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Venue profile: The O2

With The O2 growing substantially in size and global recognition, Access talks to Becci Thomson, head of corporate sales, about the venue’s 10th anniversary and its plans for the future.

Speaking about the milestone celebration, Thomson comments: “After we opened our doors in 2007, The O2 has become one of the most successful and recognisable music and entertainment venues, globally. We have hosted unforgettable live experiences for over 70 million fans of music, sport, exhibitions, award shows and more.”

The O2 produced a 10th Birthday Shows series that ran from 16–24 June, kicking off with Alt-J, who took to the stage with their only UK indoor show of 2017. Ed Sheeran played a show on 22 June. Celine Dion joined the line-up on 20–21 June for a series of shows and Jamiroquai completed the week 23–24 June with their biggest UK headline gigs since 2011.

What’s been the highlight of the last ten years?
We’re incredibly lucky to host some of the most amazing live experiences over the last 10 years. I began working at the venue in 2015, so it’s di cult to pick one standout moment. To be able to welcome back The BRIT Awards and e National Television Awards for seven and eight years respectively has been fantastic as they are both incredibly high-pro le events, attracting the biggest names in the business.

Other highlights include 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 to give a public talk on the ‘foundation of wellbeing’, and working with O2 to create the world’s largest projection on our roof to celebrate their support of the England Rugby Team, through the Wear the Rose campaign.

What will the next ten years hold for the venue?
Our objectives for each year are clear: a compelling mix of content for our arena and event spaces, to excel for our corporate clients, maximising our assets and engaging our fans. We continue to maintain our status as the world’s number one venue for music but our offering has grown significantly.

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.

Why should 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. The brilliance of The O2 is the fact that clients have the scope to activate the entire venue for large-scale events with exhibition components, or for smaller, more intimate events they can choose one of our smaller spaces that will meet their needs. Our venue team are dedicated to providing excellent service and are always pushing the boundaries to ensure success.

What’s the best thing about working at The O2?
The range of clients I have the opportunity to work with and the diverse nature of the events. From a drinks reception in the American Express Invites Lounge to an awards ceremony or a launch at Building Six, there is a huge amount of variety. It may be cliché, but at The O2 no two days are ever the same, and I love that variety.