Steve Camp, retired; Dr. Kim Mahoney, University of New Haven; and Lee Esckilsen, Johnson and Wales, tell Lisa Chamness about the new public assembly venue management textbook. Not pictured, co-author Sport Jeralds, University of South Carolina. (VT Photo)

REPORTING FROM BALTIMORE — “Public Assembly Venue Management: Sports, Entertainment, Meeting, and Convention Venues” is a new book, not a third edition of the two previous IAVM study guides.

The authors — Steve Camp, retired venue manager, Charlotte, N.C.; and professors Sporty Jeralds, University of South Carolina, Columbia; Dr. Kim Mahoney, University of New Haven, Conn., and Lee Esckilsen, Johnson & Wales, Providence, R.I. — wrote and curated 319 pages of material on how to manage venues, aimed at students interested in getting into the venue industry and those already there who could use a brush up or exposure to facets of the industry in which they don’t yet have experience.

The International Association of Venue Management commissioned the book. The original charge was to revise the existing handbook and the original time frame was six months, Esckilsen said.

It ended up taking two years and two months and is a completely new book, Camp added. “We wanted it to be something special.” The four consider the book their legacy.

They were taking orders at VenueConnect in Baltimore Aug. 1-4 with the promise the book would ship in two weeks, in time for the fall college classes, most of which begin next week. A big selling point with professors is that this book comes with an organized set of companion materials, including  a syllabus, course outline, powerpoints and case studies, Esckilsen noted.

There are over 500 schools teaching sports and/or entertainment management. Camp said at least 10 schools approached them the first day of VenueConnect and the companion materials were a big selling point.

As a professor himself, Esckilsen knows the companion materials are a timesaver and benefit to academics. It will also be available as an e-book.

The authors met in Charlotte, N.C., more than 14 times, working on the book all weekend, they recalled.

Mahoney said the 10 chapters address the functional components of any public assembly venue. “To update it and make it as current as possible, we’ve added a chapter on safety and security,” she added. “There are definitely big changes in ticketing and marketing, and we really worked to make it a great foundation for not only students but as a resource for the industry.”

For instance, she said, someone who has always worked front of house but has aspirations to be a general manager might need to know more about the back of house. “We have some venues planning to buy it for all their department heads for that purpose,” she said.

The scope of the book expanded after the authors, who have a combined 100 years of experience in venue management, got into it. They looked at everything as industry standards and best practices, no matter the kind or location of the venue. They also worked to make it read as one voice, not four.

“There are a lot of books out there that are about facility operations that teach back of house,” Esckilsen added. “Ours is truly venue management complete – front of house, back of house, administration, history, marketing, the whole ball of wax.

Interviewed for this story: Steve Camp, (704) 817-8193; Dr. Kim Mahoney, (203) 932-7142; Lee Esckilsen, (401) 598-1299