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How to manage a large scale event during a pandemic


After significant disruption to the sporting calendar in 2020 due to coronavirus, fans, sponsors and athletes are naturally keen to keep the sporting calendar alive in 2021. Hosting a large scale event during a pandemic requires partnership with suppliers that can bring deep understanding and tools to deliver a memorable, but safe event.

Meet Francesca Rigamonti:
Based in Milan, Francesca and team have helped two international sports federations to keep their events on track during the pandemic. Her thirteen years experience delivering events was essential to the success, particularly as the pandemic created unforeseen challenges. Just one of these events represented 28,000 room nights, for 1,300 guests over 40 days. At times if felt like a marathon.

Francesca Rigamonti 

Francesca puts her success down to the variety of roles she’s held in the past:

  • Project management and process orientation from working in engineering.
  • Essential planning skills were learned while working for a consulting company - nothing is left to chance, or without a backup plan.
  • A passion for leadership, mentoring and training were gained as an HR manager.

She believes that in a complex and diverse world, you need a diverse team. She enjoys bringing the necessary skills and talent together for success.

Between January and July 2021, CWT Meetings & