IOF HLES 2017 / WMSOC 2017
Last winter, I made it to Europe to attend the IOF High Level Event seminar, and it was instructional. Being there in person provided a much richer learning environment than watching a video online, and getting the chance to interact with the presenters and listen to other people’s questions and sit down with others over meals to discuss projects and goals made it into an event worth repeating.
In the past year of events, I’ve tried to apply this new knowledge and think about issues through some of the lenses presented at the HLES. How are events perceived from the elite athlete/coach point of view in terms of communication and logistics? How would you structure an organizational team for a successful event? How do we plan for the ambition of an event and manage its marketing? The experience sharing around touch-free punching allowed me to bring SI-Air to ten days of competitions in the US this year. I’ve had both successes and failures when it comes to implementing some of these ideas, but the process of thinking through these ideas has improved my ability to deliver the quality of events I want to be involved with.
I’ve had the opportunity to be involved on the technical staff for a wide range of events in the US, and have been able to learn from working alongside some great event organizers and staff that we have. As we look forward to hosting events in the future that have a higher level of exposure in the USA, like the 2018 World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships and World Cup, continued US Championships, a denser schedule of National Events, and further down the road the 2021 World Games, we need to continue to learn and develop our skills as a federation and learn from every source we can. When I work alongside people at events, I hope to continue to pass on my knowledge and experience to an ever-growing pool of event organizers. Being able to work with a highly-skilled group is the fastest way to learn, and undoubtedly the best way to host an event!
This year’s HLES is in Warsaw, Poland, with a focus on experience-sharing. There are seminars on previous JWOC and WOC events, a look at the 2017 World Games and the process of organizing orienteering as part of a multi-sport event, and a set of seminars on event IT. Immediately following the HLES is the 2017 World Masters and European Ski Orienteering Championships in Finland, where I will have the opportunity to work alongside the organizers to observe how they run the event, solve its problems and move things forward. This is directly relevant to my role as Technical Director for the 2018 World Masters Ski-O.
The money I raise for this will go toward airfare, lodging, and conference expenses to travel to Poland and Finland this winter.