2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games Idaho USA

2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games Idaho USA

2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games Idaho USA

Way-Finding Operations Plan & After Action Report

Colby Donicht, Way-Finding Coordinator & Sports Operations Assistant

Table of Contents
  1. Way-Finding Overview
  2. Key Responsibilities
  1. Organization
  1. Responsibilities
  1. Policies & Procedures

a. Objective
Way-Finding involves directing the flow of people and traffic to specific destinations within and around any given venue by means of signs. This is done by supplying logical, visible and easy to follow signs that are placed strategically throughout a venue. In addition to directing flow within a venue, Way-Finding also identifies key landmarks, locations and areas that are associated at the venue.
b. Goals
  • To identify all Way-Finding signage needs at all competition and non-competition venues for the 2009Special Olympics World Winter Games.
  • To supply all competition and non-competition venues with logical, visible and easy to follow Way-Finding signs that are affordable, functional and flexible.

The role of the Way-Finding Functional Area also captured Informational signs or Landmark signs. These signs essentially mark a specific place or landmark for all people at the venues (athletes, coaches, & spectators).

  • Participate in venue walk-throughs and site visits, to identify Way-Finding sign needs and strategic locations for where signs will be placed/positioned.

Walk-through’s are important and crucial to the success of the games. These venues are constantly changing and developing, so signage will most definitely change as well. Expect to visit these sites and venues monthly.

  • To work closely with all Venue Directors and Managers to ensure that all areas within their venues have signs that clearly direct the flow of people and traffic, as well as identifying key landmarks, locations and areas at their venue.

Venue Directors are in charge of their venues! It is important to ensure that their signage needs are met and accounted for. A happy Venue Director makes a happy Way-Finding Coordinator!

  • To allow as much control of signage needs/requirements as possible to the individuals that run the venues and functional areas associated with the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

This was very important for the 2009 SOWWG. Each Venue Director and FA manager knows how their venue/area will be organized and set up. Allow them to control what and where their signage will go.

  • To consult with all constituent groups on Way-Finding and interior signs necessary to run their venue and/or functional area.
  • Coordinate and capture all Way-Finding signage needs and requests on location plans and located in a central database.

For the 2009 SOWWG, there were two people who controlled the signage templates/databases. These were posted on the shared drive. Any changes were made only by those who managed the templates/database. This allowed for concise and accurate changes, updates and revisions. The more people you have to manage these, the more likely you will have mistakes.

  • To provide content/copy, size and location of sign requirements to LOOK and Signage for production.

All content/copy, size and location was overseen by LOOK and were determined by professional evaluations.

  • To provide suitable finishing
  • detail information (i.e. grommets in top corners, grommets on all corners, no grommets and sign material type) dependent upon indoor/outdoor sign location and installation purposes.

All signs that were displayed on tents had grommets on the top two corners of the sign. This allowed for the signs to be zip tied to the exterior of the tents. Signs that needed to be suspended and not moveable had grommets on all four corners of the sign. All signs that were displayed outside were made of Coroplast. All poster signs were made with a material that could be used outside. This was helpful because signs that were supposed to go outside, often were placed outside.

  • To provide suitable hardware detail information (i.e. sandwich board, step stakes, on easel) dependent upon indoor/outdoor and pavement/no pavement sign location and installation purposes.

For the 2009 SOWWG, we used the Simpo II sandwich board. These were very lightweight and were easily mobile and transportable. They can be used either indoors or outdoors and proved to be very dependable and durable. The advantage of using Coroplast as a material was that they are corrugated and could be placed on a step stake. Step Stakes were very ergonomic and could be placed in the snow and grass.

  • To provide a detailed FF&E materials list to Logistics. FF&E list will include information regarding tools, materials and accessories (i.e. zip ties, double-sided tape, scotch tape, staple gun, etc.) to ensure that Way-Finding signs are properly and safely installed.

The FF&E List was an accumulation of both LOOK and Way-Finding materials. Each venue had (2) signage kits that were used for both LOOK signage and Way-Finding signage. This ensured that all venues would have the proper tools and materials for successful install of the signage. Kits were based and dependent on the venue itself. Some venues had more signage and required more tools and materials. You must keep this into consideration when creating your FF&E list.

  • Ensure that all signs designated to a specific venue are inventoried, organized and properly staged in the World Head Quarters Warehouse, for proper and successful delivery of signs by Logistics to the correct venue.

