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ASM Global: Reimagining the guest experience

At ASM Global we’re transforming the guest experience, reimagining what live experiences look like for everyone who walks through the doors of our venues. As the world’s leading producer of live entertainment experiences, we’re on a mission to future-proof our venues so they can be enjoyed by guests for many years to come.

The goal is simple – everyone visiting an ASM Global venue should leave with great memories that last a lifetime – our role is to make sure those memories are truly unforgettable, exceeding expectations at every moment. The future is bright for ASM Global and we are very excited to continue to show our 180 million+ fans what we’ve been working on.

Over the last three years, we’ve been investing in our teams, venues and infrastructure as a continued commitment to fans, guests and artists. AO Arena in the heart of Manchester’s city centre is undergoing a transformational £100m redevelopment across the whole arena. We are building a brand new concourse on the lower floor level with three new bars, and have completed a major overhaul of the existing concourse space.

Significant upgrades to back of house facilities have also been unveiled, with new dressing rooms, green rooms and crew spaces to ensure that all of our artists and their teams are ready and prepared to perform. And we have created new, award-winning premium spaces. The Beautiful North was recently awarded the ALSD Spotlight Award 2023 for Best Suite Experience, presented at ALSD International, and The Mezz, our new, world leading lounge and restaurant pre-show spaces will surprise and delight on another level when they launch in February.

These dramatic improvements to the customer experience also include brand new entrances and exit points and new technology that ultimately ensure that people are able to get in and out quicker than in any arena in the country. This is incredibly important as we look to ensure that fans can be assured that when buying their tickets, they can do so with confidence in being able to meet their travel commitments in this travel disrupted world we live in currently.

“In the UK, Europe and globally our portfolio is growing at pace, with new contracts in existing and new markets”

In the North-East, we’re bringing The Sage to life as part of a new development. The ICC and arena will inject further opportunity into the region, enriching the area’s live entertainment scene and we are front and centre of the £420m project.

In London, we are proud to operate the iconic Olympia London. A prestigious venue with international recognition and cultural significance, we’re delighted to be helping to shape the £1.3bn redevelopment to ensure the venue stays world leading through innovation, and state of the art operations.

Over in Stockholm, we’re working in partnership with the city to propel the 16,000 capacity Avicii Arena into the future, creating new tiers of seating options for fans as part of a £100m renovation.

In the UK, Europe and globally our portfolio is growing at pace, with new contracts in existing and new markets, expanding ASM’s 350+ venues worldwide. This year, we’ve moved into Finland which is an exciting market for us. We’ve taken on operations at Helsinki’s iconic Kulttuuritalo and are in the middle of major developments at the Hanasaari Power Plant site which is set to transform into a burgeoning cultural district complete with an arena.

“At the core of these upgrades and investments is the ticket buyer – we understand that customers expect more than ever before from their live experiences”

The doors have also re-opened at The Halls in Wolverhampton which has undergone transformative renovations. Here, our catering division CGC has been brought on board for the reopening project and to manage food and beverage strategy and facilities for the venue.

At the core of these upgrades and investments is the ticket buyer – we understand that customers expect more than ever before from their live experiences – more choice, a more personalised offering and an elevated journey from arrival to encore. That’s where new technologies, advancements in security, digitalisation of concourses amongst other innovations make an enormous difference.

Within our improvement of the guest experience is a major focus on food and beverage. We’ve overhauled our menus, offering better quality and value for money, catering for everyone’s tastes and preferences and serving up even more choice. As we continue to evolve in this area, we are developing partnerships with familiar chefs and local brands to bring innovative, tasty treats across our offers from VIP experiences to concourses.

Plus, we’re continually implementing new technologies designed to improve entry into venues and once inside, guests will notice these upgrades for themselves. There’s new digital screen technology with clear signposting across each concourse bar. We will be using new screens to help our guests understand where the shortest queue times, coupled with pre-pay, in-seat and self-serve technology, this will enable our guests to spend more time enjoying the show.

