Transcript Document

CANCELLATION MANAGEMENT:

Facing the Ultimate Crisis

PRESENTED BY Sean Ryan, Race Director Cellcom Green Bay Marathon ASSISTED BY John Mory, Course Director Toni Jaeckels, Registration Direction

THE NIGHTMARE IS ALWAYS THE SAME…

May 20, 2012 at 7:00 am PROJECT Management

May 20, 2012 at 9:25 am CRISIS Management

May 20, 2012 after Noon PUBLIC RELATIONS Management

A CHANGING INDUSTRY Marathon Running Goes Mainstream

U.S. MARATHON & HALF MARATHON FINISHERS

1 800 000 1 600 000 1 400 000 1 200 000 1 000 000 800 000 600 000 400 000 200 000 0 MARATHON HALF MARATHON

SOURCE: Running USA’s Annual Marathon Report (2012)

U.S. MARATHON & HALF MARATHON FINISHERS

1 800 000 1 600 000 1 400 000 1 200 000 1 000 000 800 000 600 000 400 000 200 000 0 MARATHON HALF MARATHON

SOURCE: Running USA’s Annual Marathon Report (2012)

“THE WALLS OF INTIMIDATION HAVE CRUMBLED!”

A SLOWING AUDIENCE… AVERAGE MARATHON FINISH TIMES (HRS:MINS)

4:56 4:42 4:27 4:13 3:58 3:44 3:30 MALES FEMALES 1980 1995 2002 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

SOURCE: Running USA’s Annual Marathon Report (2012)

THE DOWNSIDE

What do you call an audience that is …rapidly growing …less experienced …less physically resilient …more pampered …entertainment-focused …bucket list-motivated

A House of Cards?

MARATHON CANCELLATIONS HAVE BECOME MORE COMMON

ABOUT THE EVENT WE DIRECT

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

OVERVIEW

 Founded in 2000  Non-profit controlled by 15-member board  Led by 4-person staff, 50-person Operations Committee

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

PARTICIPANTS (10,000+) VOLUNTEERS (2,000+) OPERATIONS COMMITTEE (50-60) MARATHON STAFF (4)

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

OVERVIEW

 Founded in 2000  Non-profit controlled by 15-member board  Led by 4-person staff, 50-person Operations Committee  Takes place mid-May each year  Five different races over two days  Has tripled in size in past 10 years

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

OVERVIEW

 Founded in 2000  Non-profit controlled by 15-member board  Led by 4-person staff, 50-person Operations Committee  Takes place mid-May each year  Five different races over two days  Has tripled in size in past 10 years  $1 million budget; proceeds go to charity partners.

WHAT ARE OUR CONTINGENCY PLANS?

HOW WE VIEW CONTINGENCY PLANNING… EVENT PLANNING CONTINGENCY PLANNING CRISIS MANAGEMENT

Addressing all foreseeable problems

WITHIN

your control

in advance

Addressing all foreseeable problems

OUTSIDE OF

your control

in advance

Dealing with a significant problem which threatens the organization

when it occurs

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

 Joint effort of staff and Public Safety Committee

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE

COURSE DIRECTOR

CHAIR

RACE DIRECTOR POLICE/SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENTS TRAFFIC ENGINEERS / PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT REPS FIRE & EMS DEPARTMENTS MEDICAL COORDINATOR & DIRECTOR

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

 Typically addresses weather-related contingencies:  Lightning and storms  Heat and humidity

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

 No industry standards exist.

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

 Communication—upward and downward—is a major focus of the planning.

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

IF HEAT IS FORECASTED:

 More…  Fluids and cups  Ice  Immersion tanks  Wheelchairs  Runner advisories

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

IF HEAT IS FORECASTED:

 More…  Fluids and cups  Ice  Immersion tanks  Wheelchairs  Runner advisories  Public appeal for sprinklers

CELLCOM GREEN BAY MARATHON

CONTINGENCY PLANNING

RACE MORNING PROTOCOL:

 Meeting at 6:00 am (one hour prior to start)  Key personnel  Medical Director has final say on “Go or No Go”  Decision based on Wet Bulb Globe Temp

WHAT FORCED THE HALTING OF THE RACE?

