Management + Production

Risk management, organisational structure and management, as well as the production of the event itself and of all its mandatory parts are the core subjects covered in this sub-chapter. For the sake of clarity, the communications and marketing-related activities are dealt with in the respective chapters, even though they are very closely interlinked with the activities detailed below.

Risk analysis and risk management

General tips

  • Define what you want to achieve at the beginning of the planning process – set up your   main objectives and goals and keep them in mind throughout the whole planning and organisational process until the final evaluation procedure.
  • Before you get to the planning and organisation stage, consider conducting a feasibility study which would provide you with the outline of potential risks. For more details, see the “Before you start” chapter.
  • Risk analysis and a risk management plan should be prepared at a very early stage of the preparation process with members of the Organising Committee involved. It should correspond to the production matrix, which should include the event preparation, execution, and evaluation stages.
  • You should identify and evaluate all kinds of risks which may threaten your event, its visitors, organisers or structures. Take into account a wide range of risks and risk factors, including funding or human resources-related factors.
  • Keep in mind that compliance with the legal framework and regulations (e.g. Fire and Rescue Acts, Health Care Acts, Consumer Safety Acts, Data Protection Regulation) is of utmost importance.

Risk analysis and risk management

  • Risk analysis can be prepared in many ways using different perspectives and different combinations. The following steps should be nevertheless respected:
  1. Identify potential risks and evaluate their likelihood
  2. Asses the severity of the risks
  3. Consider consequences of such risks
  4. Prepare a clear (risk management) plan on how to avoid, or at least minimise each of the risks, and what to do should a crisis situation occur.
  5. Prepare a clear crisis communication plan and process (Communications chapter)
  • Not all the steps have to be taken at the same time for all categories of risk– e.g. the analysis of production-related risks should be done during the planning and set-up phase as it needs to take into account all the elements which will be featured at the venue.

Categories of risks

  • Financial
  • Human resources
  • Security and safety (e.g. crowd, disruptive behaviour, fire, accidents/illnesses)
  • Logistical
  • Environmental
  • Weather conditions
  • Reputation and compliance with Olympic values
  • Information management

Elements to take into account

  • The venue and its specific requirements, such as the proximity of a watercourse
  • Accessibility of the venue by public transport
  • Event infrastructure and temporary infrastructure
  • Current weather conditions and time of the event
  • Developments at the ongoing Olympic Games
  • Sport and activities featured in the Olympic Festival
  • Programme, performers, duration of the event, fan culture
  • Age categories of visitors, special groups
  • Possible drug and alcohol abuse


Risk Analysis Matrix

  • This simple excel file will guide you through the elements which need to be taken into account and potential risks that you will need to assess.

Health and Safety guidelines

  • Developed for the Rio House 2016 of the Belgian NOC, the comprehensive document takes into account various aspects of crisis management, including risk assessment, risks analysis related to construction and dismantling, emergency procedures, and the division of tasks and responsibilities.
  • It is recommended that you develop a similar document and share it with all relevant stakeholders.

Organisational structure

The organisational set-up, structures and processes have to be flexible, adaptable and able to respond to changes.
  • The structure will vary depending on the level of involvement and the responsibilities of the main stakeholders (NOC, local authorities and event agencies). The tasks related to the production of the event, however, will remain more or less the same.

Role and responsibilities of the main organiser - NOC

  • The NOC is the owner of the event at national level. Therefore it is :
    • The final authority to make decisions (including financial ones)
    • Coordinator and controller (direction and supervision)
  • To this end, the NOC needs to set-up an organisational structure (Organising Committee) at the very beginning of the planning process.

Structure of the core organisational team/Organising Committee (OC)

The organisational structure needs to define precisely and clearly:

  • Roles and responsibilities
    • The OC is the main decision-making body. The main decision should be taken collectively.
    • Delimit the scope of each member’s decision making powers, including on financial matters (e.g. establish maximum financial amounts about which each member can decide).
  • Positions
    • Representatives of all main stakeholders (NOC, local authorities, event agencies) need to be involved in the OC.
    • In some cases representatives of federations and/ or main sponsors can also be involved in the OC.
    • The positions (and roles) will be more or less the same in most of the cases, however, the relationship between them and their holders, and the reporting lines, may differ.
    • All the “mandatory” positions need to be filled at the very outset of the planning process, even if the involvement of their holders may be minimal at the beginning. Everybody needs to be aware of all the steps in the development and execution of the event.
  • Controlling mechanisms – management lines

Set-up and members of the Organising Committee 

Olympic Festivals Brno and Ostrava 2018
A scheme defining the place of each position and financial management responsibilities.

