Venue specialists Forward Associates invest in immersive future

The possibilities posed by the rise of virtual, augmented and mixed reality are to be examined by Forward Associates. To lead the program, Europe’s leading venue specialists have employed Joe Matson to head up the newly formed Immersive Experience division, which will explore ways venues can monetise their digital fanbase.

Forward Associates is renowned for their work in major venues across Europe, Asia and the Americas, but it is the opportunity provided by the digital space that their latest recruit will focus on.

Roy Westwood, founder of Forward Associates, explains:

Venue owners currently generate income through ticket sales, broadcasting and commercial income, but the rise of the metaverse, VR and AR could offer significant new revenue streams.

The new division at Forward Associates will rationalise these revenue streams, with a dual focus on improving the existing matchday experience, as well as the infinite possibilities of the digital fan – the remote fan who is looking for the matchday experience from the comfort of their home.

ALSD International 2023 will take place at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, October 9-10. Optimising revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions is the key focus, with architecture & design, fan experience, hospitality, premium sales & service, sustainability and technology taking centre stage.

Matson has overseen branding, marketing and gaming projects with 20th Century Fox, and on the BBC show, Doctor Who, His work spans traditional content to animation, photography and digital ventures.

Matson says:

I like to push boundaries by creating immersive narratives that transcend reality. By exploiting the latest technology, Forward Associates will play a critical role in shaping the future of immersive experiences within venues.

Roy Westwood is one of 80+ speakers taking part in the ALSD International Conference. He will be joining a panel entitled “Transforming Limitations into Innovation: Reimagining Hospitality at Hampden Park’s Historic Venue” with David Trotter, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Sodexo Live! and Rucelle Soutar, CFO, Scottish Football Association.

Roy Westwood concludes:

Forward Associates can help venues to start to mix live and remote audiences into one space. While stadia and arenas are limited to the size of their capacities, the virtual stadium has no limits.

About Forward Associates

Forward Associates is a multidisciplinary venue agency. We are a collective of experts in strategy, interior design, branding, fan experience and venue commercialisation, including premium sales and marketing. We create real world experiences in venues, putting the fan at the heart of everything we do. Our strategic approach ensures innovation is a hallmark of our work. Our aim is to make venue experiences better. Putting the fan at the heart of everything we do ultimately drives greater revenues.

Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event and 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

ALSD International 2023 is taking place at Etihad Stadium this October, with venue tours complimenting the high-level conference, exhibition and networking events. This year’s edition will feature the inaugural Tech Symposium and a Fan Experience breakout being delivered by IIFX.

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

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