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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 🏏

    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?

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