VenueConnect BootCamps

IAVM BootCamps are hands-on educational experiences during VenueConnect that take place in local venues, including our host convention center. Through small group and interactive methods, participants will have an even better understanding of the day in and day out venue practices.

**Pre-registration is required for all BootCamps.

BootCamp at Harris Theater (Performing Arts Sector)

RFPs Against Humanity 

(2-Hour Session)
A Bootcamp game for venue people. Let's talk about RFPs, RFQs, and the competitive bidding process by playing an adapted game of Cards Against Humanity! (Yes, really.)

Mixology 201 

(Session 1 & Session 2)
Developing a menu of themed cocktails to complement your event is a fun and creative way to boost your patron experience while increasing your income.  Breathe new life into your concession stand with this hands-on session where you’ll learn new techniques and the latest bar trends. Participants will be creating (and sampling) new “specialty cocktails,” that are both delicious and efficient to produce in a fast-paced environment.

Technical Aspects of Harris Theater 
(Session 1 & Session 2)

Come and get hands-on with the technical side of the Harris Theater. This multi-use venue is located in Millennium Park and opened in 2003 where it hosts everything from opera to dance to world music. Come learn what it takes to keep this flexible space in production.

Creating a VIP Experience 

(Session 1 & Session 2)
VIP experiences are an increasingly popular way to raise revenue.  In this Bootcamp, attendees will utilize the Harris Theater via floorplans and walkthroughs and break into groups to create a unique VIP experience while considering the following factors: how best to enhance the experience, removing barriers or delays, targeting different audiences, and deciding between renovating or utilizing the existing spaces.

Film at 11 

(Session 1 & Session 2)
Whether you are dealing with a crisis or announcing your next season, are you ready to go on camera? During this exercise, we’ve brought together a group of venue managers, crisis communicators, and journalists to help prepare you for your next, or first, on-air experience.

BootCamp at McCormick Place (Convention Centers Sector)

Grow Your Own! 

(Session 1 & Session 2)
McCormick Place welcomes close to 3 million international and domestic visitors annually, and the exclusive food and beverage provider, SAVOR…Chicago is committed to providing an exceptional food experience.  From our 20,000+ sq. ft. rooftop garden (the Midwest’s largest), SAVOR…Chicago provides the freshest of ingredients to feature in various menu selections throughout the campus.  Session attendees will tour the rooftop garden and farm area, learn about what we grow and what ingredients we feature for attendees, including our own hops, that have been grown and brewed in partnership with a local brewery to create, McCormick Place Everyday Ale, a refreshing session IPA and the country’s first branded ale brewed for a convention center using locally-sourced ingredients.  Sample the ale and enjoy accompanying treats featuring ingredients from the rooftop.

24/7 365: Securing Our Campus

(Session 1 & Session 2)
With four attached convention buildings, three attached hotel properties and an attached arena, securing our campus is quite complex.  Learn about the various internal and external campus partners and how we all work together to provide customers with a safe environment for attendees and exhibitors.  Session attendees will learn about how we work with the Chicago Police Department, private security firms, K9 program and tour our control room area.

Traffic, Traffic, and More Traffic – Creating a Smooth Arrival and Departure for Attendees 

(Session 1 & Session 2)
From busses, trains, taxis, shared-ride services, and bicycles to a private bus road for convention shuttle buses only see how Chicago and McCormick Square aim to make transportation easy for attendees to and from the largest convention venue in North America within the third largest city.  The group will learn about how McCormick Place works with its various transportation partners and take a ride on the private Dedicated Busway Way for convention shuttles during city-wide conventions.

Economic Impact Presentation: What Do These Events Mean to Your Destination? 

(Session 1 & Session 2)
Are we maximizing our venue space along with available hotel rooms?  Are we booking events in the right season and/or space?  Learn about the impact of the overall events you host and what it means to your venue, your city and how quantifying it can it help you share the value of meetings to the local economy and gain the attention of local elected officials and residents.

BootCamp at Soldier Field (All Sectors)

Planning vs. Reality: Evacuation/ Incident Workshop  

(2-Hour Session)
Join us as we travel to Soldier Field for Planning vs. Reality: Evacuation/ Incident Workshop. 

General Education BootCamp at McCormick Place (All Sectors)

Executive Education: Transitioning from a Manager to Leadership Role - Mid-Level Management and up

(2-Hour Session)
So, you got the promotion to Management, now what? Learn how to lead and influence your team. Maximize productivity and the bottom line.

Crowd Management

(2-Hour Session)
 

Guest Services Ritz-Carlton: Service Excellence Culture 

(2-Hour Session)
By exploring the award-winning business practices of The Ritz-Carlton, you will discover how a service excellence culture results in engaged employees and customers. You will be guided through The Ritz-Carlton Gold Standards, the foundation of our iconic, global brand. You will also visit our key processes, such as onboarding and empowerment, that lead to legendary service, sustainable success, and customer loyalty.

Stop the Bleed

(2-Hour Session)
Stop the Bleed empowers the general public to make a difference in a life-threatening emergency by teaching them the basic techniques of bleeding control.

Design Charrette: Convention Centers

(2-Hour Session)
This hands-on, 2-hour session facilitated by architects specializing in convention center design, will explore a facility design issue in groups of 8-10 professional and allied members. The objective is to expand thinking about the issue being addressed in new ways, so be prepared to bring unconventional thinking about convention center design to share.

Economic Impact Presentation: What Do These Events Mean to Your Destination? 

(2-Hour Session)
Dream big in the Windy City and come play architect for the day! In the spirit of recent stadium development trends, participants will be asked to brainstorm and design their stadium of the future.  This year’s stadium design charrette goes inside & out with a focus on unique and imaginative activation areas that may be created or found both inside the stadium as well as the “district” surrounding the stadium. This design charrette will feature industry-leading architects competing alongside one another in groups of 8-10 of your industry peers.  Each group will present different and creative ways to attract fans to the stadium and create an advanced mixed-use development that would allow for the stadium to become as highly utilized as possible. Did we forget to mention, there is no budget and remember - nothing is impossible!s.