Keeping the industry informed with all the latest talking points. 

The VMA Digital Series returns in 2022 with more key topics relevant to our industry and our people.

The VMA Digital Series is FREE for all Members and their colleagues.

2022 Digital Series

Episode 6: The Value of Mentoring - Thursday, 14 July 2022 at 10:00am (AEST)

Join Rebecca Barry AVM GAICD CPAHRI, Director, People and Culture at ASM Global Asia Pacific in conversation with Megan O’Reilly, Director of People and Culture, Melbourne & Olympic Parks as they discuss the value of mentoring in the venue management industry.
Both Becc and Megan sat on the committee to develop the recently launched VMA Mentor Program, designed to enable experienced venue management industry professionals to share their knowledge, skills and insights with mentees through a one-on-one professional relationship. Becc and Megan with explore the benefits to both mentors and mentees and the positive impact it can have on the strength of the industry.

Meet your Facilitator

Rebecca Barry AVM GAICD CPAHRI, Director, People and Culture, ASM Global Asia Pacific

Rebecca (Becc) Barry is the Director, People and Culture for ASM Global Asia Pacific. Becc has held a number of senior positions across her career, including the establishment of the team to operate Stadium Australia ahead of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
With VenuesLive for a number of years, Becc was most recently the General Manager, Organisational Development based in Sydney and prior to that relocated to Perth for two years and led the establishment, training and supervision of the permanent and casual teams for Optus Stadium as the General Manager, Human Resources.
Becc spent ten fabulous years at the RAS of NSW as the General Manager, Human Resources. In this role she also oversaw the successful development of the Sydney Royal Easter Show Event Volunteer Program consisting of over 400 event customer service volunteers.
Becc has also worked for the Rugby Football Union at Twickenham in London, in the hospitality and publishing industries.
Her expertise spans recruitment, training, performance management, industrial relations, policy development and change management.
Becc has a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Human Resources and Industrial Relations and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is an Accredited Venue Manager and a Certified Professional with the Australian Institute of Human Resources.


Meet your Guests 

Megan O’Reilly, Director of People and Culture, Melbourne & Olympic Parks

Megan O’Reilly is the Director of People and Culture for Melbourne and Olympic Parks. As a key member of the M&OP Executive, Megan is responsible for leading, developing and implementing an integrated people and culture strategy and people agenda that supports the execution of M&OP’s strategic plan.

Megan has had extensive experience across a wide range of industries (stadiums, sports and entertainment, mining, retail, hospitality and not for profit), most recently as the Head of People for AFL and Marvel Stadium. In this role, Megan was responsible for leading the Business Partnering function and the Diversity and Inclusion and Learning and Development portfolios for the AFL and Stadium.

Megan has had proven success at strategic and operational aspects of human resources including structural re-alignment, change management, employee relations, workforce diversity, talent acquisition, talent and performance management, and demonstrated success partnering with internal and external stakeholders. Highly skilled at relationship building; exceptional communication and leadership skills.

Megan has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Economics Degree as well as diplomas in fitness, pilates and nutrition.

Episode 7: VMS 2022 and Leadership Institute Q&A and Information Session - Wednesday, 17 August 2022 at 11:00am (AEST)

Episode 7 provides an opportunity to learn and ask questions about the Venue Management School and Leadership Institute. Whether you have already enrolled or would like to know more about School, join our VMS Chair, Dean Hassall CVE, LI Dean, Andrew Travis AVM and Zan Lewarn, VMA Education Manager to gain on understanding on the immersive week long program.

VMS takes place from Sunday, 6 November and departing on Friday, 11 November.

LI takes place from Saturday, 5 November and departing on Friday, 11 November.

You can find more information here.

Meet your Facilitators

Dean Hassall CVE, Principal, Dean Hassall Consulting

As Principal of Dean Hassall Consulting (DHC), Dean applies over 25 years of industry experience by leading a boutique consultancy that provides advisory services in the areas of major public venue and events management, facility development, and venue business improvement strategies. Dean provides practical advice based on business management expertise honed within the venues profession, with the aim of helping businesses achieve both their commercial and community objectives.

