MEIF - Proof of Concept

‘Virtual venues’ aim to put Midlands on global map as events destination

A UK tech company is creating virtual models of some of the top West Midlands venues to help attract new international clients and promote the region as a leading events location.

Iventis has been commissioned by the West Midlands Growth Company to create ‘digital twins’ of 10 venues including the NEC, the Utilita and Resorts World Arenas, Edgbaston Stadium and other key sports stadiums.

The digital models, which will be premiered on the region’s exhibition stand at the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit in Birmingham on 7 April, will enable venues to provide interactive 3D tours for influential leaders of global sports federations and governing bodies who can explore rooms and spaces without having to visit in person. Prospective clients can also trial different layouts, seating and security arrangements and see how their branding would look in-situ.

Joel Lavery, Strategic Lead Major Sporting Events at the West Midlands Growth Company, said:

“The West Midlands is at the heart of sport in the UK with a unique, pacesetting sporting heritage and a fantastic array of dynamic, diverse and continually expanding sporting settings. 

“Major sporting events and championships equal big business for a city and region and it’s important to have the edge when it comes to developing a strong pipeline of future hosting opportunities against competing destinations.

 “That is why working with Iventis at SportAccord is crucial – the company’s innovative technology will transform the way delegates experience our world-class venues, from the home of golf, The Belfry to the focal point of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Alexander Stadium.”

Iventis, which is based in Lincoln and backed by Mercia Ventures through equity finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, was founded in 2015 by Joe Cusdin who had previously worked on the London Olympics. The company’s events planning software is used for organising many high-profile events across a wide range of event types, including international sporting fixtures. It has now also developed digital twin technology that it is using for the current project and will be launched for use by the events industry later this year.

Joe Cusdin, CEO of Iventis, said: “The Midlands has some of the biggest and best events venues in the UK, as demonstrated at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. But no matter how good the venue, it won’t even get on the shortlist if event organisers can’t visit the venue to check it out, which can be difficult if they are based overseas.

“Our digital twin models allow them to see the venue from every angle and visualise how their event and branding would look. They help venues to attract more business from international clients, sell sponsorship and advertising opportunities. They also enhance event planning and safety by enabling teams to simulate different aspects of the operations and different emergency scenarios to identify potential risks.”

The full list of venues includes  the NEC (National Exhibition Centre), Resorts World Arena, Edgbaston Stadium, Utilita Arena, Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Edgbaston Priory, CBS Arena, British Judo Centre, The Belfry and the Alexander Stadium.