VIDEO: Speedy SIV sales is just the ticket to boost regional economy, says new entertainment and events boss

A speedy new tickets sales system to help people buy easier and faster at SIV's venues - including Sheffield Arena - was outlined today as part of major plans to increase business and boost the region's economy.

SIV, formerly known as Sheffield International Venues, manages or operates many of the biggest entertainment and sports venues in the city, also including Sheffield City Hall, Ponds Forge, the English Institute of Sport and iceSheffield - plus Whitby Pavilion and Scarborough Spa.

It gets more than 1 million customers through its doors every year to over 1,500 major sport, business and entertainment events.

Dominic Stokes, who has just been promoted to SIV's Head of Entertainment and Events, responsible for the strategic and commercial direction of its entertainment venues, SIV Tickets and SIV Events, is now aiming to add another 100,000 customers and 200 events every year.

He believes that's possible by tapping into the 'diverse wealth of staff expertise, creativity and experience within the venues' and by making it easier and faster to buy tickets.

It follows the announcement of an ‘extensive business review’ by the new chairman of the Sheffield City Trust - David Grey MBE - to ‘market test’ all 17 of the services run by its operating arm SIV.

The trust, which has a charitable aim to boost health and wellbeing, hopes the exercise will prove it should continue to deliver services directly.

In an exclusive chat - watch the interview here online - Mr Stokes told us: "Essentially we have created a family of entertainment venues. We have over 1 million people come through the doors of those buildings and have 1,500 events.

"By bringing them together we are going to utilise all the skills that each of those individual venues have and put it towards the division. We want to bring more people in to the city and our venues and bring more events. Hopefully everyone will benefit.

"I don't think it's beyond our reach of increasing that by 10 per cent in both of them - let's add 100,000 people and 200 events on to that 1,500 and see where we go from there.

"We have looked at an number of things. Initially I want to increase what we do with our ticketing service. We need to make it much easier and quicker to buy tickets.

"We have some fantastic events across the portfolio of venues and if people can buy the tickets quickly and efficiently, that's the start for us."

He added: “There are a number of really exciting opportunities available to us in this new structure. We will be able to bring together the community & commercial elements of SIV's fantastic events business and combine the incredibly diverse wealth of staff expertise, creativity and experience within this family of entertainment and events. This will undoubtedly enable us to grow the number of events we successfully host and deliver as well as increasing the number of customers, client and partners attending or taking part in these events."

Since 2010, the SIV Events team has helped support and build Sheffield’s reputation as a premier destination for international and national conferences and business events.

Recent sporting events have included the Special Olympics Great Britain’s National Summer Games, the BUCS Nationals, British Swimming’s Swimming Championships and Summer Nationals. It also plays host at Sheffield Arena to the city's dominant ice hockey team, the Sheffield Steelers.

The 17 facilities it operates, employing around 1,200 staff, includes English Institute of Sport Sheffield, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, iceSheffield, Sheffield Arena, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield City Hall, The Spa, Scarborough, Whitby Pavilion, Tapton Park Golf Course, Westfield Sports Centre, Beauchief Golf Course, Birley Wood Golf Course, Concord Sports Centre, Heeley Swimming Baths, Springs Leisure Centre and Tinsley Golf Course.

Mr Stokes joined Sheffield City Trust in 2005, originally as the General Manager of Sheffield City Hall, and then subsequently taking on the role as Head of SIV Events and then Head of SIV Events and Pond Forge.

His new role follows the recent appointment of Joe Waldron as the new Sheffield Arena General Manager.

Steve Brailey, chief executive of SIV, retires at the end of the month and will be replaced by Andrew Snelling, currently SIV’s deputy chief executive.