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How to Plan the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in OnePlan

Thanksgiving parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a cherished tradition that ushers in the holiday season with joy and spectacle. The New York City annual event requires event planners to be highly organized and vigilant when responding to the various challenges that come with parade planning.  

The parade attracts around 3.5 million people from all over the country to experience the magic of street performers, marching bands, elaborate floats, giant balloons, cheerleaders, celebrities, and much more! The 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) route starts at 77th street in Central Park making its way to the Macy’s flagship store on 34th street and lasts around 3 hours. 

Behind the scenes of this iconic event lies an intricate web of planning, safety, crowd management, and coordination. There are many ways OnePlan can make this planning process more streamlined for the event planner of this major event.

Here’s 6 tips on how to plan The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in OnePlan

Parade Balloons

Planning the route

Outlining the route for the Macy’s Parade can be difficult with traditional methods. With OnePlan, parade organizers can plot every turn, stop, and performance area along the route, ensuring that each float, marching band, and balloon has its designated spot. Mark potholes and other road hazards to optimize the performance flow of the event and speed-up event set-up. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

Using the map panning feature, quickly plot event routes. This feature automatically moves the screen to different areas of the map while the user is drawing a line and moving closer to the edge of the screen. It’s important to check with your city council for any road closure regulations, zone planning, and any other ordinances before your event.  

Already have your route mapped out and saved? You can import your GPX file into OnePlan and embed the file into your event plan, making planning road events so much easier than ever before!

Managing large workforces

Large scale events require an immense workforce to successfully execute an event. Determine the appropriate number of stewards and volunteers required for the event with our dot planning feature. 

Easily place multiple workforce workers and infrastructure all in one go with the multi-drop feature. Simply choose your tent or workforce, hold ‘Shift’ and continue clicking to automatically place them onto your event plan one after the other. Instantly see what their What3Words is never second guess where staff and volunteers need to be again! 

Take advantage of the latitude/longitude coordinates of objects on the map to safely and accurately direct staff where infrastructure and event objects should be placed.

Crowd management

Ensuring the safety and comfort of the massive crowds gathered to witness the parade is paramount. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade incorporates around 30 moving floats surrounded by extravagant performers and event attendees. Keeping event goers from entering vehicle and performance zones then becomes one of the biggest challenges to planners. 

Determine how many people can fit in a designated area with OnePlan’s crowd management features. Capacity calculators can chart or map out a precise area and it will calculate the capacity allowed. Keep parade attendees safe by adding a range of different crowd barriers. Map out the space where barriers are needed and OnePlan will automatically calculate the number of barriers needed for your event. By strategically positioning barricades, security personnel, and medical stations, parade organizers can create a secure and enjoyable environment for all attendees.

Vehicle and balloon placement

The heart of the Macy’s parade lies in its enchanting floats and iconic character balloons. With OnePlan, organizers can accurately place each float vehicle and balloon along the route, ensuring optimal spacing and visibility. This precision minimizes congestion and ensures that spectators enjoy an unobstructed view of the captivating displays. 

Choose from a variety of parade related items such as route markers, balloons, accessible parking, participant entrances, workforce, staging areas, traffic lights, and more!

Safety first

Keeping over 3 million parade goers safe in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world can be tricky. Thankfully OnePlan’s security features have been designed in collaboration with former police specialists and security experts specifically for event planners. Plan and implement effective security measures, including high-visibility mobile (HVM) barriers, CCTV coverage, and key-point icons to identify areas that require special attention. Add over 50 objects from our Security Pack, effective in planning safe events, including: police force, security checkpoints, muster locations, credential checks, and more.

Event sharing and management

Coordinating one of New York’s biggest events of the year requires lots of collaboration. After marking road closures, first-aid tents, security checkpoints, barriers and other key elements, it’s time to share your route information. Simply share your event plan in view-only mode with a click of a button. Additionally, export your plans as a PDF and then share or view on any different device or platform. It’s never been easier to collaborate with suppliers, vendors, local authorities, broadcasters and stakeholders!

In OnePlan you can source all the items you need at your event, at the click of a button. Our platform makes it easy to choose the items and quantities, export and send it to suppliers supported by a detailed spreadsheet. The bill of quantities can help event planners identify how many of each element you need, ensuring your vendors have the necessary information and helping you stay within budget. Design your event and order any asset you need, all within OnePlan.

Check out OnePlan for free to discover more features and plan your next event today!

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