather.

-John Platillero, Founder & CEO of EventBooking