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Emirates Old Trafford's #CheckInWith series

Our #CheckInWith series is designed to go behind the scenes and meet the professionals who make Emirates Old Trafford an award-winning multi-purpose venue.

The features will provide event organisers, businesses and delegates alike, with insight into the life of the team who inspire the fantastic events held here at the stadium.

Our #CheckInWith features will be uploaded each month, placing a spotlight on the professionals who create a memorable experience for guests and delegates throughout the year. 

So keep #CheckIngback!

  • 📌#CheckInWith: Nicola Pinder, Senior Business Development Manager 📋

    In February's edition we #CheckInWith Nicola Pinder from our Conference and Events Team, to find out a little more about her day to day role and her best bits about working at Emirates Old Trafford.

    What is your job title?

    I am Senior Business Development Manager. 

    How long have you been at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’ve been at the company for seven years and ten months – which is a short stint in comparison to some of the other members of the team!

    What does your day to day role include?

    My main role is to bring in new business, to drive revenue and bookings. Part of this will involve me contacting corporate clients and agents for new business and to see what event needs they are currently searching for.

    Additionally, I manage the clients I work with and respond to any new enquiries which I receive. There’s also the day to day admin side of things, which involves completing request for proposals, planning FAM trips to entertain and educate new clients about our offering, as well as venue show-rounds.

    What’s so unique about Emirates Old Trafford?

    We have everything you need on-site, which makes for a fantastic venue for clients. We have great event space, on-site accommodation, a Caffè Nero, outdoor space and parking. All of this is complemented by a fabulous backdrop, which is Lancashire Cricket.

    What high profile clients do you work with on a regular basis?

    It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to work with brands such as; RBS, JD Sports and The Co-Op, to name but a few.

    What are the top three things that organisers/agencies need to consider when booking a venue for a conference/event?

    This is quite a difficult one, as so many clients have such varied requirements, but I’d have to say it’s location, flexibility, and accommodation.

    At Emirates Old Trafford, we’re easily accessible with great transport links – we’re just three miles out of the city centre and have a Metrolink stop right behind our hotel.

    Clients are after flexibility of space and natural daylight. Our space, The Point, has a moveable wall for delegates to scale up or down the space however they require, and all of our spaces overlook Lancashire Cricket. Natural daylight is so important from a health and wellbeing perspective too, and we’re proud to offer breakout spaces which allow our delegates the opportunity to have access to fresh air.

    And of course, our four-star Hilton Garden Inn offers the perfect opportunity to host a multi-day or residential conference or event.

    What are the top three things that organisers/agencies ask for?

    Again, this is quite tricky, but I’d have to say free parking, added value and high quality Wi-Fi.

    At the moment, we’re introducing stadium wide Wi-Fi, to enhance its capability when there are thousands of visitors to the site, whether that’s for a conference or one of our major matches. We also offer parking for up to 700 guests, which is a fantastic facility, and we always tailor our packages for our clients to maximise their event, where possible.

    Favourite space at Emirates Old Trafford? Why?

    My favourite space would have to be The Point – it’s award winning for a reason! There’s so much you can do with the space, as we can tailor it for small events, or larger exhibitions for up to 1,200 guests. There’s endless opportunities to deliver great events and the view of the cricket ground provides that added extra.

    And to finish, what’s your guilty pleasure?

    I’m a bit of a sucker for any reality programme really, like TOWIE.

    If you'd like to chat to Nicola about your next conference or event, she'd love to hear from you. Give her a call to discuss your requirements on 0161 282 4020.

  • 📌#CheckInWith: Liam Rutherford, Hilton Garden Inn Head Chef 👨‍🍳

    In March's edition, we #CheckInWith Head Chef Liam Rutherford, part of the team at the award-winning four star Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford, who shares the inspiration behind the newly launched hotel menu.

    What is your job title?

    I am the Hotel Head Chef.

    How long have you been at the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’m relatively new to the team, having just joined over four months ago.

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    Part of my responsibilities include preparing breakfast and dinner for the residents, and creating new menus for our guests to enjoy.

    Additionally, I am in charge of training our kitchen and front of house team on new dishes, and admin jobs such as managing food costs.

    What do you enjoy about working at the hotel?

    I really enjoy the diversity of the job, as each day is different. The team I work with are great and we’ve got an exciting year ahead – I’m particularly looking forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup.

    What projects have you been working on during your role?

    My main project has been creating the new menu, which has just launched in the Garden Grille, and now that it’s live, I’m focusing on training my team on the dishes.

    I also want to improve our breakfast offering, so that’s going to be the next project that I’ll sink my teeth into.

    You’ve recently launched the new menu for Spring/Summer – how do you go about pairing ingredients/creating dishes?

