Logistics need to be absolutely accurate if your event has got any chance of running smoothly. With so many planners and suppliers involved in the ‘Taking of the Hill’ experience, the logistical planning offered it's own unique challenges. Here’s how I pulled the weekend’s logistics together…
Event logistics are an on-going process from the beginning of the planning stages, when they are roughly worked out on prior knowledge and experience from past events; like knowledge about the different venues, transfer times, even traffic patterns!
Since the ‘Taking of the Hill’ concept was completely new, and mostly in Bill’s head, I had quite a job extracting the information from his brain into something solid I could work on! It involved a lot a meetings and telephone conversations about the strangest things, like hessian fabric sizes, burning torches and flags!
Typical of a creative mind, Bill saw the end vision of how the program would work in his head. It was my job to work backwards from this point to put together logistics that would make it happen. For example, working out the timings, arranging suppliers, finding suitable venues and even putting together shopping lists! For example, by the end of the second day, Bill wanted the clan’s to have created costumes, targes and chants. I had to ensure they had every item they could possible need to fulfill this objective.
Once I’d put together the outline logistics, they went back to Bill and then to John to make sure everyone was happy and understood the format of the weekend.
When the final logistics had been agreed I then had to brief all the suppliers on the format of the weekend. I’d tried very hard to make sure the document was as clear, simple and concise as possible (after all – there was a lot of men involved! :) ), but of course there are always last minute questions and queries that need to be answered to ensure everyone is 100% clear about their role.
The group size (230 people) meant that I couldn’t rely solely on the tour leader when we were on site – I needed the help of the regional leaders to assemble their groups. Part of the process for this was a dedicated room for the departure system, so 230 people weren’t hanging around in the hotel reception or on the street. It meant that everyone was accounted for and systematic transfers were arranged for a smooth process, so each ‘clan’ could travel together.
The funny thing is, that you spend so long writing, re-writing, re-writing and finalising the most important document of the program, yet when it comes to the event, you know it so well, like an actor knows a script, that you don’t event look at it on-site…it’s all in your head!
I'll be getting back to my green roots with so 'Going Green with Hello' blogs soon!