In just over two weeks, The LEVEL Summit 2013 will bring together the diversity and creativity in the live entertainment venue business. How can venues from across the world benefit from the knowledge imparted by the extensive conference programme that we have in store?
We spoke to Ian Congdon, Arena Sales Manager for ACC Liverpool, on why he chose to join us this year, how the Echo Arena maintains its title as one of the most sustainable venues in Europe, and what he hopes to learn from the Summit.
LVL13: Please introduce yourself and your venue.
IC: Ian Congdon – Arena Sales Manager – ACC Liverpool, representing Echo Arena (11,000) and The Auditorium Liverpool (1,350).
LVL13: What made you sign up to The LEVEL Summit 2013?
IC: In the Arena marketplace, ILMC and LIVE UK are must attend events on the business calendar. We launched our 1,350 capacity space The Auditorium Liverpool in 2012; this made us look at other potential networks available to us within the UK.
The event first came to our attention as AuditoriumsMEET (now named The LEVEL Summit) in Edinburgh, but we were previously unable to attend. Moving the event to London and improving the programme was appealing so we’ve decided to attend this year.
LVL13: How would you describe the changes in customer behaviour within the last five years?
IC: Customers have become more selective with their spending as the economy has changed, perhaps only going out to one concert rather than three or four in the year.
As such we are increasingly keen to make sure their experiences with us meet their expectations from ticket purchase right through to the journey home after the show.
We are experiencing an increasing proportion of customers who are active in social media at all ages – it’s not just a young person’s means of communication any more.
The challenge will be to maintain relevant, productive dialogues and relationships with our customers across these increasingly popular forms of media.
LVL13: What are you looking to learn at The LEVEL Summit 2013?
IC: It will be good to see how other venues operate and adapt to the ever changing markets and conditions we are operating in. It would also be great to catch up with and network with existing and potential new clients.
LVL13: Echo Arena Liverpool is one of the most sustainable venues in Europe. Being the eleventh largest arena in the country, how does the Arena ensure this ethos is carried throughout the whole organisation?
IC: ACC Liverpool, which consists of Echo Arena Liverpool together with BT Convention Centre, is the only BREEAM and ISO 14001 accredited venue in the UK. The company has its own Environmental Task Force (ETF) which, among other initiatives, develops and delivers objectives under ISO14001.
The ETF fast-tracked the venue to ‘Zero to Landfill’ status in 2009 which was a fantastic achievement. The venue and its service partners have an impressive list of green awards under its belt including achieving Gold Standard in the Green Business Tourism Scheme, Healthy Stadia accreditation and a Green Apple award for the building.
Our staff recognise the benefits of green initiatives and have a real sense of ownership maintaining our credentials via initiatives such as the Environmental Task Force.