International sports, venue and entertainment organization AEG Facilities has expanded its Convention Center Management and Services Division by naming Brad Gessner vice president of Convention Centers.
AEG currently operates convention centers in Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Oman and Qatar.
“We recognize there is demand in the industry to change the model of success for great convention centers and destinations,” said AEG Facilities President Bob Newman.
He added “As operators of some of the world’s most successful convention centers, we are in a position to utilize our unique resources to bring together community and hospitality industry stakeholders in a new and collaborative manner that will increase occupancy levels and bottom line performance at world-class facilities.”
In its first year of operation, the Qatar National Convention Centre was awarded the Middle East’s Leading Convention and Exhibition Centre at the 2012 World Travel Awards in Dubai.
Earlier this year, the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) opened its expansion and is now one of Australia’s largest convention venues. Just last month, the BCEC was named the ‘Worldwide Convention Centre Team of the Year’ at the prestigious Convention & Incentive Travel (C&IT) Awards.
“I’m thrilled to work with a highly talented team that has helped AEG Facilities grow its successful convention center business practice,” Gessner said. “The resources in place and entrepreneurial approach that AEG is known for will revolutionize, in a very positive way, the convention center industry.”
A 30-plus year industry veteran, Gessner comes to AEG Facilities from the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, where he was the General Manager of the 2.6 million square-foot convention center for six years.
Earlier in his career, he was on the management team that opened the convention center in 1989.
Gessner’s has worked in several areas of public assembly facility management, including event management, convention services, labor negotiations, revenue generation and customer service programs.
He also is an industry leader in the areas of green practices, sustainable programs and facility design and operations.
Prior to working at the San Diego CC, Gessner was the general manager of WestWorld of Scottsdale in Arizona and deputy general manager of the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack.
In addition, he was the convention services manager for the Sheraton on Harbor Island and the facilities manager for the San Antonio Convention Center.
Gessner is an adjunct faculty professor and visiting lecturer for San Diego State University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Department and has received several industry awards and chaired various public assembly facility committees.