Inventory of signage is very important and crucial. As signs came in from the vendor (Fusion) the signs were inventoried and broken down base by venue. Signs for the venue were then marked accordingly and staged in the warehouse at the venue location. All signage was given a code and was printed on at Fusion. This made inventory very helpful as signs were checked off the master template. It was very easy to see what signs were accounted for and what signs had not arrived. Way-Finding Commissioners inventoried and packaged their signs. This was very helpful as it allowed the commissioners to become familiar with their signage as well as give them an idea for the total signage that they would manage. As breakdown occurred at the venue, the commissioners were also in charge of making sure that all signs got back to the GOC warehouse.

  • To provide in-house, laminated signs for last-minute venue and functional area signage requests (i.e. no smoking, bathrooms, staff only, fax/phone number information, etc.). The goal for the Way-Finding Department is to ensure that there are NO hand written signs and that the integrity and professionalism of Special Olympics is captured through the consistency of these in-house signs throughout all venues for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games

Once the deadline for production of signage was decided, venue directors and FA managers were then responsible for in-house and last minute signage. In order to ensure that the signage was universal amongst all venues, a template created in Microsoft PowerPoint was given to all venue directors and FA managers. This allowed for the directors and managers to have control of what they wanted on the sign. Once the directors and managers created their signs, they were then e-mailed to the Way-Finding Coordinator, printed and laminated and stored with the other venues signage. The template had both the Games logo and the World Winter Games logo.

  • To provide precise application and installation of all Way-Finding signs at all venues.

Because volunteer numbers were cut for Way-Finding, this meant that signage had to be installed from help with other volunteers at the venue. The signage was very easy to install, yet looked very professional. This allowed for any volunteer to be able to hang and install signage. It is very important that the venue director work hand in hand with the commissioners and the volunteers during venue load in and set up. This ensures that signage is placed exactly where the venue director wants, as well as allows the venue director to make last minute changes and decisions to the signs location. Signage was easily installed and involved little to no maintenance during the duration of the games.

  • Maintain and repair any Way-Finding signs when necessary before and during games time.

Signage maintenance was very limited. This was mostly due to the signs simplicity for install, as well as the commissioners making their rounds checking on the signage during the games.

  • Recover and dismantle all Way-Finding signs following the close of the venue and or functional area program.

Almost all of the signage used during the games came back to the warehouse. Signs suffered little to no damage. It is very important that all volunteers and staff work together during the breakdown of each venue to ensure that everything, including Way-Finding signage arrives back to the warehouse.\

  • Inventory and organize returned Way-Finding signage from venues and functional areas for asset recovery and return to GOC warehouse.

This was done at the venue by the Way-Finding Commissioners. They were responsible for recording signage arriving back to the warehouse, signs that were missing, as well as recording signs that were damaged or destroyed.

c. Way-Finding Overview

Way-Finding will work with all Venue Directors and functional area managers of the GOC to prepare and provide Way-Finding signs for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

For the 2009 SOWWG the Way-Finding Coordinator worked weekly with the Venue Directors and FA Managers to prepare and provide signage at their venues. After each draft and revision of the Way-Finding template/database, meetings were set up with Directors and FA Managers, to scrub, review and look over the new updates. It should also be noted that on several occasions, the Way-Finding Coordinator also met with Venue Director Assistants and other key volunteers assigned to the venues. This was very helpful, as it allowed the ideas and concepts of signs to be gathered by more than two individuals. What may make sense to one individual may not make sense to another. Working and combining thoughts about signage ensures that all possible signage needs are covered.

d. Key Responsibilities

  • Way- Finding will work with each Venue Director and functional area to capture and accumulate all Way-Finding signage requests for each venue. Upon being received at the warehouse, Way-Finding will sort all Way-Finding signage and organize by venue, where it will be stored in a specific location within the GOC warehouse. Way-Finding will help Logistics assist with the venue team or functional areas in preparing all Way-Finding signage for delivery to the venue. As the signs arrive to the venues via Logistics, Way-Finding will then be responsible for the installation and maintenance of signs during venue operations. Way-Finding will recover all of its signage at the venue for delivery back to the GOC warehouse. Once Way-Finding signage returns to the warehouse, from the venues, Way-Finding, with the assistance of Logistics, will inventory all Way-Finding signage for the Asset Recovery process.

The success of Way-Finding was due to the close interaction between the Way-Finding Coordinator and both the Venue Directors and the FA Managers. The Way-Finding signage template went through eight (8) drafts and revisions. After each draft, the Way-Finding Coordinator would meet with the Venue Directors and FA Managers to ensure that all information was correct and accurate.

