A Q&A with Kristina Embleton, senior sales executive for the M&E sales department at the Emirates Stadium
In our latest Q&A feature we talk to Kristina Embleton, senior sales executive for the M&E sales department at the Emirates Stadium
Tell us about your role at the Emirates Stadium and how long you have been there?
I am the senior sales executive for the M&E sales department. My role predominately looks after the reactive sales as well as the managing of the marketing budget. This reactive sales role requires maximising revenue for the club on non-match days by converting enquiries to confirmed business. My role requires taking enquiries to create individual proposals for each event’s specific requirements. Following this I would conduct site visits of the Emirates Stadium and ultimately confirming the business. I work closely with the event coordinators and the setup team to ensure a smooth transition from sales to operations. Building relationships with clients and ensuring their experience at Arsenal is a success helps to ensure that the guests repeatedly hold events at the stadium.
What’s the best thing about working at the Emirates Stadium?
One of the best things about working here is being able to see the Emirates Stadium every day. We are very lucky getting to spend our days in a spectacular sporting stadium and although not everyone may be a huge football fan I think we can all appreciate how impressive the venue is. Because of this, we are fortunate enough to host over seven hundred events a year. The events which are held at the stadium are varied from week long conferences to large weddings: making our jobs diverse and exciting.
How did you get into the industry?
I have always had a passion for events from a young age. Even in school, I would organise Charity events for staff and students to raise money for the chosen charity. I studied Events and Leisure Marketing at Bournemouth University which was a 4-year sandwich course. It was a diverse course and required a placement within the industry in the third year which I took at a hotel in St. Albans. I was lucky enough to be offered a job at the same place after my degree had finished, selling and planning conference events. After two years I was approached for a job at Arsenal football club as a Meetings and Events Sales Executive which was a new challenge moving from Hotels to a Stadium (as I had to increase my knowledge on football dramatically). After 1 year and 8 months I was promoted to the Senior Meeting and Events Sales Executive.
What is the history of the Emirates Stadium?
The Emirates Stadium is the home of Arsenal Football Club. It was opened in 2006 and is acknowledged as one of the finest football stadiums in the world, with nearly 60,000 seats (which is soon to increase). The Stadium is enriched with history inside and outside of the stadium and it is this ‘Arsenalistion’ which means that fans are no longer just spectators, but active and vibrant participants of the game. The development of The Emirates Stadium was not only built to increase the number of seats for the football matches but also to improve the hospitality areas within the Stadium. With the development of these hospitality areas the Emirates Stadium is also a ground-breaking meetings and events venue.
Interesting fact about the Emirates Stadium/tell us something we wouldn’t know?
The Emirates Stadium prides itself on its heritage and holds a vast amount of history within. The original clock from the Highbury stadium is located on the outside of the stadium, where the previous manager Herbert Chapman statue is seen to be looking up at it. The original clock was too small to be inside of the stadium and so a bigger one was made to replace it. There is also a replica of the original clock in our Diamond Club.
What’s the most interesting event you have worked on, and how did the venue cope with it?
The most interesting event which I worked on was a large conference for an IT company. The event was only booked in 3 weeks prior to the date of the event so was a quick turnaround for all involved. There were numerous meetings and site visits leading up to the event with many departments involved from Arsenal to provide accurate information based on their expertise. There was a 5-day build with 24 hour access in order to completely change the existing format of the spaces and rebrand the spaces. Three spaces in total were used however additional rooms were created within the spaces to create 8 different spaces. All of the staff were extremely flexible to the ever-changing needs of the client and the events team all worked together to enable to event to have 24 hour access. The event day welcomed 300 delegates to the Emirates Stadium and included a plenary session, breakouts, catering space, interactive area and drinks reception space. The event was a huge success and the feedback from the delegates and the client was very positive.
What events work best at the Emirates Stadium?
I would say that events such as conferences and meetings work best at the Emirates Stadium. Our array of accommodating and versatile spaces allows clients to use as much or as little space as required and in whatever way they desire. With most of our spaces being on the same floor and designed to fit the oval structure, it allows events to flow with ease and makes each room accessible to all clients.
Why do clients choose to host events at the Emirates Stadium?
What attracts our clients to the Emirates Stadium is the concept that their event can have as little or as many football elements as they wish. Not only do guests make their way to an event to be greeted by the spectacular views of the pitch but can be met by Arsenal legends; there to tell stories and re-live moments from their Arsenal journeys. Replica trophies can be an attraction at any of our events and the added activity of a stadium tour provides guests with the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes of this great football club. The element of football doesn’t have to be present at an event as our stadium can simply be appreciated as a unique and modern venue that truly speaks for itself. The Emirates Stadium can be whatever the client wants and needs for it to be.
What are your venues top 3 USPs that separate you from other venues?
- Full views of the pitch from all event spaces - Meet & greets plus Q&A’s with Arsenal Legends - Access to the tiered seating outside
What changes or exciting plans are coming up in 2018 for the venue?
We are excited to announce that our Dial Square suite is undergoing a huge renovation across the summer period.
Do you require a venue for a meeting, conference or event in the UK? If so click here to make a free enquiry and see up to the minute availability and prices for suitable venues.