After a far too long pause on major events due to the global pandemic, 3vent where very proud to deliver our first Public Health approved COVID safe event on behalf of Netball Australia – NetFest 2020. Vastly experienced in event management for outdoor sporting events, our team was very happy that despite COVID we were able to get back to doing what we love – organising major events!
Celebrating its 10th year, the largest netball festival in Australia went ahead in its normal magnificent format across two venues on the Sunshine Coast. Mooloolaba Beach hosted beach netball competitions and the traditional hard court competitions held at Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex.
Despite the COVID restrictions, and to everyone’s delight, the event attracted the same number of teams as the previous year. Even though certain aspects of the usual event delivery had to be altered or cancelled to adhere to social distancing requirements, NetFest 2020 certainly didn’t disappoint. The 3-day event delivered high-quality netball as well as 10-year celebration parties and its iconic all-stars beach match.
Of course, there were some notable differences this year in order to adapt the event to a COVID safe standard. This included:
- Installing a perimeter fence around both venues
- Designing and managing multiple check-in points
- Expanding the event spaces to allow social distancing
- Producing a bucked load of additional COVID signage
- Assigning dedicated areas to every team marquee brought to the event to adhere to distancing requirements
- And bringing in litres upon litres of hand sanitiser
With the tick of approval from QLD Public Health, all parties – including the client, players, spectators and 3vent – were stoked to see that the event could go ahead. Check out the ins and outs of the event at netfest.com.au
2020 marked the 5th year that 3vent were contracted by Netball Australia to manage the event operations across both the Mooloolaba and Maroochydore venues. Of course, due to COVID, this years event operations were a lot more extensive than usual.
The journey of delivering a COVID Safe event began with the creation of the COVID Safe Event Plans – one for each venue. Specific government requirements needed to be met in order to obtain approval, hence this process required a whole lot of manhours. In addition, existing plans – such as the Risk Management Plan and the Emergency Management Plan also needed to be updated to include COVID procedures. All in all, a huge undertaking.
Due to the extensive changes to the event, a lot of additional infrastructure was required including, fencing, marquees and furniture. In order to manage all the COVID requirements onsite, a large number of additional staff and security were also required. Not to mention the additional PPE, sanitising equipment and COVID-specific signage that needed to be organised. It was definitely a team effort bringing this event together!
Event Management and Onsite Operations
As the operations managers for the event, our team worked closely with Netball Australia to deliver a stellar COVID Safe event. In the lead up to the event, our role included:
- Creating the COVID Safe Event Plans
- Preparation of all WHS and Risk Management documents
- Liaising with sponsors, suppliers and local council representatives
- Liaising with teams to allocate dedicated team marquee areas
- Sourcing event services including sound & AV, cleaners and security
- Organising event infrastructure such as marquees, fencing, waste equipment, toilets, power etc.
- Designing sitemaps and evacuation maps
- Creating runsheets, packing lists and signage production allocations
- Organising sanitising equipment and PPE
- Staff deployment and rostering
- Booking travel arrangement
- Organising transportation of all event equipment and signage
- Organising staff COVID briefings
Once onsite, 3vent’s role across both locations consisted of:
- Placement of event infrastructure
- Managing suppliers and event services staff (i.e. cleaners and security)
- Installation of all signage
- Installation of Beach Netball courts
- Supplying event staff for setup and pack down
- Daily beach prep for competitions
- Managing COVID safe procedures and check-ins
- Providing a COVID Safe Officer at each event site
- Providing COVID Safe marshalls to manage check-in areas and roam the event sites
- Daily safety briefings and COVID meetings with event staff, and other onsite services
The quick-changing pandemic environment made it a very challenging time to plan events. It took over 230 hours of writing plans and liaising with public health to ensure we were delivering the safest event possible in the current climate.
3vent were very proud to receive extremely positive feedback from Public Health and Netball Australia on the planning, but it wasn’t without the blood sweat and tears of our team. The result was a successful and memorable 10th-year celebration for Netfest 2020 leaving players and spectators ready for 2021!