The Rio 2016 team hosted wheelchair fencers for exhibition matches at the Juventude Arena this week. That is part of the Deodoro complex northwest of downtown Rio de Janeiro, which also includes novel mountain bike and BMX tracks, a field hockey stadium, a whitewater canoe slalom course and a classic stadium newly inaugurated as “Deodoro Stadium.” All these facilities at the Deodoro complex are now complete. Deodoro Stadium is hosting the World Rugby Sevens series this weekend. The archery complex and equestrian events facilities in Deodoro are still being finalized, but the essentials for equestrian competition were in place adequately for equestrian test events.
The test event concept is having another benefit. It is proving a good way for venue managers and volunteer teams to be prepared for the tasks important for making each event picture perfect when the real Olympic matches take place this summer. The judo test event scheduled for March 8 and 9 in the Carioca 2 stadium of the main Olympic complex is trying out a classic volunteer incentive program. It is using participation in a quiz about Olympic history to select sixteen volunteers who will win VIP tickets for exhibition matches. The quiz rewards the most interested volunteers for completing the Olympic history module and helps to build a team spirit among a core group of highly engaged volunteers.
The Rio 2016 plan will have volunteers trained for sophisticated tasks that test events do a good job of providing on the job training. These include timing and scoring technicians who will work with sophisticated equipment provided by TOP sponsor Omega. Medical professionals recruited by the volunteer organization will administer athlete tests at the doping control test facilities. Experienced drivers among the volunteer crew will work as Class T3 chauffeurs assuring that referees and officials get to the venues in comfort. The test events make sure they will be familiar with local driving conditions and road signs.
Managers also collect metrics that are helpful to plan event management. How many crew members can a supervisor manage effectively? Will it be possible to send group text messages to international volunteers whose phone company roaming arrangements use different local carriers? What is the most efficient way to get credentials, training guides and uniforms to the individuals working at each venue? These details differ from sport to sport and venue to venue, so executing a comparable test event is one of the best ways to prepare.
The test events are also providing a valuable market test opportunity for potential sponsors. DHL has worldwide experience in rugby as a sponsor of the Rugby World Cup, which includes managing national team logistics. But it is not a sponsor of either Rio 2016 or the International Olympic Category. If the Rugby Sevens test event has a positive cost-benefit outcome for DHL, that could make it easier for a marketing manager in the company to propose a more comprehensive sponsorship program in the future.