The Event Life Cycle identifies the correct sequence in which appropriate action should be taken for a cycling event through tracking and identifying the correct information, people and tasks required at different stages in the life cycle of an event. This is a beneficial process which should be considered by the event organising committee to ensure every step is taken to efficiently plan, carry out and evaluate a safe and successful event. Depending on the size of the event please ensure adequate timing to complete all the steps.
Bidding for the event
The bidding process should be used to demonstrate that as an organisation you have the capability and resources to stage the event by setting an initial outline of the intentions for the event including its purpose and information on location, budget and targets.
Working with key stakeholders to define timelines
Engaging with key stakeholders is crucial to the success of the event as effective engagement will help translate stakeholder needs into performance and outcome goals to create an efficient timeline for the event.
Identify where the key funding for the event is coming from (funding streams);
- Grants/Government funding
- Commercial sponsorship
- Suppliers for various pieces of equipment (these suppliers may have to travel distances to get to the event location and will need to be booked to secure the availability of the correct equipment)- Timing equipment, power supply, barriers, event vehicles, screens
Understanding the needs of sponsors
• Ensure sponsors are introduced to event organisers and made to feel welcome
• The sponsor should enjoy the event even if the weather is bad – cars may be needed
• Understand what the sponsor would like to get from the event
• Ensure they have the opportunity to get good photographs/coverage of them at the event
A communication plan is needed to define who needs to be aware of the event and activities occurring prior to the event as well as during, methods of communication and how often information needs to be distributed, clarifying who is responsible for this distribution.
• Residents and businesses in the surrounding area must be informed of the event plans prior to the event occurring.
• A communication plan is needed for all staff, so there is clear understanding of how information should be shared or reported if incidents occur during the event.
• A record of contact details (including phone numbers and radio details) of all staff and volunteers is required and accessible to other staff members.
Recruiting and managing volunteers
Cycling events rely on volunteers to ensure all events are conducted in a safe, enjoyable way therefore it is important that these individuals have a clear understanding of their responsibilities.
• Identify the number of volunteers required and the different roles that need filled (on course officials, traffic controllers, start area and finish area volunteers etc)
• Publish application criteria identifying if previous experience or training is required
• Voluntary tasks should be equally distributed
• All volunteers should be treated with dignity and respect
• Roles of volunteers should be clearly explained and demonstrated (if needed) through adequate training prior to the event day
Identifying the venue
The location/venue of your event is important as it can influence who your audience and participants are and the enjoyment of these groups including meeting their expectations and the hope of leaving a legacy.
Venue choice should be based on:
• Size – the venue needs to have appropriate capacity for the predicted number of spectators and participants
• Facilities – toilets, meeting rooms, media/press centre, anti-doping facility must all be provided at the venue
• Position/Accessibility – easy access for emergency vehicles, public transport close by
• Space – there needs to be enough area available for spectators, participants, sponsors and to install infrastructure (stands, media areas etc)
• Parking – there should be adequate parking for the projected number of attendees, disabled parking, no height restrictions(bikes) and the parking needs to be situated within a short distance of the course
Arranging accommodation and transportation
Accommodation and/or transport may be required for your event, to improve the experience for participants, spectators, suppliers, sponsors and officials/volunteers. This should be considered in advance to the event as this will require the organisation of reservations/bookings and will need to be incorporated in the cost of the event.
• Transport for officials on course should be provided if necessary (if officials are changing positions this may be necessary)
• Distance from the course to the parking area should be identified - is there a need for arranged transport for participants and spectators
• If the event is more than a single day is there a need for accommodation nearby – does funding allow for accommodation to be provided for riders
Implementing security/safety measures for athletes and spectators
The organising committee must work closely with the local emergency services to ensure communication channels operate effectively with health and safety information shared throughout all stages of the event.
• Effective contingency plans should be put in place prior to the event should an emergency arise
• Crowd control and traffic management plans should be completed
• A safety briefing for all staff/volunteers should be carried out before the event begins
• Health and safety training may be required
• First aid presence is essential in the case of emergency
• Medical services on standby with course map and quickest route from race location to hospital identified
Depending on the size and level of your event, the need for parking arrangements will vary. For larger events with participants and spectators traveling greater distances, substantial parking will be required which should be planning and located in advance to the event.
• Ensure there is sufficient safe parking for the predicted number of participants, spectators, staff, volunteers, sponsors and suppliers
• A request may be needed in advance of the event to suspend parking charges in certain areas nearby to ensure adequate space is available
A partnership between the local community and the organising committee should be developed to maintain cooperation and effective planning and carrying out of events with the involvement of the community.
• Community involvement could be encouraged through volunteering positions, partnerships with local businesses
• Discussions on economic impact within the local area
• Local residents and businesses must be informed of road closures in advance to their occurrence
Negotiating agreements with sponsors
Communication with potential sponsors is required to ensure that your organisation and the event will receive the maximum benefits from the sponsorship deal agreed.
• It should be considered if the sponsor is appropriate to be involved with a Cycling Ireland event (avoiding betting, smoking, fast food)
• Have they sponsored a Cycling Ireland event before or any other similar sporting event?
• Ideally the potential sponsor’s intention to sponsor should be driven by a love of sport or its values
Bad weather protocol
A plan should be developed which outlines at what stage the event needs to be cancelled due to bad weather, this should have a scale of the level of risk athletes face (injury/crashes)
• A time limit for cancelling/delaying the event before the event begins should be agreed
• A plan is needed in connection with media of how to let participants know the event is cancelled
• Plan of how to let spectators know the event is cancelled – use of social media
An acknowledgement should be made at the prize giving/medal ceremony or if this is not taking place a speech at the finish area may be required. This message of thanks can also be posted on social media to acknowledge the hard work and contribution of many different people.
Who to thank:
3. Organising committee
8. Emergency services
Post event review
Through post event evaluation, there is the ability to fully understand the impact the event has had and if expectations were met. It is important to continuously improve by reflecting on organisational goals and providing justification for change.
The best time to collect feedback and review is as soon as possible after the event when it is fresh in your attendees’, organising committee and stakeholders’ minds therefore if surveys or meetings are required these should take place in the days following the event.
• Evaluation in terms of plans, event goals, budget
• An evaluation of the venue/location – was it suitable, ease of functions, appropriate facilities , accessibility
• Was setting up and clearing, cleaning and dismantling efficient
• Volunteer satisfaction should be evaluated through surveys (or other means of collecting information)
• Spectator satisfaction – easy access, route appropriate for viewing, facilities, parking, helpful staff
• Participant satisfaction - facilities, running of the event, set up, venue, route, services (including officials, medical staff)