EXHIBITION NEWS July 2017 - Page 49

VENUE The O2 AFTER HOURS Manchester Take a trip north to the home of Manchester Central, and discover why EN loves MCR ItÕ s been ten years since The O2 opened its doors to the public, becoming one of LondonÕ s most iconic venues. To celebrate the anniversary EN caught up with Becci Thomson, head of corporate sales to learn more about the venue. How will The O2 be celebrating its 10th birthday? Since we opened our doors in 2007, The O2 has played host to unforgettable live experiences for over 70m fans of music, sport, exhibitions, award shows and more. As part of our celebrations, our ‘10th Birthday Shows’ series ran from 16-24 June, with a line-up including artists such as Ed Sheeran and Celine Dion putting on some incredible shows. We pride ourselves on providing a great experience for fans, customers and partners; hosting the best in music, entertainment, sporting and corporate events so it is fantastic for us to be able to put on a celebration such as this for artists, fans and clients to help us mark the occasion. WhatÕ s been a highlight of the last ten years? We’ve been incredibly lucky to host some of the most amazing live experiences over the last 10 years. I have been working at The O2 since 2015 and even in this time it is diffi cult to pick one standout moment. However, I can’t not mention selling our 15 millionth ticket – which was snapped up by an Olly Murs fan – welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the venue in 2015, and working with O2 to create the world’s largest projection on our roof to support the England Rugby Team’s ‘Wear the Rose’ campaign. What will the next ten years hold for the venue? We will maintain our status as the world’s number one venue for music, but our offering has grown signifi cantly. In the last few years we’ve hosted exciting exhibitions at the venue, ranging from the life and work of the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, to the Star Wars™ Identities exhibition, which continues its world tour in London at The O2 until September. We will continue to secure exhibitions of this kind and attract new customers to the venue. Why should exhibition organisers choose The O2? The O2 has been a game changer in the live music experience – it raised the bar in terms of what fans expect, what artists expect and the overall experience. This is something we’ve been able to transfer to the corporate events side and organisers are clearly recognising this as we have hosted some fantastic events and exhibitions, with lots more in the pipeline. WhatÕ s the best thing about working at The O2? The best thing about working at The O2 is the range of clients I have the opportunity to work with and the diverse nature of the events we host. From a drinks reception in the American Express Invites Lounge to an awards ceremony in the arena or a launch at Building Six, there is a huge amount of variety. It may be clichéd, but at The O2 no two days are ever the same, and I love that variety! ESSENTIALS STAY 1. Old Trafford 1. King Street Townhouse Even if football isn’t your game it’s worth taking in the stadium during one of Old Trafford’ s behind the scenes tours. This beautiful townhouse was built in 1872. Nowadays the hotel combines classic charm with contemporary convenience. 2. PeopleÕ s History Museum 2. The Principal Manchester The self-described ‘national museum of democracy’, the People’s History Museum focuses on the city’s political and social history. Another architecturally striking building, The Principal Manchester is set right in the heart of the city centre. 3. The John Rylands Library 3. Great John Street Hotel Perhaps not an obvious choice for a tourist, but the stunning architecture of this library has to be seen to be believed. Situated close to one of Manchester’s popular shopping centres, Great John Street Hotel also boasts a rooftop lounge. EAT DRINK 1. Tattuu 1. Dusk Til Pawn At the fi ne dining end of the culinary scale lies Tattuu, offering contemporary Chinese cuisine and an extensive cocktail menu in a cosy and intimate setting. Trainers not advised. At EN we love a pun, but this isn’t the only reason to visit this ‘prohibition chic’ lounge and cocktail bar adorned with a pawnshop storefront, complete with vintage television and radio. 2. Northern Soul Grilled Cheese 2. The Comedy Store At the other end of the price scale is this quirky café, offering classic grilled cheese toasties along with some more unusual fl avour combos. If you don’t mind occasionally choking on your drink in the midst of a laughing fi t then the practically iconic Manchester comedy store is the place for you. 3. Manchester House 3. The Gas Lamp Chef patron Aiden Byrne opened Manchester House in 2013. The restaurant is a passion project that has won him critical acclaim and a loyal local fan base, providing traditional fl avours in creative ways. This small, quaint pub, hidden underground in the Spinningfi elds district, is missing the frills and fi nish of some of Manchester’s classier establishments, but for a pretension-free drink it’s just the ticket. exhibitionnews.co.uk | July 2017 49