This past week, I had the pleasure of traveling to IAVM’s 94th Annual Venue Connect conference held in Chicago, Illinois. While at the conference, I was able to connect with talented professionals responsible for operating venues across the country. The sessions at the event covered topics from security to social media, enabling me to get a small glimpse into the complex and high-pressure environment venue operators have to endure every day on the job.

Below are several of the top challenges I identified that are top of mind for venue operators.

1. Crowd Management

Did you know that for every 250 occupants in a venue it recommended that you have 1 crowd manager? That is a big responsibility to give to one person, especially if there is an emergency that requires immediate evacuation of the entire venue. Crowds can be dangerously powerful, which is why venue operators are always looking for solutions to enhance situational awareness and mitigate security risks.  

2. Data Usage

For a majority of venue operators, the flow of people throughout their space can vary significantly from day to day based on what type and size of event they are or are not hosting. Therefore, identifying trends and patterns in their data is often useless without the ability to contextualize those insights.

3. Budget Negotiation

Operating a venue is like running a company. Each department is allocated a budget, which usually doesn’t allow for too much flexibility and the development of new projects. For venue operators looking to negotiate for bigger budgets, data-driven insights can play an important role in justifying your next investment.

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