Perfect Event Delivery: A Guide for Major Event Operations Centres

Taking experience from a variety of major events including Olympic Games, Special Olympics and non-sport Mega Events, this guide gives you the tools to manage secure, efficient and accountable event control.

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  • Using digital tools can bring huge gains in operational efficiency
  • A lot of the crucial work happens before the event - plan thoroughly
  • Take away a copy to keep and share

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The Operations Centre - or whatever you call it for your event - is the hidden hub of any major event, built to provide central coordination of all event-time operations.

Throughout this paper we look at its role in planning and delivering an incredible major event, especially considering venue checks, run sheets, and incident management.

Everyone relies on the operations centre - even those who don't really know it exists! - and it is the hub of information flow and decision-making at event-time. Get the information flow working efficiently and you'll be on your way to operating a successful major event.

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Before the Event

The success of your Operations Centre relies heavily on the planning work you have done before your major event. In this section we look at what you should do to get ready.

We analyse the 5 crucial steps to setting up your run sheets pre-event:

  1. Procuring software;
  2. Establishing templates;
  3. Getting input from functions;
  4. Considering dependencies; and
  5. Being ready to adapt.

Your event-time run sheets need to give you clarity, collaboration, and accuracy, to ensure your operations are smooth and adaptable.

1-min-2Next, we look at the 5 questions to ask when setting up your venue checks programme, to ensure the safety and security of your site:

  1. How will I record checks?
  2. What needs to be checked?
  3. Where does it need to be checked?
  4. When does it need to be checked? and
  5. Who will carry out the check?

Then we consider the planning that can be done for your incident management. A lot of the most important work in resolving an incident often happens a long time before the incident actually occurs. Make sure you plan the following:

  • Checklists;
  • Contingency plans;
  • Software;
  • Communication channels;
  • Relationship with the Operations Centre;
  • The event log.

The last thing to consider before the event is Martyn's Law. This proposed British legislation requires events and venues to better protect their visitors against the risk of terrorism, and there is much to be learnt from it for an event manager.

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During the Event

When your major event begins, your Operations Centre needs to be ready for the unexpected to happen. Here we look at how you can perfect your incident management and keep your event running smoothly.

To manage incidents successfully, an event control room needs the right place, the right processes, the right equipment and the right people - that is true whether you are delivering a local fair or an Olympic Games. Not every control room is at a major event scale, but the basic best practices hold true in every case:

  1. Prepare thoroughly: Be prepared for things to go wrong;
  2. Respond consistently: Have a plan for how to respond when things do go wrong;
  3. Ensure accountability: Stay accountable by logging decisions, discussion and actions.

padova marathon-minInformation is critical to effective and efficient incident management. Here's the information you need on each event day.

  • Mapping;
  • An event log;
  • Information outside of the Operations Centre;
  • Dashboards;
  • Reports;
  • The right information.

Read that section to learn more.

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After the Event

Even once your major event is finished, some crucial work remains: completing post-event reports, ensuring you have a full audit of who did what and when, and learning lessons for the future.

It is crucial that, come the end of your event, you have all of the information you need in an organised and accurate way, for the following reasons:

  • For accountability;
  • For a single source of truth;
  • To ensure no missing information;
  • To learn lessons.

The single source of truth is the ideal tool for an event manager, knowing that they have the information they need in one place. 

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In the rest of the guide, you will also find the following sections:

  • Learnings from London 2012: a series of interviews with WeTrack Managing Director Peter Ward, considering best practice in programme management, risk management, readiness and incident management at major events.
  • WeTrack: Built for Major Events: WeTrack's control room software gives you confidence in the efficiency, security and accountability of your operations centre. See the case study on how WeTrack boosted the operations of the Main Operations Centre at the Special Olympics, Abu Dhabi 2019: providing an effective incident management system with live mapping functionality to provide great oversight across every venue and competition.
  • External Resources: a list of resources available online to support your major event operations.
  • Take-aways: some final thoughts by WeTrack Commercial Director, Eric Solem, on facing current operational challenges.

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Thank you for reading - you can download the full guide at the top or bottom of this page. Alternatively, click below to check out WeTrack's event control room software and learn how we can help to make your operations more efficient.

Operations Software that Puts You In Control

royal procession grandstand ascot-min-2WeTrack's control room software of venue checks, run sheets, and incident management, gives you confidence that your operations are efficient, secure and accountable - saving time, money and risk.

Download Our Guide for Major Event Operations

Take away a PDF to keep!