Coordinating of “Game Makers” and related services
Over 250,000 members of the public volunteered to be ‘Games Makers’. They would have to be vetted, interviewed, and rigorously tested. The 70,000 who made the grade had to be trained, equipped, allocated roles, kitted out with uniforms, and then given detailed briefs and schedules of attendance. Every aspect of their involvement had to be carefully coordinated.
The first point of contact for Games Makers was a specialist on-line portal, where they were encouraged to self-serve and access information about every aspect of their involvement. Inevitably, however, they needed to speak to someone from time to time. Over the course of the two-year build up to the Games, HGS spoke to many of them, often on several occasions.
The plans for selection, training, and briefing were—of necessity—big and complex. And, however well planned, sometimes went awry. Around 18,000 people were expected to attend orientation training at Wembley Arena on the weekend of 4 and 5 February 2011. Due to a snow storm, only 5,000 made it through. Over that weekend, HGS handled over 8,000 calls from volunteers who had been thwarted by the weather and went on to communicate details of new dates.
HGS not only had to coordinate with 70,000 Games Makers, but with the heads of 74 functional areas within LOCOG who would be using the Games Makers’ services. “The biggest functions were Event Services, Transport, Medical, and Sport,” says Michael Truman, LOCOG Contact Centre Manager for HGS, “but it was a long list! We liaised with each function to create the business rules, processes, and FAQs that we would use to deal with every possible enquiry a Game Maker might present us with.” As the Games got closer, HGS embedded its own team of 18 people plus management within LOCOG’s Canary Wharf offices, to work hand-in-hand with its functional teams, HR Shared Services Team, Volunteer Recruitment, and Training Staff.