FOAMHAND has a reputation for successfully planning and delivering major event projects on the global stage as seen through recent major events such as the London 2017 IAAF World Championships, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 and even NFL’s Super Bowl 50. With on-going projects for the next Commonwealth Games host city Gold Coast 2018 and the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang 2018 FOAMHAND are helping to ensure you, your teams, contractors and event partners are ready.
Being Operationally Prepared – Case Study: London 2017
At the start of 2017, FOAMHAND were commissioned by the local organising committee for the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships in 2017. Our main objective to review the anticipated event-time operations, facilitate operational readiness desktop exercises, and develop an appropriate Command, Coordination and Communication (C3) architecture that would support the safe running and coordination of the event.
With 24 weeks to go before the event started to receive its first arrivals there was a significant time pressure to ensure functional areas were familiar with their operational plans and were appropriately tested. Our team’s aim was to quickly evaluate the level of preparedness of all functional areas, highlight areas of potential risk and identify opportunities prior to the ‘Summer of World Athletics’.
Adam Down FOAMHAND CEO said “Readiness is not just a box on the organisational chart to give comfort to executives, nor is it something that can be purchased. For teams to ‘be ready’ is a state of preparedness that takes time, effort and commitment from everyone involved.”
Building on our team’s existing relationships with local partners, combined with our international event operations experience, enabled our team to quickly establish a Readiness Road Map for London 2017. The readiness programme provided direction to the functional areas and highlighted the touch points for interoperability, whilst reassuring senior management and financial investors.
As is often the case in major events, time and resource constraints meant that functional areas focus on their own operating plan and fail to discover the reliance placed upon them in other operating plans being developed across the organising committee. This gap becomes far more difficult to bridge the closer you are to the event.
In parallel, the FOAMHAND team was tasked to design and build a trusted Central Operations Management Centre that could support functional area operations and coordinate the Organising Committee event-time delivery. A key challenge balancing the expectations of external partners, many of whom had significant involvement with London 2012 Olympics only five years earlier in the same venue. This balancing act needed to meet the available budget and resources in comparison to the “greatest show on earth” as the Olympics is often referred to. Events smaller in scale but in many cases no less complex do not have the financial flexibility to over-scope facilities as a risk mitigation measure - which is usually central to any business case justification and is regularly discussed in post event lessons learned sessions.
FOAMHAND used their team’s delivery of the Readiness Programme for London 2017 to illustrate the importance of readiness at all levels to the functional areas, showcasing best practice for Venue based workshops and understanding the ‘Client Journeys’. Our readiness desktop exercises provided a platform to evaluate multiple scenarios in a safe environment to support learning, process improvement and ensure plans were deliverable. The most valuable outcome was taking staff and partners on the journey to becoming operationally ready to assist in the creation of what became the Championship Coordination Centre (CCC); a compact but agile C3 centre specifically designed for the event by FOAMHAND. During the event, the CCC was carefully resourced by the right mixture of event professionals, planning oversight, communications specialists, volunteer radio loggists, and all managed by FOAMHAND. The CCC enabled London 2017 to engage and respond to external partners, coordinate its own operations beyond the main venue footprint, and seamlessly integrate with the existing operations of both the London Stadium and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Cherry Alexander MBE, Managing Director for London 2017 and Major Events Director for UK Athletics, said: “FOAMHAND were flexible and accommodating of our programme and broader needs. They were able to use their experience to quickly enhance the deliverables and understand our constraints. Their team also had the capability to assist with our response to evolving challenges arising from the recent terror attacks within the UK in the run up to the Championships. This helped to ensure our LOC felt confident and ready to deliver two successful World Championships”.
The World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Athletics Championships were held in July and August 2017 at the London Stadium on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This was the first time both events have been held in the same summer in the same host city. With 20 days of sporting drama and 3,300 athletes from around the globe competing in 245 events and almost 1 million ticket spectators it truly was a ‘Summer of World Athletics’.
City Operations & Precision Planning
FOAMHAND is a global major events consultancy specialising in four critical event planning disciplines with a focus on core themes of integration, seamless spectator journeys and event readiness.
We use specialist online tools to enhance collaboration; and have world class experts in crowd modelling and dynamics. FOAMHAND are currently engaged by the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Committee to provide crowd flow modelling and management across all competition venues and were engaged by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to support crowd and transport management operations for the Rio 2016 Opening ceremony.
With offices in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, we work with city planners, event organisers around the world to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all, offering expert knowledge from our team’s major event experience which is founded on the planning and delivery of over 40 global events over the last decade.
All our team have first-hand experience of event day delivery and use this valuable knowledge to support clients by providing ‘real world’ practical solutions. For an event to be successful for strategic supporters, funders and governments, a city needs to keep working. Our ‘one team, one plan’ approach to event planning considers a broad range of factors, identifies partner agencies and influential stakeholders, and engages them in the process as early as possible. FOAMHAND bring this all together in the run up to a major event with functional area engagement workshops and various readiness activities to ensure confidence is high, teams and functions are integrated, and clients receive the levels of service as planned.
This article was written by FOAMHAND. For further information please visit www.foamhand.com or contact the team on +44 (0) 207 205 4105, firstname.lastname@example.org or @foam_hand