    When writing a new menu, I first and foremost think about who I’m cooking for and what I believe they’re expecting. As each restaurant has different clientele, I believe it’s important to understand this first, as you can then create dishes to really inspire them.

    Seasonality is also key – you don’t want to have too many heavy dishes on offer during the summer months, whereas in winter, your menu should have plenty of comfort dishes.

    What I like to do is pull on my experience when it comes to creating new dishes, as I have developed dishes which I know are crowd pleasers, but you also need to have a few dishes that will intrigue your guests to try something new.

    I think the menu should be balanced, and also cater for guests with special dietary requirements.

    What’s your favourite dish on the menu?

    I’d have to say that my favourite dish is the braised ox cheek, served with buttered new potatoes, tenderstem broccoli and red wine sauce.

    I really like to create dishes with ingredients which some people may not have tried before, and if they try it for the first time here and enjoy it, I’d hope it would stick in their mind and encourage them to come back for more.

    What’s your one golden cooking rule?

    Keep it simple.

    What are you most excited about in the upcoming year?

    Inside of work, I’m looking forward to making the restaurant more of a destination eatery, rather than just for residents only.

    Outside of work, my partner and I have not long welcomed twins into the world, so I’m excited to watch them grow.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure? (This can be a song, food, TV show etc.)

    When I find time to unwind, I do like to watch a bit of reality TV, but don’t tell anyone.

    If you’d like to try the newly launched hotel menu, or to book a room at the hotel, Liam and the team would love to see you there. Find out more and book a room or table here.

  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Sarah McManus, Events and Project Manager 🏏

    In April's edition, we #CheckInWith Sarah McManus, part of the Operations Team at the award-winning Emirates Old Trafford, to find out a little more about what her role entails on a match day, as well as on a  day-to-day basis.

    What is your job title?

    I am an Events and Project Manager.

    How long have you been at the Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’ve been at the venue for almost four years now – three years, 11 months to be more precise.

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    On a day-to-day basis, I manage the various events at the venue and plan the stadium projects. I also play a part in the implementation of concerts at the venue, as well as cricket matches, both at Emirates Old Trafford and the out grounds around the north west.

    What has been the highlight of working at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’d have to say it was being part of the One Love concert – it was such a quick turnaround, particularly with us hosting The Courteeners the week before, but it was such a memorable and spectacular event. Everyone came together as a team ensuring everything was set up and seeing Manchester come together despite the devastating event was really something special.

    How are you preparing for the biggest summer of cricket at the venue?

    There’s so many elements to consider this summer. We’ve undertaken many planning meetings with the organising committees and in particular, for the ICC Cricket World Cup, we have liaised very closely with the International Cricket Council to ensure we fulfil the competition to the highest standard. We’ve also worked closely with all the other stakeholders both internal and external to the business who have a vested interest in the season, to ensure everyone is comfortable about the upcoming events, this could include local authorities, GM Police, Transport for Greater Manchester and others. Our job within the Operations Team is to ensure that the venue is looking its very best and that we have all the relevant facilities available to ensure everyone has a great experience whilst they’re here.

    Lots of people think we only work during the summer but in fact during the winter we work really hard to ensure that we are fully prepared, sourcing car parking and designing site plans plus working alongside the Conference and Events team to ensure that cricket events don’t impact on the additional conferences and meetings we host.

    What does a match day look like for you?

    Match days are incredibly busy. Typically, I manage the coordination of the site alongside the maintenance team. I also liaise with the other members of the Operations department and the Venue Safety Officer to ensure that the venue is safe, clean and ready to open the gates to the public.

    I’ll also respond to calls as they come in around the site, manage the on-site entertainment and prepare the gates for fans to exit when the game finishes.

    How does your job differ from a match day, as opposed to a non-match day?

    On a non-match day, I am mainly office based, ensuring the relevant administration and planning is done and in time for the install of the fixture. On an install day, where vendors are setting up, deliveries are being made and hotel guests are checking in, we ensure that each stakeholder has been briefed and knows where to go and what to do, like a well-oiled machine. This means a lot of time spent walking around the stadium keeping an eye out for anything that may need moving or fixing before the match day. During this time we liaise regularly with the Venue Safety Officer to ensure that all health and safety aspects are correct and the stadium is ready for visitors.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure? (This can be a song, food, TV show etc.)

    Love Island… only six weeks to go.

    If you’d like to find out more about Emirates Old Trafford and Lancashire Cricket Club, please visit our 'About Us' page here.

  • 📌#CheckInWith: Pete Ash, Conference and Events General Manager 🏟

    In May's edition we #CheckInWith Pete Ash, part of the Conference and Events team at the award-winning Emirates Old Trafford, to find out a little more about his role and a typical event day at the venue.

    What is your job title?

    I am the Conference and Events General Manager. 

    How long have you been at Emirates Old Trafford?

