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The Business of Meetings

Jun 29, 2021

We are happy to be speaking to a highly respected icon in our industry today! Brad Mayne is the President and CEO of IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers). He has had a phenomenal career and is joining us today to talk about his experiences. 

In this episode, Brad shares his most cherished memories of the MetLife Stadium, explains what it was like to work with Mark Cuban, and talks about what he sees for the future of the meetings and events industry. 

We hope you enjoy listening to our interview with Brad Mayne today!

Brad Mayne’s bio:

Brad Mayne is President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and the IAVM Foundation. IAVM represents public venue professionals from around the globe. 

Professional members manage public assembly venues that are positive economic organizations within their communities. A diverse list of member venues includes arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, performing arts centers, universities, stadiums, complexes, festivals, fairgrounds, amphitheaters, and race tracks.

Under Mayne’s leadership over the past five years, the IAVM has averaged 10% membership growth each year and has grown revenues by 35.5%. In collaboration with industry associations, IAVM has created initiatives that strengthen the industries we serve with partners VMA, AMEREF, IAEE, ESCA, DI, and ISSA. Initiatives include, but are not limited to safety and security, economic impact calculator, biohazard sanitation certification and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Active in the communities Mayne has resided in, he has served on the Board of Directors for DMOs, Super Bowl XLVIII, Cotton Bowl Classic, Sports Commissions, and Chambers of Commerce.

Brad has vast management experience in professional sports venues including President & CEO, MetLife Stadium 2012-2016; President & CEO, American Airlines Center 1998-2012; and GM & Regional Manager, Honda Center, Ogden Entertainment 1991-1998.

How it all started

At the age of 14, Brad was selling hotdogs at the University of Utah football games. He met the people in the ticket office who were also doing lots of other events. They needed staff to sell tickets, so when Brad turned 16, they employed him to do that. He sold tickets at events that were hosted by the university but held at other venues.

An apprenticeship and a degree

Brad’s dad wanted him to get a degree, but Brad wanted to be a plumber. So, he did an apprenticeship to be a plumber while studying for his degree at the University of Utah. 

A scholarship

Brad’s brother was the Assistant Baseball Coach and the Assistant Ticket Manager when Brad was at the age to go to university. So Brad got a scholarship to sell tickets in the ticket office for the Athletic Department. 

Placing advertisements

During Brad’s third year in college, he was asked to be responsible for placing all the advertisements to market their special events. 

A drop in compensation

After four years of plumbing, Brad chose to take a big drop in compensation and start doing work related to his degree. 

Three arenas

Brad was involved in the design and construction of three arenas. 

Favorite venue

Brad got asked to be the CEO for a new Dallas arena, working for the owners of the Mavericks and the Stars. He was responsible for the financing, design, and construction, and for the opening and operation of what is now the American Airlines Center. 

Brad Mayne’s impression of Mark Cuban

Brad Mayne met Mark Cuban for the first time when he introduced himself to Mark just after the media announced that he had bought the Mavericks. Mark is very focused, and he is loyal to those who work for him. He did not sleep much, so Brad often got emails from him in the early hours of the morning. 

Mark gave Brad two tips for how he wanted him to run his company:

  • If it ain’t broke, break it.
  • If everyone is thinking the same way, no one is thinking.

Brad found Mark to be a very good person to work for.

Brad Mayne’s best MetLife Stadium memory

Brad's best memory of running the MetLife Stadium was hosting the Super Bowl. 

Safety and security

The whole ecosystem of meetings is large, so show organizers want to be safe and are risk-averse. Insurance for major catastrophes is expensive and hard to get. The Safety Act Certification is an insurance policy because it gives money coverage in the case of an attack. You have to put together a security plan to get the certification. 


When they were designing a building, Mark Cuban told Brad that if he was not building the building for future technologies, he was making a big mistake. Brad feels that the same thing applies to streaming versus broadcasting. People need to understand that if they are not in the streaming industry when it swings to become the dominant vehicle for showing their product, they will fall behind the rest.

Hybrid meetings

Brad believes that there will be a place for hybrid moving forward, so we need to embrace and understand it. 

Virtual meetings

Brad had only five weeks to put his first virtual event, their annual conference, together. They recreated what they did live. Their members appreciated it and asked for more networking opportunities. Other members who could not afford the live event were grateful to attend it online. They felt that making the conference available online was the best thing that IAVM has ever done.

Brad Mayne’s suggestion for a strategic business plan

Put a strategic business plan together for what you will do for people online and what you will be doing face-to-face moving forward. Do not be afraid to step forward and make something happen, Brad says. You can keep on improving things as you move ahead.

The younger generation

The new, younger generation coming into the business wants to flip the tables of who is in charge. So, prepare for that digitally, or else you could be in for a big awakening.


People need to realize that things will not go back to the way they were pre-pandemic. Operating a venue is not simple. The staff will have to be trained to operate specific venues and all the equipment, with safety protocols in place to keep everyone safe. 


The IAVM has been hosting webinars to inform people about how to hire people and discuss the available resources. 


There are multiple technologies to speed up the process of getting people into buildings. Infrared scanning can check peoples' temperatures. Facial recognition is also coming into play. There is no question that AI will become important for business operations and potentially for event presentations.

Data and data analytics

The meetings and events industry has started turning to data-driven decisions. Getting hold of the data allows you to manage things and be successful. Reverse ATMs will become commonplace going forward. They will also supply data.

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