Group Venue Director
Background of the organization
Stage Entertainment is one of the world’s largest musical theatre producers and owners. Stage Entertainment has offices and owns theatres across Europe and produces some of the biggest titles in musical theatre in Europe, West End and Broadway. Its international show portfolio ranges from iconic titles such as Mamma Mia!, Chicago, Lazarus, Disney’s The Lion King and Aladdin to originally developed work from within the group such as Anastasia and Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, a wide variety of shows that excite broad audiences from London to New York, from Madrid to Hamburg, and from Amsterdam to Paris.
In 2019 Stage Entertainment employed around 3,000 people, had an annual revenue of €500m, with an EBITDA of c. €110m (22%) and annual capital investments in productions and theatres of €50m. The Group’s head office is located in Amsterdam and employs (pre-Covid) approximately 50 people. Currently we are in the process of re-opening our venues and upscaling our production activities and related staff capabilities to the pre-Covid levels.
Stage Entertainment has played a key role in the development and widespread popularity of the musical genre in Europe. The rapid growth of the company since its origin has been the result of a drive and passion for theatre embodied by all those working at the group. From the start Stage Entertainment produces top-quality productions in its network of theatres to create lasting and memorable customer experiences.
In 2015 CVC Capital acquired a majority stake in the company. In the following years the company went through a significant transformation and professionalization process to redefine its strategy, improve business processes and costs in all areas of the business. The focal point is on data-driven decision making and creating a company culture where focus on top-quality creative performance goes hand in hand with sound business performance and operational excellence.
Today Stage Entertainment has emerged as one of global industry shapers within the worldwide musical and theatre market. It has a unique international network of theatres, key strategic partnerships, for example with Disney, and a proven track record of self-developed content and a professional business culture.
In November 2018, 100% of the ownership of Stage Entertainment was acquired by New York City based Advance Publications Inc. Advance is a family-owned company that operates and invests in a broad range of media, communication and technology businesses globally.
Advance has acquired Stage Entertainment because of the fundamental attractiveness of the live entertainment industry, Stage Entertainment’s market leading position and attractive opportunities for further growth and optimization. Our shareholders fully support the strategic direction of the company and have shown to be a long-term investor willing to commit resources and additional capital to fuel Stage Entertainment’s further development. Advance strongly believes in giving operating companies the freedom to develop based their unique cultures.
Stage Entertainment operates an integrated business model combining both production capabilities with theatre operations. The strategic plan is driven by improvements in all areas supporting the business model:
- Licensed Productions; (c. 85% of the production business) continue to be the partner of choice for major international producing partners for which Stage Entertainment offers an unique one-stop shop for a European roll-out of successful content coming Broadway and the West End;
- Creative Development; (c. 15% of the production business) creating unique proprietary content with European or even global roll-out potential (example: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), build pipeline of promising new developments and maintain and expand long-standing relationships with key IP holders, creative talent and co-investors.
- Theatre Exploitation and Expansion (c. 20% of total turnover); exploiting improvements in venue management to operate our theatres in a best-in-class way ; expansion through acquisitions or greenfield new theatre developments in attractive new regions
- Commercial: digital transformation of customer interaction and communication, marketing & sales strategy and effectiveness, yield management, market research and concept testing, ticketing strategy
- Operational Excellence: continuous improvement across all areas of the business, including overhead control, licensing cost and structure optimization, production cost optimization.
Vision and culture
The vision of Stage Entertainment is: “To be the leading integrated musical theatre platform, creating, licensing and producing premium experiences to broad audiences in local languages in world class theatres”.
The mission has always been to bring people together by telling stories and providing exceptional experiences through world-class live entertainment. Memories that last a lifetime. Since then, our society has turned digital. With 5G you can access online entertainment almost everywhere you go. At the same time we have an increasing desire to go off-line. To create shared experiences with friends and family. Storytelling via live entertainment has the unique ability to bring people together, to touch hearts and create memories. An experience that cannot be downloaded at home.
We leverage our unique combination of creative production capabilities and operational excellence. We attract, retain and develop leading professional experts and talents. We take our responsibility in society by sharing stories worth telling in a modern and innovative way. We value our people and the businesses we work with. Diversity is an integral part of our DNA. We continue to build an inclusive culture that celebrates the diverse voices of our employees and reflects the communities we operate in. We work as one, to create for many; across professions, levels of the organization and countries. With passion, respect, and responsibility we challenge ourselves to bring nothing but the best to our audiences.
Structure of the organization
The Management Board of the Stage Entertainment Group consists of Arthur de Bok (CEO), Marijn de Wit (CFO) and Fleur Mooren (COO). The Management Board is responsible for defining, implementing and executing the strategy of the Stage Entertainment Group and driving the overall value creation of the company. The Management Board is currently supervised by the Supervisory Board.
General description of the role
In the business strategy of Stage Entertainment premium theaters and premium theater experiences are included as important cornerstones. Meaning that the company must be the market leader in terms of quality and turnover. The position of the Group Venue Director is one of the key positions to achieve this.