Olympic Experience 2016
A scheme defining the relationship between the main stakeholders (NOC, local authority – city council, and event agency) and the areas of responsibility.


  • Keep in mind that your organisation will need to allocate staff to the OC and to the execution of the event itself, which may present some challenges as your organisation will focus on the Olympic Games at that time.
  • Early planning is crucial in this respect.
  • It is crucial to have an expert in your OC who knows the local environment very well (e.g. a representative of the local authority).
  • The Organising Committee should meet regularly as of the very beginning of the planning process– e.g. once every two weeks.
  • Depending on the size of the Organising Committee, do not forget to set up regular “status” meetings with other relevant stakeholders who may not be direct members of the OC.
  • Each OC member should regularly inform the decision-making body (e.g. board) of its respective organisation/institution.
  • Do not hesitate to turn to the opinion of external parties (from all stakeholders’ categories). It will help you understand and keep in mind different perspectives, points of view and expectations.
  • For more information and tips about recruitment and human resources strategy see the Resources chapter.

Working with event (production) agencies

Working modes - examples

  • Event agency as the main producer selected by the NOC
    (Rio House 2016)
    • Call for tenders launched by the NOC 1.5 years before the event. It was based on a briefing describing various aspects of the event and the sought after conditions.
    • The event agencies were asked to prepare their bid together with the host city.
    • The winning agency was in charge of the execution of the event.
    • Bid evaluation grid of the Belgian NOC
  • Event agency as the initiator of the event and co-producer
    (Olympic Experience 2016)
    • The event agency (TIG Sport) was in charge of logistics, coordination with sport federations and local sports clubs, volunteers, licenses, planning and programme (clinics, demo, tournaments, and entertainment) etc.
    • It took on the financial risk.

  • Event agencies in charge of only part of the production
    (Olympic Parks 2016)

How to motivate event agencies to deliver a well-executed event?

  • Set-up KPIs – more money if targets are met and/or are exceeded.
  • Financial risk born by the Agency (e.g. TIG Sport in the case of Olympic Experience).
  • NOC' Partners’ activations organised by the Event Agency (potential additional business for the Agency).
  • Reputation of the Agency → feature their name in B2B communications.
Should you organise a smaller-scale event and/or have sufficient internal resources, you have, of course, the option to stage the event without the involvement of any external production assistance.



General tips

  • Keep the sustainability of the event in mind. Start thinking about the future editions as soon as possible after the end of the event; even in terms of staff. For more information, see the Sustainability chapter.
  • Keep in touch with all the stakeholders as of the beginning, but differentiate between them in terms of the intensity and frequency of communication – e.g. low frequency of meetings with sponsors at the beginning of the process, high frequency and intensity of communication with suppliers etc.

Timeline of preparations

  • Start 1 year before the event date at the very latest (especially if you want to organise a bigger-scale event)
    • Keep in mind that the administration processes (getting permits, public tenders etc.) may take a very long time – intensive involvement of local authorities is necessary.
    • Think of who could have the easiest access to the necessary offices/ministries → importance of regular meetings of the Organising Committee.
    • Keep in mind when public budgets are being approved in the calendar year. For more information, see the Resources chapter.
  • Prepare a comprehensive calendar-based to-do list where you can categorise and record all the tasks, responsibilities, state of play, location and timing. Such tool should form the planning core of the event management.


Choosing the right venue

  • Local authorities play a key role of in proposing possible locations and in the administrative process. The venue selection should be part of the negotiation with the city/region and should feature in the subsequent contract.

    Olympic Festival Ostrava 2018
    When choosing the Festival location, it is better not to divide it to several sub-locations within the hosting city/region as the Ostrava edition chose to do. Although it cannot be completely condemned, problems with transportation, the supply of equipment or branding emerged at the mountain ski resorts that were integrated into the Ostrava Festival.

