This month, 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.