The Olympics are well under way, and we at GroupNet Solutions are fascinated to see management and registration programs at such a vast level. The London Olympics are a labyrinthine complex of cooperating systems and processes. Let’s take a look at it.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC)
In the first place there is the IOC. They are the governing board of the Olympics — but they don’t decide the athletes. Every sport has its own international governing federation that decides the rules and eligibility of its players. As you can imagine, however, managing 26 sports and almost 400 events takes some doing.
The Olympic Village
That’s not all. The Olympic Village, which provides housing for approximately 20,000 athletes, trainers and officials during the games, also needs a highly effective registration system. Security concerns are always a top priority, but no one can miss their practices or events.
Oft-forgotten are the unpaid volunteers, known as Games Makers. The Olympic organizers set a target of 70,000 volunteers, but received over 240,000 applications. Games Makers will contribute about eight million man-hours to the games, and require the same accreditation badges that officials, athletes and the media wear. Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Olympics Organizing committee, says, “The Games simply wouldn’t happen without them.”
Ticket sales are one of the main money makers of the Olympic Games, but with some 400 events, each with varying levels of popularity and accessibility, the level of complexity is mind-boggling. Tickets range from about £20 to over £2000, and people had to apply for tickets as a citizen of their home country (so as not to over-represent certain countries).
Organizers estimated there would be about 8 million tickets available — nevertheless, demand was three times as much, and in what might have been the most controversial decision on the registrations front, more than 50% of the tickets were sold via random ballot. And even though there were technical difficulties, ten sports sold out by 8AM on the first day of sales.
Just like any event, the amount of heart and effort put into it, not only by the athletes, but by their supporters, the organizers, the officials, and the volunteers is the secret ingredient that makes the event a success. We at GroupNet Solutions get to experience that heart each and every day.