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Southern City Secondment


Michelle Pill inaugural placement in successful secondment


Michelle Pill, Venues Hiring Manager at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, has recently completed a successful month - long secondment with venue manager NCC (NZ) Ltd in Christchurch. Michelle learnt a lot and NCC had an extra pair of capable hands during a very busy summer.


"Pamela Del Nin, my CEO, first made the suggestion that it would be a valuable component of my professional development. I was encouraged to source a secondment with a venue of my choice for about a month. My senior manager, Sally Arch, and I liaised with Gillian Houser of the Bruce Mason Centre and Vice President of the Venue Management Association. They recommended speaking to Mike Kelly, Executive Director of NCC (NZ) Ltd, a VMA member and past president of International Association of Assembly Mangers, " Michelle said.


"Mike was receptive, supportive and encouraging of me completing the secondment at the venues his company mangers - the Christchurch Convention centre, Christchurch Town Hall and Westpac Centre for Sport and Entertainment.  I was aware from Gillian Mike had a career long interst in professional development within the industry and is a stunch advocate and supporter of such initiatives."


"Michelle had her mind set on a secondment somewhere in the industry and it was going to happen with or without any intervention on my part. She is a very determined lady and I was just more than pleased to do what I could to play a part in her very brave and ambitious professional development agenda. I have always been a great admirer of determination and initiative and she has the real stuff. As is always the case, our organisation has learned as much from Michelle as she from us so it really has been a win win exercise” says Mike Kelly, Executive Director of NCC (New Zealand) Ltd.


After finalising dates and agreeing on a secondment structure, Michelle spent 24 January - 25 February 2005 in Christchurch working with the staff at NCC.


"My main interest was with events held at Westpac although I was also involved in events at the Town Hall including the long-awaited recital by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa on 29 January”.


Other major events that Michelle was involved with during the secondment included


·         Monica Seles vs Martina Navritilova Celebrity Tennis Match

·         Rod Stewart - rehearsal plus 2 shows

·         Velvet Revolver

·         Cher


Most of Michelle's time was spent with Project and Event Manager Helen Glengarry or Rosemary Schulte, Manager Event Services.


 "Helen was also working on Crusty Demons, Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, REM and Norah Jones so I was able to assist with the pre-event day work, such as the production and catering info, planning meetings. It was particularly useful for me as Rod Stewart, Cher, Knopfler, Norah Jones, REM & Crusty Demons will each be performing at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. I was able to send a report back about the Rod Stewart concerts which will have been helpful as the show in Adelaide is whilst I am still in Christchurch."


Other features of the secondment included:


·         Spending time with all Directors to gain an understand the company's strategic operations

·         Spending time with all reporting Managers to understand their day-to-day operations

·         Spending a lot of time listening, observing and learning about different systems and procedures although the end result is an event for pubic enjoyment)


"I was 'hands-on' assisting Helen with the assimilation of production information from rider to their event system, ConcentRics, I attended planning meetings with departmental representatives to discuss upcoming events approx 1 week prior to the event day. I liaised with Promoters and Production Managers on event day, and assisted Helen with a myriad of requests that arise from all these people. I also enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with security contract company, Main Event, Ticketek, and catering provider SSL."


"The secondment clearly identified that sharing information is invaluable - even if systems and procedures are different there is value in understanding and learning another companies operations. I believe that if you set out with a positive outlook and an open mind then you can always learn something from every situation”.


"I know I'll slip very quickly back into my role when I return, especially as we're facing a very busy event run - Green Day, Mark Knopfler, Cher, Norah, Metal Mulisha, REM, World Wrestling, Destiny's Child, Crusty Demons, Kylie Minogue and the list goes on...:


Michelle's immediate ambition is to complete her MBA, and to remain open to industry opportunities that will challenge her, so she can keep on learning and in time obtain a more senior position.


Michelle has been with the Adelaide Entertainment Centre since in opened in June 1991. Originally she was employed as a Casual Supervisor working with ushers in arena/auditorium areas.  Michelle moved to the full0time team when in December 1999 she was employed as Venue Hirings Assistant.  During the past 4 years she has received two promotions with the most current being the role she is in now as Venue Hiring Manager – a role where she is the primary contact for all promoters/hirers of the 12,000 seated indoor arena.


This role encompasses many tasks including contracts, obtaining production information, designing the seating plan in CAD, liasing with the ticket agent to build the show and approving for the event to go on sale through to briefing Arena Supervisors on the event day, being the main contact for the ticket agent and Promoter, attending settlement and financial event closure.


Michelle is also a member of the AEC entreprenured events team, where the AEC, since successfully promoting Petula Clark in 2001 has continued with a number of further successful events including Leo Sayer, George Benson, the City Muster (into its fourth year) and currently kd lang.


Michelle's professional qualifications include a Bachelor in Business, AIM CPMgr - Australian Institute of Managers - Certified Professional. She is a graduate of the Public Venue Management School and is currently studying towards an MBA (Masters in Business Administration).


Other interesting industry experience included being an active member on the organising committee for the Adelaide VMA Conference – annual conference and trade show held at AEC in 2000.  She was a Supervisor for the 2000 and 2001 Clipsal 500 (annual 4 day event held in Adelaide that has world wide presence and attracts in excess of 200,000 patrons).  During the Sydney Olympics Michelle was employed by SOCOG as a supervisor at Sydney Superdrome (a 20,000 indoor seated arena), the venues used for Basketball and Gymnastic events and the ‘holding’ venue for all Olympic athletes prior to entering the Stadium at the Opening and Closing ceremonies.