The second year of VenuesNow’s All-Stars differs greatly from the first and perhaps any that will come afterward. COVID-19 stopped the live industry in its tracks in March and left event professionals with many more questions than answers.
You’ll see the effects in our list of honorees, some of whom stood out in 2020 for their ideas and efforts to revive the business in the face of a pandemic and make important changes necessary for fans to return to sporting events and concerts.
But we’ll also continue traditions begun with our first class of All-Stars in 2019. Once again our editorial team has identified, researched and debated people and venues from across the industry and heard the opinions of those who work in it. We evaluated individuals for factors that included documented excellence, innovation, financial success, commitment to diversity, and leadership in their field, in addition to their response to the challenges that 2020 has brought.
Again we tried to recognize people at multiple levels of the business, not just those at the top. Some of the rising All-Stars you see today will undoubtedly return to the list in later years, with new responsibilities and fresh achievements.
This was the year not just of COVID but also of a more urgent examination of diversity in our culture and our workplaces. At VenuesNow, we began a feature called Venue Voices that you will continue to see. We made progress in diversity on our All-Stars list this year, but as in our industry, that progress must continue.
In a year that has provided some low moments, it was a pleasure to immerse ourselves in identifying the people and buildings that are doing big things, both those that made the list and others that did not, at least not this year. We introduce to you our 2020 VenuesNow All-Stars. We hope you enjoy reading about some old acquaintances and some new faces among them.