Planning for a big audience

Simon Ancliffe, Movement Strategies
Simon Ancliffe, Movement Strategies
The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 will be the biggest public event in Norway since the Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994. This, combined with a brand new ski arena, means that WSC 2011 is now focusing on spectator flow. Leading experts from Britain have been helping.

London-based Movement Strategies is one of the world’s leading consultants in moving large numbers of people in safety and they have carried out advanced computer simulations of the movement of people between the two venues in the new Holmenkollen national arena.

“The simulation has been extremely useful. It gives no final answers, because the figures for how many people will be moving between the venues are based on estimates. But it has given us some clear signals about where we need to go in and look for improvements, now the arena is being used for the first time for the FIS World Cup,” says Jørgen Aass, who is responsible for spectator facilities at WSC 2011.
Actual solutions
Movement Strategies, who are also assisting the 2012 London Olympics, are excited about working with WSC 2011.
“The WSC has a unique spectator challenge, in that it has two venues so close to each other, with events in both of them in rapid succession. The key to a successful event is to integrate all activities in the arena area. There is always room for change and for new solutions ahead of the event,” says Simon Ancliffe, director of Movement Strategies.

For example we can divide tickets into zones, create wider walkways, have more walkways and bridges, fences to direct and redirect the flow of people, information campaigns ahead of the event, clearer signs, information staff in the arena and activities that delay audience movement.
Different scenarios
WSC 2011 is now planning for different spectator scenarios. Many factors will affect ticket sales and the flow of people between the venues, including how well Norway does in the Olympics, the weather and the Norwegian performance in the first round of jumping.