One Minute With... John Langford, The SSE Hydro

Off the back of The SSE Hydro's second birthday celebrations last week (30 September), Event spoke to John Langford, director - live entertainment, about the venue's past, present and future.

John Langford, director – live entertainment at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow
John Langford, director – live entertainment at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow

How has The SSE Hydro developed over the last two years? 

The SSE Hydro is firmly established on the touring schedule of all major artists as a ‘must play’ destination in the UK. Two years since opening our doors, we are consistently ranked within the top three busiest live entertainment arenas in the world. 

It’s a fabulous building designed around the specific needs of live entertainment, and night after night it's filled to capacity with legendary Glasgow audiences.

What are the venue's long-term plans? 

We're continually focused on improving the customer experience. We've just opened a new restaurant and bar in our hospitality area, which has set a benchmark for guest experiences in large venues. It’s all about quality and service, with an individual feel. 

What upcoming events is The SSE Hydro hosting?

We’ve got everything covered from music, to comedy and sport. The big UK music tours are the foundation of our business (including U2 and Madonna this year), local comedy king Kevin Bridges is playing over 16 nights, and we have the World Gymnastics tournament this month.

What's your view on brand experiences? Does the venue have a strategy for targeting brands? 

We believe that a brand is a promise, and failure to deliver on the expectations your message creates can be incredibly detrimental. This is why we invest significantly in understanding our consumers and then driving every area of the business to exceed their needs. 

Likewise, we work closely with our sponsors and partners to jointly deliver on a shared brand experience. The SSE Hydro has also helped to enhance the brand experience of other visitors to the SECC campus, including conference delegates, exhibition visitors and meeting organisers.

More: Destination - We're all off to...Glasgow

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