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10 minutes with Angela Hodson, Sales Director at Emirates Old Trafford

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PA Life talked to Angela Hodson, Sales Director at Emirates Old Trafford Lancashire Cricket Club about the recent development and expansion of the spaces at this fantastic events destination.

What makes Emirates Old Trafford unique as a conference and events venue?

We’re really proud of how Emirates Old Trafford has evolved into a complete events destination and a truly multi-purpose venue. With the Hilton Garden Inn extension that has been launched this summer, we now have 250 bedrooms on site which complement our unique conference and events offering. The venue is perfectly set up to host large scale conferences and exhibitions (utilising the Point and all our other break out space) and gala dinners – amongst everything else – and having the hotel on-site makes it even easier for guests to stay, particularly for those coming from further afield!

As part of the hotel extension, we created a new space called The Edge – which is a 150-seat restaurant – and means that we have more contemporary, new, and interesting spaces for our clients.

The venue is now well known for delivering concerts and cricket, but is also an inspirational space to host conferences, meetings, incentives, multi-day events, award-dinners and much more! We also have 700 on-site car parking spaces and a Caffè Nero at the venue, as well as great transport links – so we really feel like we’ve got everything an event would need.

Emirates Old Trafford is know as a top tier cricket venue. What hospitality packages can you offer?

The venue has a reputation of hosting some of the biggest international and domestic cricket fixtures following our multi-million-pound redevelopment over the last 15 years. Cricket is an exciting sport for corporate hospitality and the different formats of the game open up various options for experiences with your customers, clients, or team. As well as five-day Test Matches, there’s the option of T20 cricket or The Hundred, which are much shorter day and evening events complete with music and full-scale fan village entertainment.

We also have a wide variety of hospitality packages available which are in various rooms, lounges, or executive boxes across the venue. I’m bias of course, but we really do provide a fantastic experience for our hospitality guests whether it’s for a cricket match or a concert – and the entertainment that is on offer, as well as the food and drink offering – will cater for everyone!

What event spaces does Emirates Old Trafford have available for hire?

The best place to start is The Point which is our biggest event space and can hold up to 1,200. The space – which is column-free, offers a blank and intelligent canvas to inspire creativity and can host a wide range of events including dinners, conferences, exhibitions and much more. The Point, which opened 12 years ago really gave the venue the opportunity to develop its C&E offering and gave us credibility in the market to deliver high-profile, large-scale events and hospitality in an amazing new facility.

In addition to that, the Pavilion is able to accommodate up to 700 guests across the eight suites and nine executive boxes we have to offer, whilst we’ve also got our 250-bed onsite Hilton Garden Inn, featuring The Edge, our new events space and restaurant. This has a spectacular view of the pitch from the large panoramic windows which lead onto an extensive terrace area. This means you can walk round the stadium with different spaces offering different styles of events and different uses, from incentives to exhibitions, conferences to dinners.

How does your event team support event organisers?

Whilst the facilities are amazing, the venue is brought to life by our incredible team. We are all hugely committed to ensuring that our guests have a fantastic experience at Emirates Old Trafford, whether that’s for a cricket match, event, staying in the hotel or coming to a concert. We have fantastic on-site event managers who have a wealth of event management experience to work with our clients and customers to bring their visions to life and make their experience easier, better, and more collaborative.

What advice would you give to EAs and PAs who are planning clients and team events, perhaps for the first time?

My experience is that most of our EA and PA clients have a real vision for what they want. It’s important that this type of client knows and understands their client’s needs, so then we and other venues can supplement the vision and bring it all to life in the best way.

As I’ve already mentioned, as a venue, our team can help take away the stresses and strains of events that we host at Emirates Old Trafford. My main piece of advice for EAs and PAs who are organising events would be to lean on our event co-ordinators for their event organising expertise and experience and ultimately, their support. This allows the EAs and PAs juggle all the other responsibilities they have.

Are you currently offering any special packages for Christmas and winter?

I love what we do over Christmas, it’s such a great time to be in events and it’s another time of the year that the venue where we put on a show for our guests. For me, flexibility and adaptability is key and this is what we pride ourselves on. Sometimes our customers want to just hand the whole thing over to us, we bring together the menus, décor, theming, little added touches like selfie walls and photobooths, and basically take the pain away. Equally, we’ll have clients with a real vision for what they want to achieve, and we get to work with them to create it in our venue. It’s really good fun.

With private and shared party nights for 20 – 1,000 guests available at the venue, there really is something to make sure everyone has a night to remember! We also work with some fantastic suppliers that really add that magic touch to the venue, whilst we’ve also got a 250-bed hotel on-site with free parking for those that want to stop over. Or if you’re looking to extend the evening, we’re just a 10-minute tram or taxi into Manchester City centre.

What are your clients looking for when they book an event with you?

There are so many event venues in the UK now, but I’m not sure there are many as unique or versatile as Emirates Old Trafford. We know that clients are looking for flexibility and that they also want a venue that aligns with their organisations brand and purpose. Events need to show the businesses personality and values, and they need that reflected in the make-up of the event, including the venue it takes place in.

When they come to us, they are linking in a world class sports stadium, history and heritage but a venue with a keen eye for innovation and the future – as well as a piece of Manchester and our amazing northern hospitality. These values can be seen throughout our venue and allow them to build more personality into every event that we host at Emirates Old Trafford.

As with any event – you also want an experienced and dedicated team that you trust will look after you and that’s exactly what I know we have to offer here.

PA Life organised a fam trip for Event Organisers and PAs to Destination Emirates Old Trafford recently.