Photo from inside the Parc OL stadium in Lyon, France, looking down on to the pitch.

ESSMA Summit 2017


Mark Rodman, Managing Director of Pitchmark, recently attended the  ESSMA Summit at the incredible Parc OL in Lyon, France on 16th - 18th January 2017.

The ESSMA summit is a chance for clubs, leagues, federations and suppliers like Pitchmark to get together and discuss all manner of stadium safety, fan engagement and pitch management topics.  It's a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and customers from all around Europe, as well as meeting potential new ones.

This was the third edition of the summit, and Pitchmark had previously attended in Munich 2015, and Bilbao 2016.  WIth over 350 people in attendance, the ESSMA Summit has grown drastically in the past few years to now incorporate people from 28 countries.

Day 1 began with some very interesting talks around some of the latest stadium projects and developments around Europe, with speakers from the likes of Stadion Kantrida, B Futura and the Allianz Arena.  This was followed by a great stadium tour of the Parc OL - a fascinating stadium - with drinks and networking to finish the day.


Photo of the outside of the Parc OL stadium in Lyon, France.

View of the exterior of the Parc OL stadium in Lyon, France.



The second day was busier, with more attendees and a full schedule of presentations and discussions from UEFA (discussing EURO 2016 and looking forward to EURO 2020), Coca-Cola, the U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Ligue Nationale de Rugby.

Day 3 was much more specific, with four in-depth workshops being run for the four different expert areas: stadium management, safety management, pitch management and fan engagement.  Speakers in the pitch management workshop included:
  • Keith Kent of Twickenham Stadium/the Rugby Football Union discussing his career, overcoming issues and the importance of the IOG in educating young groundsmen.
  • Neil McIlroy of ASM Clermont Auvergne Rugby talking about training centre management.
  • Multifunctional pitch management at the Amsterdam ArenA.


Overall the ESSMA Summit was a great success and proved very useful and informative.  Pitchmark are very much looking forward to attending the next ESSMA Summit at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on January 16-18 2018.