Drawing inspiration from the past is a great way to prepare for the future. As 2014 closes and a New Year dawns, it’s worthwhile reflecting on some of the great events of the last year and what it was that helped making them so special.
Any event organiser that can combine leadership, imagination, creativity, teamwork, leadership and technology will not go too far wrong in 2015.
The Gleneagles Ryder Cup – Leadership
When victorious European captain Paul McGinley recently picked up the team award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, there’s an argument to say he should have been joined on stage by Stuart Smith, the man who masterminded Gleneagles’ staging of golf’s blue ribbon event. While the American team fell apart, under Smith’s leadership, the event organisation was faultless.
The Tour De France – Imagination
What terrific imagination to start the 101st Tour de France in Yorkshire, where a spectacular opening ceremony in Leeds was the signal for thousands of church bells to ring out across the county in celebration. Those of the 198 riders who came from abroad were taken aback at the public’s enthusiasm for the race, which, although it may not have been invented here, was certainly given a massive injection of vitality by the glorious Yorkshire countryside.
The Tower of London Poppies – Creative execution
Hats off to Tom Piper and Paul Cummins, the brains behind the most wonderfully creative commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War. 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat between 17 July and 11 November 2014, each one representing a British military fatality during the war. All of the poppies that made up the installation were sold, raising millions of pounds which were shared equally amongst six service charities. For an Everton supporter like me, it was a rare opportunity to bask in a glorious sea of red.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games – Teamwork
In a momentous year for the people of Scotland, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games remained mercilessly free of politics and achieved the accolade of the best sporting event ever to be staged in the country. The Games were both a vindication and celebration of teamwork. By the time the event got underway, there were some 1,000 people on the payroll of Glasgow 2014 Ltd. A myriad of suppliers, contractors, associations, federations, volunteers, not forgetting the athletes themselves were united in one goal – the delivery of an outstanding event. 11 days of competition featuring seventy-one Commonwealth teams with over 4,900 athletes competing in 17 different sports – the organisers did Scotland and the UK, proud.
The World Cup – Technology
The real highlight of the World Cup in 2014 was had nothing to do with highly paid professional footballers kicking the ball around. Instead it was about one single kick from someone much less fortunate. Thanks to the work of Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian neuro-engineer based at Duke University in North Carolina, Juliano Pinto, aged 29 and paralysed, wearing a mind controlled exo-skeleton suit, delivered the event’s stand out moment by successfully managing to kick a ball at the start of the opening ceremony. Now that really is mind blowing inspiration!
Wishing everyone in the meetings and events industry an inspiring, healthy and prosperous 2015.
Any comments? Email Paul Colston