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Syllabus for the Programming Track (return)

101-The Role of the Arena Programmer

The Arena Programmer must manage existing programs and develop new activities to attract and retain customers. The programs should provide easy access to the arena in an attractive and exciting manner for not only the first time skaters, but more skilled and long-time customer. By developing a range of activities and scheduling them in a reasonable, logical manner, the Programmer provides a ?pipeline? or a ?continuum? of activities that should encourage a lifetime of skating participation. The Arena Programming track you are about to undertake shows the natural flow of ice arena starting with skaters at public skating sessions. This course outlines each of these programs and sets the stage for what will be discussed in greater detail in later courses.

102-Managing Hockey Leagues

Programs are the lifeblood of a facility. Having a wide-variety of programs and scheduling them at times participants desire is of critical importance to the financial and programmatic success of the venue. Youth and adult hockey (men and women) are essential ingredients to a successful arena operation and part of a complete array of program offerings. This course covers the planning, operating and scheduling hockey leagues in the ice arena setting.

103-Hockey Tournaments

The overall responsibility of the arena manager and programmer is to program and utilize ice time to maximum productivity. To that end, the majority of time is consumed through regularly scheduled activities including practices, leagues, public skating, and in-house programs that occur on a repeat basis. There are, however, times throughout the year, when the arena may have gaps in the schedule, such as at the beginning or near the end of the regular season or during holiday periods. Hockey tournaments are an excellent way to not only fill voids, but also bring new business and customers into the arena. This course concerns planning, organizing and administering pre-season, holiday and post- season tournaments for youth and adult teams.

104-Learn to Skate Classes

Ice arenas attract new customers who have little or no experience skating. One of the roles of every ice arena programmer should be to turn first-time skaters and spectators into regular participants, starting by enrolling them in learn-to-skate classes. Moreover, learn to skate classes spawn other programs for encouraging skaters to continue skating. Revenue will be generated by hosting related programs such as competitions, ice shows, synchronized teams and advanced figure skating. Learn to play hockey class participants will continue into programs such as specialized clinics, camps, and leagues. This learn to skate course covers the basics of how to plan and organize an learn to skate program. The size of the program and revenue generated are directly related to the time and number of classes offered and efficient use of ice time. This can result in the largest revenue per hour program in the arena.

105-Figure Skating Programs

Figure Skating is a highly specialized type of skating serving a distinct portion of the skating community. Skaters come from learn to skate and specialized programs, such as tot classes, adult classes and from public sessions. Arenas with figure skating programs provide a staff of professional coaches to offer lessons to arena customers through private and "Learn to Skate" programs. This course addresses the ingredients of a complete figure skating program and how it should be set up and administered.

106-Skating Competitions

Competitions are a natural step in every skater?s progress beyond the learn to skate programs. Competitions allow skaters to test their skills against others of similar ability levels. The choices become whether arena management chooses to organize and run the competition or rent ice to a user group; whether the event is to be intensely competitive or fun; and whether the goals of the event involve participation or elimination. This course will provide the tools it takes to run competitions, both inter-rink and intra-rink, as well as discuss the role and responsibilities of a host facility in a user group run competition.

107-Risk Management-Warnings and Releases

A well-developed risk management program will reduce the potential for litigation and provide the basis for an affirmative legal defense. The main focus of this course is to discuss liability associated with participants using the arena. The most likely areas of exposure fall under defective equipment and facilities, supervision, and administrative policies. A comprehensive risk management strategy should minimize the risk of injury to participants and employees while conserving the property of the arena. The primary goal of risk management is to proactively identify hazards before an injury or loss occurs.

108-Program Budgeting

This course focuses on the budgeting process and the development of specific program budgets as part of the overall arena budget. Since ice skating programs make up a majority of the business activity in an ice arena, program budgeting is a critical component of the overall arena budgeting process. Whether it is a program?s director or the arena manager who is responsible for budgeting, she or he must understand the process, appreciate its value, and importance and be prepared when called upon.

109-Employee vs Independent Contractor

Arenas employ a variety of part-time professionals to teach skating and hockey classes, instruct hockey, or conduct facility-sponsored off-ice exercise programs. Determining if these workers are employees or independent contractors is an important business decision that must be made prior to their employment. This course is intended as a general introduction to the distinction between an independent contractor and employee and the consequences of each category.

110-Skating Shows and Recitals

Skating shows and recitals are part of running a well balanced figure skating program. Furthermore, hosting an ice show or recital has definite benefits to the arena and the skating program. This course covers the planning, organizing and conducting of shows and recitals and provides tips to make these programs generate income for the arena.

111-Hockey Schools

Year-round ice arenas must sell ice time during the leaner, slower summer period. While there are more youngsters playing hockey in-season, currently the nature of today?s youth is to experiment with what to do in the off-season. The competition for a youngster?s time (computer, other sports, summer school, etc.) has not necessarily increased summer hockey participation. Yet the year-round ice facility has ice to use. This course teaches how to position, plan and organize hockey schools to attract local players and utilize the arena during summer months and holidays.

