Prepare for a great glimpse behind the scenes, because Damman will give all the details of a company that has reached the pinnacle of the entertainment business in just a short period of time. In the background the Ziggo Dome is slowly filling with Muse fans. “Completely sold out.” When asked about the success of this concert hall – or venue, as Damman likes to call it – various reasons pass in review. Like the marriage to Ziggo, the contact with visitors and artists, and the insatiable appetite for new, even greater events.
In 2008, the Ziggo Dome was no more than an idea. The working title was the Amsterdam Dome. Damman: "I’d only been working on it for a week when I came into contact with Ziggo. 'We don’t bring TV cables, but entertainment to people’s homes', was their motto. To substantiate this, they were looking for opportunities to make this known. The Ziggo Dome was born. It took us a year to grow towards each other, from the drawing board to realizing a unique proposition, creating our own culture together."
That culture is now solid as a rock. The buzzword is cross-pollination, which benefits all parties involved. Ziggo customers profit from great discounts at the Ziggo Dome and can win free tickets. Damman: "Research shows that people who have been a guest here, hold Ziggo in higher regard." Good for Ziggo’s reputation of course, ánd for the Ziggo Dome – which sells its seats faster. And that is another great asset for promotors, who have to make a choice at which venue they want their artists to perform. "The more successful ticket sales are, the more they like it, of course." To give you an idea of how well this formula works, the Ziggo Dome has been among the top ten best-selling concert venues of the world for years now.
Everything for the customer
The occasional free ticket is not all Ziggo customers benefit from, Damman explains. "Sometimes, they are given the chance to buy tickets prior to the rest of the world. We have to limit that, otherwise shows will be completely sold out by Ziggo customers only, with other fans missing the boat. We also, in collaboration with Ziggo, organize Backstage Sessions with Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran, Kensington, Bastille, Kaiser Chiefs, you name it. In addition, Ziggo has just introduced a spectacular give-way: the Ziggo Golden Seats. Customers of Ziggo and Vodafone stand a chance of winning free VIP entrance tickets to all the shows in the Ziggo Dome during an entire year. Now that’s what you call a prize!"
Everything for the customer – and not only for Ziggo customers. "Everyone visiting the Ziggo Dome, should have that ultimate experience", Damman says. "For that reason we keep going every day, adding to the experience. Starting from the moment you buy your ticket for Muse and follow the build-up to the concert on social media, to traveling to the Ziggo Dome by train or by car, the reception here and everything you experience within these walls, to how you look back on the event at home on social media. Every step of that journey is closely monitored and will be constantly enriched."
Secrets of the Ziggo Dome
"In addition, we pull out all the stops to please our artists. They, too, need to be happy here and eager to come back. An artist wants a new toilet seat for every visit to the toilet? Consider it done. He wants to find himself in a duplicate version of his own home, when walking from the dressing-room to the stage? No problem." Both examples may sound strange, but Damman is not making them up. "I could write books about the requests I’ve received, but what happens in the Ziggo Dome, stays in the Ziggo Dome. Besides, the really turbulent times are something of the past. Nowadays, artists are true professionals, eager to deliver a top-notch performance. That is how they design their tours and we help them with that."
In December, Ajax will be up against Spanish Valencia in Amsterdam. If you don’t have tickets, you can still enjoy the match in spectacular style in the Ziggo Dome. 17,000 fans, artists and former players will be watching the match on an awe-inspiring screen. In addition to that, the match can also be watched live on Ziggo Sport, of course. "This triangle of Ajax, Ziggo Dome and Ziggo is the ultimate cross-media thinking", says Damman.
To stay on top of things, you have to stay innovative and come up with new concepts. Damman: "And that’s what we do. Think about the Viewing Party of the Formula 1. Over 10,000 people jumping up and down when Verstappen forced six men to bite the dust. It makes me incredibly happy that we are the first, together with Ziggo, to dare to take that risk. Also by bringing stand-up comedy to the big stage. Najib Amhali was the first who felt up to it. Would it work? The waves of laughter through the Ziggo Dome after his first joke, I will never forget."