Dean has previously held a number of senior management positions in the sport, major venue and event industry in Queensland, including:
• Chief Executive Officer, North Queensland Fury Football Club
• Assistant General Manager, Suncorp Stadium, AEG Ogden
• Manager – Business Development, Sport and Recreation Queensland
• Manager – Venues & Operations, 2001 Goodwill Games Brisbane
• Venue Manager, ANZ Stadium, (now Queensland Sports & Athletics Centre), Nathan, Brisbane
• Venue Manager, The Sleeman Sports Complex, Chandler, Brisbane

Dean is a long-term member of the VMA’s Venue Management School Committee and current VMS Chair. Dean is a graduate of this school and in 1998 was awarded the Ogden IFC Scholarship as outstanding student. For over 15 years, Dean has been an Instructor at the Venue Management School and has lectured internationally on behalf of the Venue Management School as guest instructor at the IAVM Venue Management School when held in Oglebay, West Virginia, USA on the subject of crowd management. In 2020, Dean was selected as a resident instructor for the IAVM Venue Management School now held annually in Tampa Bay Florida, only the second Australian based industry professional to achieve this honor.

Educational qualifications include a Bachelor of Human Movement Studies from the University of Queensland, a Graduate Certificate in Management from Queensland University of Technology and a graduate of the VMS Graduate Institute Oglebay USA. Dean has been awarded the CVE, the elite credential of the International Association of Venue Managers; which designates recipient as an expert in venue management (all areas) and wholly dedicated to advancement of the venue industry.

Andrew Travis AVM, Chief Operating Officer, Melbourne & Olympic Parks (M&OP).

Andrew is the Chief Operating Officer at Australia’s leading sport and entertainment precinct, Melbourne & Olympic Parks (M&OP) and the current Leadership Institute Dean.

The former Gold Coast Suns (AFL) Chief Executive Officer and experienced sports and venue management professional is responsible for the operation of a precinct which is notably acclaimed for hosting the Australian Open Tennis, one of only four Grand Slam events in the World and a key pillar of Melbourne’s major event strategy.

The precincts iconic venues, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, John Cain Arena and Margaret Court Arena also host the city’s most celebrated national and international sports and entertainment events.

He has a strong background in venue development, having overseen the development of the $144 million Metricon Stadium at Carrara. Andrew led the client team in the construction of the iconic $268 million AAMI Park and the $272 million Stage 3 Redevelopment at M&OP which includes the newly opened conference centre, CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park.

He is a graduate from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Senior Executive Symposium and was the recipient of the AFL Graeme Samuel Scholarship. Andrew qualified as a Certified Practising Accountant, is an Accredited Venue Manager (AVM) and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Episode 1: Catering in 2022

The VMA’s Digital Series returns for 2022 with a look at the innovations being adopted in catering within the venue management industry. Ian Love, the Catering Manager at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre hosts this session with his guests, Dwane Goodman, COO of Gema Group and Chris Bigelow, Founder & Owner, The Bigelow Companies, Inc. (US) and VMS US Instructor.

Meet your Facilitator

Ian Love, Catering Manager, Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Ian has been keenly involved in food and beverage for the past 30 years and has a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of catering. Ian has worked across four continents and his experiences range from managing a small pub in Edinburgh, banqueting within five-star hotels in the Canadian Rockies to working for SOCOG at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, managing functions for the Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park in Auckland and in-flight catering with QANTAS. For the past 19 years, Ian has been enthusiastically involved in venue management and has worked in a variety of venues ranging from stadiums to arenas.

Ian is the current Catering Manager at The Brisbane Entertainment Centre, where he has spent the last 14 years developing a strong service culture that focuses on creating memorable experiences. Ian thrives on building and leading successful teams and is renowned for offering exceptional retail and corporate catering. He has also developed one of the best backstage catering operations in the country. Ian completed a Diploma of Venues and Events through the Venue Management School in 2012 and in 2013 Ian attended the IAVM Graduate Institute at Oglebay, US. Ian is well recognised as a senior venue management professional and was designated an Accredited Venue Manager (AVM) in 2014.



