Around 50 hospitality and business management students from the University of Huddersfield visited the John Smith’s Stadium – home to Huddersfield Town Football Club and Huddersfield Giants Rugby League Club – to gather tips and advice from its experienced events team.
Their visit was hosted by hospitality industry experts from Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, which manages conferences and banqueting at the ground; one of the town’s most prestigious and popular social and corporate events venues.
After welcoming the students, Sodexo Prestige project manager Annie Marchalle talked about her own background in the industry before outlining the wide variety of events – from conferences to Christmas parties – held annually at the stadium.
Then Gareth Davies, Managing Director at Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd, gave the students an insight into the history of the stadium and its pioneering position as the UK’s first community stadium.
Finally, retail manager Jason Harvey spoke about his graduate career path and the challenges of providing large-scale hospitality for match day and non-match day visitors alike, before taking part in a question and answer session with the undergraduates, who were all in the second year of their various courses.
Annie said: “It’s always a pleasure to showcase our facilities – particularly to the next generation of hospitality experts.
“The stadium has a special place in the community and the wide range of events we hold, from conferences to our hugely popular Christmas private parties – is testament to that. The students seemed to thoroughly enjoy the day and we very much enjoyed meeting them.”
The John Smith’s Stadium’s purpose-built Business and Conference Centre boasts some of the most spacious and versatile facilities in West Yorkshire, making it as popular for large scale events, such as annual general meetings and product launches, as it is for intimate meetings and private dinners.
These range from single hospitality boxes – designed for up to 10 guests and boasting views of the pitch – to the larger Revell Ward Suite, which can easily cater for up to 450.
The Revell Ward and Howarths Suite can be divided to decrease or extend capacity or to provide breakout spaces, and the Fantastic Media Suite has a capacity of 80 to 150 guests.
Parties of between 10 and 30 can be easily accommodated in the Collinge Room or larger hospitality boxes.