Neil attended our UK & Europe Executive Summit in London in 2018 with a group of senior leaders from arts and cultural organisations across the UK. He reflects on his time attending the Executive Summit and the opportunities ahead.
What are you most excited about in your role as Venue Director at Fairfield Halls? And what’s going to challenge you?
I am most excited about reconnecting with the audience; listening to their feedback and using data to inform the ongoing proposition across all of the spaces. As the largest London borough by population, Croydon has 35% of its population under the age of 25 and 53% BAME. Delivering a new venue that reaches across the community is an exciting challenge and one that will be ongoing. Engaging with the community and remaining relevant to them will be a constant focus for my team and I. I look forward to working with external partners to develop successful engagement strategies.
Why did you decide to attend?
To meet like minded colleagues and to learn from their experiences. Leading a venue can be lonely and at times you feel isolated as everyone looks to you for the way forward. To build relationships with peers creates a much needed network. To learn about new practices/best practice.
What was the biggest thing you learnt at the Executive Summit?
That my thoughts on seating plans, price bands and audience relationships were on the right path. I came away with a clearer idea on how to structure and focus my audience engagement team. It is everyone’s responsibility to develop and retain loyalty amongst our patrons.
What did you enjoy the most?
The presentations on loyalty and seating plans – it made things clear in my mind and reassured me that I did know what I was doing!
What was the first thing you changed when you got back?
Redrafted my proposed staff structure and ensured that the importance of the patron was clear in all job descriptions.
Join us at a future Summit
With almost 100 people having participated in our Executive Summits in Europe, we're now planning future Summits for 2018 and 2019, which bring together executive leaders from North America and Europe, for a time of reflection, connection and professional growth. Contact us to register your interest for future Executive Summits.
Photo: Fairfield Halls & College Green ©Rick Mather Architects