    Source: Event Study on OF 2018 Brno and Ostrava

  • There are many different options depending on the rationale of the event and the wishes and possibilities of your organisation (e.g. permanent sport infrastructure/green areas/city centre…)
  • The location has to:
    • Provide sufficient space for sport and cultural activities, as well as for partners’ activation.
    • Have access to water, electricity and waste management networks.
    • Be easily accessible to the public (public transport) and to rescue services.
    • Provide good environment for visitors, including space for catering services.
    • Provide for good transport options (eventually parking).
  • A well-known venue which people are used to visiting on the occasion of similar events seems to be the right location for the OF.

Set-up of the venue

  • It is advisable to hire an agency which has dealt with similar projects before.
  • Key Organising Committee members (marketing, sport programme, catering, audiovisual media etc.) have to provide input to the architects.
  • Keep in mind the needs for partners/sponsors’ activation and for the activities of participating sport clubs and federations, as well as for viewing of sport events (audiovisual installations).
  • The venue should be “barrier-free” - accessible to physically-impaired visitors and athletes.
  • Keep in mind environmental and social sustainability of the event. For more information, see the Sustainability chapter.
  • Check the potential risks associated with the installation and removal in the Rio House 2016 Safety and Health Guidelines.
  • Make sure that a technical support is available 24/7 to deal with any possible issues with electricity, water, sport installations etc.
  • It is advisable to organise a “trial” day to test all the installation before the Opening ceremony.

Picture gallery
rio-house-2016set-up op-rio-lipnoset-up2 op-rio-lipnoset-up1 of-brnolayout1 olympic-experienceset-up1 olympic-experienceset-up2 of-ostravalayout2 of-ostravalayout1 of-brnolayout2


Public transport

  • Promote and support its use by visitors as much as possible.
Olympic Festivals Brno and Ostrava 2018
The Czech NOC negotiated a deal with Czech Railways whereby visitors who travelled to the Olympic Festivals got 25% discount on their return ticket (programme “Vlak+”).
  • In cooperation with public transport companies (local authorities):
  • Prepare a specific transportation plan – e.g. increased frequency of bus/train service.
  • Negotiate the use of public transportation for the promotion of the event (city dressing). For more information, see the Communications chapter.
  • Offer advantages to people who come by public transport (e.g. offer free consumption tickets or free entrance to the OF for ticket holders),
  • In case the OF venue is not directly within the reach of an existing public transport, plan and set up a special OF line/shuttle bus system.


  • Decide whether and to what extent you will create specific parking spaces for the Olympic Festival. Your decision should be based on the location of your OF.
    • Remote area in nature (Olympic Park Rio-Lipno 2016)
      • Temporary parking area created close to the Olympic Park.
      • Regular shuttle service ensured. 
        OP Rio Lipno_shuttle service planning

      • Special parking created for VIPs and staff
      • Parking in nearby villages was made very costly.
    • City centre (Rio House 2016)
      • No specific parking for visitors.
      • Limited number of VIP parking (paid area) and shuttle organised by the NOC.
  • If specific parking spaces are created, ensure that there is:
    • Good access from the parking to the venue.
    • Staff assigned.
    • Basic services – sanitary facilities, possibly refreshments.
  • Do not forget about visitors coming by bike and consider setting up a bike stands system at/in front of the venue.
  • It is very important to inform visitors prior and during the event about the possibilities. Use social media, local TV and radio, possibly national TV for this purpose.

Operation-related transport

  • Ensure good accessibility and enough parking spaces for:
    • General operation (energy, water...)
    • Suppliers – catering, sanitary etc.
    • Activities – sport (federations etc.)
    • Partners/sponsors
    • Transport service
    • Rescue services (Make sure that there is a safe landing area for helicopters at, or close to, the OF.)
  • Foresee, if necessary, a temporary and limited “reservation” of the parking area for the build-up, break-down and other special occasions - negotiate with the local authority well in advance.

Safety and regular traffic

  • Start working with traffic police and local authorities well ahead of the event to ensure that:
    • The organisation of the OF does not have an impact on regular traffic in the area (possible road closures/limitations etc.).
    • The OF is easily accessible for rescue services/police.
  • Prepare a contingency plan prior to the event.
  • For winter editions, consider negotiating a deal with the local authority to make sure that the access roads are regularly cleaned in the event of a snowfall and/or icing.
  • Cooperate with a wrecking service wherever necessary (sign a contract/specific deal prior to the event).

Security, safety and healthcare


  • Involve local (security) authorities in the planning process as early as possible in order to avoid potential conflicts in the production stage.