Meet your Guests

Dwane Goodman, Chief Operating Officer, Gema Group

Dwane joined the Gema Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2020, bringing with him 25 years’ experience in event delivery, catering and kitchen operation. Dwane is a graduate of the Venue Management School as well as holding a Diploma in Commercial Cookery. Dwane has worked in some of the world’s best hotels, stadiums and venues with stints in London, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as a major presence here in Australia.

Dwane is part of the executive management team and oversees the group’s day-to-day operations in all the three functional areas of the groups’ venue management, major event delivery and aviation lounges. Managing a national workforce in excess of 3000 staff members across events like the Melbourne F1, Moto GP, V8 Supercars, APT cup tennis as well as venues like GIO Stadium, Brookvale Oval, Central Coast Stadium and the Macarthur Bulls home ground in Campbelltown to name a few. Dwane joined the Gema Group following eight years at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and Sydney Showground as the head of Catering & Customer Service. In his previous role, Dwane managed the day to day operations of all event and non-event day catering and held the site liquor license. He has delivered 14 Sydney Royal Easter Shows, large-scale music festivals and gala dinners for 2,500 people.



Chris Bigelow, FCSI, CFSP, Founder & Owner, The Bigelow Companies, Inc. (US) and VMS US Instructor

Chris Bigelow is President of the Bigelow Companies, Inc., food and beverage consultants to sports, entertainment, and convention centre facilities. The Bigelow Companies, Inc. has served over six hundred public assembly venues throughout the world; provides consulting services to major sports venues for equipment design; and assisted team owners in their contract selection for their food service partner.

Chris has been in the hospitality business with a concentration in the public assembly market for over forty-seven years. He received a BA in Business Administration, majoring in hotel and restaurant administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a contributor to numerous textbooks on the sports venue industry, including the IAVM Public Assembly Venue Management textbook, where Bigelow authored the Food and Beverage section of the Event and Ancillary Revenue Sources Chapter, continuing to update the section, including its most recent edition.

Chris was named one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in the Sports Facility Design and Management Industry by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal; is a recipient of the IAVM’s Distinguished Allied Member Award; and past Chairman and recipient of the Mickey Warner Distinguished Member Award from the National Association of Concessionaires.Chris has taught on the faculty at the Venue Management Schools in the US, and Europe and been a guest lecturer at the Venue Management School in Australia, Georgetown University, University of South Carolina, Johnson and Wales University, and Ball State University, presenting current venue trends in hospitality to graduate and undergraduate sports management students.

Chris is a Professional Member of the Food Service Consultants Society International, a Certified Food Service Professional for the National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, Board Member for Foodservice for the Association of Luxury Suite Directors, and former chair of the International Association of Venue Managers’ Board of Regents.

Episode 2: Celebrating the Women of our Industry: Break the Bias

Episode 2 of this year’s Digital Series recognises the women of the venue management industry to coincide with International Women’s Day 2022 – Break the Bias. Join Rebecca Barry AVM GAICD CPAHRI, Director, People and Culture for ASM Global Asia Pacific with her guests, Jane Fernandez, the Chief Operating Officer Australia at FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia New Zealand 2023 and Helen Fairclough, Chief Operating Officer of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre as they explore the role bias plays in our workplaces and how the discussion prompted by International Women’s Day leads to a broader conversation around diversity. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.


