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First look at first direct arena? Attend UKVMA, 7 November

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The next UKVMA meeting is less than a month away, to be held at the prestigious new first direct arena in Leeds on Thursday 7 November. The day will be focused on key revenue generating facets of running a venue such as CRM, hospitality, ticketing and retail POS. Confirmed speakers include Agilysys, Prestige Ticketing and SMG, which is the arena’s operator.

To secure your place at this free networking event for venues please contact

UKVMA members are invited to two upcoming job-useful events

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The next UKVMA networking event will take place at the first direct arena Leeds on Thursday 7 November. For further details and to book your place at this brand new venue, please contact Konrad Start at or on 07929 272785.

first direct arena is making a big splash as the first super theatre in the UK (pictured, courtesy Populous). Get all the project details in the Autumn issue of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine.

Meanwhile UKVMA members can catch up on employment law at a seminar at the Town Hall, Reading on 9 October, which will be hosted by Blandy and Blandy Solicitors, who recently presented at the UKVMA meeting at the O2 Arena.

The interactive half day seminar will be hosted by Blandy’s Employment Law Team and will explore how employers can maximise the opportunities arising from the ever-changing world of employment law. In order to create a dynamic, efficient workforce, employers must embrace change, seize opportunities and minimise challenges. We will take you through the recent legal changes highlighting what your business can do, in practice, to get the best from your employees. The seminar will cover issues surrounding:

  • Creating the right employment framework
  • Dynamic performance and absence management
  • Working practices which maximise return

Whilst opportunities undoubtedly exist for employers, compliance requirements are also on the increase and employers cannot afford to be complacent. The Bland and Blandy team will take you through some new areas of compliance, including:

  • Employers’ duties relating to Pension Auto-enrolment
  • Redundancy and TUPE changes
  • Impact of latest employment case law

Blandy has advised that there will be plenty of opportunity to ‘pick the brains’ of their Employment Law specialists on the above or other topics of interest to UKVMA members.

Diary: UK Venue Managers Association event line-up

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The UK Venue Managers Association (UKVMA) held its latest meeting in the prestigious Green Room at The 02 Arena in London on 23 July. More than 40 invited delegates enjoyed a full day of discussion and networking, including talks from the Director of Venues 2012, Sports Ground Safety Authority and Fire Protection Association.

The next UKVMA meeting will be in the autumn and if you wish to attend as a speaker or delegate please email Konrad at or ring 0208 313 9790.

The UK Venue Managers Association (UKVMA) has announced a new management team for day to day operation of the organisation. The new board will comprise Neil Levett, Noel Jeffs, Michael Cunnah and Konrad Start. Start will be overseeing the Association’s day to day operation.

UKVMA provides a platform for managers of multi-purpose venues, including major sports, music events conferences and exhibitions, to meet and discuss solutions to real and potential problems. It is also a forum for leading suppliers of products and services to the venue industry to regularly discuss, explain and demonstrate direct to influential end-users, as well as through the UKVMA website.

Chairman, Neil Levett said:

This is an exciting time for UKVMA. A number of new initiatives will be introduced over the coming months and the partnerships being developed between UKVMA and other parties can only lend themselves to more benefits and opportunities for UKVMA members.

UKVMA board at a glance

Konrad Start

Konrad Start

Based in London, Konrad has over six years of experience in the stadium industry working for PanStadia Publishing. After a first career in finance, Konrad gained a Football Industry MBA at Liverpool University, including a dissertation on Membership Schemes. Subsequently he worked for British Tennis as its Membership Manager.

Michael Cunnah

Michael Cunnah

Michael is an experienced sports business professional who specialises in reviewing strategies, business and financial plans, new stadium development plans, stakeholder relationships and marketing/commercial plans. He was the man responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of the new Wembley Stadium. He has worked as CEO and Finance Director of The Football Association and was Chief Operating Officer at Aston Villa.

Noel Jeffs

Noel Jeffs

Noel is President of the the UK Venue Managers Association, establishing the association as a market leader and knowledge base to help continuously develop and improve industry standards and best practice. See press release…

Jeffs has over 30 years of facilities and event management experience in the sport and entertainment industry. He directed the operational design and opening of the new Wembley Stadium ensuring regulatory compliance and licencing and was responsible for the planning and staging of more than 100 stadium concerts, in addition to international and domestic sporting events.