2017 marks the 15th Anniversary of Stadium Experience. Established in 2002, the not-for-profit marketing collaboration aims to promote and market stadium venues for conferences and events. Some of the activities include; sharing best practice and ideas, joint exhibitions opportunities, meeting event agents as a consortium, regular newsletters, an annual recognitions awards celebration; The Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards and much more.
Back in 2002, Stadium Experience first began with just five football clubs deciding to work together and share ideas, with their first ever meeting held at Leeds United Football Club. The five clubs included; Aston Villa Football Club, Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Leeds United Football Club, Newcastle United Football Club, and Southampton Football Club. The group gained momentum and additional football clubs continued to join over the years. In 2013, the association opened their doors to rugby venues for the very first time. Today, Stadium Experience’s membership totals 54 clubs across the UK and now Ireland too.
This year alone, eight major stadium venues have joined Stadium Experience, including: Arsenal Football Club, Ipswich Town Football Club, Manchester United Football Club, Nottingham Forest Football Club, St. Helens Rugby Club, Swansea City Association Football Club and Ospreys Rugby, as well as the association’s first Irish venue; Croke Park in Dublin.
Terry Powell was the very first voluntary Chair of Stadium Experience, working for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club at the time. He commented: “The concept of competing “Venues” coming together to promote their venues was not a new idea, but with the fierce pride of football clubs working together should have been a challenge!
“What attracted me to the concept was the very open way the clubs shared their information with each other, how they tackled their own particular challenges from the corporate giants of clubs to the less gifted venues equally adding value from their limited resources but doing it in a very professional manner. What I gained from each meeting was NEW knowledge and ideas that I could take and inject into our venue, increasing revenue and more importantly customer satisfaction.
“It is pleasing to now look back on the debates we had about expanding the membership to other types of venues, such as Rugby, and now witnessing the small group of forward thinkers being rewarded with the growth of the membership.
“I wish Stadium Experience good fortune for the future, that is wholly deserved due to the members perseverance and dedication.”
Collette Salmon, Sales Manager at Liverpool Football Club, and current voluntary Chair of Stadium Experience, said: “It’s truly amazing to see how a simple idea for five clubs to meet and share sales ideas 15 years ago, has grown into the Stadium Experience we see today. Our 54 members are proud to be working together to showcase stadia as venues for conferences and events. We’re thrilled to welcome eight new members so far this year, and look forward to seeing what the next 15 years brings for Stadium Experience and its members!”