Getting sporting events right: Wimbledon
By Tania TilbrookJuly 22nd, 2015
It just isn’t summer in London without Wimbledon. Like us, were you shouting at your television as the Murray vs Federer match raged on a couple of weeks ago? Our very own Rupert was at Wimbledon that day and, as you might expect from our top team of event professionals, he was busy thinking about what makes it work as an iconic event.
The atmosphere at Wimbledon is amazing, Rupert told us. Unsurprisingly on that day Murray Mount was teeming with people. Everyone wanted to see the match and the waves of excitement literally ripple across the whole area. Around the mount everyone is drawn together and as an attendees, you get nicely swept up into the thick of it.
On the flip side, for such a hotly contested match as Murray vs Federer, there is fierce competition among the crowd for space and too many attendees are left not able to watch the most exciting match. This leads to a lot of frustration among attendees, not something any event manager wants for their guests.
A good event manager stays on top of technology solutions to increase engagement both during and after the event. Installing big screens on the courts so that other matches can be screened live has clearly been a good move, but our production expert Rupert had some feedback on how Wimbledon could make it work better.
“The screens in Court 2 are set up in the corner of the court, which makes it really hard to get a good view of the screen! The seating was set up to cut right across the screen and of course, you had completely lost the atmosphere created by the fans at Murray Mount.”
Of course we weren’t going to let Rupert get away with criticising our national treasure of Wimbledon unless he had some thoughts on how they could improve the set up for next year. His advice: to keep the screens, but position them over the net in the court. One facing one half of the crowd and one behind it, facing the other. That way fans can keep an eye on both two matches simultaneously, the one live on their court and the one transmitted on the screens.
Other things to consider are ways to entertain attendees who aren’t caught up in the live action at any point. The number of people who are sold tickets often exceeds the capacity for the most popular match of the day. If organisers want to emphasise the sense of being in the throng and being a part of something unique, they need to think of ways to involve guests who find themselves on the fringes.
Any events manager will tell you that their favourite events are the ones where a tangible buzz of excitement settles over the whole arena. Attention to the detail of the experience you are creating is critical in making this happen. As you can tell, our team of expert lecturers find themselves thinking about it even when they are supposed to be relaxing!
So did Rupert enjoy his day? Yes, of course. There is no other sporting event like it and he was thrilled to be part of it. If you love live events and also find yourself attending and wondering how to make it work better or even knowing you could make some improvements, why not find out more about a career in event management? It might be your life’s calling.