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Publisher's Letter Spring 2015

By Michele Nichols


If there’s one city in America where homegrown turns into a household name, it’s Nashville. If you’ve watched the TV show or have been to one of the city’s many cafes or bars late at night, you know what I mean. The heart of Tennessee is where small stages make big stars. It happened for Taylor Swift, for Dolly Parton, for Kings of Leon—and in many ways it was something that we recognized happening for Unique Venues when we held our Third Annual Marketing Conference in Nashville last fall.

This yearly summit is a free service for our members; it provides attendees a chance to hear from featured speakers and industry insiders, catch up on the latest technology and network with peers to uncover successful strategies for attracting more groups to their venues. It’s also a way to learn tips that will help their planning departments become more effective while also developing the professionals on their staff.

This past October, we decided to add a new element, too, focused on rewarding those who have taken these learning experiences and effectively applied them. We announced the winners of our first-ever Best Of Marketing Awards recognizing categories such as best collateral, best website, best member profile and professional of the year in our own little Grammy celebration.

In particular, one category stood out for us. Determining the professional of the year was an especially hard task because we realized how many incredible talents there are in our niche field. So we decided to continue that conversation in this issue, putting a spotlight on seven of them who we have affectionately called the “rock stars” of Unique Venues’ college and university segment.

Like the musicians who obsess over their craft, these collegiate professionals are incredibly talented, hardworking and stand out from the rest through perseverance, tenacity and ingenuity. From our expert “sound tech” who actually once toured with a popular rock band to the “legendary act” that has kept the hits coming with an incredible 20-year track record, this band has developed quite a following and is becoming more and more recognizable for their talents. While the music industry has its struggles, our industry is coming in loud and clear thanks to people like these—and we have a feeling they have more of their “best of” hits on the way.

Michele Nichols, Founder Unique Venues