Meet your Facilitator

Rebecca Barry AVM GAICD CPAHRI, Director, People and Culture for ASM Global Asia Pacific

Rebecca (Becc) Barry is the Director, People and Culture for ASM Global Asia Pacific. Becc has held a number of senior positions across her career, including the establishment of the team to operate Stadium Australia ahead of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
With VenuesLive for a number of years, Becc was most recently the General Manager, Organisational Development based in Sydney and prior to that relocated to Perth for two years and led the establishment, training and supervision of the permanent and casual teams for Optus Stadium as the General Manager, Human Resources.
Becc spent ten fabulous years at the RAS of NSW as the General Manager, Human Resources. In this role she also oversaw the successful development of the Sydney Royal Easter Show Event Volunteer Program consisting of over 400 event customer service volunteers.
Becc has also worked for the Rugby Football Union at Twickenham in London, in the hospitality and publishing industries.
Her expertise spans recruitment, training, performance management, industrial relations, policy development and change management.
Becc has a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Human Resources and Industrial Relations and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is an Accredited Venue Manager and a Certified Professional with the Australian Institute of Human Resources.


Meet your Guests

Jane Fernandez, Chief Operating Officer Australia, FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia New Zealand 2023

Jane Fernandez is the Chief Operating Officer, Australia, FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.
Jane led Football Australia’s successful bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, one of the world’s largest international sporting events. Previously, Jane was Head of Sport for the Australian Olympic Committee managing key aspects of Australia’s participation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and Tournament Director of the AFC Asian Cup 2015. Her career in major sports events spans more than 20 years and includes the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Jane is passionate about the power of sport and major sports events to drive social change and to leave a positive legacy.




Helen Fairclough, Chief Operating Officer, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Helen is a highly skilled executive leader, strategist and innovator with expertise in transformation and change management, design thinking, financial management, HR technology, and employee engagement. During the past three decades, Helen has built an impressive global career spanning several continents and a variety of roles in both B2B and B2C environments. Helen has assisted businesses from start-ups to Fortune 3 companies in a diverse cross-section of industries including retail, advertising, government sector, creative arts, hospitality, insurance, law, manufacturing and energy. She has worked in the UK, Europe and the US, returning home to Melbourne in 2014 to join the MCEC team as Director of People and Culture.
Following the devastating impact of the 2020 COVID crisis on Victoria’s tourism and events industry, Helen stepped into the role of Director of Business Relaunch for MCEC, designing and implementing a new operations model that incorporates agile mindset & principles and lean process improvement to generate new opportunities and revenue streams for the business. Her success in this role combined with her wealth of experience in innovation, people leadership and at the executive table saw her promoted to Chief Operating Officer at MCEC in June 2021.
Helen is a Non-Executive Director of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Executive Council Member of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and member of the Australian American Chamber Commerce Board (San Francisco, USA). As a long-time Chamber member, she is a passionate advocate for supporting businesses to continually improve and innovate. Helen pursued a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University and, never one to waste a good crisis, has become an expert on transforming disruption into opportunity.

Episode 3: Cultural Inclusivity at Venues and Events

Join this New Zealand led panel as they discuss the current state of play around cultural engagement in the industry across Australia and New Zealand. This session offers insights and tips for those looking to advance their own cultural engagement and puts forward successful examples from both New Zealand and Australia where cultural  inclusivity has enhanced a venue, event, artist and indigenous relationships.

Meet you Facilitator

Joelene Elliott JP, AVM

Born and raised in the small eastern bay town of Te Teko and of Ngati Awa, Te Whanau a Apanui and Te Arawa decent, Joelene moved to Rotorua after finishing high school to study Tourism at Waiariki Polytechnic, which led to employment with Tourism Rotorua Marketing as a Marketing Assistant.

An opportunity arose to work at the recently opened Rotorua Convention Centre where she completed a Diploma in Tourism Industry Management, graduated from Public Venue Managers School (Asia Pacific) and was promoted to Operations Manager.  In recent years Joelene has completed the Company Directors Course through the Institute of Directors, the Diploma in Maori Governance and Leadership through Te Wananga o Aotearoa, continues with her Te Reo journey and is a member of Rotorua Lakes Council Te Amorangi Unit.