    This year marks my 25th year with the Club.

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    My role is incredibly varied, which is why I love it. On a day-to-day basis, I’m involved in meetings in order to plan ahead for larger events at the venue, and help to shape the direction of the catering team. For example, if there is an event who would like a bespoke menu created for them, I will work closely with our events team and Head Chef, to ensure that we’re really hitting the brief and that both the client and team are happy with what we’re creating.

    What does a typical day at the ground look like for you, when there’s a conference or event being held at the ground?

    It’s not too dissimilar to my usual role, but I mainly oversee the event and check that everything is running smoothly. Because there’s so much pre-event planning involved, the day can run like clockwork, but there can be things that crop up on the day that you need to react and deal with quickly.

    What has been the highlight of working at Emirates Old Trafford?

    When you’ve worked at the ground for as long as I have, it’s hard to pick just one. If I had to pick a couple of standout moments, one of course would be the One Love concert, as it was an unforgettable experience. We had The Courteeners just five nights prior, so in essence, we had five days to execute an event which would usually take five months planning. Everyone in the Club pulled together and worked incredibly long hours to deliver something which was truly spectacular.

    But, in 2009 we hosted five Take That concerts over six nights – it was an incredibly busy time in the run up to the concerts and ensuring that everything was ready to go. Another highlight for me had to be on the 2005 Ashes series when England reclaimed the series – we turned 15,000 people away on day five who had turned up to the ground, which was already at full capacity, in the hope to catch a glimpse of history. It was an extraordinary series and one which I hope we’re able to recreate this year.

    How are you preparing for the biggest summer of cricket at the venue?

    Only one word to describe this – meetings. There’s so many elements that we need to prepare for in order to provide the best possible experience for our fans, as Sarah touched on in the last edition, so we’ve been working closely with the ECB and ICC to ensure we are fulfilling the competitions to the highest standard.

    But it’s not just cricket that we’re preparing for this summer. The Stadium Business Summit and Awards are being held at the venue this June, bringing many international visitors to the venue. It’s one of the biggest events that we hold here at The Point, so there’s a lot of organisation and preparation which goes into ensuring that the event is a huge success.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure? (This can be a song, food, TV show etc.)  

    Listening to my music very loudly in the car on the way to and from work – I’m trying to convert others to my musical tastes.

    If you would like to enquire about hosting an event at Emirates Old Trafford, the team would love to hear from you. Give them a call on 0161 868 4200 or use our enquiry form here.

  • 📌#CheckInWith: Alexis Yaghil, Reservations Manager 🛏️

    This month, we #CheckInWith Alexis Yaghil, part of the team at the award-winning Hilton Garden Inn, to find out more about his role and how it works alongside the Conference and Events Team.

    What is your job tile?

    I am the Reservations Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford.

    How long have you been at the hotel?

    I joined in June 2017, so coming up to two years now. It’s been a great few years and I’ve been able to progress into this role, as I joined as Front Office Supervisor.

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    I spend a lot of time looking at numbers and spreadsheets, to ensure that we are making strategic decisions on what rates to sell rooms at throughout the year. I am also the main point of contact for all group accommodation enquiries, so this requires me to work closely with the Conference and Events team to assist with the hotel side of the business.

    How do you prepare for big events at the hotel, such as TheStadiumBusiness, the ICC Cricket World Cup and other major events?

    My motto is to check, double check and triple check everything. We ensure that everyone in all levels of the business are aware of what is happening, and how things will work operationally during these key events. A lot of my time is spent making sure details are correct and accurate in the hotel reservation system, so that guests receive a smooth check-in experience and arrive with a positive first impression of the hotel.

    What do you think makes the Hilton Garden Inn so unique?

    I think it’s definitely the fact that we are a part of Lancashire Cricket Club and Emirates Old Trafford. Being part of such an iconic sports venue and stadium means that the hotel is party to so many different events throughout the year. This can be corporate events such as TheStadiumBusiness and Christmas parties, incredible sporting events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, The Ashes and Lancashire’s domestic season and even concerts headlined by world-renowned artists. Being able to be a part of that and offering delegates and fans a unique experience is really special.

    Also, the 85 pitch-facing rooms, excuse the expression, provide a real wow factor – even somebody who might not be a cricket fan can be blown away by the view.

    How do you work with the Conference and Events team to maximise the hotel offering and secure bookings?

    I think the hotel is uniquely positioned and is the perfect location for events. The bridge link on the third floor connects the hotel, The Pavilion and The Point, which is something I've never seen in another venue.

    When we receive enquiries for the hotel bedrooms, I always try and find out whether we can also accommodate their meeting requirements, so we can secure the whole business for the Club. It also works vice versa, as the team try to secure hotel bookings for larger events. Throughout the year, we try and offer competitive prices and more bedrooms to events that are taking place on-site to incentivise companies to use our venue exclusively for their events.

