Showsec helps put Leeds’ First Direct Arena on the venue map

Posted On 15 Oct 2014
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Event and venue security specialist Showsec has been acclaimed for its part in helping to establish the First Direct Arena in Leeds as a friendly, customer-focused venue. The 13,000-capacity First Direct Arena recently celebrated its first birthday when Jake Bugg performed his unique blend of indie rock and folk to a capacity crowd.

It was a special occasion which also marked a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the venue’s sponsor, the Leeds-based bank First Direct. From the outset, Showsec was contracted by SMG Europe to provide its specialist services for the First Direct Arena and has undoubtedly made an important contribution to many memorable events (among them the hosting of the BBC’s annual Sports Personality of the Year Awards ceremony).

First Direct Arena general manager Ben Williams commented:” During the launch year of the First Direct Arena, SMG has relied upon the scale, expertise and professionalism delivered by Showsec. As a company, Showsec has not only embraced but also pro-actively committed to the venue’s vision for putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.” Williams went on to state:” The First Direct Arena has quickly established a reputation for being a friendly, customer-focused environment for event-goers and Showsec has contributed significantly towards that achievement. We look forward to working closely with Showsec and continuing to improve our service provision for customers and artists over the coming years.”

International artists in the spotlight

As well as the anniversary event featuring Jake Bugg, the First Direct Arena has already played host to many other international artists including Kasabian, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Elton John, Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus, Ed Sheeran and The Kaiser Chiefs. For its part, Showsec has worked closely with SMG Europe and the Arena’s management team to provide a customer-focused service.

With Sam Hodkin now operating as the Arena’s head of security, Showsec has developed a strong team of experienced supervisors, Security Industry Authority-licensed professionals and stewards to help the venue enhance its reputation for top class entertainment. ” The emphasis has been on ensuring that the experience for all visitors to the First Direct Arena is the very best it can be,” explained Julian Kumah, Showsec’s area manager for Yorkshire.” The fact that we’ve been able to deliver that level of service is due to the tremendous commitment and professionalism of our staff. We’ve received some very positive feedback from customers and clients which spurs us on to raise the bar even higher.” Kumah added:” The development of our service at the First Direct Arena has involved us in being innovative in order to create the best possible operational systems in line with the design of the venue and to use the latest technology. This affords our staff the confidence and ability to fulfil their roles. The upshot of that is a customer-focused approach.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.