With UEFA Euro 2020 and the 2020 Summer Olympic Games next year, you’d be forgiven for thinking 2019 is one of those years that couldn’t possibly live up to what’s to come. But you’d be wrong. And for federations and associations around the world, 2019 is will be one of the best showcases of sport.
But as we approach the end of another decade, and as technology continues to improve our ability to engage communities, volunteers, and workforces, it may be time to re-evaluate how federations and the legacies they leave are set up for success.
1) Technology and Tools
Managing, recruiting and engaging workforces and volunteers is a two-way street and for national and international federations, it’s crucial to the success of events that those relationships are fostered.
The tools available to federations are almost unrecognisable to what had been previously available to them only five years ago. And seeing as some of the worlds biggest and best known still operate with suppliers they signed over 20 years ago, it’s imperative federations keep up-to-date with the very best technological advancements available. Not just to recruit and accredit, but to engage and retain staff whilst saving time and money.
Cloud-based solutions provide functionality and flexibility to the entire operational eco-system that federations rely so heavily upon. The technology available today allows for integrated background checks, online volunteer training modules, accurate custom reporting, and hour tracking, all which have to date been a drain on the resources of federations around the world.
2) Redefining Legacy
For federations, legacy remains fundamental. However, long has the word ‘legacy’ been attributed solely to economic impact and infrastructure. Periodic increases in tourism and infrastructural development (usually based around major sports facilities) often only impact a specific few, a dilemma which has, until now, been a major bugbear.
Up until now, identifying the non-tangible factors, like the human impact that so often underpins an event’s success, has been almost impossible to quantify.
Today, through technology, the impact and opportunities federations deliver to populations and workforces can be measured with great detail and is fast becoming one of the central pillars to identifying the true value and legacy events offer. For example, the development of new skill-sets and the building of community and volunteer groups for future projects. Federations must look at how they engage people better and create advocates that continue to provide a lasting legacy for generations.
3) Decision Making and Sponsorship
Today more than ever before, sponsors have become partners. Building those stronger ties between brand and rights holder has been achieved by looking beyond the financial investments of a sponsorship, to identifying the core competencies they can offer to federations in helping achieve specific objectives.
As a result, ensuring decision making around how to provide the best possible services unimpeded by sponsor influence remains an issue. And for workforce management and the impact on volunteers, that impact is crucial, especially given the significance of providing an open, educational and engaging workforce function which is also cost-efficient and boasts the modern-day technological functionality required.
The market is changing and communication has become one of the most important elements in workforce management; shift scheduling, online training, engagement, real-time updates are now a necessity. The task for federations is to make sure they have the best and most efficient tools available, not just those offered by sponsors.
4) Data and Ownership
Managing personal data can be fraught with pitfalls and for federations, with a host of other concerns, could be forgiven for wanting to stay clear of the topic altogether. However, with the right centralised, secure, cloud-based tools, utilising permissioned personal data is becoming fundamental to all modern-day, forward-thinking federations and should be a mission-critical consideration.
Is it best for a governing body to take on the roles of data warehousing or is it best left to the local operator? The problem is less around data protection and more around the efficiency and usability of data. And the threat here is if left event-to-event, siloed spreadsheets lead to zero knowledge transfer and a lack of ready to work, enthused volunteers for future opportunities.
Federations should be taking the reins when it comes to building and managing databases, and be a source of best practice for the stakeholders who would like to do the same, helping everyone to save time, money and resource that can be spent elsewhere.