A day in the life with Freddie Dawes

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Being a Consultant at 4global means that Freddie is able to work across a broad range of clients and projects. For most of last year he was seconded to the FA to work as part of the EURO 2020 Local Organising Structure. After the postponement of the tournament, Freddie has returned to the 4global fold and is now involved in a number of projects including a national facility strategy, a legacy report for a major UK stadium and a regeneration strategy for an urban park. 

What does a typical day look like for you right now?  

Life is certainly a lot different to how it was a couple of months ago. Rather than commuting across London to Wembley Stadium, each morning starts with a coffee overlooking the river Camel in North Cornwall. Our Exec team is keen to keep the company connected so the first action of the day is a Teams call which is now run by a different member of the team each day. This means you never quite know what to expect and so far, we have done team building exercises, had presentations on past projects and been asked to throw socks repeatedly into a bucket (best not to ask)! After the call work continues, almost as normal, with many projects still being delivered to their original timescales. With this in mind it is more vital than ever that the team stays connected and operationally effective, with internal systems playing an enhanced role to ensure we have extra resilience and stay on track.

How have you adapted to remote working?  

If I’m honest, I’ve been amazed at the speed of adoption and adaptation to remote working; personally, company-wide and from other organisations. The transition has fortunately been relatively pain-free but, whilst I don’t miss the commute to Wembley, I do miss the personal interaction that comes from working in a busy office.  

Surprisingly, the change to relying on Teams for our collaboration is actually assisting some projects as it has opened up a new channel to share documents, comments and solve problems with clients that was under-utilised in the past.  

What has been your biggest learning moment of the C-19 era?  

Make sure your contingency plans are up-to-date, fully inclusive and fit for purpose. If you had asked me in January whether there was any chance of the EURO 2020 not going ahead, I would have said practically zero. Yet here we are! One of the things you hear often within Major Events is that the deadline cannot be moved as the event will be going ahead regardless. Whilst I hope 2020 is an exception that proves the rule, it goes to show how you can never rely on your assumptions. Fortunately, Major Events is all about forward planning with risk registers and contingency plans that are checked regularly, but these principles should be applied wherever possible.  

Aside from that my general knowledge has never been better with the vast number of social quizzes hosted by friends and family over the past few weeks… 

What long-term impact do you think  C-19 will have on the industry?  

I think the popularity of things like Zwift’s virtual rides, the Virtual Grand National, ePremier League and Formula 1’s Virtual Gran Prix demonstrates that there is still a massive appetite for live sport. The past few months have had an unprecedented impact on the sporting calendar and I have no doubt that Covid-19 will have an enduring legacy.  

Pinning down exactly what that may be is a fascinating challenge and something we are working on internally. My initial thoughts turn to my own experience and how the lockdown has necessitated rapid adoption of technology. There has been a trend towards using new technology and data science to better engage with audiences, deliver new experiences and become more sustainable, and I believe this trend has been accelerated by the current crisis. I’m pretty excited about the prospect of these new, smarter, and more connected events.  

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