With her background and experience (spanning over 20 years so far) she continues to work in the industry managing Rotorua’ s premier facility, the Energy Events Centre and Business Events.  Joelene is a current executive member and Vice President of the Entertainment Venues NZ association, is an Accredited Venue Manager (AVM) through the Venue Managers Association (Asia Pacific) and a Justice of the Peace.

Meet your Guests

Nelita Byrne AVM, Manager Venues and Events, Tauranga City Council

Recently appointed Manager Venues and Events for Tauranga City Council, Nelita has a wealth of experience coming from the Venues team at New Plymouth District Council in Taranaki.  Nelita lead the New Plymouth team overseeing the strategic, business development and operational delivery of Yarrow Stadium a 22,500 multi-code stadium, TSB Stadium three court indoor arena, TSB Bowl of Brooklands a picturesque 15,000 outdoor amphitheatre and TSB Showplace, three theatre and conference facility.

With over 18 years’ experience in the industry Nelita has worked in various management roles including a senior management role with Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT).  She is past President of Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ), winner of the 2018 EVANZ Venue Executive Award and past board member of Performing Arts Network of New Zealand.

In her roles she has worked with team to deliver numerous international sporting and concert fixtures as well as being part of the national touring performing arts circuit. Nelita has to balance the commercial viability of the venues, ensuring quality content, attracting and securing major events while satisfying the community requirements and political expectations. Nelita is passionate about our industry, ensuring our venues and the events provide amazing experiences to our communities, being a platform (whether that be a field, stage or court) to showcase amazing talent, inspiring people to participate or spectate and ensuring their lives an enhanced by the joy entertainment provides.

Renata Blair, General Manager, Māori Business at Bank of New Zealand

Renata is a passionate advocate for education, te reo Māori, and sports.





Kiri Rasmussen CA, Manager Economic Development Projects, Wellington City Council

With a background as a Chartered Accountant and working in finance roles both in NZ and overseas, the last ten years Kiri’s focus has moved to Wellington’s venue infrastructure as a Manager in the Economic and Commercial team of Wellington City Council.  This work has included feasibility studies for indoor arena’s and convention centres aswell as considering smaller cultural venue requirements for the city.  Her focus for the last five years has been leading the feasibility and delivery of Tākina, Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre.

In her work Kiri has been involved with many aspects of the venues industry from design and operational considerations, aswell as the delivery of sporting, cultural and business events and believes the importance of venues as a key part of a City’s cultural and economic fabric cannot be underestimated.

For Tākina, the journey Wellington City Council has been on with our iwi partners has enriched this project by anchoring the building with a clear identity, brand and narrative that will flow into how the building will be operated. Understanding how civic infrastructure can also be a platform to tell our local stories creates a great opportunity to enrich the visitor experience.


Te Kupu Maori – Maori Words Translation

Aotearoa             (location) North Island – now used as the Māori name for New Zealand.

mahi                      (verb) (-a,-ngia) to work, do, perform, make, accomplish, practise, raise (money).

kaihoe                  (noun) paddler, rower.

toa                         (verb) to be victorious, win.

(adjective) be brave, bold, victorious, experienced, accomplished, adept, competent, skilful, capable.

waka                     (noun) canoe, vehicle, conveyance, spirit medium, medium (of an atua).

atua                       (noun) ancestor with continuing influence, god, demon, supernatural being, deity, ghost, object of superstitious regard, strange being – although often translated as ‘god’ and now also used for the Christian God, this is a misconception of the real meaning. Many Māori trace their ancestry from atua in their whakapapa and they are regarded as ancestors with influence over particular domains. These atua also were a way of rationalising and perceiving the world. Normally invisible, atua may have visible representations.

kōrero                  (verb) (-hia,-ngia,-tia) to tell, say, speak, read, talk, address.

hui                         (verb) (-a) to gather, congregate, assemble, meet.

Whakatauki (Proverbs)


Kāore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka

The kumara (sweet potato) does not say how sweet he is

This proverbs accentuates the value of humbleness.


