I was lucky enough to be invited recently to a reception and talk with Pierluigi Collina, a top international football referee revered in nearly every corner of the soccer world. Pierluigi has officiated at both the World Cup and Champions League finals.
I found this talk very insightful and from which I could draw a few parallels with aspects of my own industry.
I had always assumed, rather naively, that even top referees just turned up on the day to officiate a match. However, how wrong I was…
In his profession, he was under tremendous pressure to make the correct decision in fractions of a second under the watchful eye of ambitious players, managers, coaches, stadium fans and a worldwide TV audience. To overcome these challenges, he always undertook meticulous preparation, in addition to being physically fit, through undertaking lots of groundwork by studying in advance both how each individual players plays and also each team. This involved days of trawling through a mass of football statistics and video footage to understand the likely tactics that would be implemented within the game he would be refereeing in.
In a loosely similar way, I can spend months preparing for a big client event or exhibition that can be over in a few days. Often, the set-up time is very tight for what can, in some cases, be quite a complicated build with lots that could potentially go awry with so many different aspects/zones to a stand and associated AV, lighting, rigging, graphics and services.
Over the years, I have also discovered the best approach is to prepare as far ahead as possible and try to anticipate and overcome any issues as best as possible that have the potential to arise on an opening day!
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