Red Bull Crashed Ice – a soaring success!

This past weekend, I went up north with my family to spend some “quality time” together. Now, what do most people do on weekends like this? Well, aside from the treacherous snowshoe trail my parents took me on to demonstrate their superior fitness, we did one of my favourite past-times: watched TV.

One show in particular that I was interested in watching was the finals for Red Bull Crashed Ice, a truly crazy and completely entertaining event. For those of you who are unaware of what Crashed Ice is, think of speed skating and combine it with elements of bobsledding and tobogganing! This sport is simply out of this world. The skaters race against each other in heats, with the top two progressing to the next race. This may sound pretty simple, until you factor in the fact that the skaters reach speeds of over 50 km/hour!

As I was watching the coverage of the event in awe, I couldn’t help but think of what a challenging job the event planners had in order to create such a successful event. A 535 metre ice-covered course was created through the Quebec landscape, including a series of steps and a steep drop that the skaters raced down. Over 75,000 fans attended the event, cheering on these daring competitors as they raced down the course. That’s a lot of attendees!

On top of all this, the ambiance was right on par—it was exciting, enthusiastic and a lot of fun. The signage was also outstanding: lights were shining everywhere and the Red Bull Crashed Ice logo flashed on the walls of buildings surrounding the track. All of these elements add up to a great job done by these event planners.

The event planning aspect of public relations has had a bit of a double effect on me: on the one hand I am apprehensive of letting myself succumb to the stress involved, but on the other hand, I find it really inspiring and satisfying to see the successful result of all your hard work put on display. I am really starting to get a new appreciation for the event planners out there and beginning to think that being a part of such a team would be a wonderful experience.  I think that being able to see the result in your mind as you are planning really helps in easing the stress and anxiety that may accompany such a task.

I don’t have a lot of event planning experience yet. I was part of a team that helped Gary Schlee run Talk is Cheap back in November—a social media unconference that turned out to be a huge success, attracting around 160 communicators to attend. I have to say, it was great to dabble in event planning right from the get-go and I think after witnessing Crashed Ice, I’m definitely starting to think more about this element of PR.

Did anybody else catch Red Bull Crashed Ice? Any thoughts on the event or event planning in general?

January 30, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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