Coliseum Europe Summit runaway success


Coliseum Summit EUROPE 2022 - post-show report Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Dripping with emotions, delegates and speakers embracing each other, exchanging business cards, holding meaningful discussions and soulful talks in the networking drink sessions later – all and sundry present at the Coliseum Summit EUROPE held at the Ascot Racecourse on March 21st and March 22nd, 2022 – had a whale of a time meeting in-person after two long years! And the gourmet food served totally tickled taste buds.

It was indeed a euphoric moment for all and the first Coliseum edition live and in-person in EUROPE to be held post-pandemic.

In all, there were 208 participants from 15 countries and the feedback received from the delegates was indeed overwhelming because the conference served dual purpose – not only did it allow people to meet face-to-face but it also acted as a storehouse of information and meaningful exchanges.

So, it was two full days of mindboggling session at the beautiful Ascot Racecourse replete with interesting conference topics. There were 41 speakers in total.

Luc Delany, COO & Creative Technology Director, Northern Lights Arena Europe, UK, spoke on how the NLAE is reimagining the future of venues to improve the lives of the local communities and beyond while Christopher Lee, Managing Director, EMEA, Populous, UK, touched on how they are designing the ‘Cathedral’ – the new home of Italian football giants A.C. Milan and Inter Milan.

Sara Tomkins, Marketing & CSR Director, Co-op Live Arena, UK, engrossed the audience with her talk on how the first purpose-driven arena of the United Kingdom, Co-op Live Arena, will be the most sustainable venue in the country – a hot-button topic indeed. Talking in the same vein, Robert Deatker, Estate Director, AELTC, UK, also spoke on sustainability and mentioned the challenges Wimbledon face to meet AELTC zero carbon goals. Mate Naletilić, Digital Innovation Specialist of the Croatian professional football club Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia, provided valuable information on how clubs can open up new revenue streams and how the club has worked out innovative ideas in this regard.

George Vaughan, Head of Technology, Ascot Racecourse, UK, shared how the famous old venue boasts cutting-edge technology to stay in tune with the digital world of today. Continuing with the tech talk, Eve Crotty-Joyce, Technology Project Manager, Marylebone Cricket Club, UK, pointed out how the club is looking to better exploit modern technology to transform the way they operate as a club and venue, and discussed the concept of ‘Venue In a Box’. Tanja Dik CEO, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Netherlands, shared how the ArenA is trying to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Mark Fenwick, Partner, Fenwick Iribarren Architects, Spain, took a lot of pride in informing the august gathering how his design firm has achieved a “hat-trick” by conceptualizing the design of three out of the eight stadia constructed for Qatar 2022. Paul Bristow, Co-Founder and CEO, European Championships, UK, informed how the European Championships Munich 2022 (to be held from August 11th to August 21st), will be the biggest sports event in Germany since the 1972 Summer Olympics. Julien Collette, Deputy GM, Rugby WC France 2023, pointed out how the Rugby World Cup France 2023 will be a strong opportunity for sharing with fans and people a new culture in live sport focused on sustainable development.

Tania Braga, Head of Legacy, IOC, Switzerland, did a postmortem on the topic – ‘What happens to Olympic venues when the Games come to an end?’ Ken Scott, Head of Inspectorate, SGSA, UK, shared how standing will be allowed in top-notch football grounds of England and Wales for the first time in 30 years while Nils Braude MD, Twickenham Experience, UK, mentioned how there is more to Twickenham Stadium and it is not just about rugby but how fans celebrate the game and let their hair down in the facility.

Amy Trynka, Venue Projects & Strategy Manager, Arsenal FC, UK, enlightened the gathering on how the Premier League club Arsenal FC boasts an impressive array of premium inventory while Robert Pongracz, Vice-President, Romanian PFL, talked about how there are challenges galore while one embarks on a venue project. Gianluca Santaniello, Business Area Director, Venezia FC, Italy, narrated how the Italian professional football club was all set to get relegated to Serie C but rose like a phoenix from the ashes and was back to playing in Serie A.

Panagiotis Aroniadis, New Media Director of the Greek professional football club PAOK FC, walked the august audience with his eye-catching audiovisual presentation on how to beat brands like LaLiga or the Olympic Games within 15’. Lastly, Mark Kelly, Managing Director, Ashton Gate & Bristol Sport, UK, talked about the lessons learned while taking up the exacting work of stadium revamping and expansion.

It was indeed a conference where head honchos, venue wizards and the delegates indulged in thoughtful exchanges in a very casual manner over beer and coffee sessions and the ambience was not just ‘business-kind but a very warm one’ with people talking their hearts out and mingling after two long years.

The high point of the conclave was the various top shot women speakers who kept the audience captivated with their thought-provoking presentations.

The cherry on the cake was the pleasant and wonderful weather something very unusual this time of the year in England.

Staying cooped up inside their houses for almost two long years due to the cursed pandemic, the Coliseum meet proved to be a balm for anxious souls waiting to meet friends and colleagues and the main purpose – interacting with each other. After all, human interaction is necessary because Man is a social being.

To surmise, the Coliseum Summit EUROPE was a runaway hit and the conference achieved its target – thoughtful interactions on key venue topics. We will be back in London on March 22nd and 23rd, 2023.

For the picture gallery, please click here.
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