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The 2016 Asia Pacific Venue Industry Congress theme is: ‘Innovate – Integrate – Motivate”, and will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), Australia, from 15 to 18 May 2016.

Highlights of this year’s Congress include presentations on Live Music, Arts & Cultural Festivals; Safety and Security within Mass Gathering Environments; Data Analytics; Viable Regional Venues; Venue Architecture and Interior Design; Human Resources and Litigation; Venue Design and Technology; Live Music Promoters and Ticketing; Brisbane’s World Class Venues; Rise of South-East Asian Venues; Food & Beverage Planning and Delivery; Event Sponsorship Trends and Opportunities; Environmental Programs for Venues; Crisis Media Management; Major Events Across Diverse Sectors; and much, much more!

Venue Management Association Asia Pacific (VMA) Chief Executive, Steve Romer, commented:

Following a record-breaking 2015 Congress, this year’s Congress will share new and exciting ways to innovate, integrate and motivate in today’s modern and contemporary venues.

The 2016 Congress will challenge traditional thinking around how venue professionals innovate, integrate and motivate within a modern venue environment. It’s been over 20 years since we’ve been to Brisbane, and we’re very excited that this year’s destination will play an important role in bringing together the largest gathering of venue professionals in our region.

The Congress will also feature a gathering of world-class speakers, including (but is not limited to):
 Tony Cochrane – Founding Director, International Entertainment Consulting
 Bill Hauritz – Founder & Director, Woodford Folk Festival
 Peter Noble – Founder & Director, Bluesfest Byron Bay
 Roger Field – COO, Live Nation Australia and New Zealand
 Karen Totaro – General Manager, Atlantic City Convention Center USA
 Alan Graham – General Manager, Suncorp Stadium
 Todd Greenberg – CEO, National Rugby League Australia
 Guy Ngata – CEO, Eden Park Trust New Zealand
 John Kotzas – CEO, Queensland Performing Arts Centre
 Cliff Wallace – Chairman, Shenyang New World Expo (Management) Ltd, China
 Michael Harrison – Tour Director, Frontier Touring
 Matthew Lazarus-Hall – CEO, Chugg Entertainment
 Tim McGregor – COO, Dainty Group
 Tim Worton – Group General Manager Arenas, AEG Ogden
 Leighton Wood – COO, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
 Craig Sheridan – Sheridan Consulting (former Commander State Planning Unit NSW Police)
 Phillip Di Bella – Founder & Director, Di Bella Coffee
 Danny Baade – Head of Security, 2018 Commonwealth Games
 Peter Hallinan – Queensland Police, Business Liaison Unit
 Jim Fidler – Director, Secure Events & Assets
 Stuart Barnes – General Manager, WIN Stadium & Entertainment Centre
 Tim Pow – General Manager, Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre
 Chris Dodds – Managing Director, The P.A. People
 James Pearce – Senior Associate, Populous
 David Sheehan – Executive Director, Asset Management – Plenary Group
 Steve Drury – Head of Development & Marketing, The P.A. People
 Lars Brandle – Billboard Magazine Journalist, Australia New Zealand
 Troy & Zara Swindells Grose – Directors, Humour Australia
 Michael Enoch – General Manager, Studio City Event Centre, Macau China
 Ian Love – Catering Manager, Brisbane Entertainment Centre
 Kim Pengelly – Deputy General Manager, Woodford Folk Festival
 James Irvine – Director Global Partnerships, AEG Ogden
 Sheila Nguyen – Director, Sports Environmental Alliance
 Peter Wearne – General Manager Facilities, Melbourne Cricket Ground
 Kim Tran – Director Policy & Programs, Live Performance Australia
 Darren Burden – General Manager, VBase, New Zealand
 Nelita Byrne – Venues Manager, Yarrow Stadium/TSB Bowl of Brooklands/TSB Stadium
 Karen Middleton – Freelance Journalist (former SBS Chief Political Correspondent)
 Bruce Whitehead – Director, Mock Court International Pty Ltd
 Gary Thomas – Manager, Technical and Design – International Projects, AEG Ogden
 Carly Whetham – Assistant Director (Events & Sports), Australian Sports Commission

For further information on the VMA and the Congress, go to: or

The Venue Management School (VMS) is proudly offered by the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) Limited. Its purpose is to provide a learning platform where students can upgrade their skills and knowledge to industry best-practice. The School also aims to engender the development of peer networks within the industry.