He aha te mea nui o te ao

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Episode 4: Staples Centre to Arena: A chat with Lee Zeidman, President

Eray Saban, Manager, Event Operations at Kai Tak Sports Park chats with Lee Zeidman, the President of Arena/Microsoft Theatre/LA Live on the challenges of managing a large precinct, the passing of key iconic figures such as Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle and the effect that had on the sports and entertainment community, and what the industry may look like in the future.

Meet your Facilitator

Eray Saban, Manager, Event Operations at Kai Tak Sports Park


Eray Saban commenced his venue management career in 2014 working in the dance music industry with iconic tours such Stereosonic, Atlantis and A State of Trance prior to transitioning to Tennis Australia working in the Event Operations department with the delivery of the 2016 Australian Open.
Later that year, Eray joined one of the world’s busiest multi-purpose stadiums in Marvel Stadium, where he spent the next five and half years working as a Stadium Event Manager; planning, managing, and delivering the AFL, A-League & Big Bash League and, most notably, international concerts such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and U2, along with other major entertainment events such as the UFC.
In late 2021, Eray transitioned to Hong Kong, where he currently resides, working with ASM Global on the unique and incredible Kai Tak Sports Park project. A brand new multi-billion-dollar Sports Park featuring a 55,000-seat stadium, 10,000 seat arena and 5,000 seat public sports ground, retail, a wellness centre, and a bowling alley which is scheduled to open in 2023.


Meet your Guests

Lee Zeidman, President of Arena/Microsoft Theatre/LA Live

There are few events that take place in arenas, theatres or other venues that Lee Zeidman has not been involved with during his career. As President of Arena, Microsoft Theater and L.A. LIVE the sports, residential and entertainment district, Zeidman oversees the venues event operations, production, including guest services, booking, box office, event security, event staffing, guest relations, facility presentation, marketing, communications, hospitality and food and beverage services.

Zeidman was a crucial member of a team that oversaw the overall development of L.A. LIVE – the 4 million square foot / $2.5 billion sports, residential & entertainment district featuring Microsoft Theater (7,100-seat live theater) and Club Nokia (2,300 capacity live music venue), a 54-story, 1001-room convention “headquarters” destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels and 224 luxury condominiums – The Residences at The Ritz Carlton – all in a single tower), a 14-screen Regal Cineplex, “broadcast” facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment, restaurant and office space.

Zeidman played a key role in the overall design and construction of Arena as a member of the arena’s development team. Under his guidance, the nation’s most state-of-the-art arena operating systems have blended together and made it possible to successfully host an unprecedented schedule of events since opening in October 1999.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, and graduate of California State University Northridge, Zeidman currently resides in Venice, California.



Episode 5: Risky Business: Why Effective Risk Management Is Critical for Venues

Effective risk management is critical to operating a successful venue. In conversation with Wayne Middleton, Steve Mackenzie will discuss the importance of continuously improving standards, driving efficiency, and setting benchmarks for managing risks at events. Attendees will also get a sneak peek of Risk Manager by Ungerboeck and learn how the platform can reduce potential liabilities by helping venues adopt a systematic approach to risk management and incident response.

