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Having been born, raised, educated, and employed in the state of In- diana, all within a 200-mile span between South Bend and Blooming- ton, Doug Booher, CFE, was never a likely candidate at any of his high school or college reunions to win an award for “Traveled the Greatest Distance.” Yet, as IAVM’s VenueConnect approaches from August 7-10 in Nash-

 in high school when he and some friends volunteered to manage the high school auditorium and gymnasium, to his current position as ex- ecutive director of University Events and Indiana University Audito- rium, will take the IAVM chairman’s gavel from Mark Mettes, CFE,  most visible position as chairman. For that Point A to Point B, it is safe to say Booher has now certainly traveled the greatest distance in his career.

“I am incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to serve as chair- man,” Booher said in an interview while in Dallas. “I have always taken seriously my commitment to IAVM. Representing my colleagues and friends in our profession, as we work to enhance our Asso- ciation, is a true honor. I am proud to serve.” Booher knows a thing or

two years in the IAVM chairs eventually leading up to one’s own chair- manship, there is a lot of happenstance, or just plain luck, for what that eventual chairman will encounter during the year when he or she leads the Association. For Doug Booher, the items on his plate  at VenueConnect, the ongoing launch of the Exhibition and Meetings - ber, One Vote that was recently passed by IAVM membership. Just one of those items would be enough to manage through a year, but Booher is ready to tackle all three … and more. “I wouldn’t want it any other way,” he said. “Each of these initia-

 - fessionals. “The new (sector) conference strategy has been carefully considered

two about serving and carrying the spirit and attitude of a ser- vant-giver. He can encourage others to give and volunteer, because he has seen what it has meant to him personally and to his professional career. Booher speaks candidly about wanting others to participate and enjoy their IAVM experience. “We need to continue to fo- cus on creating opportunities for our members to fully engage in the life of the Association and with one another,” he said. “Those face-to-face volunteer and networking opportunities are so critical. With a membership of over 5,300 and growing, there are many people who are interested in becoming a part   for members to actively participate. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that for every hand that gets raised, those members have an opportunity to participate fully in the life of our Association. That full participation may be attending a confer- ence or school, logging on to a webinar, or posting on VenueNet. Af- ter those experiences, many members look for paths to volunteer, to more actively connect with their peers and take full advantage of the   to expand and share knowledge, to grow valuable industry relation-  founded in 1924, and why our work is vital to venue professionals to- day.”

Opportunities at the Outset For lack of better wording, it might be said that after going through

“I am incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to serve as chairman. I have always taken seriously my commitment to IAVM. Representing my colleagues and friends in our profession as we work to enhance our Association is a true honor. I am proud to serve.”

for three years. Our board of directors came to that decision, with sig-   - novative design for the future of IAVM’s most important face-to- face meetings. We learned that today, more than ever before, there is an incredible amount of crossover between sectors. Many of our members are working in complexes where three days a week their events are in an arena and then two days at a performing arts center or sta- dium. Many of our members’ complexes include exhibition, conference, or convention space that they strategically manage. The new VenueConnect model will provide the opportunity for

members to customize their own plan for what they would like to learn while they are at the conference, eliminating the need to decide in which sector conference they should invest their time and budget. It’s  a central conference and share a great team-building experience, while getting the most from the conference content. It will be exciting to see how this new approach to VenueConnect will help us deliver even better content and more meaningful experiences to our members.” The EMSSI initiative actually started last October, and since then, has had IAVM member convention centers serve as pilot locations for the initiative’s member portal that will be used for those convention centers who engage in EMSSI. “This groundbreaking project is focused on the most important re- sponsibility we have as an Association: to assist our members develop safer and more secure venues for our events and guests,” Booher said. “We are fortunate to have the participation of the Department of Homeland Security and all of the industry partners who are making  each of our sectors over the next handful of years, as we all strive to make our venues safer and more secure.”


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