Turning employee learning into a sport

As senior director of event operations at Singapore Sports Hub, Mitch Seeto makes sure his staff hit global standards through constant learning.
By: | October 23, 2019

Singapore Sports Hub, home to the now iconic National Stadium, has quickly become a world-class venue. The stadium is the world’s largest free-spanning dome structure and plays host to a wide variety of events from football matches featuring the world’s best players to music concerts from global superstars. These events are helping to put Singapore on the world map as a major sporting and music venue.

While the venue and the events it hosts are vital for its success, so too are the people at the Singapore Sports Hub. This is where Mitch Seeto comes in as Senior Director, Venue & Event Operations to give him his official title. Mitch has an impressive track record, having worked on London 2012, which were seen as the most successful Olympic games ever. He also worked in events management for Sydney’s ANZ Stadium (originally called Stadium Australia) and the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Now based in Singapore, Mitch is helping turn the Sports Hub into a global force to be reckoned with.

Managing people are big part of his duties, and are also a major factor in the venue’s growing reputation. Seeto supervises more than 60 employees across the handful of individual venues that make up Singapore’s iconic Sports Hub, including the National Stadium, Indoor Stadium, OCBC Aquatic Centre, OCBC Arena, Water Sports Centre, Sports Museum and Precinct spaces.

His workforce includes a wide variety from event professionals to surf instructors. They come from diverse backgrounds such as an airline steward to someone who worked in an amusement park. His employees are the public face for guests, both local and foreign, so he makes sure he chooses his recruits wisely. Talking about his commitment to talent he said: ‘When we first launched the Sports Hub, we were seen as the brand new hot venue. We still need to have that edge, so we conduct lots of learning. Training is really important to us. As we are so customer services-focused, we need to always stay relevant’’.

As a landmark venue and an icon of Singapore, there’s plenty of pressure on staff to be warm, friendly and helpful, showing the best the city state has to offer in terms of customer service. ‘’The culture is based on a team mentality and we practice that daily. We may have 60-plus people across a number of venues but we are one big team working to deliver a great experience, no matter which venue or event you attend. The culture we have here you will not find anywhere else’’.

Staff also need to keep pace with customer services standards globally. As a tourist attraction, visitors come from all over Asia, and further afield. So does how does Seeto make sure his team gives them world-class customer service? ‘’We share knowledge and regularly send teams over to other venues around the world. The learning never stops.’’ For example, when Korean pop band BTS played at the Sports Hub earlier this year, Mitch sent a team over to Korea beforehand to learn more about managing that event and their ‘army’ of fans.