    What do you offer delegates and/or event organisers who are looking to book at the hotel?

    I think the hotel sells itself – our pitch-facing rooms offer our guests a completely different experience and as I mentioned, we have the bridge links connecting the hotel, the Pavilion and The Point, so delegates don't have to step outside. Plus, our location is ideal as we’re just three miles from the city centre, easily accessible by public transport and have 600 on-site parking spaces. 

    In terms of offers – we offer more bedroom inventory, competitive rates and of course, the convenience of having their event and accommodation in one place.

    What has been the highlight of working at the hotel?

    Definitely having the opportunity to be here for major events, such as the Liam Gallagher concert in 2018. It was the first time that we had hosted a concert at the Club, and as a hotel we offered the ‘Ultimate Concert Package’, which was a ticket inclusive, premium hospitality experience for two people that provided them with a unique vantage point to watch the concert from - it was the first time any sports ground in the UK had done something like that. It was a huge success, as all the tickets sold out and we also won a Sports Business Award for this particular offering. 

    This year, being able to say that I played a part in the ICC Cricket World Cup is very rewarding, and something which I’m proud to be a part of. I have learned a lot in my two years at the hotel and the Club, which will really benefit me in my career.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure?

    I shamelessly love Bridget Jones’ Diary.


    If you’re interested in booking accommodation for your next event, our Reservations Team would love to hear from you. Give them a call on 0161 868 7100, or email, and the team will be able to assist with your enquiry. 

  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Warren Hegg, Head of Cricket Business 🏏

    This month, we #CheckInWith Warren Hegg, part of the Business Development team at Emirates Old Trafford, to find out about how his role sits with the events and hospitality team.

    What is your job title?

    I’m Head of Cricket Business.

    How long have you been at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I actually played for Lancashire many moons ago, in 1986 – 2005 which was really special, as I was able to captain the team and play in two Ashes tours.  Since 2005, I’ve been a part of the business side of the Club within the Business Development team and also work closely with the commercial team. I’ve got Lancashire Cricket in my veins!

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    Some say that I’m the face of Lancashire Cricket, but to be honest, that’s just me being modest.

    My role sits within three different sectors of the Club, so I get to know everybody. I work closely with the cricket department to provide wicket keeper training and scout future talent, as well as working with the Academy and their players. This also links with the Lancashire Cricket Foundation team, where I help to encourage the future of grass roots cricket.

    A large part of my role sits with the commercial team and help deliver partners contractual rights, and network with the existing partners and also prospective partners of the Club. I’m heavily involved with the deliverables of players’ kit and the branding, so liaise with our key partners.

    I also deliver experiential tours of the Club, for partners and corporate clients – so I’m a jack of all trades really.

    How does your role sit within the hospitality, conference and events team?

    I help to facilitate FAM trips which are organised by third parties, and provide a real Lancashire Cricket experience. I think I bring a unique factor to these visits, in the fact that I’ve been at the Club most of my life, both as a player and a member of staff, so I’m able to reflect and highlight how fantastic the Club is.

    A key aspect of my work with the C&E team is that I help to build client relationships, sales and ensure the delivery of all our hospitality products, particularly for international matches such as the ICC Cricket World Cup and the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test, but also, for the domestic Vitality Blast games too.

    On a typical match day, what is your role?

    My main role on a match day is a hospitality liaison, so I network with all guests and clients in the hospitality areas at the Club, including The Point, the 1864 Suite, Members’ Suite and our Executive Boxes.

    I make sure I liaise with all our guests and ensure they’re having the best possible experience and have everything they need.

    What work has gone in to preparing for the ICC Cricket World Cup, the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test and also events such as TheStadiumBusiness?

    A lot of planning, I can’t recall a day where I haven’t been in a meeting about these events over the last 12 months.

    The end goal from my perspective, and the Club as a whole, is to deliver the best in class customer experience for spectators and hospitality guests and partners, as well as for our corporate guests who are here for multi-day events.

    What are your predictions for the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford?

    After the absolutely world-class performance from England at the ICC Cricket World Cup, which I think was the most thrilling final, if not match, that I’ve ever seen – I’m definitely picking England to win, not just the Test here, but reclaim the urn.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure?

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t have just one. I love chocolate, a good gin and tonic, and James Bond films – they’re classics aren’t they?

  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Becky Hartley, Commercial Partnerships Executive 🙋‍♀️

    This month, we #CheckInWith Becky Hartley, part of the Commercial Partnerships team at Emirates Old Trafford.

    What is your job title?

    I’m Commercial Partnerships Executive.

    How long have you been at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’ve been here almost 12 months now – I joined the team in August 2018. It’s my first role since completing my university course last year and I love it.

