SUITE TREAT: Post-event review on ALSD International 2019

ALSD International, Europe’s one and only event dedicated to the Premium Seat and Hospitality sector, took place in Dublin, Ireland, this October, welcoming almost 300 industry executives from across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Russia, as Katie McIntyre reports.


The 2019 edition of ALSD International welcomed more than 270 high-ranking, decision-makers from clubs & teams, stadia & arenas, sports & entertainment venues, leagues & federations, architecture, design, engineering & fit-out firms, as well as producers & suppliers.


Behind-The-Scenes Venue Tours

Attendees began their experience with a very special behind-the-scenes tour of 3Arena, one of the Top 10 busiest arenas in the world, followed by an Opening Luncheon at Aviva Stadium, the joint home of the IRFU and FAI, where Real Mallorca CEO, Maheta Molango, gave a Keynote discussing how the newly-promoted LaLiga side has transformed itself and its fortunes both on and off the pitch.


Some 270+ high-level industry professionals descended on Dublin for the 2019 edition of ALSD International, which commenced with a tour of 3Arena, with brunch courtesy of Eunice Power Catering. Attendees then enjoyed an Opening Luncheon at Aviva Stadium, with F&B courtesy of Levy Ireland, and a tour of the Premium Level facilities and Suites


On return to the event’s host venue, Croke Park – the 82,300-seat home of the GAA and the third largest stadium in Europe – the conference got underway, kicked off with a Welcome Speech by MC, Nicholas Brice of 360 Degree Vision, followed by a session entitled “Renovate with Success: The ROI of Venue Renovations” and a detailed “State of the Industry” presentation by Rob Hunden of Hunden Strategic Partners (HSP); which assessed more than 400 sports facilities worldwide, and highlighted how there are more than 30 major new stadiums predicted to open in the 2020’s, with US$5bn+ in ‘currently underway projects’. 


Other conference sessions saw experts discuss “Growing the Revenue Stream”, “A Collaborative Approach to the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium”, “Re-defining Premium Experiences at Wembley Stadium through Design”, “The Customer Experience & The Role of Technology” and “Giving Up Cash with RSC Anderlecht: Sponsored by PlayPass”. 


Day 1 was rounded off in style with an Evening Networking Reception, held in the Exhibition Hall, which gave attendees the opportunity to meet with the exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and other delegates, and even enjoy a spot of Irish dancing, along with a few pints of Guinness!


The conference and exhibition was held at the 82,300-seat Croke Park, the third largest stadium in Europe, where some 40+ exhibitors and sponsors showcased their latest offerings. Attendees were treated to some world-class hospitality, courtesy of Croke Park Meetings & Events and the stadium’s in-house caterer, Aramark Northern Europe


High-Level Conference

Day 2 kicked off with a Networking Breakfast and behind-the-scenes tour of Croke Park, before the conference re-commenced with an opening session from Nicholas Brice, who took attendees through the key trends and leadership practices driving the hospitality performance at Brighton & Hove Albion’s American Express Community Stadium and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – experiences that are winning a raft of industry awards and top of the league customer experience performance. 


This was followed by a Keynote from Marshall Glickman, CEO of G2 Strategic, who discussed adapting US-inspired business practices & fan engagement strategies to European cultural, historic & economic realities; during which he referenced his work with EuroLeague Basketball and LaLiga. 


Watch the video interview with Marshall online at:


Other Day 2 sessions included: “Setting Up Your Premium Marketplace”; “The High Tech, High Touch Venue”; “Creating a Menu that Separates the Premium Customer from General Admission”; “Innovations in Payment & the Impact on Stadia sponsored by KAPPTURE”; “Top Successes in Sponsorship Activation”; “The Future of Premium Seating”; “The Big Event: How to Truly Maximise Your Value” and “Assessing Innovation: What’s Right for Your Venue”.


Overall, attendees benefitted from not only a comprehensive conference program, but also an exhibition hall showcasing the latest innovations, products, technologies and solutions, as well as unrivalled opportunities to network, learn and do business, not least due to the one-on-one meetings that ALSD International staff arranged ahead of the event.


Some 50+ high-level industry experts from across Europe and North America shared invaluable insights during the conference


Operation Transformation: Becoming a 365 Community

The aim moving forward is to transform ALSD International from a once-a-year event to a 365 community, allowing members to knowledge-share, pose questions, advertise RFP’s, job news, share venue development news, enjoy informal get-togethers, etc. Filmed roundtables and webinars, as well as video interviews with members, will all be conducted throughout the year, ensuring members are kept abreast of the latest trends and developments within the Premium Seat and Hospitality sector. 


To ensure the best possible offering, ALSD International wants to hear from YOU on what YOU want from YOUR community, as well as what YOU want to see and hear at the next issue of the annual conference and exhibition.


We look look forward to bringing you details on the 2020 edition and the creation of a 365 community soon and if you would like further information, please contact Katie McIntyre, Executive Director, on T: +353 (0)44 9335212 or email:


ALSD International is organised by the 30-year-old Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD) in conjunction with Sports Venue Business (SVB), the leading platform for sector news, views and developments on a global scale.


