Q&A: Sports Venue Summit

Sport Business News

MEI speaks to Philipp Klotz, event director of the SPONSORs Sports Venue Summit, Munich, 1–2 September 2010.

Please describe your event's aims and ambitions. "We are delighted to have successfully created an event that is considered Europe's leading industry meet for top decision–makers from the fields of stadium and arena construction, sport and event venue management, and Host Cities and Bidding Countries. The experts from each of these fields will discuss the latest issues and trends with their peers. As a specialist publication, we are naturally close to the branch and experience many trends and issues first–hand. Of course, we also incorporate this knowledge advantage into our conferences, which allows us to put together an extremely attractive programme. What's more, we offer the industry an optimal platform for exchanging information and experiences. In short, knowledge and networking: extremely high–level speakers in a unique conference set–up guarantee unparalleled networking opportunities. "Who will participate in this event? "Our participants come from the entire international sports venue industry. When major events have been assigned, investment projects worth several EUR100m are frequently launched in the host countries. The stipulations on sports venues multiply from year to year, which is turn enhances the need for international specialists. Thanks to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Germany affords a sports venue infrastructure that is unique in Europe. Development continues however. In other host countries, the most modern stadiums in the world are currently being built–continually–advancing internationalisation with mutual exchanges is therefore not only useful but also entirely necessary!We are particularly pleased with the growing international interest in our conference. Last year, we were able to welcome participants from over 25 countries including the US, UK, France, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Slovenia. "How many years have you been holding your event? "The conference is taking place this year for the fourth time. We have developed continuously since the event's launch in 2007; the event's popularity among participants is clear sign of this. From 190 participants in the first year to close to 500 last year, the number of participants has also risen steadily. With this, we can say that the fourth conference will offer the most valuable content since the event's launch. The list of top speakers is long: Thomas Bach, IOC vice president; Sir Craig Reedie, director LOCOG & member of the Executive Board IOC; Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO EPFL and Hansjærg Wirz count among this year's guests. "Why did you choose Munich as the event location? "The Allianz Arena in Munich is the optimal location. The stadium is renowned beyond Germany's borders and constitutes an extremely good example of the turnover–enhancing effect of modern arenas. What's more, we benefit from the proximity to Bundesliga team, FC Bayern Munich, who are one of our conference's close cooperation partners. With the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, the Allianz Arena also affords a long–standing tradition in the hosting of major events. With its excellent accessibility and Munich's location at the heart of Europe, the city and Allianz Arena are absolutely ideal for an international sports venue summit. "How many people do you expect to attend the event and what can they expect from attending? "Last year, the event was attended by close to 500 participants. We are also expecting at least 500 participants this year, who will be treated to an excellent two–day programme: top international experts will hold speeches and discuss aspects such as 'Construction & Financing', 'Technology & Innovation', 'How to fill an Arena' and 'Catering & Hospitality' in 11 special interest forums. In addition, a total of 12 presentations and panel discussions will take place on the Main Stage during which the latest trends and subjects such as 'The Olympic Games: The outlook for London 2012', 'Sustainability as the biggest challenge' and 'Host City marketing during FIFA World Cups' will be considered. Interesting information will also be available from our 10 reputable exhibitors who will present their innovations and latest technologies. Of course, one of the most important aspects of the event is the opportunity to network with other professionals. On the evening of the first conference day, participants will be able to refresh old contacts and establish new ones during the big get–together on one of the Allianz Arena's balconies. As in last year, we will offer stadium tours again this year during which participants will be able to take an exclusive peek behind the scenes at the stadium. "What sorts of companies are exhibiting/do you expect to sign up? "In contrast to many other conferences, our focus is not on the number of exhibitors. Rather, our key concern is to consciously set ourselves apart from a trade fair. We want to be known for the width and depth of our content on subjects relating to sports venues, and to offer the industry a knowledge and networking platform. Hence we only offer 10 exclusive exhibition spaces in which the market leaders from each of the individual branches can present their innovations. From Nüssli to ESSG to Sony–exclusivity and a select number of exhibitors are important to us. "What are the main issues that will be covered in your conference sessions? "The conference will focus on three key areas, namely stadium and arena construction, sports and event venue management, and Host Cities and Bidding Countries. Particularly the subject of sustainability represents an important aspect in this context, which will be considered from different perspectives including energy management, technical development and sustainable usage. In this way, the conference shall address and discuss extremely topical issues. With approximately 50 presentations and panel discussions and some 70 speakers, the conference will once again cover a range of issues from across the entire sports venue industry. Cooperation with top experts from the field of bidding processes and associations such as FIFA and the IOC will allow major event hosts to gain considerable importance in the conference. In the medium term, the aim is to establish the Sports Venue Summit as the platform for experience exchanges for Host Cities and Bidding Countries. This has already been achieved in the sports venue construction branch. "How can MEI readers find out more about your event? "All information on our congress including the programme featuring details of all presentations is available for download on our website (www. sports–venue–summit. com). It is also possible to register for the event online. Moreover, we e–mail out newsletters in both English and German twice a week providing updates on the latest conference news. The conference subject is also addressed and reported on in detail in our special sports venue reports published three times a year. "

Additional information