5 Things Event Professionals Can Learn from Rugby World Cup 2015
1. Start by learning
• The management team of England 2015, the organisers of this world cup, had a massive advantage. And that was that 2015 is slap bang in the middle of what has unofficially been dubbed ‘the UK’s golden decade of sport’ (the ‘golden decade’ was nearly an official title but the government backed away from it).
• England 2015 had masses of data and first-hand experience from events like London 2012 (where most of the senior staff came from) Rugby League World Cup 2013 and Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games in 2014.
• It’s one thing, of course, to have all the data and to watch fans in their natural habit and observe how they buy tickets. But to convert that knowledge into information is very powerful. The huge success of RWC 2015 in terms of both ticket sales and positive PR proves that they certainly used their learnings very well.
• ERG Take out: every event you go to should provide you with key information on how to make your next one better.
2. Don’t be afraid to be bold
• One thing about running a big, ambitious tournament is that it gives you big, ambitious sales targets. RWC 2015 had a lot of tickets to sell.
• But with a combination of some brave decisions and that essential knowledge of both their core market and the extended event-goer market, they made it work. Having so many matches at the vast Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and putting matches on outside of the rugby union heartlands in places like Brighton and Newcastle were bold moves.
• Bold moves that paid off however. Despite a fair sprinkling of minnows across the matches the Millennium Stadium was practically full for every game as was Brighton where Japan became everyone’s favourite second team.
• ERG Take out: use that knowledge you’ve gained but let it make you ambitious not cautious in your event planning.
3. Don’t worry if your main attraction pulls out
• The one downside to the whole competition was the failure of England to get out of their group. The fact that none of the home nations made the semi-finals wasn’t exactly a plus point either.
• But because of the size of the tournament and the belief in it as an event, it hardly seemed to matter. If your event has been well marketed, well planned and well organised you can be sure that if a keynote speaker or celebrity lets you down, someone else from your roster will step up to the plate.
•At RWC 2015 this role was filled by first Japan, who won many hearts and minds and Argentina, who dispatched a supposedly strong Ireland side.
• ERG Take out: Murphy’s Law tells us that anything that can go wrong most definitely will. A big hole in your schedule can be caused by illness, bad luck or the UK’s less than wonderful road and rail system. Don’t panic, it’s likely that your understudy will relish his or her opportunity to shine.
4. Teamwork is everything
• There is no doubt about it a great team is like a jigsaw, lots of disparate parts make up the whole. Grassroots rugby is a game like no other, there is a place for anyone of any shape or size. Professional rugby is a little different these days as wingers start to look like locks and vice versa.
• New Zealand won the World Cup because they are a great team, with some outstanding individuals for sure but essentially a team first and foremost.
• Likewise, RWC 2015 had a crack team in place to deliver the event. Everyone an expert in their particular field, backed by the now ubiquitous army of volunteers. Starting back with Manchester’s Commonwealth Games volunteers in 2002, Britain has become very adept at providing its world events with friendly, helpful and enthusiastic unpaid amateurs.
• ERG Take out: putting the right team together is a key management skill and an essential part of any event.
5. Celebrate like no one’s watching
• As this hilarious video of Kiwi rugby supporter Kristen Whiu celebrating an All Black try shows it’s never a bad thing to enjoy your triumphs. OK, we’re not suggesting you celebrate your latest successful event by leaping around the room like a mad Maori but do take the time to mark your achievements.
• ERG Take out: It might be taking the team out for a pizza or a well-earned beer at the end of the event but it is an important part of growing as a team to recognise success.
• ERG’s courses can teach you how to learn and grow and turn you into a leader and/or a vital team member.
Find out today!