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    It’s quite hard to say, as cliché as it sounds, every day is different and is one of the reasons why I enjoy my role so much. My main responsibility is to ensure the successful delivery of all of our partnerships. Each partner is promised a unique set of deliverable assets, which can include anything from tickets to hospitality, marketing rights, behind the scenes events, in-stadium branding, as well as many others across all aspects of the business.

    We also offer a Partners Cricket Day, where partners are able to bring along their team or clients and play a number of matches, before the finalists take to the hallowed turf of the famous Lancashire Cricket pitch, so I was heavily involved in the organisation and delivery of this.

    How do you work with partners to ensure their deliverables are met?

    We believe in regular communication, which ensures complete transparency between both parties and helps us to build relationships, as well as helping our partners to utilise their benefits in the best way.

    We adopt a very proactive approach with our partners by having meetings fairly frequently and updates on the take up rates of their benefits. This allows us to advise our partners and really get the most out of the partnership, so it’s successful for everyone involved.

    How do you work with the Commercial Sales team in securing prospective partners?

    I’m mainly focused on the delivery of partner rights, but my role does touch on this aspect, so I work closely with the team and research suitable new prospects, as well as drawing up the assets that we would be delivering. Of course, this can all change, but it’s really exciting to get involved with new business opportunities.

    How do you work with the C&E, hotel and hospitality teams?

    Because my main role is to ensure the delivery of partner rights, I work with all departments to help deliver effective partnerships – which is great, as I get to know everyone in the business.

    Hospitality particularly is a department that I’m heavily involved with, as the majority of our partners have hospitality on match days. This varies, so their packages can be anything from the use of our Executive Boxes to places in our suites both in the Pavilion and The Point, and both teams work together to ensure they enjoy the day and everything runs smoothly.

    C&E is also a department I work with, particularly when partners are hosting their events at the venue or we are putting on an event on their behalf, such as one of our behind the scenes days, for example, with our partner Brown Shipley. This year, they held a private practice nets session, run by our Head of Cricket Business, Warren Hegg, and Lancashire player, Keaton Jennings, before heading back to the Brown Shipley Club Suite for a drinks reception and lunch, followed by a Q&A with Warren and Keaton. It’s a great way to enhance our partnerships and provide a unique and bespoke experience for them.

    The Events Team are fundamental in managing the running order of events such as these, so we work together to make sure every detail is taken care of.

    Can you provide an example of the different deliverables that you deliver?

    I mentioned earlier the Partners Cricket Day, which is one of the deliverables that I manage, but I also look after match day sponsorships.

    Another example is for our Official University Partner, UA92, which is opening its doors to its first students in September. We’ve regularly hosted match days in The Point, while construction of their campus is still taking place.

    I also manage the AO Volunteer of the Month programme, which was launched by AO and the Club in 2018, which is a great CSR initiative created to engage the wider Lancashire community. The programme recognises the hard work and dedication that keeps the cricket clubs across the county running. You can find out more about our partnership deliverables, where Head of Commercial Partnerships, Liz Cooper, highlights the Power of Partnerships.

    On a match day, what are your responsibilities?

    I touched on this a little earlier, but I mainly assist in the successful delivery of partner activations, for example, the Thomas Cook Sport Terrace. This is an area where Thomas Cook have branded and sell tickets to a match day, providing guests with a unique vantage point of the wicket.

    We also host partners in hospitality – so I network with our partners and ensure that everything in the suite or box is running according to schedule (although, we do sometimes have to be a little flexible with this subject to the weather).

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure?

    I love talent shows, mainly The X Factor. I know it’s cringey, but everyone needs a little bit of cringe in their life!

    We have a very collaborative family of partners and we would like to work with more global brands, as well as north west businesses. If you would like to discuss how we can work with you, we’d love to hear from you. To find out more information on the team visit here.

    Contact Ella Cummins on: or call 0161 868 6725, or get in touch via our enquiry form.


  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Chloe Pritchard, Restaurant and Bar Manager 🍴

    This month, we #CheckInWith Chloe Pritchard, part of the team at our award-winning Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford.

    What is your job title?

    I’m the Restaurant and Bar Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn.

    How long have you been at the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford?

    About 15 months now. My first day was the England vs Australia ODI last summer – talk about a baptism of fire!

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    I manage a small team, so I coordinate the Front of House to ensure that all of our guests are guaranteed the best, and most efficient, service possible.

    What do you think is so unique about the Hilton Garden Inn?

    I think the hotel being at Emirates Old Trafford is special in itself, because it brings together all aspects of events, hospitality and hoteliership, which is so rare at the moment, and we do it really well. In the short time that I’ve been here, we have hosted some of the biggest events in world sport, including six ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures and an Ashes Test.

