📖 Case Studies

Cutting Down Travel and Boosting Sustainability Efforts: How the Tour of Britain Was Planned in OnePlan

Discover how OnePlan Mapping and Event Planning software ensures the Tour of Britain is a tour-de-force.
Picture by SWpix.com - 06/09/2021 - Cycling - AJ Bell Tour of Britain Stage 2 - Sherford to Exeter, England - Rally Cycling's Robin Carpenter takes victory in Exeter after stage 2 of the Tour of Britain.

The 2022 Tour of Britain breaks away from conventional cycling event mapping and used OnePlan to plan the massive race, saving hundreds of hours in planning, increasing efficiency and boosting sustainability.

Every year, countless volunteers, workers, spectators, 20 teams, and 120 cyclists come together for the Tour of Britain, the United Kingdom’s largest and most prestigious bike event. The Tour of Britain covers 1,352 kilometres (840 miles) over eight stages. The race starts in Scotland and works its way down through England ending at one of the Southern-most points, The Needles on the Isle of Wight.  While the race’s energy is sure to be heart palpitating, the behind-the-scenes planning and infrastructure shouldn’t be. 

Ensuring every logistical detail goes according to plan is SweetSpot, a sports events company supporting Britain’s biggest cycling races. The complex choreography of vendor and vehicle placement, safety protocols, tents, stages, and start and finish lines fall under their command. All of which must be presented in a detailed and structured briefing to professional riders as part of The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race circuit, the world governing body for sports cycling.   

To ensure compliance and adherence to updated UCI 2021 safety regulations, Sweetspot is now using OnePlan, the only dedicated cycling event planning platform. 

The Goal: Plan every 2022 Tour of Britain stage on one intuitive, shareable map.

While there were plenty of software platforms for registration, marketing, and invitations on the market, none were specific enough to provide a shareable visual of event placements with a wide range of stakeholders from a single platform.

Manual processes were time-consuming and added expenses

Before using OnePlan, Rob Kennison, Finish Director for the Tour of Britain since 2012 and a British Cycling Level 2 club and track coach, relied on sketches to designate staging area layouts before scanning and outsourcing them to computer-aided design (CAD) professionals. Some of the most significant drawbacks to relying on CAD designs for the Tour of Britain, however, which until the 2022 race was the standard, were always:

  •         Version control
  •         Standardization
  •         Travel time to stage areas

“I’d have to speak to each authority for each venue DWG file of their local mapping, which is available for the whole country,” says Rob. “Then I’d get our CAD expert to make a map based on my sketches which involved too much back and forth.” 

There’d be numerous changes and last-minute edits, which added to extra costs as every time Rob went back to ask for an edit, there’d be another charge.  “It was time-consuming and expensive. Not ideal.”

In addition, each version looks broadly similar so version control was always an issue. For each PDF, there’s the process to create it, label it and email it to the right people to get their feedback and then start the process of updating over again.

A better way to plan

Fast forward to this year’s Tour of Britain using OnePlan: the map is updated automatically and everyone has access. According to Rob, the learning curve was minimal, requiring no programming knowledge and it more than made up for the costs of outsourcing CAD designs. 

With OnePlan, plans are ready six months in advance, and they’re a ‘living thing’ until the day before the race instead of weeks’ before”

Rob Kennison

Finish Director, SweetSpot

Right now, eight users at SweetSpot are using OnePlan to plan the events and over a hundred contractors and suppliers, including various vendors and stakeholders across numerous organizations are using the event plan in their preparation and installation. In addition to ease of access, 150+ drag and drop cycling-specific icons ensure ease of use for placement of:

  • Tents and bars in the hospitality area or expos
  • Kitchens and refrigerated trucks for the suppliers
  • Fencing
  • Placement of podiums, barriers, and safety measures
  • Layout for expos, meeting spots, and technical finish zones with event control units
  • Mobile units like RVs for meetings and a crew welfare area
  • Parking capacity in confined spaces and VIP areas
  • Camera areas for TV production

A better way to plan

Using OnePlan, Rob and his team not only saved costs but have cut their site visits and travelling in half, which could take seven hours round-trip by car for just one of the seven stages. 

Additionally, where Rob once spent three days on drawings for each stage before incorporating edits, he has refined the process to a day and a half, saving himself almost 300 hours in the process.

OnePlan has also increased the agency’s sustainability efforts in saving them the extra emissions each site visit emits. “Add fuel price and the environmental toll, and it beats travelling in the car for meetings I can just as easily conduct from home while working in OnePlan.”

“A positive is that I can be on a remote team meeting, share my screen and display an item without having to undergo many visits just to measure spaces. I’ve got the item for the podium, I know what size it is, and I can put it onto the OnePlan map to see if it fits the specs, which is a game changer,” iterates Rob. 

When the first cyclist crosses the finish line at the Tour of Britain this year, Rob and his team will already be considering the following year’s event. There are thousands of hours that go into planning an event of this size with multiple stages, hundreds of cyclists, and thousands of attendees, spanning across the UK. It’s become a lot easier with OnePlan. “It’s great knowing all the race-specific facilities are in position for every stage, and we can exceed the newest UCI regulations too.”

Click here to learn more about how OnePlan can improve infrastructure planning for your next cycling event.

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