Fan Engagement and Venue Seminar 


Major Events International hosted a seminar in conjunction with IBM at their offices on the Southbank. The event consisted of a panel of experts from various global companies in sectors such Fan Engagement, Venue Technology and Architecture.



John Hamilton, Business and Executive Lead for IBM, explained how innovating methods of production and operations are important for not only major events but also throughout the whole year. With intelligent and innovative designs, venues can utilise the space for revenue throughout the whole year. For example, a location for leisure, work and accommodation; making them multi-functional to increase employment opportunities and activity level.


He described IBMs’ role within the sports technology industry and how they are building a scalable and flexible platform to build upon the technological and wireless environments. IBM focus on three key sectors; driving fan experience and engagement, venue optimization and team performance. John highlighted that IBM cannot achieve this alone and how aligning with key stakeholders can successfully help enhance the experience of fans, athletes and companies within the major sports and entertainment sector.


Chris Dite, Associate Director from ARUP, the worldwide architect company discussed the effect of master planning, which creates projects that are sustainable and economically viable. He described how important it is to embrace the permanent connection within a host city, but also stressed the importance of an event connection that a master plan must enable. ARUP’s work in Singapore and their creation of physical and digital master plan enabled their success. He highlighted that the retail mall, one of their most successful areas in driving foot fall, was an area that was discussed the least.


John Roberts, Director of AFL Architects, covered how venues must accommodate for the continuous technological advancements. Sports venues are now more flexible and capable than ever, and venues are continuously exploring how they can grow into their space. He emphasised how the current focus is within the broadcasting and TV coverage of these major event and highlighted the challenges faced when having to accommodate within the boundaries of a stadium or arena.


Damian Marsh, the General Manager of Anixter; a leading global distributor of communication and security products, that provides a customised supply chain service which aims to modernise entertainment venues and experiences. Damian emphasised the importance of the planning needed within the networking infrastructureindustry. By finding exactly what the customer wants, the strength of IP connectivity at each venue and harmonising everything to single point of source, this can ensure that Anixter can continue to build, connect and protect in the current growing digital age. In doing so, this reduces time and cost, increases efficiency and mitigates risk.


Andrew Butler, Product Line Manager from Nokia; a leading communications company, described the benefits of their Passive Optical LAN (POL) solution network. The new fibre-based solution addresses the issue of the large quantity of cabling needed at the major venues, as the POL solution uses a single fibre optic solution. This is turn can have a positive impact upon architects and venues as the space can be utilised in other sectors such merchandising and catering therefore creating opportunities to maximise sales. It also offers a more cost-effective strategy to deploy local area networks (LAN) with a strong network performance. 


Craig Doyle, Director of Key Account Sales for CommScope; a worldwide networking infrastructure company expanded upon the process of master planning and how organisations build upon the expansion of influencing stadiums; supporting its capacity utilisation and their evolving legacy. Technology is at the forefront of venue generation and sustainability. From implementing an idea, to following it to an operational stage and then expansion of further directions and ideas.


With many thanks to our members IBM for hosting this highly informative evening at their offices and all the panel who shared their knowledge and expertise.









Additional information