Major events including the Olympic Games carry out two technical rehearsals in the months leading up to the event, testing people, systems and processes. These are crucial readiness exercises because the scale of IT infrastructure relied upon in major event operations is immense. In this piece we introduce major event technical rehearsals and how WeTrack's major event readiness software helps to make them happen.
What is a technical rehearsal?
Technical rehearsals are a test of technological operations at event-time, designed to stress the entire technological apparatus of the upcoming event to see if it breaks. Technical Rehearsal Officials (TROs) will assess responses to various incidents and learn lessons from the results. They are important steps for a major event organising committee, acting as the final piece of the readiness puzzle and an exciting time as hundreds of staff come together and often new venues are operational.
How is a technical rehearsal prepared for?
Preparations begin with the planning team building a library of scenarios - a scenario is anything that could go wrong at event-time. These scenarios vary from the mundane to the most complex - from a broken printer to a full scale cyber-attack. It is a huge test for an organising committee, with hundreds of staff involved in a mega event technical rehearsal. Ultimately, staff need to know what to do and who to talk to when an incident occurs. Can your major event survive a barrage of technological failures?
What happens during a technical rehearsal?
TROs will enact scenarios in different ways throughout the rehearsal, either by presenting a hypothetical example of a problem, or by actually disrupting services to see how the team responds. Typically, the volume and severity of scenarios increases as the exercise goes on until multiple major issues are hitting the organising committee simultaneously. This is designed to go far beyond what should happen during regular operations! Technology teams will respond to these scenarios as they would during an event, with outcomes recorded. Lessons will be learned and actions will be noted in any area where there is a deficiency in the response.
How does WeTrack support technical rehearsals?
Earlier this year WeTrack's readiness software underpinned our first major event technical rehearsal, supporting a remote TR with 24-hour support in a different time-zone.
Organisers can use our tools to capture scenarios in a library, allowing evaluations to be scheduled. This gives organisers a high-level view of what is happening at each venue on each day, making sure the load is distributed evenly. Staff need to be very busy but not impossibly so!
Our software then enables staff to capture all of the learnings and actions, detailing where things went wrong and identifying trends for strong and weak points so that organising committees can deliver major events with more comfort and more skill. This helps to shift the focus from planning and carrying out the rehearsal, to making them as effective as possible by learning and actioning on results.
On the day of the technical rehearsal, TROs use our Live Tracker to monitor evaluation progress, responding to failed evaluations and considering new lessons and actions.
Some say that a successful technology deployment at an event is one where nobody talks about it! If you want to learn more about how WeTrack can make that happen by facilitating effective technical rehearsals, just get in touch or watch this introductory video to learn more.