On Target
March 30, 2012
Managing major events

Many have lauded the successful hosting by St. Vincent and the Grenadines of the three One Day International Cricket matches between the West Indies and Australia, March 16, 18 and 20, at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.{{more}}

This shows that with some extra effort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole, can pull off major events.

Undoubtedly, the crowds which thronged the venue on Tuesday, which was declared a Bank Holiday, was the largest assembling of persons for a single sporting event this country has recorded.

Despite any major hitches, we as a people must strive do better than what we had done before.

In going forward, and setting the plans for future matches and other major events, there were areas of deficiencies that must be addressed.

Whilst one readily accepts that the matches are under the directive of the West Indies Cricket Board and administered by the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association, some consideration must be given to what obtains locally.

As it turns out, the local Cricket association operated lock stock and barrel on the template as prescribed by the WICB.

A case in point is the sale of tickets, whereby there was a strict rigidity pertaining to the cut off time of their issuance.

This obviously caused a pile up of persons at the lone ticketing office just outside the venue, thus adding to the crammed entrance on the Sunday and Tuesday.

One problem triggered off another, as the security personnel at times were overwhelmed, thus leaving gaps in their vigilance, as many were unaccustomed to handling large crowds.

Therefore, some leverage must be afforded the local hosts to assess the situation and act accordingly, depending on the circumstances.

Also, to help the process, some simulation exercises could be held periodically with our security personnel to prepare them for such eventualities and worst case scenarios.

That does not rule out the fact that we should be striving at all times to lift the standard of operations and performances. Likewise, we must accept that change is evitable.

Of note, too, is the problem of the regulation of the traffic in and out of the venue.

The limitations abound. However, one may just need to put in special arrangements for occasions when large crowds are anticipated.

What has become of the “Park and Ride” initiative that was introduced during the warm up matches ahead of the 2007 Cricket World Cup?

Certainly, we cannot operate as usual here, with the number of motor vehicles we have on our roads.

Maybe, to avoid the congestion caused at the venue, the authorities can up the parking fees from the minimal charge of $5. This will certainly force persons to seek an alternative place to leave their vehicles.

Such a measure should not be restricted to Cricket, as we see what happens at national Carnival celebrations and other major events, when there is always a bottle neck in traffic close to the host venues.

Staying with the Arnos Vale Playing Field, it continues not to be too user friendly. Yes, there was an attempt by the authorities to post directions to the various seating areas. Nevertheless, greater efforts must be made for more visible signage as well as the directions to the washrooms, concession areas, bars etc.

Again, this column calls for a site directional map posted at the entrance of the facility, which would ease the need for first time users to be asking for directions.

Event management is no longer a hobby; it has become an expertise of worth.

With the saturation of persons going off to study at universities in the traditional fields of medicine, law, psychology, among others, avenues are being created for young aspiring persons to venture out into event management.

This is not to say that persons with the practical experience have become obsolete, but, the changing landscape of operations demands that such abilities are certified.

The world of sports and entertainment continues to evolve; the demands on both the product and the patrons are ever increasing, so pace is always imperative.