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New MD appointed for AECC

SMG Europe has appointed former NEC Group managing director Nick Waight as MD of Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) ahead of its move to a new home in 2019.

SMG took over the running of the current AECC earlier this year, and will operate the purpose-built £333m new venue when it opens in 2019.

Waight, who left rival venue operator NEC Group in March, will step into his new role in April 2018.

John Sharkey, SMG’s executive vice-president of European operations, comments: “SMG’s expertise in driving multi-purpose exhibition, conference and entertainment content is second to none, and I’m delighted to welcome Nick to the team.

“It will be a privilege to lead the team at the AECC both at the existing venue and transitioning into the fantastic new facility”

“Nick brings with him a wealth of skills and experience in both operational and commercial management, which are the perfect fit for both the existing and new AECC.”

Waight most recently led NEC’s International Convention Centre (ICC) team in delivering the Vox, a £10m conference area at Resorts World Birmingham, and was previously chief executive of Convention Centre Dublin, overseeing the design, build and operation of the £185m venue.

“I am thrilled to be joining SMG Europe at this exciting time in its development,” he says. “I am very grateful to John Sharkey for giving me this opportunity and look forward to taking up the new role in April, when it will be a privilege to lead the team at the AECC both at the existing venue and transitioning into the fantastic new facility in 2019.”

 


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SMG Europe to manage current AECC too

SMG Europe, which will operate the new AECC when it opens in 2019, has also been awarded the contract for the existing venue by Aberdeen City Council.

The news was announced today by John Sharkey, SMG’s executive vice-president of European operations, who says the new operator will “continue to strengthen the AECC brand and prepare for our fantastic purpose-built new home”.

The existing AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre), which includes the 8,500-cap. GE Oil and Gas Arena, dates from 1985, but was renovated in 2003. The new venue will have a capacity of 12,500 and be located close to Aberdeen International Airport.

The AECC joins the Manchester Arena, the First Direct Arena in Leeds, the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, the König-Pilsener Arena in Obserhausen, Germany, and the new Bristol Arena in SMG’s European arena portfolio.

SMG Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of SMG, the world’s largest venue operator. It was sold to private-equity firm Ares Capital for US$3.43 billion, or $14.95 per share, last June.

 


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SMG Europe awarded contract for new AECC

SMG Europe has agreed a ten-year deal to operate, manage and programme the new AECC arena in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The 12,500-capacity AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference), due to open in 2019, joins the Manchester Arena, the First Direct Arena in Leeds, the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, the König-Pilsener Arena in Obserhausen, Germany, and the new Bristol Arena in SMG’s European arena portfolio.

AECC is currently undergoing a £333 million programme of redevelopment to replace the existing 31-year-old venue. New features include improved public access, better sight lines towards the stage and VIP boxes around the first-floor perimeter.

Prior to its reopening, SMG Europe will operate the arena alongside its current management team.

“The SMG team are looking forward to bringing the expertise and experience we deliver at our existing landmark venues to the new and existing AECC”

John Sharkey, SMG’s executive vice-president of European operations, says: “The SMG team [are] looking forward to bringing the expertise and experience we deliver at our existing landmark venues to the new and existing AECC, and we look forward to working with the team and venue stakeholders.”

Forthcoming AECC shows include Little Mix, Busted, The X Factor Live tour and Disney on Ice.

SMG Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of SMG, the world’s largest venue operator. SMG was sold to private-equity firm Ares Capital for US$3.43 billion, or $14.95 per share, in June.

 


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