Event organization always features different leadership roles being exhibited. There is clearly a need for organization, and therefore events are always instances where leadership is needed. The event I participated in is the Nokia Cup. This is an annual curling event and is very big within the sporting circles. I was assigned the role of lead hand in one of the event locations, namely Guelp Memorial Gardens stadium.
The main leadership role there was organization. A lot of resources and personnel were allocated so that the organization could be efficient. There was the overall committee, which had been working in partnership with other organizations. Additionally, there were departments headed up by individuals who took care of specifics such as security, entertainment and other facets within the event. My role was to help with organizing and controlling others within the stadium I had been assigned to.
The organization had both its advantages and challenges. The first advantage relates to the delegation of duties. The head committee delegated responsibility to various individuals based on the spread of the venue. This delegating allowed the people involved to specialize and take responsibility for different facets of the event. However, this was not followed up with effective communication, thus a breakdown in the quality of organization.
The result was that inter-related aspects of organization were not taken into consideration. For example, security was a nightmare simply because the head committee did not give feedback on the expected attendance. Additionally, the leadership on the ground did not prepare those who were actually going to carry out security properly.
There was need for a master plan as regards to planning, but this did not happen. It would have required an inter-committee task force to properly plan out the security in order for it to work effectively.
The mediocre planning caused a series of unfortunate events. There was need for the leadership role of crisis handling. Good crisis handling allows the event to save face and maintain its reputation. The compressor for keeping the ice temperature was not working properly because the overhead sensor was malfunctioning. Additionally, since concessions were not up to par, we had less money to work with.
However, there was real leadership shown in the heat of the moment. The leadership allowed for creativity, which saw a suggestion to increase the drinking so as to divert attention from the failed areas. This worked as the participants loved to drink. Additionally, the staff on the ground were inspired to work extra hard in order to cover for the unfortunate circumstances. At my venue, our venue head inspired us with a pep talk and a lot of warmth.
The result was that we were able to pull off the event, despite the overwhelming amount of work. However, I do not know specifically how the leadership handled the crises that they were facing in the other venues. What I do know is that the crises had to be handled, thus presenting a leadership moment for those in charge on the ground.
Supervision is another aspect that we can explore. It is the work of any leadership to allocate roles and see them out. This is what supervision entails: handing out roles and checking whether they have been done effectively and efficiently.
The main committee handed out responsibility according to the venue, and thus the delegated supervision to the various leaders appointed. At our venue, our leader was very hands on. He wanted to know what was happening and how it was being done. This allowed him to oversee effectively and respond to the challenges on a real time basis.
However, this also made him very exhausted at the end of the day. In my department, as one of the leaders I was able to organize my minions to move into the irregular roles assigned to us. This made it hard to supervise what they were doing since I had “lent” them out to different departments to help out as was necessary. I left them to be supervised by the various heads of the departments I lent them to.
In terms of creativity, I think the job done was very good. In this regard, I would change very little. The creativity was amazing, as shown by the building of a bar, food and beverages stand within the stadium, at the west end of the rink. They used professionals in creativity, and it paid off.
However, if I extend creativity to include problem solving, I would recommend bringing on more talent and wider experience. The leadership should have trusted us, in the lower levels, to be able to come up with suggestions and insights into how the event could be organized.
Had we been consulted, I am sure a wide range of suggestions that would have proved invaluable would have come up. Additionally, I would have loved if the leadership put in place a feedback mechanism for assessing the event. This way, the people on the ground would have given their view on how to improve the event. Additionally, they would include information on things to watch out for in the next event.
I recommend that proper planning be done in future. The structure of planning needs to change in order for the event to succeed. In my opinion, the leadership was way too concerned with what was happening in the upper ranks that it forgot the small planning details that mattered. Ensuring proper delegation would solve this.
Event venues should have their own effective planning committees, as opposed to relying on leadership directives from afar. Additionally, I would have the main and sub-committees meet regularly to discuss the challenges of planning. This way, we would avoid the problems altogether. Planning should be a participative process, and therefore I would include the lower levels of staff in the process. This would allow for an even greater pool of suggestions to be made.
As for supervision, I think it would be solved by effective delegation. In order to avoid senior leadership from getting tired handling all the work, I recommend more leadership posts be created. This way, the system runs without exhausting some individuals. I have already stated that with creativity, I would prefer if the leadership allows recommendations from lower levels. This would boost morale and give the leadership a true picture of what is happening on the ground.
Finally, since even the best laid plans have flaws, emergency precautions need to be put in place. Putting flexible and adaptable individuals in charge to handle the unknown would greatly help. Additionally, these individuals must be true leaders: they must be able to rally up those underneath them to effectively handle the challenges. This way, any challenge would be effectively handled.