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Military Organisation – Taking a Leaf out of Wimbledon’s Book

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As Andy Murray stepped onto Centre Court on Monday to start the defence of his Wimbledon title, I was pinching myself, hardly believing I had a prime seat for the opening of this momentous event.  As the parent of one of the BBGs (Wimbledon Ball Boys and Girls) I was lucky enough to be given a seat to watch the action while my child performed his court duties.  For the next sixty minutes I was nervously glued to the action.  But I needn’t have worried. The months of preparation and training paid off and the BBG team worked with well oiled precision – anticipating each other’s moves, rolling and feeding balls accurately and just as importantly, blending into the background between points.

 

Marketing teams could take a leaf out of Wimbledon’s book.  Training the BBGs is undertaken with military organisation. With the same level of preparation and forward planning, any corporate event – from modest seminar to large conference – can be run just as smoothly and efficiently. It’s all a matter of laying the foundations early on, assigning clear roles and responsibilities and working as a cohesive team.

 

The secret to success begins many months before.  Building plenty of lead time into your event schedule to create a strong promotional campaign is key.  There is little point in staging a brilliant event if you don’t take enough time to advertise it and sign up the attendees.  Work closely with your guest speakers.  By assigning a named individual as a go to person for any queries, offering to help with the preparation of presentations and being on hand to help with final rehearsals on the day, will put your presenters’ minds at ease and ensure a great delivery. Delegate registration can be run most effectively on the day if you have at least one person that knows the registration list inside out.  Your delegates will be greeted quickly, questions can be addressed promptly and your guests will be free to get on with the enjoying the programme.  Lastly, assigning an event manager to stage manage the event on the day will ensure any last minute changes can be communicated clearly to the team and acted on efficiently.

 

Early starts, long days, late nights and many months of preparation – part and parcel of any major event.

 

Child’s play?  Hardly.  But if you get it right that’s the illusion you can create as you too blend into the background of a smooth and ordered event.