ASM Global enters into new strategic partnership with leading guest experience innovators Forward Associates


As the guest experience evolves in arenas, stadiums and theatres around the world, and demand from fans for elevated and enhanced live entertainment continues to increase, ASM Global has entered into a new, strategic partnership with multi-disciplinary venue strategists Forward Associates.

ASM Global President and CEO Ron Bension said, “As we continue to embrace cutting-edge technologies and industry disruptors on a global scale, producing renowned content through our unmatched relationships, culinary artistry, sustainability solutions and client profitability — we’re creating a new intersection that fuses these attributes together. Now, we are investing in the industry’s leading innovators of guest experience, Forward Associates, who we’ll work with to bring all of this to life, looking at the guest journey, reimagining it for everyone, and ensuring there is an even wider choice for the entire audience.”

Forward Associates, founded in 2015, is a fast-growing and dynamic team, with offices in London, Milan and Helsinki. As venues adopt an increasing focus on the guest experience, Roy Westwood and his team bring a unique and holistic approach to the guest journey and live experience, broadening the variety of venue offerings, and exploring new and creative ways to elevate this for every single guest. Forward Associates bring agility, wide-ranging experience and areas of specialism from architecture to interior design, venue strategy to premium seat sales and marketing. They provide an unmatched service and a one-stop-shop to evaluate, plan, design, execute and commercialise world class venues across the globe.

They are currently shaping the next generation of hospitality at Everton FC’s new stadium, from the inception of the ‘All’ masterbrand, which seeks to rebalance traditional football hospitality, to the delivery of a state-of-the-art sales showroom in Liverpool’s iconic Liver Building. Forward Associates is also working alongside the ASM Global team at Stockholm Live developing the future strategy for their portfolio of venues including the Avicii Arena. They have also been instrumental in supporting the new, transformative design at the AO Arena in Manchester as it undergoes a major £50million redevelopment and have completed projects for ASM Global venues in the US including the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, AZ. Other transformative projects they have undertaken include The O2, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa FC, as well as Koko and the Brighton Dome, creating multifaceted offers that deliver real, increased commercial returns.

Chris Bray, President of ASM Global Europe said, “Demand for market-leading, cutting-edge guest experience is increasing at pace. Our teams are exceptional at what they do, and we need to continue to innovate in this space, always exceeding our guest expectations. Forward Associates are best in class, with a real vision for the future of live entertainment experience, and absolute expertise in their field. They provide a unique, multi-disciplinary service, with a proven track record of delivering exceptional concepts from start to finish. We’re delighted to enter this new partnership, which will further cement our position as market leaders in venue operations and providers of live entertainment.”

Roy Westwood, CEO of Forward Associates added, “Whether a new build or a repositioning as part of a master planning exercise, Forward Associates are proud to be leaders in guest experience innovation. Together with ASM Global, we have a shared vision to continually evolve in this space, with a commitment to always delivering the very best for live entertainment fans. With ASM Global’s international portfolio and reach, this is an exciting move for us, and we are very much looking forward to getting started.”

The partnership will bolster ASM Global and Forward Associates’ combined commitment to bringing innovative approaches to the future of the fan experience specifically focusing on ASM Global’s vast portfolio of the world’s most iconic venues in the live entertainment, trade show, hospitality and sports spaces.

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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