Tour de France 2014 Budget Woes

I was invited onto BBC Radio Leeds today for a live discussion about reports of the Tour de France's budget having a £2m shortfall. Is £2m a lot of money?
Read more

The Live Event Procurement Paradox - Sound Familiar?

Picture the scene: you’ve got a product to sell, a message to get across or some entertainment to put on. You want a live event.

You decide you want to put out a tender to find (procure) the best company or solution - maybe with the best ideas or offering the best value.

Your tender, in summary, says:

1. We want a live event that achieves x,y,z.
2. Please send us a picture and plans of what you propose to help us achieve x,y,z.
3. Please tell us what it will cost.

You then get all the tenders back, pick the one you like and award the contract. You’ve a specification of what will be delivered and a price. Done.

Well . . . almost.
Read more

Will Sochi's Security be a Tipping Point?

The new IOC president, Thomas Bach, made a bold statement today: "We have full confidence in the Russian authorities." He was referring of course to the security risks, and issues, surrounding the soon-to-begin Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

From people protesting about Russia's anti-gay laws to religious fundamentalists - this major event, like any other, is a ripe target for attacks.

Thomas Bach went on to say: "Security is the responsibility of the host country and we know the Russian services are working closely with different international services to ensure that participants and spectators in the Games feel safe and secure."

Now that's a statement that clearly says two things...
Read more

Do Mega Events Need Megabucks?

skynewsEarlier this week I was invited onto Sky News briefly to discuss the, possibly unofficial, decision to move the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup mega event from a toasty summer to the significantly cooler winter. This was met with outcry from some footballing quarters; there are eight years to work out how to get around the problem in my view though. Far better to host a world-cup without players, spectators and the (literally) thousands of other people working on the event melting. People melting isn't great for the atmosphere or PR.

This discussion coincided with a piece in the Guardian by Simon Jenkins. In summary he calls for or predicts an end to these mega events given their proven ability to bankrupt a city and turn perfectly acceptable locations into military forts for a few weeks.

Other commentators, including David Owens of debate the merits of the IOC and FIFA considering a single location for these mega events. I would argue that this might happen automatically given these events are being increasingly awarded to cities with the most money. A trend evidenced by Sochi 2014 and Qatar 2022. There will soon only be a handful of cities with the cash required to win.

Is there not another, far easier, more palatable solution? I would argue there is.
Read more

"Why I Hate School But Love Education"

I have nothing to add to this video that the video doesn't say already. Please just watch it.

The Spark

"The Spark": A Pretty Amazing Book

I've just read this book: The Spark, a mother's story of nurturing genius. This book should be mandatory reading for parents, the education establishment and in fact - for everyone with any interest or concern about how we learn, and how we don't learn.

Not withstanding the incredible story Kristine Barnett has to tell about her own life and that of her children, there's a much deeper moral in this story.
Read more

Will Glendinning Olympic Opening Ceremony

2012 Opening Ceremony Thoughts and Opinions

A few days ago I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in the Olympic Stadium watching the 2012 Opening Ceremony. As someone who would dearly have loved to Produce the ceremony, what did I think of it?
Read more

How I Ended Up 'Working In Events'

I often get asked how I ended up 'working in events'. This extract from a piece I contributed to in the Guardian is a brief summary . . .
Read more