On a soggy, miserable April Morning 25,000 people hot the streets for the 12th Herald Sun-Citylink Run for the Kids. Imagine if the sun was out!?
An iconic event and one of the biggest fun runs in Australia, Run for the Kids has become a Melbourne institution. Apart from the fact that it is carried along Melbourne’s freeways and major arterial roads, not usually reserved for runners and walkers, it delivers huge fundraising dollars to the Royal Children’s Hospital so that they can continue to perform their world class, life changing work. This is a truly special event and we are proud to be a part of it.
We tend to believe that road events management is pretty consistent in many ways, regardless of the scale, the activity and whether they are racing or not. Whether there are 250 participants or 25,000 participants you are closing the road, coordinating traffic management, greeting participants, preparing the course, deploying volunteers, staffing the event, briefing and communicating across the team, then starting and finishing the event. It is important that there are some consistencies across your planning approach, but that it is scaled accordingly.
You should have the same approach to scoping the project, to capturing the deliverables and preparing your project plan. You should have the same event plan documentation and engage with stakeholders in the same fashion. All just scaled accordingly. Most importantly, you should be communicating with your client very openly throughout the journey. Don’t forget to one client 250 participants might be the equivalent to 25,000 for another client. Chances are the scale is pretty relevant to them too.
Considering scale and consistency is important. Unless you have experienced the joys of road events management, it is probably not something top of mind. As an event manager, the important thing to remember, however, is how you scale up what you are delivering. Comparatively, 250 participants might be running on the same course footprint as the 25,000, drinking the same water, running past the same course marshal, eating the same apple at the finish and running the same distance, but the effects of your event planning are amplified when you consider this scale of humanity.
It is 6 people with signs of hypothermia, compared to 600. It is 2 people queuing for a toilet, compared to 200. It is 200 people wanting an apple at the finish, compared to 20,000 wanting an apple. It is a drink station catering for 50 people grabbing a drink as compared to 5,000 people. The consequences of messing up the planning for this is on a comparable factor of 100.
Most event organisers can get the scale right and resource correctly for an event that goes well without incident. But ask yourself, are you scaled to overcome the incident when it arises. Your ability to predict the unpredictable and know the unknown is a crucial tool in your arsenal as an event manager. Deploy it wisely.
Have you got some thoughts of your own? Drop it below in the comments. Want to learn some more about how we go about our business at Sport Projects? Get in touch at our website or drop me a note direct through Linked In