|Phil Mead, MD, NEC Arenas|
|LG Arena Main Entrance|
“It was clear we could not go to the City and get £20-30m so we commissioned a feasibility study, led by Masons, around improving the customer experience and went out to market our title rights – leading to the now well recognised LG Arena name.
"The Group generates around 4.1m visitors through 900 events annually maintaining 29,000 people through our impact on indirect employment. We also arranged a loan through the City which we were able to repay because of the sale of the title rights and the uplift in sales which we experienced following the investment we made.
|Living Wall at LG Arena|
Phil and his team worked with a team of professionals, including Yorkshire architects, DLA, structural engineers, cost consultants and utilities to remodel the LG Arena. The entrance and its adjacent storage area were converted into the ‘ForumLIVE’, which can accommodate up to 6000 people as they’re moving into the arena, providing them with quality entertainment in line with the main act. “I don’t know any other arena in Europe where this interaction happens,” adds Phil.
"Whilst we’d originally been focussed on designing the visitor experience around sport – in line with our current offer which will remain important – now we’re looking at large theatre experiences including comedy, shows like Walking with Dinosaurs, as well as providing pre-show experience.
International Venue Management
Phil’s customer service ethic has not been confined to ticket agency sales and arenas management. “We’re following a third business strand,” says Phil, “international partnerships.”
|Convention Centre Dublin|
"They have formed a partnership with The NEC Group to benefit from our experience and resource in venue management in Europe.
“In Dublin we have signed a major 20 year contract, a Public-Private partnership venture with Treasury Holdings to manage the inspirational new Euros 380m Dublin Convention Centre, designed by architect Kevin Roche. The largest lift takes an articulated lorry up to the auditorium and the second lift takes a transit van.
“Sales have gone well there - it has been brought in on budget – a huge budget. I believe this is one of the best of its kind, a state of the art venue for Europe which is selling Dublin as a leading destination for business and leisure hospitality.... this together with the City’s new amazing Grand Canal Square Theatre, designed by internationally celebrated architect, Daniel Libeskind.
“In spite of the economic challenges we’re optimistic that by building our strategy to focus on customer experience and excellent service we can continue to develop more opportunities like these.”