Athena, the iconic Art Deco events venue in Leicester’s vibrant cultural quarter, has conducted new research shedding light on the top priorities of sports event organisers.
The research revealed that flexibility is the key priority for sports event organisers, who also place a high value on independent venues and in-house teams.
Planners highlighted the importance of flexibility in relation to venue space, service, and event packages. They showed a preference for independent venues for their adaptability, bespoke agile service, and wide range of flexible packages to suit events of every calibre. Many stated that in-house venue teams for production and catering allow for greater customisation and flexibility on budgets, too.
Value emerged as a key talking point, too, as event planners have been experiencing rising event costs in the past year. Some are apprehensive about passing these costs onto attendees through increased ticket prices. There’s a shared concern that higher ticket prices could deter potential attendees, resulting in decreased event participation.
Consequently, planners are continuing to deliver exceptional experiences while balancing the greater need for value. For example, Gail Rushton, Development Officer of England Hockey, found that choosing a stand-out venue located in the centre of the UK has helped. She explained: “We have used Athena multiple times for England Hockey’s national events due to its central UK location”, which makes the venue more easily accessible and cost-effective for the hockey community.
Dominic Musgrave, Director of Operations for the National Fitness Awards, echoed the sentiment, and added: “We are always conscious of providing value for attendees. Our directors wanted the National Fitness Awards to have a ‘black-tie and red-carpet feel’ with a three-course dinner for 800 people, which Athena can provide. It’s about delivering exceptional experiences while also ensuring value for attendees.” Athena’s independence also means it is well placed to provide customised packages based on their clients’ needs.
Hira Ram, Events Manager at Athena, explained the motive behind the research. She said: “We conducted this research to understand the challenges faced by planners and attendees, particularly for sporting events. As an independent venue, we take pride in offering a stylish, heritage venue with modern capabilities but also seamless execution, unique experiences, customised support, packages, and service.”