This was an international football tournament contested by over 1200 Air Traffic Controllers from over 30 countries from all around the world. We’re not exactly sure why it’s called the European Controller’s Cup, given there were American teams, but we shan’t dwell on that.
The event took place in the AUL Complex in Clonshaugh in Dublin from the 13th – 18th May 2013, following a successful bid from the ATC Dublin Committee two years previous. The AUL Complex is one run by the FAI and features 15 full football pitches as well as astroturf pitches.
All the players stayed in one hotel and were then transported to site every day to play their matches and enjoy the food, drink and entertainment on site, before heading back to the hotel, freshening up and hitting the town each evening.
The committee are a hard-working voluntary one and they brought us in to help them in a number of areas.
We did the Event Management Plan for the event, which was used to ensure the event went ahead under the auspices of the FAI and Fingal County Council, as well as being used in court to secure an occasional licence so we could operate a bar on site during the event. It included Site Design, a Transport Management Plan and all the usuals.
We also provided the Event Controller, Safety Officer and Event Management Team for the duration of the event.
We provided a load of performers for the opening and closing parties in The Wright Venue and we also provided entertainment on site each day after they were all finished kicking a ball around.
We really did love working on this event. Gary, Ronan, Barry and all the nice people on the committee were a pleasure to deal with. They worked tirelessly to make sure every element of the event was a success and we’re delighted to have played a part in it.
The weather was great all week, to the point that my sensitive skin turned very red very quickly. On top of all that, we met some cool people from all over the world and became great friends with Team Munchen who had driven a truck the whole way from Germany, which they brought to site each day adding a great splash of colour to the car park.
The main challenge with this event was always going to be the Transport Management. All the players were in the one hotel and they would all be playing their first match at 10am, 11am or 12pm each day. This meant we’d 3 windows of travel to site, moving roughly 400 people each time.
While the hotel was only a couple of miles away, the route involved a tight and windy road that buses would not normally use. We had to manage this very well, to ensure that players were getting to site on time and that buses were returning to the hotel in time to bring more players and so on.
The playing schedule each day had very little room for delays so this was key. With a tight entrance gate and tight windy roads, as well as the road being very busy in the mornings, it had the potential to cause some headaches. Thankfully it didn’t. The system we put in place worked well and it ran perfectly for the week.
"The team at Cuckoo Events were invaluable to us in running ECC 2013 in Dublin. With over 1200 people to move and look after on a daily basis, I really don't think we could have gotten better event organisers than Cuckoo. They came very well recommended and we genuinely could not have run the event without them.
They were on top of everything for us, while making it look effortless. We had great feedback from the players who traveled to the event and I know a lot of them count some of the Cuckoo team as friends now. They're nice people and that makes a difference."