The Group Director Venues is responsible for a maximum return of the theaters and at the same time an optimal theater experience for the visitors of the theaters. He/she is dedicated to realize the total customer experience according to the Stage Entertainment standards. Within this role there are 4 focus areas, namely: overseeing and optimizing the front-of-house activities, optimizing the event business for the theaters, realizing profitable sponsorships and managing the CAPEX. In order to do so, the Group director Venues draws up realistic plans to realize profitability, has the ability to use his network for commercial exposure, brings focus and helps the local teams to implement the plans. Off course he/she provides clear reports supportive to his/her ideas and suggestions. De Group Director Venues manages the International real estate and facility manager directly and works closely together with country management and local front of house teams.
Most important responsibilities
Strategy and policy development
Has housing, theater 'profitability' (including Front of House, Sponsoring and Events), facilities and procurement as responsibility areas: develops a vision of these subareas in close cooperation with parties involved within the company (both of the holding and the local operating companies) and takes care of the successful implementation of these areas of responsibility.
- Develops concrete policy for the longer term (in line with the objectives of the five-year plan) with regard to concepts and operation, and substantiates this with sound arguments, so that (data-driven) decisions can be taken for the short and longer term
- Draws up a realistic plan to realize the "profitability" of the theaters in line with the 5-year plan.
- Is closely involved in one of the key business themes of Stage entertainment, the "theaters and footprint optimization"
- Creates support for long-term plans with the Management Board and local management.
- Ensures that the average Front of House turnover on current activities increases in line with the budget and the five-year plan.
- Realizes other targets that are linked to operational excellence in the area of revenue realization and cost control / reduction (procurement, economy or scales).
- Develops a structure that clarifies the relationship with the operating companies and the various disciplines, and in which the international venue strategy and activities are firmly embedded.
Shorter term policy
- Convert approved plans into manageable, ambitious projects and processes that need to be implemented locally, with ambitious goals and milestones, but with a good estimation of budget, timeline and required resources.
- Sets measurable targets for optimizing the theater profitability sponsoring & events.
- Monitors the results of the theatre exploitation in the operating companies and reports this to the COO.
- Develops, in cooperation with headquarter staff, transparency in reporting of the revenue / cost components of the theaters.
- Indicates in time, when figures deviate from set objectives (and should be adjusted).
- Brings event business to the desired level in line with budget and five-year plan.
Tactical / operational
- Has a good view of the theater "profitability" (including Front of House, Sponsoring and Events), processes and performance of the theaters, based on this provides concrete, tangible improvement options per location.
- Draws up service standards for the various theater’s profitability, activities and ensures that the local theaters comply with this.
- Has an eye for new trends and initiatives and can facilitate and support local teams on the prioritization and initiating of new initiatives with entrepreneurial thinking.
Reporting and analysis
- Determines which data must be periodically delivered from the local operating companies in order to gain a good insight into the local Front of House performance.
- Ensures that the local operating companies provide the correct data (complete and reliable) in accordance with the established guidelines.
- Collects and analyzes relevant key figures and information.
- Indicates timely when adjustments must be made.
- Maintains relationships with external parties for entering into commercial partnerships to increase the profitability of the Front of House activities.
- Extends the amount of partnerships and sponsorships.
Occurrence of the position
The Group Director Veneus reports hierarchically to the COO, Fleur Mooren-La Bastide (member of the Executive Board). He/she provides functional leadership to the local theatre directors or managers, and hierarchically to the International real estate and facility Manager. Off course he/she collaborates intensively with the Group Director Opex, Group Creative Director, Group Content Director, Group Commercial Director and the International Communications Director to maintain alignment with the company's corporate marketing & sales strategy and branding.
Ideal experience and skills
The successful candidate has a track record in optimizing an organization with multiple (international) locations and creating an outstanding customer experience. He (she) has strong analytical- and financial skills and is highly skilled in operational management. Someone who easily switches between strategy and operation and is able to act very commercially. A person with a lot of energy, drive, creativity, and who is able to generate ideas with market focus. He is convincing and can act very well at different levels and in different countries in the organisation. The Group Director Venues thinks globally and enables the transmition of the overall strategy to the local theatre operation. Preferably he has worked in an international environment before.
Specifically, you will have:
- Experience in optimizing multiple locations and customer experience
- Strong financial background, fact-based approach, analytical skills
- Very good operational skills
- Interpersonal, communication and organizational skills
- A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- Fluency in English
- Availability to travel across Europe
Strategic and operational skills
- Pragmatic, gets things done
- Influencial leadership skills
- Commercial skills or expertise
- Excellent communication skills
- Clear and natural interpersonal skills, easily interacts with others irrelevant of their position and nationality
- The ability to persuade when necessary, is self-confident
- Owns actions and takes responsibility for results
- Dares to challenge and likes to be challanged
- Open minded
- Self starter