How to be a Championship Manager

Emma takes the opportunity to be involved with the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham

Above: Emma (white t-shirt) and the IAAF volunteer team at Arena Birmingham 

Like all discerning event professionals, the members of the MEETinLEEDS team value their annual leave. It is a time to charge batteries, cultivate new experiences and garner inspiration for the return to work.

Emma Broadhurst, our Conference Sales Executive, thought she would do something a little different this time. Her day-to-day is with the sales team: answering enquiries, generating leads, meeting clients, attending conference exhibitions – you know, sales things. In the past she has worked with our Event Management team to gain experience in the operational side of the business, but when an opportunity to be part of one of the largest events in the world came along she couldn’t refuse. Over to Emma…

I usually take my annual leave for a group adventure tour somewhere in South East Asia; trying local food, visiting temples, stopping at an exotic beach or two. This year I had a slightly different week away from the office and headed to Birmingham just in time for Storm Emma! As you can imagine, I haven’t returned to the office with a tan and a huge bag of duty free sweets for the team. However, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be involved with the IAAF World Indoor Championships – the biggest global athletics event of 2018!

You may have caught some of the BBC coverage, including Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi securing a gold medal by just one hundredth of a second. The atmosphere in the stadium was absolutely phenomenal – but what was even more impressive was the dedication and hard work I witnessed behind the scenes. The organising committee had spent 2 years planning the championships and a remarkable 750 people volunteered their help over the 4 day event. Working in the event industry, I appreciate the hard work that goes in to putting on any event, however I have to take my hat off to everyone involved with the championships – particularly given the dreadful weather conditions. The venue team did an excellent job keeping the venue safe and as snow free as possible, with the help of lots of shovels and a few tonnes of grit!

My role at the Championships was team leader for event control, with a team of volunteers we monitored 15 different radio channels from medal ceremonies to media and medical. It was certainly interesting hearing everything that was going on behind the scenes and our event control team did a great job helping each department over the radio when required.

Even though I love Leeds – an amazing city which I now call home, I do have a soft spot for Birmingham. I studied for an Event Management degree in Birmingham and it’s the city where I met some of my best friends – it’s always going to have place in my heart. Birmingham has staged plenty of national and international sporting events over the years and 2018 looks like a busy year with events in gymnastics, tennis and cricket coming up. They have also been named as the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. If the IAAF World Championships are anything to go by I am sure all of the upcoming events will be hugely successful.

Looking back at the TV coverage of the Championships everything looks seamless, you can’t see any of the hard work happening behind the scenes. I can relate this to some of the large events we host at the University. The dedication and hard work of our Event Managers and the entire campus team can support you in delivering a successful event or conference at the University.