ESMO – another flawless delivery from TechPro

Whilst the TechPro reputation is founded on treating every event with the same respect, giving our all regardless of size or venue, the large annual ESMO congress is a real test of our abilities and our resources.

A month on from the event, it’s time to reflect on our efforts, understand what we did well and whether we can do things better next time.

ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) is the leading European professional organisation for medical oncology and this year, the event was billed as, ‘Securing access to optimal cancer care’.

It is a multi-professional platform for oncology education and exchange, delivering immense international visibility for scientific research. This year the Congress featured a dedicated nursing track, collaborating closely with the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS).

It is a huge undertaking, staged by a number of the world’s largest healthcare brands. They all present different events under the ESMO brand umbrella and all come with their own event organisers and support teams just like TechPro.

Staged annually in a different European city, this year’s location for the hundreds of meetings, presentations and conferences taking place, was Munich, around 850 miles from our headquarters in Tamworth.

For the third year running our client WRG engaged us to provide technical event support for the 52 meetings in 13 different venues over 7 days, for the elements of the ESMO event being delivered on behalf of their healthcare client.

Although the main events were 19-23 October, our first event took place three days earlier, after lunch on 16 October – an investigator meeting for around 35 people. This meant TechPro arriving on 15 October with our experienced technical crew ready to start rigging the venues.

Prepare early for event success

It is an event we have provided lighting, video and sound services for before, working closely with the event organiser WRG, a leader in the field with more than 25 years’ experience and a growing reputation for its work in the healthcare sector.

Back in 2017, our project management team developed a new approach to ensuring we transported all the necessary resources to Munich and that everything was in the right place, at the right time, for the correct length of time.

This simple approach, developed over a decade of doing what we do best, helps us keep costs down and ensures we can support more events, at the same time, for more clients.

Events ranged in size from small discussion groups of perhaps just 8 individuals, up to larger presentation events, expecting hundreds of attendees.

Without our highly detailed matrices showing us where every piece of equipment and our people needed to be, each minute of every day, we would have struggled to deliver the successful outcome achieved.

Working closely with the experienced senior project management team at WRG, who designed the events, the style of meeting, attendee numbers and selected the venues, ensured together we delivered events that were memorable for all the right reasons.

Returning to the scene

Logistics is a large part of every event we undertake. Our commitment to a flawless delivery requires a huge amount of work in advance, which typically begins with a site visit, even when the venues are spread across a city as large as Munich.

Many venues will supply plans of rooms with measurements, to allow our project team to design the seating plans and understand where we can situate our equipment to ensure it remains unobtrusive throughout.

However, not all the plans are accurate and a site visit allows us to measure the venue meeting rooms accurately, so layouts can be designed and the lighting, video and sound resources required can be ascertained.

All of our quality-assured equipment is checked, before the flight cases are filled and loaded onto the trucks, which helps ensure no nasty surprises over the week – it all works straight out of the box.

Bringing in 27 technicians to rig the venues and be on-site for each event, is in itself a planning exercise of immense complexity, with crew making their way to Munich from all over Europe.

Moving the team around and ensuring we deliver the high-quality service for which we are renowned, whilst using the least number of technicians effectively, is vital. It’s important to get the most from the team and use resources efficiently to keep costs to our clients to the minimum.

ESMO by the numbers

All our equipment is colour-coded for each event to make the rigging easier for our technicians, with each piece matched to each meeting, time and time again across the 9 days of ESMO. We took 1761m of Audio speaker cable with us and re-used it all at least once on average.

With a typical meeting requiring a screen, a projector, lectern, laptops, laser pointer, cue light, comfort monitor, countdown clock, together with a PA system using 4 x tie clip & 2 x handheld microphones, we get through a lot of batteries.

The battery we always choose is the Industrial AA by Duracell and we recycled 2432 of them on our return to Tamworth. The return to Tamworth after 9 days ended the 8220 miles clocked up by our 7 trucks and vans, which included almost 1500 miles driven around Munich.

Our three senior project managers traversed much of Munich to ensure another flawless delivery, with each one clocking up around 84km, on foot, in van and the occasional taxi, over the course of 9 tiring 18-hour days.

And of course, every single length of cable and every piece of equipment is checked before it is returned to our shelves, because it saves a lot of time and worry on-site when everything works first time, every time.