Lessons from Formula One: The power Of collaboration in event delivery

If you’re an F1 fan, you’ll probably be aware of the precision team that sits behind every pit stop to get their driver back on the circuit at breathtaking speed.

In the two to three seconds that it takes to switch the tyres – which is astonishing, if you pause to think about it – the success of the driver ultimately lays in the hands of not only the mechanics executing the changeover on the day, but also a huge support team of analysts, engineers and designers who in the lead up to each race have poured over data, designed new technologies, crash tested procedures and prototypes and rehearsed the delivery over and over until the crucial 2 second moment runs like clockwork.

Their combined efforts behind the scenes often make the difference between their car securing a podium finish or falling out of the placings entirely. To achieve this level of integrated success, every person involved is a critical component in the process. Each one has to possess finely tuned skills, but also the ability to understand and rely on their colleagues’ competencies.

This is also the case in the events industry, where a strong team sharing the ethos of precision, collaboration and innovation are the key to delivering successful and winning experiences. Today, it is more vital than ever to ensure that your organisational design allows for all these vital components to run together seamlessly, which we believe is achieved most effectively by a strong core team of permanent, long term team members, supplemented by freelance additions on occasions where specialist short term input is beneficial.

Adam Stanley, Managing Director, Event Concept
Author:
Adam Stanley, Managing Director, Event Concept

Originally published in C&IT Read the original article here.

The benefits of a hybrid organisational design

Commonly, events agencies run small core teams with a vast network of freelancers at their disposal. In 2020, an article in Event Industry News suggested 70% of the 1 million people employed in the sector identified as freelance. Post-pandemic this pool of ‘experts for hire’ is likely even bigger.

Freelancers have always been of vital importance to our industry, that’s never going to change. But building a solid bedrock of permanent team members at the core of your business brings with it a host of benefits, for both events businesses and their clients.

There are several key reasons why having a higher percentage of permanent team members is key to success:

End-to-end excellence – A solid, united permanent team forms the bedrock of a thriving business which can deliver innovative and exciting solutions for clients. Housing all aspects of events, from strategy to concept through to planning and production, under one roof with teams that have intimate knowledge of one another’s strengths, weaknesses and working styles, expedites the process, enhances the end product and helps ensure seamless delivery.

Complete control and trust – Because of the rigor and quality control that a permanent team naturally brings, a high level of trust is built between team members – as well as between that team and the client. This, in turn, helps enable a more strategic approach built on a deep-set shared understanding of fears and objectives, and makes knee-jerk, reactive responses during planning and delivery less likely.

Immediacy of innovation – The events industry is fast paced, requiring rapid shifts in thinking and delivery. A major benefit of planning, concept and delivery teams collaborating as full-time colleagues from one project to the next is they have a shared intuition for whether something will work, and how it should be tested, designed and brought to life. Similar to the F1 pitstop, a solid team who understand each other can achieve amazing things in pivotal moments.

Made for muscle memory – When permanent team members are aligned on a common strategy, a unique culture ensues, and behaviours are created. This means the agency has a certain way of doing things, and collective experiences and tacit knowledge can be carried from one project to the next – even in the most complex and challenging of event environments.

Encouraging creative excellence – permanent teams often have more trust built up between one another, having been stress-tested on multiple projects together. This trust naturally encourages team members to speak freely and be heard, meaning they are more likely to voice their creative ideas and opinions openly and without fear of being shot down or judged. Encouraging the freedom to play in an environment of trust naturally breeds creative excellence.

Training and retaining the leaders of tomorrow

The benefits of a predominantly full-time team model are clear. We strongly believe it is the best approach for event businesses and the clients they serve, as it affords the business the ability to identify, inspire and nurture talent in line with our core values to become its leaders of tomorrow. Everyone benefits as a result, at all levels.

At Event Concept, we bring in new talent through apprenticeships. After two years on our programme, apprentices have a 360-degree view of what’s needed to make it in the industry, preparing them to be decision-makers both in our own business as well as the industry at large.

Meanwhile, employees who’ve been in the business for many years have seen it all, done it all, and are ready to step up into leadership roles. Homegrown leaders know the company inside-out and understand how to make decisions that add value for clients and deliver extraordinary results.

The combination of new-generation talent and solid succession planning provides the basis for trusted relationships, innovation and consistency. Using the hybrid model and adding freelancers into the mix ensures that we can offer our clients not only stability but specialist resource when it is needed and allows the business to flex according to both client and market demand.

Like the F1 team that keeps its car on track, a Core-First organisational design model offers the experience, know-how, stability and agility to execute in the fast-paced events world.

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