“We have adopted a smart strategy of partnering with some of the leading venue development businesses in the world to improve our venues”

Premium customers have more choice than ever before, at the AO Arena with the introduction of The Beautiful North and the new bar and restaurant experience – The Mezz. Similarly at the first direct Arena in Leeds, we have opened The Mixer super suite, further enhancing the guest experience in the award-winning venue. Plus, first direct Arena in Leeds and OVO Arena Wembley are both is benefiting from a recently announced partnership with Sky, rolling out new VIP lounge experiences and giving more Sky customers VIP access and star treatment closer to home.

None of this would be possible without our teams, made up of highly skilled, hugely experienced, passionate industry experts – they are the best in the world at what they do. And we are continually adding to this world class expertise. We have adopted a smart strategy of partnering with some of the leading venue development businesses in the world to improve our venues from a sustainability perspective and from an experiential perspective.

In the past two years alone, we’ve invested in strategic partnerships with Forward Associates, Honeycomb Strategies, and Anthony James Partners, all of whom are the best in their field and make our venues, our clients and the whole customer journey better.

It is an exciting time for ASM Global as we continue to re-imagine the guest experience and ensure that we maintain our position as the leading venue management company in the world.

 


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Drumsheds, Exhibition London for hire with Venue Lab

Broadwick Venues, the venue arm of festival promoter Broadwick Live, has appointed Venue Lab to manage all venue hire for new event spaces the Drumsheds and Exhibition London.

The venue operator has announced the partnership on the back of a successful collaboration with Venue Lab at popular London venue Printworks. The company will manage corporate, brand and filming bookings and will be solely responsible for all venue hire management for the new event spaces.

Venue Lab is a Vibration Group company and the creator of event spaces including Printworks London (6,000-cap.), Landing Forty Two and The Pumping House, Dock X London, Thirty Eight Grosvenor Square and the recently launched Magazine London (3,000-cap.).

“Following our very successful partnership at Printworks London, Venue Lab is the natural choice to help us develop the Drumsheds and Exhibition London as new cultural spaces for the city,” comments Broadwick Venues managing director Bradley Thompson.

Announced earlier this month, the Drumsheds is a ten-acre outdoor events space with four giant interlinking warehouses, offering a total indoor capacity of 10,000. The venue hosts its inaugural event on 7 June, with the first of Broadwick Live’s weekend-long Field Day festival.

“Venue Lab is the natural choice to help us develop the Drumsheds and Exhibition London as new cultural spaces for the city”

Field Day is one of several festivals suspected to remain under Broadwick Live’s control, following the takeover of the festival arm of its former owner, Global, by Providence-Equity backed Superstruct Entertainment. Broadwick is believed to be undertaking a management buyback of its shares from Global.

Scheduled to open at the end of 2019, Exhibition London will transform a Victorian Grade II Dimco East building in Shepherd’s Bush – originally used as an electricity generating station for the London Underground – into a multi-purpose music and events venues with a standing capacity of 1,400.

Spanning two floors, the 34,000sqft venue is currently taking bookings for events taking place from January 2020.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Broadwick Venues and further expanding our portfolio,” says Venue Lab’s director of venues, Claire Pastore.

“Venue Lab has a proven track record of finding, activating and delivering thought-provoking spaces both commercially and to create destinations,” adds Pastore.

Superstruct, Broadwick divvy up Global festival portfolio

 

 


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Venue Management Association hires new CEO

Michael Brierley has been appointed CEO of the Australia-based Venue Management Association (VMA).

Brierley (pictured), who begins his new role today (2 January), was most recently secretary of the Queensland division of Commonwealth Games Australia, and has previously served in senior roles at the Institute of Sport Management and youth charity Apex Camps.

He succeeds Bluesfest’s Steve Romer as VMA chief executive.