    Last year, we also launched the Ultimate Concert Packages for the Liam Gallagher concert. We won the Sports Business Award for Best Non Match Day Use of Venue. We’ve also hosted some really prestigious events, including TheStadiumBusiness Summit and Awards, as well as many dinners and charity events – there’s always something different. To say every day is a new day really doesn’t cover it.

    How do you work with the Head Chef to create and launch new menus?

    With a lot of patience and commitment. Liam, our Head Chef, has been a breath of fresh air to our team. It’s been fantastic to work with him to implement some delicious menus, and these are highly rated across the entirety of our client base.

    It’s important we work closely the kitchen, front of house, marketing and management teams to create an elegant product.

    How do you work with the Conference and Events team when there is a multi-day residential event?

    The nature of these events means that we need to ensure that we have effective communication between the two areas to ensure the most efficient service for our guests. We work together to ensure that we are able to plan for all our guests requirements and meet their needs.

    The benefits of the hotel being on-site at Emirates Old Trafford is that we can offer a unique and memorable experience for guests. We work closely and collaboratively to ensure each event is a success.

    What has been the highlight of working at Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford?

    There’s some personal achievements too that I’m really proud of. I think managing the Food and Beverage team can come with a whole host of challenges, and staff management is one of those, but one of my proudest achievements during my career here is the fantastic team that I have built up. Seeing them all flourish, develop and bond as a team that can provide such a high level of service in a vast array of settings is really rewarding.

    Working at the hotel, I’ve had the privilege of working some fantastic events, and I think it’s probably one of everybody’s highlight who was a part of it, but definitely being part of the ICC Cricket World Cup is an experience that I’ll never forget. Seeing England break records at the ground, and then go on to win the title has made it all the more special to be involved.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure?

    That’s easy – the humble curly wurly is one of my favourite treats, and anyone in the hotel will be able to tell you the same!


  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Gemma Ashton, Conference and Events Sales Manager 🤝

    This month, we #CheckInWith Gemma Ashton, part of our Conference and Events Team here at Emirates Old Trafford.

    What is your job title?

    I’m Conference and Events Sales Manager.

    How long have you been at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I started as an Events Sales Agent in April 2018, so just over 18 months now. I’m extremely proud to say that I’m now the Conference and Events Sales Manager.

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    I look after the team that handles all inbound enquiries, whether it’s for a small meeting or multi-day conference.

    It’s our job to make sure that every event enquiry (no matter how weird and wonderful), that comes through to us is given the time and attention it deserves. Our aim is to find the best space within the venue for each new event and get relevant information across to the client quickly – and then in turn, arrange a site visit too.

    Day to day, my team and I speak to agencies across the UK, clients and companies directly, as well as the stadium’s partners and sponsors. We have fantastic state of the art facilities that are capable of hosting all types of events including; large exhibitions, trade shows, charity events, corporate dinners, weddings, birthday parties, conferences…the list is endless. We don’t really have any idea what to expect each time we answer the phone, and that’s what makes the role so great.

    How do you manage an event enquiry?

    There’s no real method on how an event enquiry comes in – we can receive them via online agency portals, direct emails to our events inbox, calls to the main conference number or us individually, LinkedIn… the list goes on.

    Once we have the enquiry, we look at the size and style of space that the client needs and check our iary to see if something suitable is available. Then, we’ll look at putting together a proposal which includes what we’re able to offer, images of the event space, pricing, menus, AV and bedroom availability at our on-site Hilton Garden Inn.

    How do you work with clients to support their brief?

    We like to paint a clear view of how a client’s event would work with us. As we’re very transparent, we can better understand their event needs, what they wish to achieve and how it’s been run in the past if it’s an existing event. Once we’re comfortable we have all the information we need, we’ll draw up floor plans to make sure that the flow of delegates around the venue fits with the client’s brief.

    We can easily put our clients in touch with our suppliers, as we have a great relationship with them and we can trust them to do a fantastic job. For example, our in-house AV suppliers MCL Create are available to speak to our clients on show rounds to advise the best way to give your event that wow factor.

    How do you work with the event coordinators to support the client?

    The sales team and event coordinators work incredibly closely together. We can tell the client the capabilities of the space and what will fit into each of the rooms, but it’s our coordinators who draw up the floor plans and really bring the event to life.

    Once each booking is confirmed, we’ll introduce the client to their dedicated coordinator moving forwards, and they’re the experts in getting all the finer details into the weeks leading up to the event.

    We have a fantastic relationship with the ladies in the coordination team and I think this is down to trusting each other to do a brilliant job and excellent communication.

    How do you work with the hotel team? I.e. with multi-day enquiries, referrals etc.

    We work closely with the hotel on most of our event enquiries. As we host delegates from not only across the UK but internationally too, we need to make sure that they have accommodation. Having the hotel on-site means that we can include bedroom rates in our proposals which makes every organisers job a little bit easier. It works both ways too, as the hotel often has clients that need event space, so it’s important we have a great relationship with the reservations team.

