Tisch Center Course Spotlight: Facilities and Venue Management
Facilities and Venue Management is an elective course in the MS in Event Management program. Professor Michaela Boruta, the instructor, tells us more about her background and the course in this post.
What is your background?
I began my career in linguistics back in Slovakia, and when I moved to NYC in 2008, I gradually transitioned into event management and planning. I started as an assistant director of a venue on the Upper East Side, and one year into my position I was promoted to an event coordinator. In time, I ended up managing the whole event department. After working at this venue for about seven years, I started my own event planning and management company, which focuses on the planning and management of corporate, non-profit, and social events—both live and virtual.
At the Tisch Center, you teach the Facilities and Venue Management course. What are the objectives of the course?
The objectives of this course are to educate students about the different types of venues that are used in the event sector, current trends in the sector, and to talk about the financial context event venues operate in. We cover how to analyze event operations from a venue perspective and how to develop sales and marketing strategies for event venues.
In a nutshell, the main objective of this course is to show students how venues operate, what roles different departments within such venues play, and how to run a venue to achieve success from a business and community perspective.
Why is this an important and interesting subject area in our fields?
Public assembly venues are “homes” for live events and when they function well they become an integral part of the community: a focal point for community members to gather for sport events, art, business or non-profit functions. Venue managers, directors, event managers and everyone else who is involved in providing venue services become facilitators in giving a community access to information, entertainment, and connections. Their work contributes to building a community not only locally, but possibly across a region or a whole industry. In return, the community benefits tremendously either directly or indirectly.
The fact that venues can play such an important part in our communities makes this subject one worth exploring, because it goes beyond pure business operations. When your venue becomes an authority in a certain field, for example the arts, or is known for providing an excellent service, your mission has been accomplished and you can start thinking about what’s next. This work is both structured and very creative, and is ever evolving as we could witness in 2020 in particular.
What impact do you hope to have on your students through this course?
There are several impacts I hope to have on my students. My desire it to leave them empowered in understanding how public assembly venues function, including all the different departments and their interdependencies. This can help students determine whether a venue manager or similar position is a career path they would like to explore in more detail, or even pursue. I also want students to be able to approach an event from both sides—the in-house management/event team side and the outside event planners/clients side. Being on both sides myself, I can attest to the fact that it is crucial to understand the needs of each side in order to run successful events—for both the business and the attendees. I hope this course will emphasize how important good working relationships and trust are in the event business, regardless of your position. Last but not least, venue management is a very dynamic field, and I hope that by sharing my experiences, I can help students understand how to handle challenges, adapt, and remain flexible.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am excited to be teaching this course in the spring semester, even in the current climate, when event venues are particularly affected. Students will still have many venue options to explore, for example via new virtual tours offered by many venues. Moreover, students will be able to witness companies, organizations, and venues pivoting and adjusting their businesses and event operations in a real time. This does not happen every year and it is definitely something we all can look forward to exploring in more detail!