Meet your Facilitator

Steve Mackenzie, Executive Vice President, Ungerboeck

Steve has been involved in the Hospitality and Events industry since 1985, spending almost a decade working within Hotels and Resorts, and since 2004 has been on the technology side of the industry.
After leaving his native New Zealand in 1985, Steve worked on various island resorts in roles such as Purchasing Manager, Duty Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Operations Manager and Relief General Manager.
Recognising the emerging importance of technology within the hospitality industry, Steve took up a role with the then fledgling Fidelio software company in Brisbane, installing and supporting their Food and Beverage and Front Office solutions. Shortly thereafter, Micros acquired Fidelio to form the world leading hospitality software company Micros-Fidelio and Steve moved to Sydney to take on the role of Operations Manager for the new entity. After several years in this role, Ungerboeck Systems International were looking to open an Asia Pacific office so offered Steve the role of Managing Director. After establishing the office in Sydney, Steve was also responsible for starting an office in Hong Kong and eventually China, before being moved to the Head Office in St. Louis, Missouri where he was made Vice-President Global Sales and oversaw Ungerboeck’s expansion globally. Eleven years later and wanting to move back to Australia, Steve took the role of Vice-President, Global Sales for ASP Events, a UK based company specialising in building exhibition websites. It was during this time he also decided to start his own technology consulting business, Mack Events, providing strategies and development ideas to several major international event software companies. After two years back in Australia, Steve was approached by etouches (now Aventri), an award-winning event registration platform to take on the role of Vice-President, Global Sales, in order to spearhead their US and international growth. etouches increased revenues by a factor of 10 times during the five years Steve was there.
He also became heavily involved with many industry associations including the VMA and IAVM, graduating from the Venue Management School in Oglebay, WV in 2007. He served on the Board of the Meetings and Events Association of Australia (MEA), and actively speaks around the world on the topic of event technology. He has sat on the Boards of mobile app company Showgizmo, and event tech not-for-profit teccsociety. He has been an Instructor at the Australian VMS since 2011 and the USA VMS since 2017.
Steve took on the role of President of one of the world’s most popular venue management systems, EventBooking in early 2016, who merged with Ungerboeck in May 2021. He is currently the Executive Vice President at Ungerboeck, who provide industry leading event and venue management software. Whilst currently living in the United States, Steve still spends a good portion of time traveling, with his business interests taking him all over the world.

Meet your Guests 

Wayne Middleton CVE, Managing Director, Reliance Risk

Wayne is an industry leader in risk and safety across the venues, events, and sports and entertainment sectors. He is the founder of Reliance Risk and has over 30 years of experience in management and operational roles in the venues and events industries and more than two decades of experience as a risk management professional.

Wayne specialises in developing and implementing risk, safety and security management systems across various industries, including Government, transport, sport, public venues, and major events. Drawing on his experience, he designed risk management software, Risksense101. In 2022, Wayne partnered with Ungerboeck to expand the capabilities of RiskSense101 and offer a valuable new solution to the industry: Risk Manager by Ungerboeck. The new application is specifically designed to give venue and event organisers a better understanding of threats and help them be proactive instead of reactive in the face of potential issues.


2021 Digital Series

Let's Talk about our Mental Health

Featuring radio host, TV personality, and mental health champion Gus Worland as we talk about mental health. Gus will be interviewed by Phil King AVM, VMA Board member, VMS Instructor and Gotcha4Life mate.

Challenging Racism

Todd Greenberg, former Chief Executive Officer of the National Rugby League (NRL), Dean Widders, an Anaiwan Indigenous Australian former professional rugby league footballer, Bruce Djite, Director of Football, Adelaide United and former A-League player, and Rana Hussain, Diversity and Inclusion Leader discuss how racism can effect everyone and anyone that enters our venues – from the talent that performs, our patrons and staff.

Green Shoots Appearing for our Industry

Featuring Tim Worton, Group Director of Arenas for ASM Global (Asia Pacific), Brock Gilmour, Chief Executive of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and Mark Zundans, General Manager of The Gabba as they discuss the lessons learnt from the recent success of the sporting codes, the historic AFL grand final in Brisbane, and what some of our major events will look like into next year.

Marketing your Venue

Featuring Phil King AVM, General Manager of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Coopers Stadium and David Ray, Country Manager, Australia at Reddit, as they discuss how marketing is applied to the day-to-day operations of venues.

View Recording

Changing Technology Requirements

Featuring Steve Mackenzie, Executive Vice President at Ungerboeck and Manish Chandak, President and CEO of Ungerboeck, as they talk about the changing technology requirements of the venue management industry and the modifications venues have had to face due to COVID19.

Contracts and Business Law

Featuring Adam Lister, Group General Counsel for ASM Global (Asia Pacific) and Sam Constance, General Manager of Memberships and Legal for VenuesLive as they discuss how venues have adapted regarding contract and business law over the last 18 months.

