John Langford, COO, AEG Europe
“I’m delighted to be joining the Host City conference in Glasgow this year. This is a great opportunity to share my thoughts on the industry and meet fellow representatives of sports, business and cultural events from across the globe. I look forward to discussing the challenges of hosting major event at our venues as well as discovering new opportunities and learning from industry leaders.
“There are a number of important considerations venue planners should bear in mind to maximise commercial opportunities around entertainment facilities.
“Firstly: know your market. Understanding consumer needs allows venues to match their capabilities with the expectations of customers. Providing a product and service that customers want is the foundation upon which volume and margins can be maximised.
“Secondly: flexibility. Entertainment venues cater for multiple different audiences. Every night, our arenas see a different crowd from the night before. Facilities need to be able to flex from champagne at Andrea Bocelli to burgers and beer at ZZ Top – and everything else you can imagine in between.
“Thirdly: adaptability. Customer expectations change over time, particularly as new generations spend more in the entertainment sector. Flexibility in spaces, premium experiences, food and beverage options, access and add-ons all mean that venues need to adapt quickly to market changes.”
David Tunnicliffe, Commercial Director, GL events UK
“Host City will bring together excellent people for open, frank discussions that will allow us to share experience and best practice. The event combines a formal daytime structure with a more relaxed evening format, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity to network with new and existing contacts.
“Are venue owners fully informed of the opportunities available to them in terms of temporary infrastructure? Yes and no – this really depends on the venue, as well as the culture and approach of its team. General awareness can be an issue; while some venues can be so focused on their permanent USPs, or under so much pressure to deliver prices-per-head, that they overlook the many exciting creative possibilities presented to them by temporary infrastructure.
“Other venues – Hampton Court Palace is an excellent example, frequently innovate; enhancing and adapting their offering with temporary infrastructure and overlay.
“At GL events we’re no stranger to all kinds of requests and the possibilities for venues are endless. We’ve created entire temporary venues to support refurbishment works, as well as creating everything from additional kitchens to ballrooms, reception spaces and exhibitions on behalf of all kinds of venue. Temporary swimming pools, ice-rinks, cinemas… working with venues is a great opportunity for event infrastructure suppliers to showcase their creativity.”
Ken Scott, Head of Inspectorate, Sports Ground Safety Authority
“A pressing concern for organisers is what we call ‘Zone Ex’ – the area outside the stadium that spectators must pass through when arriving or leaving an event. Stadium and event operators can no longer think about the stadium in isolation. When considering safety, the sum of all parts is critical to creating as safe an environment as possible for everyone at the ground.
“We’re looking forward to attending Host City 2019 to discuss this and other safety issues with colleagues from across Europe.”
Cyril De Greve Managing Director, European Stadium & Safety Management Association (ESSMA)
“We’re expecting more and more from stadium management today. Besides a range of new threats (terror, drones, cyberattacks, etc.), it is not only delivering a safe and secure event; people are looking for unforgettable experiences. Training staff to deliver these experiences is definitely a challenge, as well as the demand for a more multifunctional use of the venues.
“Our aim at Host City 2019 is to share knowledge, expertise and exchange best practice with all delegates linked to the stadium industry.”
Host City 2019 takes place in Glasgow on 26-27 November, organised with support from EventScotland. For more information visit www.hostcity.com