Behind the scenes at the 2014 Games

« The backstage boss » is probably the best way to describe Martine Nemecek’s job. She is in fact the competition venue director; a role she has held since September 2012.

Behind the scenes at the 2014 Games
© Comité d'Organisation Normandie 2014

Her ambition? “That everyone talks as little as possible about the organisational side of the event. During the 15 days of competition, the focus should be on the competitors’ sporting exploits and the event’s overall atmosphere: that will mean that we have done our job properly.”

Up until now, the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee has had a top-down approach when it comes to each sector of activity; each department working on its own portfolio and with its own deadlines: layout, ticketing, sports, logistics, activities and entertainment…

With less than two years to go before the event, the time has come to switch from a “functional organisation” to a more horizontal, operational approach. “All the departments obviously depend upon each other”, explains Martine Nemecek. They are all going to be the supplier and/or client of the other e.g. the transport manager is going to get transport requests from the sports department, for the competitors and officials, and from the commercial department for our partners…My job is to check that there isn’t any pointless overlapping of resources or that nothing is overlooked. To give you another example: has the event activities manager realised that it’s up to the technology department to supply the giant screens? And that she needs to avoid ordering them directly from the suppliers ?...”  The list of these so-called “cross-over areas”  has been drawn up after a lot of painstaking work…or to be more accurate, thanks to careful analysis. In short, 2,500 guidelines that are constantly being changed and adapted (needs are fine-tuned, new requirements arise, othersare no longer necessary).

The venue management team of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games ™ 2014 in Normandy will also define an organisation model for the different competition venues. “We need to have homogeneous organisation and the same level of service everywhere. We’re not only talking about the competition venues themselves, but about the train stations, the support bases for the horses prior to arrival at the stables, the “village” for the grooms…”  About 750 different procedures will cover all these different areas of responsibility.“Who exactly does what, and in which circumstances?”

During the event, Martine Nemecek will be at the helm of the MOC, the Main Operations Centre, masterminding the overall organisation, deciding what  needs to be changed and when, as well as the best way of intervening if anything goes wrong. You could say it’s the Games’ “HQ”!

Martine Nemecek’s profile: Former operations director for the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and for the World Athletics Championships in 2003, Martine Nemecek is highly experienced when it comes to major international sporting events. She joined the Organising Committee as competition venue director in September 2012.

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