Nearly 2,000 visitors flocked to the Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2016 conference and exhibition held last week in Yokohama, Japan.
The 1,995 attendees took in high-level speeches from more than 80 speakers, while 65 exhibitors displayed their products and services at the Yokohama Arena.
Now in its 19th year, the event brought together industry leaders in all aspects of sports venue design/build, management, operations and technology from around the world.
In a packed conference room, over 500 delegates heard welcome speeches from the leaders of the Japan Sports Agency, Tokyo 2020, the Rugby World Cup 2019, the J-League and Japan’s Basketball League.
Topics covered throughout the conference ranged from master planning, regional projects and Japan’s college venues to fan engagement, commercialisation, security, technology and playing surfaces.
The British Olympic Association’s CEO Bill Sweeney then closed the event with enlightening insights into Team GB’s preparations for Tokyo 2020.
Neil Levett, managing director of organiser Alad Ltd., said:
From the organiser perspective the event went better than anybody felt possible.
It was pointed out to me on one of the preparation and planning trips that I had to Japan that we were creating an industry in Japan whilst also launching an event.
The Japanese Venue Management market is embryonic as there are only a few organisations running their facility for a profit. The majority are Prefecture owned and, as such, run to a budgeted maintenance cost rather than a desired operating surplus. For that to occur the venue has to be designed, built and operated with that focus from the very outset.
Therefore, to achieve just under 2,000 attendees with over 30% of these international from outside of Japan – and to have had two thirds of the exhibitors sign up to rebook on site – we as organisers wouldn’t have dared to dream of anything like the response that we have had.
One exhibitor who was delighted with the show and the response from attendees said:
Huge congratulations on what was a superb conference.
Image: Ryo Date, director of business operations for Rugby World Cup 2019, with a signed Manchester United Shirt he won in a business card draw on the Controlled Solutions Group stand.
The next event is scheduled to take place from 26-28 September 2017 at the Makuhari Event Hall, Makuhari Messe, Chiba City, Japan.
As they left site, our delegates were exceptionally complimentary about the content of the speaker programme whilst the speakers and exhibitors were very impressed wsith the quality of attendee’s so it really was an all round success. We were delighted with the manner in which the Japanese market bought intot the concept.
Obviously the event wasn’t just organised by Alad Ltd. We were fortunate that we had some amazing partners in Space Media Japan (Part of the Congress Corporation), Kotobuki Seating and Sol Sports Management without whom none of this would have been possible. They should be equally complimented as much as Alad Ltd.