World Cup Event Planning

What the Events Industry can learn from the World Cup

As July is ending, it’s worth looking back at something that came to a close earlier this month – yes, the World Cup has been a celebration of all things football, resulting in some truly brilliant games, goals and of course – a healthy dose of controversy. But at the same time, it has also been when you strip it all down, one of the biggest events you’re likely to see…

For the most part, this event went incredibly well, with basically everyone in agreeance that it was a successful World Cup, but at the same time there has been quite a few lessons any event professional can learn from across the World Cup’s tenure in Brazil – coming from before the tournament even started right up until the trophy was lifted by a typically efficient and solid German side.

Plan and Plan again… then Execute

The first of these lessons is to plan, plan and then plan again. Any event deserves the right planning no matter its size – and in terms of the World Cup, it deserved everything to be planned right down to the nearest second.

To be fair, that might have been the case, but you also need to execute these plans properly and that is where, at times, the Brazilian World Cup faltered. Before the tournament started, most of the news reports coming out about the country were surrounding the stadiums and how they still weren’t ready, or in terms of England, how the pitch was so bad before their game against Italy that it needed to be painted green.

When applying that to events that aren’t a 32-team football competition that the world is watching, this means ensuring that everything and anything planned needs to be ensured that it can actually be pulled off on time. Many can argue that the stadiums did end up being ready and the competition was fantastic, but the build-up didn’t fill anyone with hope. If your client is left worrying because everything you promised isn’t being delivered on time, in terms of the venue or even a menu tasting – confidence will plummet and could create even more problems.

Book the Right Entertainment

Pitbull. Need I say any more at all? While the overall tournament was a success, its opening ceremony was met with confusion by many. To put it short, the entertainment (and those white Pitbull trousers) bombed – especially when placed in front of a world of beer swigging football fans.

Entertainment is key and knowing the audience/the client before choosing it is essential.

Use your Technology Properly

Goal line technology has been a huge debate for years and years, and the World Cup became the first tournament to fully implement it, so no more Frank Lampard fiascos took place like in the 2010 World Cup but what replaced them were unnecessary replays every single time there was a goal… and in a World Cup that was packed with goals, it grew tiresome pretty quickly with every obvious goal being replayed with the use of the ‘Goal Cam’ to confirm that yes, yes it was in fact a goal.

Those replays were soon phased out once it was realised by the technical team that they were unnecessary for 99% of the goals, so the lesson to be learnt here is know your technology well and use it properly. Depending on the event, tech is having a bigger and bigger place in events from social media plugins to eye-catching new installations and it’s essential to know exactly how they work and not to overuse them. Use tech to complement the event, but not overwhelm it, as the human element is still hugely important.

Keep to your Timings

Timing is everything when it comes to a well-ran event so rehearsals and strict time-keeping are an absolute must. With the World Cup earlier this month, all eyes were on the final and of course, the trophy presentation that closed the entire competition. It took what seemed like an eternity to get the presentation going, leaving Argentina (the losing side if you didn’t know) waiting around solemnly for far too long.

There was no tangible reason for the hold up, but with extra time also being played, they had more than enough time to prepare for the presentations. Plan, prepare and make sure these mishaps don’t take place at your event because with a rigid time schedule and execution, it won’t happen!

The World Cup was all about the football but beneath the surface, it was about hosting an event, so hopefully as events professionals we can all learn something from it and apply it to our own work, no matter what kind of event it is!



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