We enjoyed a successful second day of the ESSMA Summit in Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Dublin’s iconic Aviva Stadium, home of the FAI and the IRFU, was the stunning backdrop for the ESSMA Summit 2018 this week.

Organised by ESSMA(European Stadium & Safety Management Association) in partnership with the ECA (European Club Association) and the EPFL (European Professional Football Leagues), the ESSMA Summit has become the must-attend event for those involved in the stadium industry.

Day 2 saw the record crowd of 375 participants separated into different tracks: Operations & Ticketing; Fan Experience & Engagement; Pitch Management; Stadium Development;Safety & Security; Fan Experience & Hospitality; SMART & Innovation.

Those in the Operations & Ticketing track heard comprehensive insights from Tine De Groote, Marketing Manager, KV Oostende, and Pierre Venayre, General Director, Stade Rochelais, who both highlighted the need for continued knowledge-sharing and networking through events such as the ESSMA Summit in their post-presentation interviews.

The task of delivering data on the latest developments and emerging trends in the Fan Experience & Engagement track was expertly delivered by Alberto Colombo, Deputy General Secretary, EPFL (Summit partners for the fourth consecutive year), Mats Enquist, CEO, Swedish League, Roger Brosel, Head of Content and Programming, LaLiga, and Julio Tarrega Diez, Audiovisual Manager, Valencia CF.

For those in the Pitch Management track, Majella Smyth, Head Groundsman at Aviva Stadium - who later led attendees on a behind-the-scenes technical tour of the host venue’s pitch and associated areas - welcomed everyone. The session was subsequently delivered by Ole Myhrvold, Facility Manager, Norwegian Football Federation, Yves de Cocker, GrassMaster Solutions and Yasser Al Mulla, Senior Manager, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), whose job it is to deliver the ‘perfect pitch’ for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Eric Hart, Head of Tampa Sports Authority/Managing Raymond James Stadium provided details on the latest developments at the Authority-managed venues and Sylvain Caliman, Stadium Manager, Stade du Hameau, outlined the three construction phases of the new Section Paloise project during the Stadium Development track, which focused on the key takeaways and lessons learned. Cleverciti Systems provided details on their parking sensor solutions.

After lunch, the Safety & Security track heard from Eaman O’Boyle, Health & Safety Officer, Leinster Rugby, Dirk Piens, Head of Organisation and Infrastructure, KAA Ghent, Darren Crossman, Facilities and Safety Director, Principality Stadium (formerly Millennium Stadium), Leighton Jones, Head of Security, Fulham FC, and Paul Dodds, UK Country Manager, Genetec.

Those in the Fan Experience & Hospitality track were provided expert insights from Martina Flood, Head of Catering Operations, Aviva Stadium, and Rob Toussaint, Commercial Director, Heracles Almelo.

Experts for the SMART & Innovation track were Michael Lloyd, Deputy Safety Manager, Arsenal FC and BASIS member, Matt Allen, Member of BASIS, and Umut Kutlu, Chief Marketing Officer, Besiktas JK. Oliver Sahm, Bosch, also provided attendees with a presentation on Sound Reinforcement in Stadia.

For Stadium Development II - Future Trends, participants heard from Yasser Al Mulla, Senior Manager, SC, Matthias Eiles, Advisor - Football Infrastructure, German Football Association, and Wojciech Rokicki, Project Director, Legia Warsaw. In addition, there was a Q&A session with John Beattie, Stadium & Facility Director, Arsenal FC, and Musco Lighting on LED Lighting for stadiums.

The 2018 edition of the ESSMA Summit, with its record attendance, certainly highlighted why it remains the must-attend event for the stadium industry and sets the bar high for the 2019 issue, which it was announced will take place at FC Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

Thanks to all ESSMA, ECA and EPFL members for taking part in what was such a hugely successful event, and we look forward to welcoming you to Portugal next year!

NB: All presentations from the 2018 ESSMA Summit, as well as interviews with speakers and attendees, will be made available through the ESSMA Knowledge Platform. Contact ESSMA to discuss your ideas as to the emerging trends, developments and industry niches that you would like to see under the microscope at the 2019 Summit.

Recap Day 2 ESSMA Summit from ESSMA on Vimeo.