Bob Schwartz, left, vice-president of marketing for Global Spectrum, greets Dean Clarke, general manager of the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, during a conference Thursday in Penticton.
Bob Schwartz, who lives in Philadelphia, was in Penticton along with marketing directors from 10 Canadian markets and 14 buildings for Global's two-day annual Regional Canadian Pacific Northwest Marketing Conference.
Currently Canada's largest facility management company, Global is in the first year of a new five-year contract with the City of Penticton to oversee the operation of the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.
"It's a gorgeous facility and a wonderful venue," said Schwartz. "The conference area is excellent, and I was quite impressed with how they've incorporated the (B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame) facility at the SOEC."
Schwartz and the marketing team attended the Penticton Vees game on Wednesday, got to meet with team ownership and came away pleased with the overall game-night presentation.
"It was a terrific crowd on a Wednesday night, they gave away a car, the food was great and, best of all, the Vees won the game," said Schwartz.
Also on hand were marketing directors from Encana Events Centre (Dawson Creek), Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre, Comcast Arena (Everett, Wash.), Budweiser Gardens (London, Ont.), General Motors Centre (Oshawa, Ont.), Copps Coliseum and Hamilton Place, Mattamy Athletic Centre (Toronto), Windsor (Ont.) Family Credit Union, and the SOEC/PTCC in Penticton.
"One of the main benefits with Global is the opportunity to share ideas to help create revenue and resources around all our venues," said Schwartz. "Global provides us with the resources to monitor and modify things where necessary."
Schwartz said while the marketing team meets annually, there is an emphasis on continuous networking, weekly calls and reports, where data is collected, analyzed and shared.
"The ultimate goal is applying these ideas to increase revenues the best we can," said Schwartz. "The great thing about Global is it's not afraid to try new things."
Schwartz was visiting Penticton for the first time.
"I told Dean (SOEC/PTCC general manager) Clarke that I'm moving here," said Schwartz. "It's a beautiful area."
Clarke, meanwhile, said Global Spectrum is making strides towards hammering out a new long-term lease with the Vees as its main tenant at the SOEC.
The contract runs shortly after the 2013-14 hockey season ends, and Clarke said Global, the Vees and the City of Penticton are "very motivated" to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
"This is the right team, with the right leadership, in the right city," said Clarke. "(President, GM and head coach) Fred Harbinson and (managing partner) Neil Jamieson and the staff have changed the culture of the franchise, increasing revenues at a time when it is very difficult for junior hockey teams to do so, while making it more affordable for the average hockey fan."