Design Planning

Plan, Plan and Plan More

Planning & Design involves everything from surveying venues, developing concepts, pre procurement budgets, installation planning and timing. Knowing what is available in the market, and developing procurement documentation clearly targeting suppliers core skills, leads to efficient and cost-effective procurement and execution quality.

Lighting for sports events involves many types of lighting some of which are related while others are not.  However, they all have to be designed and planned to function together as an end to end solution e.g. the floodlighting for a legacy football stadium has little to do with the lighting used to host badminton in an indoor arena. Though each needs to have a mixed zone, press conference facilities, consider sport presentation, where and how medals ceremonies are conducted and ensure medals flags are visible. Each venue is designed around a broadcast and media concept which takes account of the specific nature of each sport.

Some sports run across the entire event program while other occupy a few days, giving the opportunity for two sports to share a single venue. In this case the plan must account for which sports will share each venue and whether they are compatible from a technical infra structure point of view. Ideally, venue selection can be made so that two sports share the same lighting, athlete entry points etc.  And is the style of lighting for one sport compatible with the other?

Badminton & Table Tennis Broadcast Lighting

Often these thoughts do not occur until the mid-phase of the event preparation cycle, at which time there is little that can be done to overcome two sports which need almost separate lighting, sound etc. When this happens, either one of the sports will be compromised or the budget requirements for the venue will increase dramatically.  If this happens with a single venue, the budget increase can be significant for that venue. If it occurs across multiple venues it can have a huge consequence for the whole event.

Creating an event wide concept which is agreed at management level is the first step and sets the conditions to deliver the event appropriate for that city / country. Once the tone is set at management level, the rest can follow and all functional areas operate in this framework.

Lighting is developed around each sport taking account of the venue it is to be hosted and the style to be created. The organisors must decide the performance level which is appropriate rather than benchmarking an event in which the required level was over and above what is required this time.

It is necessary to set both the performance level and style. This determines everything which follows:

  • equipment required

  • how to install

  • which types of suppliers are best suited and the skills required

Mis-matching a supplier with a specific type of lighting installation usually leads to substandard installation and performance, requiring last minute interventions to repair or put right a poor installation, or where an installer used an inappropriate equipment type. It is vital that the planning and design stage ensures this does not happen.