    Directive of the Italian Ministry of Interior
    The Italian Ministry has adopted new security guidelines in 2017 to guarantee high level of safety during public events. The document outlines the legislation and regulation in place and provides guidance on risk classification and risk mitigation.


  • Manager of security should be a member of the Organising Committee.
  • It is advisable to set up a special – crisis management - team solely dedicated to security and safety (e.g. 15 people were involved in such a team at the Olympic Park Rio-Lipno 2016)
  • Such team should involve crisis management experts from the local authority, representatives of rescue services, fire brigades, (traffic) police and other experts whenever necessary.
  • Organise daily early shift meetings – evaluation of the current situation, planning, and coordination.
  • Prepare and make an appropriate use of a Safety and Health Plan, including emergency and evacuation aspects
  • Make sure that the security measures in place are proportionate to the risks (e.g. too strict security measures may be counterproductive in some cases).
  • Consider to acquire an insurance policy against liability for damage to third parties.
  • In your planning, strictly follow the legal/regulatory framework of your country applicable to public events.

Security and safety at the Olympic Festival

  • Together with the relevant rescue and safety service, define the maximum capacity of the OF, security zones at the venue and opening times. Take into account:
    • Traditions of your country and the target group (If you want to attract mainly families with children, late evening opening hours may not make sense).
    • Noise-related regulations (if important matches/competition are broadcast later at night, try to negotiate an exception with the public authority).
    • The host country of the Olympic Games (time difference) and the season (winter-summer).
  • Consider visitors’ entrance options and enclosure of the OF.
    • Paid entrance, enclosed (Olympic Experience 2016, Olympic Festivals Brno and Ostrava 2018)
    • Free entrance upon registration, enclosed (Olympic Park Sochi- Letna 2014)
    • Free entrance, enclosed (Olympic Festival Grenoble 2018, Olympic Park Rio-Lipno)
    • Free entrance, open (Rio House 2016, Olympic Festival Rogla 2018)
  • Make sure that an appropriate lighting system is in place at the OF venue as well as on the parking areas to prevent any injuries.
  • Engaging a security agency
    • Consider the setting and the activities of your OF – for some it will be a must (e.g. enclosed areas), for other type of Olympic Festivals, which are more open (e.g. public beach) , make use of security agency mainly during specific peak moments (opening ceremony, high-profile national team matches etc.).
    • Unless you organise a one-day event, a night guard service at the OF venue is highly recommended.

Health care at the Olympic Festival

  • Set up a permanent “health care stand(s)” at the venue in cooperation with Red Cross/emergency services/nearby hospital.
  • Ensure that there are special arrangements with the closest hospital(s).
  • If the venue of your OF is at the seaside or in the mountains, consider setting up a structured cooperation with the respective rescue services.

Sanitary facilities

  • Prepare a waste disposal plan, possibly arranged in coordination with caterers and all commercial entities, in order to limit waste production and the use of plastic, and to privilege recyclable materials. For more information, see the Sustainability chapter.
  • Make sure that there is a sufficient number of sanitary facilities with an appropriate cleaning service involved.
  • Consider making use of lavatories a paid service (e.g. Rio House 2016).

Food and beverages

Food and beverages for visitors

  • Suppliers
    • When choosing your suppliers, take into account long-term (official suppliers/partners) contracts, possibility for good commercial deals and quality of the offer.
    • Wherever applicable, open the tenders also to local food producers (local dairy companies, bakers and farmers providing km 0 products) to promote a sustainable approach and healthy nutrition.
    • Suppliers are to ensure that their services and products comply with all the relevant legislative norms and that they are in possession of all the necessary permits.

Picture Gallery – Pilsner Urquell


  • Commercial format
    • Establish prices of the products together with the providers.
    • For more information about pricing options, consult the Resources chapter.
  • Type of food and quality assortment
    • Thematic (e.g. linked to the country where the Olympics are staged; reflecting a speciality of the host city/ region etc.)
    • Healthy vs. junk
    • Logistics – take into account volumes, need for cooling spaces etc.
    • Manager of catering should be a member of the Organising Committee.
    • Be aware that the Olympic Festival has a character of a sport event and an event for children → in some countries, the sale of alcoholic beverages or tobacco may not be allowed.