Watch the post-event video online at:



To follow are a number of quotes from industry professionals on their impressions of ALSD International 2019:


Michele Kajiwara, Senior VP, Premium Sales & Service, STAPLES Center/AEG:

I know how much goes into making ALSD and ALSD International the powerhouse success that it is and you guys make it all look easy.


I got so much out of the show because of the dialogue that gets stimulated from the panels and in the hallways. Inspiration certainly came from the venue tours and operators that don’t do exactly what we do in the States. Because of the show, I even met three colleagues from AEG London and Berlin that I had never met before. I mean, come on! 


Thank you again for the masterful way that you are engaging us all globally. And yes, I had a blast.


Andrew Billingham, Managing Director, YTL Arena Bristol:

Excellent ALSD International conference in Dublin. Included tours of three great venues The Premium Club at 3Arena + Aviva Stadium + Croke Park. Big thanks to Katie McIntyre for informative and varied programme.


Steve Thornton, Group Head of Commercial & Hockey, Belfast Giants/The Odyssey Trust:

The event in Dublin was fantastic, great content and even better for networking. Overall, a top notch experience.


James Glover, Hospitality Sales Manager, Marylebone Cricket Club/Lord’s Cricket Ground:

Just a quick note to thank you for organising an excellent conference – it was great to meet such a mixture of people from the industry and to have the opportunity to visit such iconic stadia.


James de Groot, Food & Beverage Executive Manager, Marylebone Cricket Club/Lord’s Cricket Ground:

I’d like to echo James’ comments, it was a super few days networking whilst listening to a number of key speakers, I really enjoyed Madison Square Gardens panel. I really enjoyed the Arena tours, fabulous facilities and between us we will collate our feedback and send this across to you. Thanks again…it was a really useful few days away from the office.


Andrew Sidebotham, Executive Club Sales Team Leader, Manchester United:

Just wanted to thank you for an amazing conference, it’s great content and excellent opportunity to meet people within the industry.


David Robinson, Business Development Manager, Addvance IT/KAPPTURE:

Kappture both exhibited and ran a panel session during the 2019 ALSD International conference and have nothing but positive feedback on the event. 


Organised with precision and with the delegates in mind from start to finish, it was an absolute pleasure to be involved in, and we are already looking forward to the 2020 event. 


The value of meeting industry experts and decision makers throughout the industry looks set to have a major impact on both our development and growth over the coming months. 


Brian Jokat, Naming Rights Specialist

I felt that the event in Dublin 2019 was very well organised and attended. The content and quality of executives in the room was second to none. If you are an industry executive, whether old or new, it is a must attend on your event calendar!


Justine Kebby, Head of Hospitality Sales, Ashton Gate Stadium

What a great conference! It was so well put together and I found all of the Keynotes really interesting and have come away with lots of insight.


Fergal Dempsey, Operations Manager, Connacht Rugby

Thanks again for organising a great conference. Really enjoyed it and thought that there were some excellent fellow delegates while also lots of great industry people that had some really good offerings. The key positives were: Excellent Speakers – knowledgeable in their area; Great meeting people from all aspects of the industry; Lots of good ideas in the room; Good atmosphere throughout the two days; and some really beneficial and useful ideas to bring back to Connacht with us.


Ros Robinson, Head of Marketing, Club Wembley, The FA Group

Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak at ALSD International, it was great to be on a panel session and also have the opportunity to tell our Club Wembley story, I appreciate it. I thoroughly enjoyed the event too, good to connect with new and old faces.


Kenneth From, Premium Service Manager, Stockholm Live

First of all, a huge thank you for the two really well organised days at Croke Park and Dublin. I and my colleagues thoroughly enjoyed it and came back to Sweden with lot’s of new ideas! We’ve been sharing our experiences with the people at our offices.


Nicholas J.S. Brice, Consultant, 360 Degree Vision

I must say, having experienced a few summits of this nature in sports and wider commercial contexts, that you really struck the right balance between a commercial and community-centric approach. Your authentic and friendly hospitality was stand out for me and was reflected in a warm, open and communicative environment that really made it a great experience for everyone.


Marcel Näpflin, URIMAT

Congratulations for another great ALSD International Conference! Thanks again for the perfect organisation. For us, it was a very interesting and successful event.


Watch the video interview with Mike online at:


ALSD International – Europe’s one & only event dedicated to the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – is organised and delivered by Sports Venue Business (SVB) – the industry leader for news, views & developments – in conjunction with the 30-year-old Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD). Check back soon for details on the 2020 edition and the creation of a 365 community, with regular informal get-togethers, plus year-round knowledge-sharing, as well as filmed webinars, roundtables, interviews with members, etc…



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#ALSDInternational – Europe’s one & only event for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector




#sportsvenuebusiness – the leading platform for sector news, views & developments 

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