    What does a typical event show round include?

    We invite our clients in to the view the space and talk through their requirements, as this gives them the chance to get to know us and the space a little bit better. We show them the guests’ journey; from where they park, which entrance they use and the walk they’ll take to the main event space, and any syndicate space they use.

    We’ll also discuss any digital or physical signage they’d like, accessibility, registration or drinks reception locations, as well as cloakroom facilities. Once we’re in the main event space, we’ll guide the client through everything they’ll need to make their event a success – whether this is where stage sets may go or how our in-built AV can work.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure?

    Online shopping – I have so many parcels delivered. In fact, on my third day here, a company wide email went round asking who I was because I’d already ordered a clothes delivery… oops!

    If you’d like to find out more about hosting an event at Emirates Old Trafford, Gemma and the team would love to hear from you. Give the team a call on 0161 282 4020, email or fill out our events enquiry form.

  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Emma Wallace, Special Events Project Manager 🎄

    This month, we #CheckInWith Emma Wallace, our Special Events Project Manager, to talk about the different events she manages and what her day-to-day job involves.

    What is your job title?

    I’m Special Events Project Manager.

    How long have you been at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’ve been with Emirates Old Trafford for over two decades (21 years to be precise)!

    What does your day-to-day role include?

    My day-to-day role varies, but it mainly focuses on organising the hospitality packages and all the deliverables that go with them. It’s my job to ensure that our guests have a fantastic experience with us, so making sure we execute everything to a high standard is crucial.

    I take care of all the finer details, such as organising furniture, room set ups, flowers and centre pieces, stadium branding, briefing hostesses, assisting in creating menus, sorting AV requirements and liaising with our suppliers… the list goes on. It’s also my job to plan our renowned Christmas party nights – we sure know how to throw a party.

    What type of event is classes as a special event?

    Under my remit, a special event is classed as Christmas parties, concerts and cricket. We’re lucky to host some of the most fantastic world-class events here. Six ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures, an Ashes Test, One Love Manchester…we’ve had such a phenomenal variety of events which really means that I’m always busy planning something different.

    It can be an incredibly stressful few months in the lead up to a major event, but it’s so rewarding to see the finished product and so many guests enjoying the experience we’re able to deliver – I don’t think there’s anyone who does it quite like us.

    How do you work with the hospitality team for major events at Emirates Old Trafford?

    It takes months of planning and countless meetings to ensure that we get the end result that we want to achieve. Each year, when we know what fixtures or concerts we have, we review our packages and budgets and then take it from there. I have a great working relationship with the hospitality team and other departments that are fundamental in ensuring the success of a major event, along with the fabulous suppliers I work with who really help to deliver the vision.

    What does your role involve on a match day?

    In the days leading up to a match day, I am responsible for accepting all the hospitality deliveries such as furniture, AV and branding, and making sure that these are set up as per our plans.

    On the match day itself, I ensure the wider teams have all the information that they need to welcome our hospitality guests and ensure they get to the right suite with the right accreditation, I look after the hostesses and conduct their briefing and make sure they’re in position, ready to greet our guests and help them in any way. It’s my role to guarantee that everything is running smoothly and according to plan.

    Finally, what is your guilty pleasure? (This can be a song, food, TV show/film etc.)

    At this time of year, I’m a sucker for a Christmas movie – along with red wine and cheese, of course!

    To book a place of one of our Christmas party nights, our Christmas Coordinator would love to hear from you. Give the team a call on 0161 868 4020 or email, but hurry – spaces are limited!

  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Grace Brocklehurst, Digital Marketing Apprentice 💁‍♀️

    Back for 2020 is our #CheckInWith series, and this month we're kicking things off and catching up with Grace Brocklehurst, who's part of the marketing team.

    What is job title?

    I’m a Digital Marketing Apprentice.

    How long have you been at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’ve been here just under 18 months.

    What is your day to day role?

    As cliché as this sounds, no day is the same, and that’s one of the reasons I love my role. I provide support to Gemma who’s our Venue Marketing Manager where I manage our email campaigns, which includes anything to our Venue database right through to our Christmas party emails.

    I look after the venue analytics, so dig a little deeper into what content is our most successful and engaging, so that we can make sure we’re including the content that our audience is after. I also provide support for any wider projects that the team need assistance with.

    How do you work with the Conference and Events team?

    I help support the team with any external events that they may be attending, such as The Meeting Show, CHS, Asian Wedding Experience etc. I’ll manage everything from a marketing perspective, which includes organising the collateral that they’ll need, ensuring the stand is on brand and set up correctly for when the team arrives.

