An Olympic feat!
As the Rio Olympics gets underway, it got me thinking about the spectacular show that London put on for the last Games back in 2012 – and the enormous print requirement that goes into putting on such a tremendous show.
Print and document management plays a massive part in any large-scale event and few are bigger and further reaching than the Olympics. Every accreditation badge needs to be managed and printed on demand, every event needs multiple copies of score/results sheets to be printed out and distributed as quickly as possible after the action is over. Journalists need team sheets, hospitality needs menus, spectators need maps and tickets… I’m sure you get the picture!
According to stats I managed to get hold of from organisers of the London Olympics, the volume of print is staggering. For example, they told me that just under 4,500 print devices were utilised and that the actual number of print outs reached into the millions. Over 650,000 accreditation passes alone were printed!
Speaking from experience
Back in 2002 I was lucky enough to work for one of the suppliers to the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Whilst it was a smaller event than the Olympic Games, the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see the work that’s involved in putting on a multi-discipline, multi-week event was still truly remarkable. For example, every printer, every box of toner, every bucket of flowers, every delivery of food had to be security checked before it could be released into the games village. The army of unseen people working round the clock was unbelievable.
What the Commonwealth Games taught me, when it comes to print, is that creating the required set-up for a major event is essentially no different to installing a new solution for any organisation, be it a legal firm, a school, a bank or an office; it’s just condensed.
Printers still need to be reliable, reducing downtime and sometimes awkward engineer visits; solutions still need to be cost-effective; mobile device and cloud printing is still required; scanning functions and automated forms are a must-have; XL toner still has its benefit; printer drums that last the lifetime of the printer could avoid a costly breakdown… once again the list goes on. The same hardware and software features and app benefits are just as relevant. Crucially, print is just as integral to success as it is in any other setting.
So, as you settle down in front of the TV (or in your seat at the venue if you’re lucky enough to be there in person), spare a thought for the print and document management delivery taking place in the background. Without it, the Games just wouldn’t be the same…