Guy Dunstan, General Manager of Arenas, NEC Group, has been appointed as the new Chair of the National Arenas Association (NAA). He takes over the position from outgoing Chair Geoff Huckstep, CEO, Capital FM Arena Nottingham, who has served in the post on his second term for the past two and a half years. Dunstan’s term runs until December 2015. He said:
The NAA has made significant progress with the best interests of the industry at its heart, and I look forward to continuing this important work.
I’ve been on the steering group for the last three years – leading on training and instigating an arenas safety group. We are now launching the Arenas Safety Guide, which I see as a key development for the industry.
As Chair, I would like to see the strengthening of our networks across the industry – we’re already successful with networking in event management, safety, sales and marketing and rigging. I also see a real opportunity to grow networks in areas such as facilities, security, and sustainability.
Another area Guy is passionate on is training within the arenas industry. As lecturer for the European Academy of Venue Management, run by the IAVM (international Association of Venue Managers), he teaches booking and scheduling in arenas, and best practice in customer experience. He added:
Training has always been at the core of what the NAA delivers for its members and we are developing a long term training programme to extend it to other parts of the industry. We do this well for event management, but want to widen the benefits to other areas.
Improving the customer experience should be the main priority of venues. The diversity of the arena programme has changed significantly over the last few years; we attract audiences of different profiles – music, sport, ballet, comedy, etc – and it’s important we share best practice in the customer experience across our industry.
I thank Geoff Huckstep for his excellent work as outgoing Chair – he is a tough act to follow but I am relishing the challenge of this new role.
Geoff Huckstep, former NAA Chair, and CEO, Capital FM Arena Nottingham, said:
I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Guy. He has been instrumental in driving forward the training and development work on behalf of the NAA and this has earned him the respect of all the members and other significant stakeholders within the live music industry. There is no question that Guy possesses the skills, drive and energy to take the Association forward over the coming years!