112-Summer Skating Schools

Summer is the perfect time to intensify programming for intermediate and advanced figure skaters. A summer skating school is a way to program the arena?s daytime hours for school age children. This course covers how to move skaters from the beginner group lesson program to the next level of programming - figure skating. A well thought out program will provide room for growth in numbers of participants, as well as growth to more advanced levels.

113-Working with Volunteers

Volunteers are the backbone of staffing and conducting many of the programs hosted in an ice arena. This course identifies the ways and framework for attracting and utilizing volunteers to supplement the arena staff. Supplying the volunteers with proper tools makes their efforts enjoyable and will keep them returning to help year after year.

114-Elite Programs

Elite figure skating programs are extremely specialized and very challenging to manage and sustain over a long period of time. Facilities that are designated having elite programs are often called ?training centers.? Elite figure skating programs are highly competitive among facilities that cater to elite skating athletes. Elite hockey, like elite figure skating programs has benefits and drawbacks for an ice arena and the arena?s management team. This course is not about the merits of having skaters and players participating in elite programs or the coaches and administrators who conduct them but about the advantages, disadvantages and requirements of the program to the ice arena operations.

115-Dry Floor Events

There are an increasing number of ice arenas that operate year-round and are booked solidly with ice-related activities. Many arenas, however, are seasonal in nature and others are multi-use facilities designed to house a wide variety of activities. This course explores the possibilities of utilizing facilities for activities other than for ice related events, depending upon the building type, flooring type, seating capacity, primary use, and time available. Management will also have to take into consideration the local community, other nearby venues, local ordinances, and the type of activities that the facility wishes to host.

116-The Use of Computers for Programming

The use of computers in arena management has become increasingly widespread. The benefits are so numerous in a variety of areas that even small operations are opting to use computers for their daily programming, scheduling, registration, billing, and reporting duties. The goal of this course is to discuss the benefits of computer use in general, outline some new Internet-based options, and highlight specific programming, scheduling, and registration techniques applicable to the arena industry.

117-Customer Retention

It takes a lot of money to attract a new customer to any business. This course addresses how to retain customers once they associate with the ice arena. The key step to successfully achieving customer retention is to form a relationship with every customer who enters the arena. It is important to know who they are and how much customer loyalty is worth.

118-Basics of Instruction

Instruction is imperative in all aspects of the arena. The best instructors, on and off the ice, are organized and enthusiastic with a thorough knowledge of the subject matter. In addition, the best instructors realize that delivering a program or activity to the customer entails the entire arena staff: managers, front desk, operations personnel and concessions and pro shop. Utilizing the entire team requires good planning and communication.

119-Learn-to-Play Hockey

It is essential to recognize the importance of developing solid entry-level programs within the facility. Although they may be just one element in an arena?s comprehensive plan, quality entry-level programs when combined with consistent policies and procedures, form the springboard to a successful hockey program for the facility and the community. The learn-to-play hockey classes introduce both youth and adult players to the fun and excitement of hockey.

120-Program Marketing

Well-planned, effective Program Marketing is essential to the success of every ice arena. Like any business, successful marketing of a product requires first the identification of the appropriate target audiences. The target audiences for marketing ice arena programs are typically varied ? age, gender and interest ? from adult hockey to youth leagues, advanced figure skating students to skating moms to public skating teens. Reaching such a wide demographic can be the most challenging aspect of marketing ice arena programs.

121-Customer Service

It doesn?t matter whether you are a restaurant, department store or movie theater; there are components of customer service that are essential for success. Company mission statements, department mission statements, service strategy statements and credos all build the foundation upon which the facility develops its customer service delivery system.

122-Communication and Public Speaking

If an arena manager has the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written formats, he/she has one of the most valued skills on the job market. Phone calls, letters, faxes, e-mail, policy manuals, and face-to-face conversations are just some of the many ways we communicate throughout the day. Given the amount of time we spend communicating, it is important to take time to understand the dynamics of the communication process and learn some helpful tips to successfully convey our message.

123-Programs for Communities & Schools

Arena Managers, skating and hockey program directors are always looking for creative ways to market their skating programs and the facility to the community and schools. Knowing the location and demographics of the schools and the variety of service groups in the community is a fundamental expectation for those who operate and program facilities. This course will address the planning and methods of involving the community and schools in the ice arena programs, activities and special skating sessions.

124-Human Resources for Programming

The lifeblood of any organization is its people. An arena can have a great product and a great facility, but the only way the organization has a chance to be successful is by having outstanding team members. The task of recruiting, orientating and training of programming professionals must be a priority if the facility is to be financially and programmatically successful.

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