As we approach the half term of 2009, and the AGM in Las Vegas, your Bureau thought it would be helpful to bring
you all up to date on the work we did in 2008 and our future activities with regards to our relationship with the FEI,
WEG 2010 and the London Olympics.
Our involvement with the Equestrian Company in Hong Kong and the Beijing organising Committee started in 2005. We approached them with a commitment to ensure provisions for the media were top notch for the 2008 Games. Using our collective experience of most recent Games in Sydney and Athens, what worked and what did not work, we were able to be constructive and proactive. The Equestrian Company did listen to us, but were not always able to move forward as quickly and as much as we would have liked, mainly owing to constraints imposed by BOCOG.
Nevertheless, the IAEJ did achieve some significant successes. We were instrumental in reducing the original outlandish cost for internet use proposed by BOCOG. Originally they were going to charge us more than they were charging in the MPC in Beijing! Our objection was strenuous and reasoned and after much too-ing and fro-ing at least we all had the same deal, although we wished it had been less expensive. We owe thanks to Candy Burnyeat, the interim communications director at the FEI during this time, for her help in this matter. Other successes include the installation of TV monitors in the Mixed Zone, covered stands and a relatively quick and easy access route to and from the MZ and our seats in the stands. While these may seem small matters they were essential to a purposeful working environment.
Our thanks also to the very efficient Olympic Equestrian Venue Press Officer Anja Krabbe who did a brilliant job and was kind throughout; and to Mark Pinkstone who looked after the media from the very beginning and was a helpful administrator.
Following our AGM in Hong Kong the FEI invited us to write to them with a proposal about how our two organisations could work better together. You can see our letter on the website. We did not actually receive a formal response from the FEI but the new communications manager Richard Johnson has been in contact. He appears keen to move things forward, and involve us more but he has not yet defined in which way. We look forward to hearing what he has to say at the forthcoming sub-AGM in Las Vegas.
Bureau members were all invited by Richard Johnson to contribute their thoughts on Communications prior to the meeting of the FEI Anti-Doping and Medication Commission (chaired by IOC Medical Commission Chairman and WADA Vice President Arne Ljungqvist) in Lausanne, the first week in March. They met to collate the recommendations from the working groups, Communications being one of them, and hopefully our input was considered and points such as — issuing press releases late on Friday, not being available to callers (how many times have you heard Ã¢â?¬Å?in a meetingÃ¢â?¬Â or Ã¢â?¬Å?out of the officeÃ¢â?¬Â?), and not answering queries with alacrity — are taken seriously. We shall see.
You will be pleased to know that we are already working with the London 2012 Organisers. Both Alan Smith and Pamela Young attended meetings before Christmas for journalists and photographers organised by Jayne Pearce, Head of Press Operations for 2012. She wanted feedback on Beijing and suggestions on how London could equal and improve. To avoid the situation which arose in Hong Kong of Ã¢â?¬Å?internet overloadÃ¢â?¬Â I suggested that there should be two tiers of service and possibly two separate channels for journalists and photographers with appropriate charges commensurate with usage.
Kit Houghton, Alan Smith and I have a meeting scheduled at Greenwich Park with equestrian venue manager Tim Hadaway to discuss media requirements. Unfortunately by April 1 we still had no definite date from LOCOG. This may be owing to the strenuous ongoing campaign launched by local residents against the use of Greenwich for the Olympic Equestrian Events. NOGOE (No to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events) have a list of problems with the proposed Olympic site including legal, legacy and environmental issues. For more information please see the
NOGOE website: ww.nogoe2012.com
Chris Stafford continues to work with the organisers on media requirements and the organisersÃ¢â?¬â?¢ responsibilities in this sphere. We understand that there have been responses from media management companies to the Request for Proposals to provide media services for the WEG. We expect a full update from both Chris and the WEG team at the sub-AGM in Las Vegas.
2009 European Championships
If members would like to meet formally during the Jumping and Dressage European Championships at Windsor I am sure Simon Brooks-Ward and his team will be able to accommodate that. Please let any of us know after the Las Vegas AGM has been reported on this website if you feel a similar meeting needs to take place during the Europeans and we will set that up. In the meantime please note that we have posted the link for Media Accreditation.
We look forward to seeing all members lucky enough (?) to be going to Las Vegas to report on the World Cup Finals at our meeting on Friday, April 17.
Anyone attending the four star Rolex Kentucky event at Lexington should know that both Chris Stafford and Xavier Libbrecht will be in attendance should you like to speak to them directly on any of the subjects covered at the AGM in Las Vegas or on any other matters of concern.
For and On behalf of the IAEJ Bureau,
AGM Order of Business
Ã¢â?¬Â¢ Kit Houghton – IT review (10am Ã¢â?¬â?? 10:15)
Ã¢â?¬Â¢ LOCOG meeting/venue update (10:15 Ã¢â?¬â?? 10:30)
Ã¢â?¬Â¢ WEG media committee and venue update (10:45 – 11:00)
Ã¢â?¬Â¢ FEI – Richard Johnson with an updated on FEI and communication activity and Q&A (11:00 Ã¢â?¬â?? 11:15)
Ã¢â?¬Â¢ WEG presentation and Q&A (11:15 Ã¢â?¬â?? 11:35)