Two years of preparation, a 24/7 booking team on call for three weeks, an account manager based in the Asian Football Confederation’s Sydney HQ plus a group of more than 25 travel professionals to manage the daily schedule - this and more were all part of Stage and Screen’s game plan for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Every four years, the AFC Asian Cup brings together the best of Asia’s football teams for a 3½ week feast of world-class football. Australia played host nation to this year’s event, 9 - 31 January, with games played at stadiums in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle. In an historic grand final, the Socceroos claimed the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in a thrilling 2-1 victory over South Korea. The event attracted thousands of international spectators and media commentators to Australia, who came to soak up the sport at its finest.
From a travel perspective the AFC Asian Cup requires meticulous planning in advance. As a specialist in managing large-scale international sports events, Stage and Screen knows what makes successful game play and what doesn’t.
- managing the on-the ground logistics across different cities for an extended period
- managing the air travel, ground transportation and accommodation arrangements for over 500 people at any one time
- negotiation of group domestic airfares and accommodation with flexible conditions for cancellations
- large volumes of last minute travel changes.
Stage’s game plan
As the preferred travel provider for the AFC Asian Cup, Stage managed the travel and logistics for the 16 competing teams plus game officials, delegates, guests and VIPs.
Stage also coordinated the freight and oversaw the coordination of volunteers at airports and hotels where AFC groups visited during the tournament. Prior to the AFC Asian Cup, Stage developed a national roster to ensure personnel were stationed at arrival, departure and accommodation points to tie in with the match schedule.
Stage also appointed:
- a team of 4 travel managers who worked a 24/7 rotating roster to manage all bookings. Travel managers watched every game to ensure seats and hotel rooms were held in advance for teams going through to each new round.
- a team of more than 25 travel professionals to man airports and hotels. This team specifically assisted in the coordination of daily run sheets in all locations.
- an account manager who was stationed at the AFC Asian Cup tournament main operations centre.
Stage built an online travel portal for the overseas media contingent attending the AFC Asian Cup. The portal allowed reporters to book discount accommodation during their stay in Australia.
Airports and hotels
As well as being the key contact for up to 80 volunteers based at airports and hotels each day, Stage was also on hand for airport meet-and-greets with the AFC delegation in all 5 cities. At each airport Stage facilitated group check-ins, liaised with airport security for clearances, coordinated with Australian Federal Police for VIPs requiring security services and arranged special parking permits for AFC delegates. Stage also organised airport lounge check-ins and priority boarding for VIPs.
At each hotel AFC Asian Cup groups stayed in, Stage had personnel on the ground for meet and greets, group check-in and check-outs. The Stage team also liaised with hotel management at each property.
On the road
Ground transport for groups in each city involved the coordination of a range of vehicles including coaches, limousines, VIP transfers for the transportation of groups to and from airports, hotels, matches and other events.
When it comes to managing large group bookings, mass last minute bookings, VIP travel, supplier negotiations and locking in competitive travel rates with flexible cancellation terms - the Stage and Screen team is well rehearsed in the art of sports travel management.
Offering groups experience, on-the-ground support and specialised travel industry knowledge - there is no better travel management company than Stage and Screen to have on your team!
"Logistically, the AFC Asian Cup is a complex event that requires a well-planned and multi-layered approach to managing the travel requirements for the different groups involved. The Stage and Screen team working on the AFC Asian Cup provided critical support for our in-house travel team. The work they did to organise the domestic travel for the event in the lead-up months as well as the around-the-clock support Stage put in during the event, was outstanding and helped to take the pressure off our guys who were already flat-out. During the event they made themselves available at all locations and put in the hours to make sure it all ran smoothly and without any hiccups. Their hard work and collaborative approach to helping us was greatly appreciated." - Scott Muir Head of Travel and Accommodation Services