    As I mentioned earlier, I manage the digital analytics for emails which involves collating reports and feeding the results back to the team. This provides us with the chance to discuss what works well and what areas that we can improve on going forwards. 

    How does your role at the venue tie in with your apprenticeship?

    There’s quite a big overlap between what I learn at my apprenticeship and my role at the Club. I’d say that the curriculum is very broad, so we cover anything from coding a website and google analytics to the principles of marketing, so there’s not things that I necessarily do both in classes and my role.

    One of the big things about being able to take up an apprenticeship for me was the ability to learn first-hand how a business works and there’s elements of my role that I’m able to learn from and transfer that to my course.

    What has been your highlight of working at Emirates Old Trafford?

    I’d say it’s definitely been being able to have worked the two international matches we had at the Club in 2019, where we hosted six ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures and an Ashes Test. It was a fantastic opportunity and it’s something that not a lot of people will be able to say they got to be a part of. 

    It’s impressive to see the ground fill up with a sell-out crowd who are all passionate about the same thing – it gives you goose bumps.

    What’s your role on a match day?

    I support the rest of the team on a match day, so manage the various photographers and videographers that we have on-site to capture content of the venue and fans at the ground, as well as managing our social media accounts and responding to customer enquiries.

    There’s not really a set role as such, as everyone just gets stuck into whatever tasks need to be done!

    And finally, what’s your guilty pleasure?

    It’s a bit nerdy and not stereotypical for a 19-year-old, but I do love a good period drama such as Downton Abbey or The Crown. And I’m a sucker for barbecue popchips, my desk drawer is full of them.

  • 📌 #CheckInWith: Matthew Porter, Deputy Hotel Manager 🛎️




    This month, we #CheckInWith Matthew Porter, Deputy Hotel Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford, to find out about his day-to-day role and how it fits in with the Conference and Events team.

    What’s your job title?

    I’m the Deputy Hotel Manager.

    How long have you been at the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford?

    I joined in August 2018, so a year and half now – it’s flown by!

    What’s your day-to-day role?

    As Deputy Hotel Manager, I support the Hotel team in reaching its goals and to support other departments where needed.

    My main focus in the Front Desk, which involves interactions with our guests pre-arrival, arrival, during the stay and departure. It’s my job to keep our Front Reception team motivated and focused on the targets we want to achieve. It’s one of the key departments within any hotel, as we’re the first people guests see and normally the last, so we want to make it as memorable an experience as possible.

    What’s your role on a match-day?

    Normally, I relay information about the day to the different departments, our team and the plans for the hotel during the match. We then focus on guest expectations, so what we can do to make the experience better, what we would expect if we were the guest etc.

    During the ICC Cricket World Cup and the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test, it was being that visible person for guests to approach and help with any questions they had.

    There’s always a moment where you can enjoy the day as well and soak up the atmosphere and experience. Being a part of these incredible events is a real pinch me moment.

    How do you work with the wider hotel team?

    I work closely with all the departments, how I like to describe it is that we’re one big family. Being from an Food and Beverage background, I’m always supporting the team where needed and providing them with any advice or suggestions.

    I work closely with Housekeeping and Reservations team as well, as we all need to work together to be able to run the hotel efficiently. I also manage or Reception team in the Pavilion at Emirates Old Trafford, so I’m involved in the Club side of things as well – I’d class myself as an all-rounder!

    How does your role fit with the wider Conference and Events team?

    Again, having a Conference and Events background I previously was involved in a wide range of events, including weddings, charity events etc., so I’m always happy to support the Conference and Events team when they need me.

    Whether that’s just supporting with show rounds where I showcase the venue to new clients, or sharing my knowledge on the hotel. Due to the versatility of our event space and having the hotel on-site, it normally means hotel involved is either bedrooms for a multi-day residential event or accommodating conferences, gala dinners etc. or pre-drinks/after-drinks reception for the events. For weddings that we host as well, we’ll take care of the bride and groom and also host VIPs.

    What’s been your highlight of working at the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford?

    For me, it’s definitely trying to do something that’s not the norm. I’ve had extensive experience in retail, city centre hotels, airport hotels and Grade II Listed hotels, but never at a sporting ground, somewhere you can really show off the venue.

    It’s fantastic to show clients and guests the pitch-facing balconies for the first time and that ‘wow’ factor you get. And, being able to be a part of the international fixtures, events and concerts that we host is something really great.

    If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

    A comedian, I like to have a bit of a laugh and a joke. I think if you’re happy in your workplace and teams it really shows, and in turn has a ripple effect.

    And finally, what’s your guilty pleasure?

    I’m a massive nerd… I’m not even exaggerating. I’m in to gaming, superheroes and anime.

    If you’d like to book a room at the award-winning, four-star hotel, please get in touch with our Reservations Team on 0161 868 4020, email or book online here.

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