The course provides students with the opportunity of gaining a Diploma qualification and has international associations, having been adapted from the Oglebay, USA (i.e. International Association of Venue Managers VMS) model to suit the local industry. Course instructors are drawn from the ranks of senior venue managers in Australia, New Zealand, North America and Asia. Other instructors are engaged when specialist expertise is required. The school incorporates an instructor exchange program with the IAVM VMS (USA) and is grateful for their professional involvement.

Course notes for each subject are available to students online before the school and these become a valuable workplace reference manual.

In April 2015, the VMA was successful in the creation and approval of the 10569NAT Diploma of Venue Management by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). The VMA now owns the qualification and administers it in-house.

For further information, go to:

The Graduate Institute (GI) is held at Salt Resort Kingscliff, running concurrently with the Venue Management School (VMS). This training program for venue professionals is considered one of the VMA’s benchmark educational programs, developed specifically for Graduates of the VMS.

The GI is advanced education for venue professionals focusing on leadership, strategic planning, management theory, human resource management, problem solving, and decision making. The goal, to expand an individual’s management techniques, and leadership skills. The GI is more conceptual than VMS, and should be considered ‘the next level’ for Venue Managers.

Course instructors are specialist in their fields, drawn from the ranks of senior venue managers in Australia, North America and Europe. Expertise is also drawn from the GI program in the USA-based School, held each June in Wheeling, West Virginia. The program will run from 2pm Sunday, 8 November, culminating with the Graduation Dinner on Thursday, 12 November.

Attendance at VMS and GI will allow participants to earn credits toward the Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) program.

The VMS School Committee is currently working through the opportunity for students to be issued with an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Venue Management. Further information will be available in the near future.

For further information, go to:

Tim Worton CFE, Dean – Graduate Institute Group Director – Arenas, AEG Ogden Pty Ltd, explained:

The Venue Management Association (VMA) is delighted to formally invite applications to enrol in the Venue Management School’s (VMS) Graduate Institute (GI).

The GI is the ‘next step’ after the VMS and provides a unique educational experience of deep and interactive learning, with the major focus being on leadership. The GI will run in parallel with the VMS – Sunday 8 to Friday 13 November 2015 – and be conducted at Salt Resort Kingscliff.

The GI will consist of 8 sessions of 3 hours and 15 minutes duration each, plus a number of other activities, most of which are run in conjunction with the VMS program. The GI will be limited to 20 students, in order to facilitate the desired learning and networking experience, and so in the highly likely event that more than 20 applications are received, a ballot system will be employed, subsequent to the VMS Committee ensuring that the applicants meet the criteria required (see below).

Our program is modelled on the highly successful GI that the IAVM has been running at Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia USA for a number of years. The sessions will be delivered by an outstanding group of venue management industry professionals, and the VMA and VMS Committee is excited to be conducting the GI from 2014 onwards.

So, for young leaders in the making and leaders looking to enhance and fine-tune their leadership skills in the venue management industry, the VMS GI is the program that you should strongly consider embarking upon.  

For further information please visit:

Course Dates: Sunday 8 November – Friday 13 November 2015

  • 5 nights single accommodation at Salt Resort Kingscliff – Each student will be assigned single accommodation at Salt Resort Kingscliff (Check in:  Sunday after 1:00pm – Check out: Friday before 11:00am).  This is included in your application fee.
  • Scheduled transfers to and from Graduate Institute
  • All meals included during Graduate Institute week – 5 Dinners (including Welcome BBQ and Graduation Dinner), 5 breakfasts, 4 morning teas, 4 lunches, 2 afternoon teas.
  • All sessions
  • Assignments and Preparatory Work Papers
  • Instructor Presentations available after Graduate Institute.

For further information, go to:

 Main image: The GI’s instructors.

Year 1 Ungerboeck Bursary Winner

Year 1 Ungerboeck Bursary Winner

Year 2 graduating class.

Year 2 graduating class.