The following question from a member of the Department of Homeland Security was directed to the attention of Steve Schwartz, a prior chairman of the IAVM Research Committee, who asked if the data collected from VenueDataSource could provide some insight.
The Question: A co-worker in my division asked me a question regarding the ownership of public assembly facilities at large. I don’t have a good metric that I can reference and was wondering if any of you could point me to where I might find this type of data.
As you can see from the response given below, data collected from VenueDataSource surveys enabled us to provide DHS would usable information that they could not locate anywhere else. THANK YOU to all our member venues that participate in VenueDataSource information collection, enabling us to share critical data and raising the profile and importance of IAVM.
The Response: IAVM has an active research program that gathers venue operational and financial benchmarking data from its members. We feel that making this information available as a member benefit allows our members to make more informed and strategic decisions if they are able to compare their venue’s performance against the performance of venues of comparable size or markets.
We regularly collect and update certain basic information from each member venue that participates in the survey, to help us categorize the findings and drill the data down for members. We ask the respondent to categorize his or her venue by size, market share, age, owner and operator. The Association does not claim to represent all of the venues or operators, but the evidence suggests that our membership includes a plurality if not the majority of professionally managed US arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers and convention centers.
I asked our Association’s research manager, Frank Ingoglia, to pull the attached spreadsheet for you. It is based on the responses of venues that have participated in our various surveys for the past two years. The information is sorted by number of respondents and percentage of respondents. You can see from our information that percentage-wise our stadium findings closely reflect Mary’s findings; that may indicate a certain reliability for the rest of the findings as well. We believe that this would give you and your questioner a reasonable idea of the venues that are purpose-built for the intended function.
One challenge is that there really isn’t a solid definition as to what constitutes any of these types of buildings, and many of these buildings serve multiple purposes. For example, the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas has one of the largest exhibit halls and meeting complexes in North America. Is it a resort hotel – or is it a convention center? Many state fairgrounds are used for trade shows – some of the largest trade shows in the US are held on fairgrounds. Are these sites classified as fairgrounds – or convention centers? Many stadiums now include large internal spaces that can be used for meetings, food functions and in some cases exhibit space. Does that make these venues convention centers? Some professional journals include these spaces as convention centers in their annual surveys of business conditions and facility development/construction. I think most venue operators would consider the venue to be defined by its primary intended function, but if someone was reviewing published annual overviews, one might draw different conclusions.
We believe that our work gives a good, reasonable indication of the overall marketplace. So if your questioner is looking for a reasonable answer, we think this would be a reasonable answer.