Actavo Events was the main contractor of event infrastructure for the World Meeting of Families, which occurs every three years and in 2018 included a visit from Pope Francis to Ireland. Actavo worked across 22 venues, serving eight different clients, providing services from full project design and management to installation.
Scope of works
The primary venue was the Phoenix Park, Dublin, which was split between internal and external works. For all venues the project scope consisted of elements such as
- Monitoring, tracking and documenting
Phoenix Park Internal
- Nine approach and search areas routes
- Main and secondary congregation area
- Main stage and backstage area
- Media compound
Phoenix Park External
- Nine approach route locations
- Six bus and coach parks
- Four park and rides
- Seven trans-hubs
- Three bike parks
- 65.5km of crowd control barriers
- 31km of Heras fencing
- 82.5km of bunting
- 5,000 demarcation posts
- 4,000m2 of staging
- 1 media bridge
- 19 media platforms
- 20 camera platforms
- 40 PA towers
- 5 screen support structures
- 7 entrance gantries
- 1km of drape
- 500 flags and flagpoles
- 3km aluminium roadway
- 3,000 traffic cones
- 12,000 m2 of pedestrian trackway
- 2 media structures
- 4,000 grandstand seats
- Supported by the core Events Division, a main PMO and two secondary PMOs were responsible for full project delivery, including design, resource allocation, budget control, procurement, delivery, completion and close out. The PMO office managed all the accreditation, accommodation, catering and logistics for the project team.
- Actavo’s Major Event Project Management Plan is an end-to-end, adaptable tool which allowed the team to identify all the necessary deliverables and related timelines, which were monitored and communicated daily during internal project meetings.
Actavo’s safety management system ensured the team was prepared for a large event. This was complemented by a wide range of method statements and risk assessments, issued in advance of work at the various locations. Daily conference calls were held to ensure managers were aware of key activities / progress. Safety-management systems included audits, inspections, risk assessments, method statements, work plans and monitoring of safety statistics throughout the project. Actavo teams worked approximately 15,000+ manhours and delivered the project injury-free.
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Actavo’s attendance was required at all statutory meetings, where a clear line of communication with all stakeholders was established. Through Actavo’s Organisational Design each client was allocated a primary and secondary point of contact. A project meeting calendar was implemented with an agreed agenda during planning, installation and de-rig phases of the project. During this process Actavo was able to value engineer elements of the project to the benefit of clients.
Procurement and supply chain management
Actavo worked with over 70 suppliers and utilised nearly 170 crew and site management. The centralised PMO office was in constant contact with teams to be able to instantly act on ad-hoc requirements.
Solutions to challenges
Actavo worked with 50+ stakeholders, such as venue owners, blue light services, from HSE to ambulance services, as well as transportation. Each stakeholder was allocated a primary and secondary point of contact. A project meeting calendar ensured there was an agreed agenda for the lifecycle of the project.
Planning & logistics
- The Phoenix Park was a live venue until two days before the event. The park has its own annual events, maintenance programme, daily customers as well as a zoo and wildlife. Due to this, Actavo dealt with every area in isolation and used rolling road closures to make sure works did not interfere with the everyday running of the park. Actavo secured each zone, carried out the installation and secured the zone again, working more than 120 individual work zones.
- Actavo carried out regular stock management and control to make sure the team had enough stock on site to carry out work but not so much as to take up valuable park space.
- Actavo managed 22 venues in isolation but they also had to fit into the bigger event plan. The project organisational chart made sure there were no personnel clashes or overloading of team members.
Benefits to client
- Health & Safety: Despite managing 70 suppliers, the team made sure the standard remained consistent across the lifecycle of the project and delivered it safely.
- Quality: Actavo delivered an international project on behalf of team Ireland, supported by its trading partners in Layher, ZND and Prolyte.
- Value for money: NetSuite, which manages the project budget and stock requirements in real-time, allowed Actavo to create an individual project for each venue so they had their own P&L, build management plan and resource requirement feeding into the overall project management plan, allowing Actavo to manage a daily action log. Tight financial controls ensured the project remained cashflow positive throughout.
- Communication: Excellent reporting of Good Catches maintained.
“I have a 25+ year working relationship with the principles and team at Actavo, which assisted in overcoming all the challenges we faced in delivering this project across multiple locations including Croke Park and The Phoenix Park. While each venue had its individual challenges and operating conditions to overcome, the Actavo team delivered an unrivalled service within the project’s tight timelines. Throughout the project lifecycle the Actavo team were an essential member of the overall planning team, utilising their stakeholder relationships and management skills to ensure all deliverables were achievable.”
Padraic Boran, Project Director MCD
Padraic BoranProject Director MCD