Athena, the iconic Art Deco events venue in Leicester’s vibrant cultural district, has carried out new research that sheds light on the top priorities of sporting event organisers.
The research shows that flexibility is the top priority for sporting event organisers, who also place great value on independent venues and in-house teams.
Planners emphasized the importance of flexibility regarding venue space, service and event packages. They showed a preference for independent venues due to their adaptability, flexible bespoke service and a wide range of flexible packages for events of all calibers. Many stated that in-house production and catering site teams also allow for greater customization and flexibility on budgets.
Value also emerged as a key discussion topic as event planners have faced rising event costs over the past year. Some are afraid to pass these costs on to visitors through higher ticket prices. There is a shared concern that higher ticket prices may deter potential attendees, resulting in reduced event participation.
As a result, planners continue to deliver exceptional experiences while balancing the greater need for value. For example, England Hockey Development Officer Gail Rushton found that choosing a high-profile location in central Britain helped. She explained: “We have used Athena several times for national hockey events in England due to its central location in Britain,” making the venue more easily accessible and cost-effective for the hockey community.
Dominic Musgrave, operations director of the National Fitness Awards, echoed the sentiment, adding: “We are always conscious of providing value to participants. 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 cater. It’s about delivering exceptional experiences while ensuring value for visitors.” Athena’s independence also means that the company is well placed to offer tailor-made packages based on the needs of its customers.
Hira Ram, Events Manager at Athena, explained the motive behind the investigation. She said: “We conducted this research to understand the challenges planners and visitors face, particularly at sporting events. As an independent venue, we are proud to offer a stylish, historic venue with modern capabilities, as well as seamless execution, unique experiences, tailored support, packages and service.”