Olympic Festivals Brno and Ostrava 2018 – Olympic bread “Karel”
In its quest to provide the very best to the National Team athletes, the Czech NOC set up a little bakery in the Czech House in Pyeongchang, where a renowned Czech baker was preparing his signature bread “Karel” for athletes, staff and visitors of the House.
To provide visitors of the Olympic Festivals Brno and Ostrava with the real taste of the Olympic Games, the Czech NOC decided to offer and sell open-faced “Karel” bread-based sandwiches as the exclusive food option at the venue.


  • Payment methods
    • Magnetic (rechargeable) cards
    • Cash
    • Digital solutions such as smartphone apps
    • Paper tickets/plastic coins
  • Special (promo) activities
    • Discuss with suppliers and partners the introduction of special offers and activities, such as a happy hour, free drinks when winning a medal, rewards for using a partner’s service (e.g. payment provider - 1 free ticket if 10 bought & paid with by their card).
    • For more information, see the Marketing chapter.

Food and beverages for staff, VIP, and volunteers

  • Foresee a space (cafeteria)/special catering service (cheaper/free of charge) for organisers, volunteers and staff members of all the participating organisations/institutions.
  • Assess the possibility for bartering with partners and suppliers. For more information, see the Resources chapter.
  • Assess the possibility to make deals with surrounding restaurants and caterers to take care of VIP catering.


Management and regulation

  • Manager of Audiovisual (AV) should be a member of the Organising Committee (it may not be relevant for small-scale Olympic Festivals).
  • AV setting should be an integral part of the architectural plan.
  • All technological solutions have to comply with national/regional regulations and meet all the possible needs of the organisers.
  • The AV plan needs to take into account conditions of the given venue, the capacity of the OF, the needs of the sport/cultural/broadcast programme, as well as all the lawful maximum limits (sound, light).
  • The venue should feature “Audiovisual headquarters” with a permanent presence of a “director” to manage sound and the main screens.
  • Start the negotiation with the rights holding broadcasters very early in the preparation process as the technological solutions and the form of cooperation may need substantial time to be finalised. For morinformation about the cooperation with broadcasters, see Communications chapter.


  • Equipment
    • Large (LED) screens/walls for TV broadcast of the Olympic Games programme.
    • Additional (LED) screens for presentation of partners/sponsors, content of social media, information about the programme etc.
    • Screens/walls for indoor activities – various solutions, such as touch screens.
  • Type of signal + connection
    • Two-ways connection with TV production trucks if they are present at the OF, including possibility for a live link-up between the OF and the location of the Olympic Games.
    • Reception of the broadcast (satellite, cable, DTT) and possibly broadband signal of the respective rights holding broadcaster. For more information, see the Communications chapter.
    • Local broadcast - camera system to monitor and show what is happening at the OF.


  • It is extremely important to comply with the maximum sound limits.
  • Technical solutions must ensure that there are no, or only very minimal, sound overlaps between the different sectors of the OF.
  • The sound system (main stage, sport venues, mobile sound system) has to have a sufficient reach for possible emergency announcements.

IT services

  • Make sure that a broadband connection (Wi-Fi) is available at your OF.
  • It should have a sufficient capacity to meet the needs of production teams, media, sponsors/partners, and other participating organisations.


General tips

  • Services and facilities for VIP participants should form an integral part of every Olympic Festival. The set-up, the extent of activities or pricing options, though, may differ from OF to OF, as they should be based on the philosophy of the given OF, resources, and organisers’ experience and possibilities.
  • For more information about pricing options and relations with sponsors, consult the Resources and Marketing chapters.

Target groups

  • Invited guests (NOC members, athletes, politicians, cultural personalities, representatives of sport organisations, winners of promotional contests etc.).
    Sponsors and partners and their invitees.

VIP Zone

  • Establish an area restricted only to the VIPs (part of the architectural plan).
  • Provide an appropriate viewing area to watch the live broadcast from the Games’ location.

Picture gallery


Activities and services

  • Access to the VIP zone.
  • Special catering and possibly parking.
  • Offer the VIPs the possibility to:
    • Book or buy services in advance and reserve preferential seats/areas/activities.
    • In cooperation with sport organisation, meet athletes, attend a training with Olympians etc.
    • Organise corporate events, including teambuilding.
    • Purchase holiday packages for advantageous prices (make a block booking of good hotels in the vicinity of the OF in advance).

To print a page, you must first select chapters for printing.