Because there was so much signage and because there was signage at each venue, it was very necessary for the Way-Finding Coordinator and their volunteers to help logistics with the inventory and preparing the signage for delivery to the venues. This eliminated the number of errors and allowed for a very successful 2009 SOWWG.

2. Organization

The structure of the Way-Finding Department will be a Way-Finding Coordinator, Volunteer Way-Finding Commissioner and Volunteer Support for each Venue. The Structure of the Way-Finding Department will be adjusted based on needs of the operations. Two areas that may increase or decrease depending on the needs of Way-Finding are:

  1. Volunteer Commissioner that will oversee all Way-Finding sings and Volunteer Support at

each venue. There should be 1-2 Volunteer Commissioners per venue.

For the more complex and larger venues, it is highly advised that there are 2 commissioners assigned. It is also very important that every venue being utilized during the games has a commissioner assigned. For the 2009 SOWWG, there were not enough commissioners to cover all venues. For what commissioners there were, many of them had to cover 2 to 3 venues. This was very difficult and made the planning process very difficult as well.

  1. Volunteer Way-Finding Support to be operational during venue build-out, games time operations and recovery of the venue. Volunteer Support at each venue is responsible for installation, maintenance and recovery of Way-Finding signs.

It is very important that there are volunteer positions created for Way-Finding Signage, as well as for LOOK signage. For the 2009 SOWWG, volunteers for Way-Finding were cut and installation of signage then had to be dependent on the volunteer support at the venue. This is very difficult because volunteers were taken away from their positions, thus making the venue load-in at the venue very hectic. Signage install was done during the venue load-in and often the venue didn’t have any volunteers assigned until games time. There should be a minimal of 3 to 4 people assigned to help with Way-Finding signage install.

Job Description

Title:Way-Finding Coordinator


Supervisor:Senior Director, Press Operations and Event Services

Overview:Oversee the project of determining Way-Finding signage at all of the Games venues, as well as coordination of installation of such signage.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct walk-throughs/site visits of the venue regarding overall operations and work closely with the Venue Team to develop the overall layout for Way-Finding Signage.
  • Work with all Venue Directors and functional area managers to capture and accumulate all Way-Finding Signage needs and requests.
  • Manage revisions, updates, deletions, etc. to the Way-Finding Signage Database.
  • Recruit and train Volunteer Commissioners to manage Volunteer Support at the venue and oversee Way-Finding installation.
  • Recruit and train volunteer installation crew for Way-Finding Signage.
  • Develop the needs for Way-Finding signage at all Games venues.
  • Work with Senior Director, Press Operations and Event Services to determine timelines and installation process.
  • Monitor installation crews for maintenance, repair and control of Way-Finding signage, install, repair, inventory, etc.
  • Plan collection of such signage after completion of Games.

Job Description

Title:Way-Finding Volunteer Commissioner


Supervisor:Way-Finding Coordinator

Positions Available:One to two per competition venue. For non-competition venues there will be one WVC (Way-Finding Volunteer Commissioner) which can be responsible for multiple venues. This will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Overview:Assist GOC Way-Finding Coordinator with any Way-Finding Signage needs, oversee all Way-Finding Signage at venue, manage Way-Finding Volunteer Support and oversee installation, maintenance and repairs to Way-Finding Signage at assigned venue.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Oversee all Way-Finding Signage for specific venue.
  • Assist GOC Way-Finding Coordinator in any planning, implementation and decision making regarding Way-Finding Signage.
  • Manage Way-Finding Volunteer Support at assigned venue of installation, maintenance and repairs to any Way-Finding Signs.
  • Familiarize all Way-Finding Signs found within assigned venue- sign type, signage text, location, and methods of installation.
  • Make quick, decisive and creative decisions when necessary for repair and maintenance of Way-Finding sings.
  • Attend monthly Commissioner Meetings for information updates and other important issues regarding Way-Finding.
  • Work and assist Venue Teams whenever necessary.
  • Assist GOC Way-Finding Coordinator with organization and inventorying of all Way-Finding Signage. This will also include assisting the Logistics Team in proper staging and packaging of Way-Finding Signs for assigned venue.
  • Responsible for recovery of all Way-Finding Signs after the completion of venue operations.
  • Assist GOC Way-Finding Coordinator of inventorying Way-Finding Signage received back at the GOC warehouse (Asset Recovery).

Job Description

Title:Way-Finding Volunteer Assistant