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“It’s been an amazing summer for everyone at GL events UK – both in our festivals business but also, across our sporting portfolio. The upward trajectory of high profile sporting events with which we have the privilege to work, has continued again in 2018 and we’ve immersed ourselves in elite level golf, athletics, horse racing, tennis, rugby and football.  So, you’ll have to forgive us if our competitive mindset mirrors that of our more primal sporting heroes!

Not least when we look at the viewing experience, our own contribution to many sporting events this summer, which to us has to be the very best it can be. We’ve written extensively about the ‘move towards premium’ in the sporting event industry – and not just in terms of high-value tickets and corporate hospitality. One of the key trends that came out of our ‘Futures’ research white paper, is that spectators of every demographic are looking for ‘better’, regardless of the level of ticket or its cost.

It’s why we’ve invested so heavily in developing the very best grandstand design for our event customers and why we’ve introduced another innovation this year.

For those new to the world of GL events, a few years ago we developed a stand that threw most of the competition into the shade.  Our aim was to create as close to perfect a spectator experience as possible; noiseless floors, higher sightlines, more comfortable seats. We wanted to take all the things that reduce the quality of the experience – rattling staircases, cramped legroom, uncomfortable seats, and the need to bob and weave one’s head to keep a track on the action – and produce a product that, while more premium, spoke directly to the spectators.

Given the choice, nearly all our clients took the product. Why? Because they understood their audiences and wanted to give them a great day first and foremost – and if that means an upgrade in grandstand, so be it. Good enough isn’t good enough, they wanted the best they could offer, and the moment it was offered, second best just didn’t cut the mustard.

Our next innovation follows on from this, and again it is unapologetically aimed at the spectator experience; the same great stand design, but this time with a stylish curved roof that is as adept at keeping the rain off as shielding spectators from the sun. Like the rest of the stand, it’s as stylish as it is practical. It looks good, it works, and it shows that the organiser cares about their guests.

It shouldn’t have surprised us that the appetite was once again excellent. One of our biggest projects of the year was the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, and spectators had their fair share of rain and shine. The new grandstand design was deployed and the response was excellent; of course it was.

This is a new audience that not only wants the best, but also wants to feel cared for; to know that event organisers are giving them the best they can, every time. Organisers care deeply about their spectators’ experience and our new design was just one piece in the jigsaw to make them feel welcome. Once again, if they can get the best, they get the best; second is not good enough.

GL events UK has taken another step towards the elusive ‘perfect viewing experience’ and event organisers and their customers have embraced it wholeheartedly. For us, this is both great news for the industry and brilliant news for team GL events UK.”

Scott Jameson, UK Group Managing Director