• Arenas host all-around events
• Rodeo and gala side-by-side
• Behind the scenes event wizards
Have you ever walked into an event, tradeshow, conference, or sporting event and been awestruck by the sheer capacity, attention to details, and amazing layout? If so, you have a planner, event coordinators, and crew members to thank. These behind the scenes event wizards can turn a tradeshow floor by day, into a concert arena by night, and into a basketball court for the next day, all in one weekend.
“Several times each year we will convert our arena and other spaces to accommodate for incoming sporting activities,” explained Jeremy Linstad, Associate Executive Director, Swiftel Center. “Some of these activities include; regional boys and girls basketball tournaments, State AA Volleyball, Rumble in the Jungle Cheer & Dance Competition, State AAU Wrestling, supercross, rodeos, gymnastics, and roller derby.”
A few years ago, the Swiftel Center hosted six major events in a six day stretch, bringing over 13,580 individuals to the Brookings venue. From a full basketball court, to sold-out concert set-up, back to basketball, and then to a bridal tradeshow, ending with another sold-out concert, it took an army of Swiftel Center staff and volunteers just over 851 hours combined to make it all come together seamlessly. “Laying basketball court is no ballgame,” quipped Linstad.
In April of this year, one of the most well known sporting events in the area, the SDSU Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo, was held simultaneously with the East Central CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Fire & Ice Gala. Boots and black-ties were nearly rubbing shoulders. The rodeo is a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) approved event featuring bareback riding, steer wrestling, and barrel racing, just to name a few categories of competition. The arena floor is prepped, with dirt loaded in, leveled, dampened to reduce dust, and gates erected. You can see a short time-lapse video provided by Swiftel Center of a past rodeo set-up at www.MidwestMeetings.com/TheTurnOver.
With the Gala going on in the conference rooms next door, many precautions are put in place to keep both sides of the building compliant and comfortable. “We seal certain doors throughout the building, creating one entrance for staff and visitors. We then pressurize the conference room side of the building so that all air is exhausted through the arena side to eliminate any smell issues that could arise with livestock in the arena,” explained Linstad. “We also use a smell eliminator in our HVAC system to help neutralize any smell that would occur beyond our precautions.” This provides for safe food production and service on the conference side of the venue.
“Whether the event is big or small, we give each event the same amount of planning and organization,” added Linstad. “We work to understand the needs of each client, as well as, the needs of their speakers and talent. The EC-CASA event has been held during rodeo weekend for a few years now. Their planners are very detailed.”
“No detail is too small. The more information we have, the better,” expressed Kristina Lankow, Sales and Marketing Manager, Swiftel Center. “The Swiftel Center employs full-time event coordinators onsite to guide clients through the steps. Communication of all the details is key.”
We all know, no two events are the same. But planners who work cohesively with their venues will find less surprises and hiccups when event day hits. Make sure to be transparent with your needs, wants, and timelines. By doing this, your arena venue can be turned into the event of a lifetime, regardless of where it falls in a turn over line-up.
View a few short, time-lapse videos of a Swiftel Center event turn over at www.MidwestMeetings.com/TheTurnOver