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  -  many of ‘my peeps’ – people with whom I have so much in common. I just returned from attending the 2017 VMA Venue Management School as this year’s IAVM International Instructor, and this astonish-  Association of Venue Managers! IAVM has long been associated with the Venue Management As-

          Wales, Australia. As with IAVM, VMA is dedicated to professional development, education, and to the growth and success of the venue management industry. VMA Venue Management School is designed by today’s leaders for tomorrow’s leaders and provides a recognized       - tionally recognized VMA Venue Management School has been a turning point in the careers of more than 800 up and coming industry   - search, listening and discussion combine to deliver the ultimate learn- ing platform! The Venue Management School gives students a unique opportunity to experience such an environment and truly learn from both industry experts and most importantly, their industry peers” - Meg Walker, Chair VMS, General Manager-Rod Laver Arena, Mel- bourne, Victoria.

VMA Experience, Kingscliff, Gold Coast, New South Wales The Year One and Year Two curriculum are designed to cover every key aspect of venue management across all facility types. The interna- tional instructor exchange program annually supports one instructor from each IAVM and VMA Venue Management Schools to travel and teach at the other school each spring. I borrowed Event Operations Planning from Lisa Price, CFE who has created fantastic materials for that class. The classroom environment is serious and usually engag- es breakout group class exercises. Of course humor is also required and often provided by both students and instructors. Being serious does not come at the cost of levity… several memorable laughs were had throughout the week! Both schools assemble a panel of instructors who are passionate about their subjects and the students. The instruc-

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tors are absolutely SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) and our industry’s  contagious! The Graduate Institute (GI) is considered one of the IAVM’s and

       graduates of the Venue Management School as the next step in their professional development providing a unique educational experience of deep and interactive learning. 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 is to expand an individual’s management techniques and leadership skills.  work session implemented by Richard Anderson, CFE and Kim Be-  their individual leadership style and how these styles work together and in opposition to make high performance teams. This really sets the stage for the rest of the week’s GI work sessions. Kudos to the GI  stewardship of this remarkable program. What fun we had with the school’s “social” events! There is a VERY

- ning following dinner. Now, I had heard about this prior to travel-   competing! Also, the improvised real time scoring system alone could rival some in Las Vegas. Wednesday was an activity day that featured availability for golf, kayaking, hiking, spa, biking and bocce – which I joined for some great laughs and again, serious play. Awards were bestowed at graduation on Thursday evening, with major cheers and boos heard across the banquet room.

Cross-overs The cross-overs between the IAVM and VMA schools are many, but the clearest for me is observing the strength and value of the binding and connecting of professionals - often for their lifetime and entire career. This IS the explicit goal of our schools and it is so success- ful. These invaluable relationships are formed during the week of the school year. The ability to feel comfortable calling or emailing your colleagues with simple and complex problems is precious.

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