Special Edition Webinar - From Lockdown to Lights On - North America in Focus

Wayne Middleton talks with special guests Russ Simons, Managing Partner & Chief Listening Officer with the US based Venue Solutions Group and Meg Walker, GM of Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, about the current status of the North American industry, their recovery and reopening from COVID and what this can mean for our industry down under.

Special Edition Webinar - From Lockdown to Lights On - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

ASM Global’s Paul Sergeant talks with with special guest Jon Babbs, Stadium Director at EPL Club’s, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, about the return of 62,000 fans to full house EPL games and the implementation of the COVID-Pass.

Special Edition Webinar - From Lockdown to Lights On - Convention & Exhibitions Open For Business

Featuring Helen Fairclough, the Chief Operating Officer at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, and special guests Frank Poe, Executive Director at the Georgia World Congress Center Authority with Brad Mayne CVE, President and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) as they explore the reopening of the convention and exhibition market in North America and the lessons learnt from the recent IAVM’s VenueConnect industry conference.

Special Edition Webinar - From Lockdown to Lights On - Addressing the Industry-wide Skills Shortage

Anthony Duffy AVM, the Managing Director of VIPeople addresses the industry-wide skills shortage as our industry reopens with Sarah Derry, Senior Vice President Talent & Culture Pacific at Accor, Richard Andersen CFE, Chief Illuminations Officer at Venues Solutions Group, and Taryn Evans, the Head of People Experience at Melbourne & Olympic Parks.

2020 Digital Series

Showcasing Our Industry In Times Of Adversity

Featuring Phil King AVM, General Manager – Adelaide Entertainment Centre & Coopers Stadium and Brendan Hines, General Manager – Spark Arena discussing Opportunity in Adversity – finding the opportunities that exist through re-purposing and knowing what is the right decision when presented.

People & Culture – Immediate Challenges and Working from Home

HR specialists Becc Barry, Venues Live and Amanda Wilson, MCEC explore how we are responding to the multitude of challenges COVID-19 is throwing at venues and their workforce.

The Effects of COVID19 on the Entertainment Industry

Featuring Entertainment Editor of the Nine Network and industry legend, Richard Wilkins AM, alongside Dr. David Heslop, Associate Professor and researcher at UNSW, with lTim Worton from ASM Global leading this discussion on the effects of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry

Relationship Management – Venue and Supplier Perspective

Panellists Anthony Duffy from staffing specialists – VIPeople, Tara Filder the GM at Secure Assets and Events, and industry stalwart Rod Pilbeam, COO at ASM Global explore how the pandemic has placed the traditional venue/supplier relationship under enormous pressure. 

Leadership - The Big Picture of Crisis Management

Industry leaders Andrew Travis, Melbourne & Olympic Parks, Kim Bedier, Tacoma Venues and Todd Greenberg share their stories on leading teams during challenging times.

Business Readiness - Reopening and Recovery

Featuring Helen Fairclough, the Director of Business Relaunch at MCEC, Heather Clarke, Head of Event Operations and Planning at the Sydney Opera House and Mark Zundans CVE, the General Manager at The Gabba explore how our venues are gearing up for reopening and recovery.

Introducing the Live Entertainment Industry Forum

The VMA Digital Series introduces the Live Entertainment Industry Forum recently launched to build confidence in our industry’s preparedness to return from the COVID-19 crisis. Featuring VMA President, Steve Harper CVE, LEIF, Chair James Sutherland, Venues Live Managing Director, Daryl Kerry and Glen Rainsbury CVE, Director of Venue Strategy, Frontier Touring.

Let's Finish with a Global Wrap

Featuring our VMS Chair, Wayne Middleton CVE, with Tammy Koolbeck CVE, Chair of the IAVM (North America), Mark Cochrane, Regional Manager Asia Pacific for UFI (Asia) and EVANZ (NZ) Chair, Keith Parker, as we take a final look at how COVID-19 has impacted our industry and the lessons learnt.

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