Dublin fair city’s Aviva Stadium – Ireland’s only UEFA Elite certified stadium -was this week transformed into the host venue for the ESSMA (European Stadium & Safety Management Association) Summit 2018.
The summit was organised by ESSMA in partnership with the ECA (European Club Association) and the EPFL (European Professional Football Leagues). The ESSMA Summit has become a popular event for those involved in the stadium industry.
Some 375 participants attended representing; clubs, teams, stadiums, leagues, federations, and members supplying products and services to the sector from across Europe and beyond.
The 2018 event marked the fourth in the Summit’s history, with the previous issues having been held at Olympique Lyonnais’ Groupama Stadium (previously Parc OL), Munich’s Allianz Arena and San Mamés Stadium.
Those attending the 2018 Summit were the first to use the new ESSMA app – developed in co-operation with myStadiumsApp – which displayed all practical event information, from the event programme to all ESSMA-related news.
Day 1 began with a tour of the 51,700-seat Aviva Stadium, with presentations by Campey, Genetec and VOGO Sports, followed by an informal lunch, giving members several networking opportunities, for which the event has become known for.
Declan O’Brien, Operations Manager at the IRFU and John Beattie, Stadium & Facilities Director at Arsenal FC, welcomed attendees to the Summit, alongside moderator, Robbie Irwin.
ESSMA Managing Director, Dimitri Huygen, then introduced the first section on the Stadium Lifecycle, with in-depth keynote presentations by Martin Murphy, Stadium Director, Aviva Stadium and Eric Hart, Head of Tampa Sports Authority.
The next topic covered was Matchday Operations, introduced by ECA’s Head of Communications and Marketing, Marc Schmidgall, with comprehensive keynotes by Roger Brosel, Head of Content and Programming at LaLiga, and Francesco Gianello, Head of Stadium, Juventus FC.
The last industry niche to be discussed was the Fan Journey, introduced by Alberto Colombo, Deputy General Secretary, EPFL, with insightful keynotes from Eric Cosset, Director of Product and Development, Disneyland Paris, Benjamin Steen, Head of Digital Projects and CRM, FC Bayern Munich, and Rory Sheridan, Head of Sponsorship Europe, Diageo (Guinness).
Attendees also sampled pints of the ‘black-stuff’ during an evening of entertainment, which ended in Dublin’s Temple Bar.