imago welcomes James Smith, Sports Accounts Development Manager
Multi-award winner imago, has introduced James Smith as its specialist Sports Accounts Development Manager for meetings and events.
James has been seconded to imago after working for Loughborough University as Commercial Events Coordinator at the campus’ Sports Development Centre. Towards the end of 2009 imago diversified into new areas of business in reaction to a slower market for weekend conferences. Building on the extensive and already established reputation of Loughborough University, the sports sector became a main area of focus. It was therefore crucial for imago to have a member of its team with specialist sports knowledge, because of the new direction of the brand. As a result, James’ role was restructured and the conferencing and events side of the business was moved solely into the professional hands of imago, where a new position opened up for James as Sports Accounts Development Manager for meetings and events.
This change in role was seamless, as James explains: “The restructure cleanly removed the ‘middle man’ in the events process, making booking a meeting or conference through Loughborough University more straightforward and far smoother for customers. All conferences, meetings and events enquiries are now directed straight to one dedicated sales team, ensuring that every customer has the same experience no matter what the event or arena.” He adds: “The team at imago was well established and it was only natural to centralise all of imago’s accounts under one roof to ensure its approach was more streamlined and all customers received the same packages, experiences, and quality level of service.
“Whether based at an academic venue or not, the value of imago is that we are a dedicated conference and meeting venue that is able to offer truly specialist facilities, dedicated and professionally trained staff and the expertise required to cater for every event, whatever the theme or size. This offering is only strengthened by the sporting reputation of Loughborough University. We are in a unique position as a business based on a campus which has such well respected links to the sporting world to diversify into a market which is still holding strong in the recession. Through a joint approach, the sporting facilities have been a fantastic compliment to the range of services we offer as a conference and meetings centre.
“As part of my role I have set up a number of relevant policies and procedures specific to sports, to ensure any meeting booking is a slick process. I am currently working hard to meet and develop relationships with existing customers as well as pinpoint new opportunities. imago is unique in that it boasts a conferencing and events arm that is capable of specialising in sports so heavily, all of which is helped by our connection to Loughborough University and the amount of events and meetings they hold. “The recent opening of Loughborough Universities SportPark in January 2010, which is home to many of the country’s top sports governing bodies, national sports organisations and charities, has meant that approximately 60% of all the meetings I coordinate are generated on campus.
“It is undeniable that Loughborough University has an amazing reputation and is known first and foremost for its sport, all of which help to make imago a truly sellable product in the sports meetings arena.”
imago has taken a joint approach to the sports sector, teaming up with the University for mutual benefit. In 2011, imago will be hosting Europe’s largest corporate multi-sports festival (the UK Corporate Games), combing its four star accommodation and meeting venue with the world class sports pitches and facilities at the University. With leading names in the alumni such as Sebastian Coe and Paula Radcliffe as well as teams such as the England Rugby Team it has also held high profile events such as East Midlands Sports Personality of the Year in 2009, whilst it is now preparing for perhaps its highest accolade yet, becoming the host of the Japanese 2012 Olympics team and becoming the official preparation camp of team GB.
For more information on imago visit www.welcometoimago.com, call 0845 036 4624 or follow @imagolboro on twitter.