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” - Robert Burns

WHAT WE

COULD

CONTROL

 Opportunities for fluids  Quantity of fluids  Additional supplies – ice, sprinklers  Number of medical stations on the course

WHAT WE

COULD NOT

CONTROL

 Weather  Conditioning and pace of the participants  Hydration of the participants  Medical preparedness

CRISIS TIMELINE

6:00 am Race Director meets with Medical Team (60˚F) 7:00 am 8:12 am Race starts (70˚F) First report of ‘runner down’ (80˚F)

Next 45 minutes

Ten runners go down on the course 9:06 am 9:25 am 9:35 am EMS Director declares ‘3 alarm fire’ status Ambulances called in from 7 municipalities Medical Director shuts down course Timing of races ceases (85˚F)

MEDICAL STATS

FINISH LINE MEDICAL TENT

120 Runners treated 80 Heat illness 5 Transported via ambulance to hospitals

COURSE

47 Runners treated 18 Transported via ambulance

LESSONS LEARNED

LESSON #1: Protocols often are not as simple as they may seem.

FROM THE OPERATIONS MANUAL

“The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon will be cancelled if the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) exceeds 20.5 degrees Celcius.”

LESSON #2: Don’t assume key partners are fully prepared.

“Hey, do you guys know where we can rent some cots?”

- First year Medical Coordinator, Monday of race week

LESSON #3: You can’t stop a train.

WORDS IN MOST RUNNERS’ VOCABULARY

Drive Grit Determination Persevere

WORDS NOT IN MOST RUNNERS’ VOCABULARY

Surrender Back down Give in

STOP

2012 START & FINISH STATS TOTAL STARTERS = 7,426 1 640 5 786

Half Marathon Marathon/Marathon Relay

2012 START & FINISH STATS AT 9:35 AM… ON COURSE 3800 51% FINISHERS 3626 49%

2012 START & FINISH STATS AT 9:35 AM… ON COURSE 3800 51% FINISHERS 3626 49%

2012 START & FINISH STATS AT THE END OF THE DAY… STOPPED 906 24% KEPT GOING 2894 76%

So why bother stopping the event?...

LESSON #4: If they lack a script, your front line will make stuff up.

LESSON #5: Your audience may form conflicting constituencies.

From: Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 10:03 AM To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: Letter to Participants I can’t believe you stopped the race just because it was hot and some runners didn’t belong out there. I was fine! Everybody signed waivers. There’s no reason you couldn’t have kept things going.

From: Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 11:31 AM To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: Letter to Participants I applaud your decision and was relieved to take a shuttle off the course. I am bothered though that you kept the intersections staffed and the water stations functioning for those who ignored the cancellation!

LESSON #6: Solving one problem can often create another.

LESSON #7: Doing the right thing may make you unpopular.

From: Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 To: [email protected] Subject:Re: Letter to Participants WHY WON’T YOU POST MY RESULTS? I KNOW YOU HAVE THEM BECAUSE MY SPOUSE GOT THEM ON MY SMARTPHONE!

LESSON #8: If you can’t be popular, at least try to be fair and consistent.

LESSON #9: Communicate, communicate, communicate!

IMMEDIATE EMAIL NEWSLETTER MONITOR FACEBOOK ACCEPT ALL RADIO AND TELEVISION INVITES From: [email protected] Sent: Monday, May 21, To: Subject:Re: Letter to Although your we understand frustration with the decision important to to cancel the race yesterday, it’s point out that we made this decision based on the well-being of the entire RESPOND TO EVERY PARTICIPANT EMAIL

LESSON #10: Form a crisis management and response team, and remember to GET SOME SLEEP!

LESSON #11: SAFETY TRUMPS SATISFACTION!

THE LETTER WE’D LIKE TO SEND…

Dear Runners, Thank you for the numerous letters complaining about our decision to halt this year’s race.

The fact that you’re all still alive to send them confirms that we made the right decision!

Sincerely, The Race Staff

LESSON #12: MAINTAIN A SENSE OF HUMOR.

LESSON #13: ESTABLISH YOUR REFUND POLICY PRIOR TO HAVING A CANCELLATION.

QUESTION & ANSWER