Steve Harper, appointed president of the association last May, comments: “I am very much looking forward to having Michael on board. He brings with him well-rounded and extensive experience that will serve the organisation well.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead such a well-respected organisation through the next phase of its growth”

“Michael’s key focus will be to provide strong organisational and financial leadership to the organisation, build on the VMA brand throughout the region, significantly grow the membership programme and deliver quality education and professional development product to the industry.”

“I am extremely delighted to be given the opportunity to lead such a well-respected organisation through the next phase of its growth,” adds Brierley.

“I am looking forward to working with the dedicated board and committees of the VMA, and wider stakeholder group across the Asia-Pacific region, to continue to build on the 30-plus years of valued contribution to the venue management industry.”

VMA is a trade association for venue managers in the Asia-Pacific region. Together with the affiliated International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), it has more than 5,000 members, including representatives of AEG Ogden, Melbourne & Olympic Parks, Venues Wellington, Brisbane Entertainment Centre and Adelaide Festival Centre.

 


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AEG Facilities launches venue solutions division

AEG’s venue management arm, AEG Facilities, has announced the launch of AEG Facilities Global Solutions, a new division offering management and planning services to entertainment and sports venues.

Headed up by AEG Facilities senior vice-president Jay Cooper – newly promoted to Global Solutions’ managing director – the division can provide advice on, among other things, pre-construction and pre-opening planning, vendor selection, sponsorship and premium seating, financial modelling, operational and sustainability planning and risk management, procurement and safety/security assessments to both new and existing venue owners and operators worldwide.

“Our unmatched global experience in developing, owning and managing leading facilities uniquely equips us to meet the increasingly complex requirements of designing, constructing, operating and managing theatres, arenas, convention centres and stadiums,” says Bob Newman, president of AEG Facilities. “The decision to launch AEG Facilities Global Solutions is in direct response to market demand and perfectly complements our core business.

“The decision to launch AEG Facilities Global Solutions is in direct response to market demand and perfectly complements our core business”

“Our proven and proprietary solutions and services are designed to improve operational performance and can be customised to fit a client’s specific needs and budgets. We can draw on our successful track record worldwide and our wide range of in-house skills and experience in order to deliver venues that are cost-effective to build, economically sustainable to operate and optimise the revenue generation potential of each facility.”

Among the services available to Global Facilities clients are AEG Energy Services, which assists with energy efficiency; AEG Global Partnerships, which oversees naming rights, premium seating and other strategic partnerships; AEG SAFE, which develops venue security plans; AEG 1Force, which focuses on hiring practices to maximise community satisfaction with a venue; and AEG Encore, which offers guest-service training.

“From the early design phases through the grand opening and beyond, AEG Facilities Global Solutions has a solution and the expertise to ensure a successful project,” says Cooper. “I look forward to working with current and new client partners to activate the many benefits of AEG to create the most profitable and successful solution for each project.”

 


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IAVM appoints new president and CEO

The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) has named former MetLife Stadium boss Brad Mayne as president and chief executive officer.

Mayne (pictured), who was president and CEO of the 82,566 stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, from September 2012 to April 2016 and previously served in the same capacity at the American Airlines Center (cap. 18,500) in Dallas, takes over from interim executive administrator Carol Wallace. The association, which represents concert and event venues worldwide (although the vast majority of its members are in the US), has been without a permanent CEO since Vicki Hawarden departed in late January.

“Throughout his career, Brad has garnered respect from every facet of our industry,” says IAVM chairwoman Karen Totaro. “He has worked across sectors in various leadership roles, including within IAVM, which has earned him awards and praise. We are excited to have him take over the helm of IAVM.”

Mayne has previously served at IAVM’s Venue Management School in Oglebay, West Virginia, and has been dean of its Graduate Institute since 2012.

He says: “I am thrilled to take on this new professional challenge for an organisation that is critical in advancing the work and professional practice of venue management and is so highly valued among industry professionals.”

 


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