One of Heather Morgan’s immediate priorities when joining Ricoh Arena as Head of Marketing was to give the venue some personality, because after all, she says, people buy from people they like.
Ricoh Arena is operating in a fast-paced industry that is reflecting what is happening in the wider world, where consumer habits are changing and technological advances are gathering pace, and as a venue the challenge for us is to embrace this to ensure we remain the go-to destination for event organisers.
Sustainability. Wellbeing. Diversity. These are all topics that are becoming increasingly important to society, and it is important that as many players in the events industry join the conversation and put plans into action – but amongst venues’ efforts to adapt, there is one underlying principle that should not be overlooked. Building relationships.
When I say building relationships, I mean upholding the tradition of dedicating time to meeting with people face-to-face; it’s an essential habit.
If we take a typical day for me at Ricoh Arena for example, my first task is usually seeing what events we have in so I can go to personally meet the event organiser. Not just to see how they have rated some of the additional free marketing we have provided for their event, but to also gather feedback on the event itself which I can feedback to other areas of the business.
It’s this sort of personal approach that can really go a long way to securing repeat business, because people buy from people that they like. It’s an outlook that has stood me in good stead over my 30-plus year career within the leisure industry!
Building relationships of course stretches to online too, which is why I have set a long-term goal to see Ricoh Arena’s website promote not just the plethora of services and facilities we offer, but also the people that make the venue a success.
Prior to joining Ricoh Arena, I spent around 25 years in sales and marketing at a major operator of leisure centres, visitor attractions and golf courses where I was supporting 35 different sites – and although I am now responsible for one venue, the role is just as rewarding and fast-paced due to the sheer volume of events that we hold here.
I’m a firm believer of cramming as much as I can into the day. I begin every day with some form of exercise, and then after the day job, I am often found at home studying a couple of hours a night for my Open University English Literature degree. I initially failed my English A-Level so went back and successfully re-did it, and now I am on the cusp of gaining a degree in the subject once I complete my sixth essay!
I feel like I have the job of my dreams here at Ricoh Arena – the facilities and people here are fantastic in equal measure, and I’m looking forward to using the creative licence that has been afforded to me to enhance Ricoh Arena’s reputation as the go-to destination for conferences, exhibitions, meetings and music concerts close to the heart of Birmingham.
About Ricoh Arena
Ricoh Arena is one of the UK’s most versatile venues for live sport, music, conferences and exhibitions, putting the Midlands on the map as a leading destination for events.
The venue boasts a 32,000-seater stadium bowl alongside the 6,000 square metre Ericsson Indoor Arena and 80 versatile suites for meetings. There is also an onsite 121-bedroom DoubleTree by Hilton hotel and Grosvenor casino.
The Coventry-based venue is within a two-hour car journey of 75 per cent of the UK, and is twenty minutes away from Birmingham Airport.