“After every Event Host shift, I definitely feel I’ve made a difference.”
Paul Austin, Train Manager, gives an insight into his role as an Avant West Coast Event Host, supporting fans travelling for Euro 2020.
6 July 2021
Event Hosts were introduced to reassure customers during major events by improving staff visibility and engagement with spectators and customers. When we’re not doing our day jobs, we’re there to provide frontline support at stations and onboard our trains – with the aim to provide a better experience for customers and staff.
Our role is unique - we’re the only train operator to have a dedicated team to support those travelling during events. We’re a friendly, approachable team, easily identifiable with special uniform, and cover any largescale event taking place on our network – from football matches to Comic Con (the comic and film fan convention) at Birmingham NEC.
Planning is key. But things always change, and that’s where my experience as a Train Manager helps - I’m able to adapt and react to situations I’m faced with. I love this role - I enjoy interacting with people and working as a team to make things easier for everyone.
As Event Hosts, we’ve built really good rapports with regular travellers – especially football fans on our Liverpool and Manchester routes. We’re a familiar face. Fans know we’re there to help and be a point of contact during their journey.
We’ve also received great feedback from other customers – they’ve commented how largescale events are better planned and managed.
"We’re a familiar face. Fans know we’re there to help and be a point of contact during their journey."
For Euro 2020 matches taking place at Hampden Park or Wembley I’ve helped fans get where they need to be, find their reserved seat onboard, reminded them to travel safely and assisted vulnerable customers.
Event Hosts really do make a difference to our colleagues both onboard and at stations – it gives them additional support and takes away some of the responsibilities of dealing with large crowds, leaving them to handle their day job. So, for me after every Event Host shift, I definitely feel I’ve made a difference.
While COVID-19 immediately halted our work, we’ve played a part in test events and I teamed up with Manchester City stewards to ensure fans travelled safely to the Carabao Cup at Wembley. This was great practice for my deployment to Glasgow when fans travelled for match between England and Scotland.
With the final stages of Euro 2020 kicking off, preparations are underway, and we’re excited to get fans to Wembley safely for such a wonderful event.
Fans heading to Wembley for the Semi-Finals on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 July, as well as the Final on Sunday 11 July are advised to only travel if they have a reservation, plan ahead, and travel safely. For more advice on travelling for Euro 2020 matches, visit: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/euro-2020
Images: Paul Austin in his Avanti West Coast Event Host uniform