Up close and personal with Sally Walder, GM of Amplify
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m Sally Walder, general manager of Amplify, the premium hospitality provider for the NEC Group’s two arenas. I’ve lived and worked in and around Birmingham for 12 years, starting my career in hospitality back in 2006. I developed my knowledge of the industry in football before taking up this position with Amplify eight years ago.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I live in the city centre, so I’m lucky enough to either be just a 10-minute train journey from the Genting Arena or a short walk down the canal from Arena Birmingham (formerly Barclaycard Arena).
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
It’s a brilliant commute – especially in the summer. There’s nothing better than walking past all the barges as the sun rises first thing in the morning, and then all the hustle and bustle of the eateries and bars in Brindleyplace of an evening. I love it.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
It’s a great place! Birmingham has the strongest entertainment market in the UK outside of London and is home to not only two world-class arenas but also some of the best shopping facilities in Europe, five Michelin-starred restaurants and everything in between. Investment has totally transformed the city in recent years, and with it, has brought more business and more tourists. Amplify caters for a mix of both corporate and private hospitality guests, so the more people that are coming to this great city the better!
Many of my off-site meetings are in the city centre, so Park Regis and The Balcony (Selfridges) tend to be firm favourites of mine. You are always guaranteed great service and a really decent cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, most of my lunchtimes are working at my desk! When I do get the opportunity, I love to go to EAT. It’s got a great range of noodle style salads which suit me just fine.
It has to be by the canals. There’s nowhere better to wander, have some fresh air and people watch. Our canal-side is beautiful.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
I love the Mailbox – it has a fantastic atmosphere and Harvey Nichols… what more could you want?
Birmingham has so many quality bars now. The Edgbaston, Malmaison, and the terrace at the Button Factory have been recent haunts, but I like to vary where I go. My drink of choice is a nice, cold glass of Prosecco.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
There have been many large-scale developments in recent years, such as Grand Central and Resorts World Birmingham, that have created a big buzz around the city. With more on the way like Paradise Birmingham, we need to ensure we continue to build on this positive momentum, and show why Birmingham is such a great place to live and invest in. We shouldn’t be afraid to be proud of our city and boast about its achievements.