So, the 2022 International Festival of Athletics Coaching was a success or not?
Personally, I was really concerned about coming back on site after almost four years: will coaches come to Padova to attend it? Or, after two years of cheap online event (including IFAC 2021), they will stay at home choosing the online registration? Have we enough time to organise an on site event after deciding to go with a hybrid formula only in July?
Well, with more than 130 coaches attending in person, now I think I can say that my concerns were not founded: I am really happy for this outcome so, thank you to all the coaches I met in Padova but thanks to all those who attended online too.
However, we did a lot of mistakes. But that’s why we also learned a lot and all the things we learned will be useful for the next years, when Padova will host IFAC again.
First mistake: no transportation service. We had no time to build a transportation service for staff, speakers and participants so we had to manage them on the fly with taxis or personal cars. This was also a huge cost for EACA but, mostly, a discomfort for the coaches. We now know this and we have enough time to setup a proper transportation service next year.
Second mistake: not really prepared for a hybrid event. Having fully online events like IFAC 2021 was relatively easy: every speaker, every staff member and every participant is seating at its own desk, with its own device, presenting by sharing its screen. But a hybrid event is completely different: a deep connection with the audio and video systems of the venue is needed, otherwise the experience for the people attending remotely may be not good, especially for the audio. But, also, streaming on Zoom a presentation is different from streaming people in motion like athletes demostrating dynamic exercises: Zoom auto-tunes the resolution of the video and if the rate of motion to capture is too high, it lowers the resolution.
In some way, we predicted that we may have trouble managing for the first time a hybrid event. We also thought to look for a professional service, but its cost would be really high. That’s why we decided for a so low price compared to the quality and the quantity of the IFAC 2022 programme. Again, we learned a lot from this experience and we’re confident we will provide a great streaming conference next year.
That said, I really enjoyed every moment in Padua, from the presentation of our great speakers to the practical sessions and Saturday dinner all together. For me it was an opportunity to meet some old friends and make new ones. It was also an opportunity to raise my esteem for some speakers. Let me spend a word on Laurent Meuwly, an incredibly successful coach, always willing to share his knowledge and experience with everyone, no matter if a world-class or a club coach, with no fear of “revealing his secrets”. We need more coaches like him.
Thank you to Domenico di Molfetta and Francesco Uguagliati for the incredible support from FIDAL and FIDAL Veneto: really appreciated!
Thanks to all the speakers, the moderators and the Palaindoor staff in Padova for the technical and logistic support and the delicious coffee breaks.
Last but not least, a big hug to all my friends in the EACA staff, starting from Frank (so as not to sin of lese majesty…), Gaga, Rebecca, Sena, Jimson and Shaun, but also Cinzia, Laura, Jacques and Lance for their incredible contribution!
Today, we are releasing the first recordings taken in Padova. If you are an EACA Pro Member, you can find them in the IFAC Videos Archive.
If you’re not but you attended to IFAC 2022, you will receive the instructions on how to watch them with a newsletter message.
I hope to see you all (and more) in Padua next year, November 3 -5)!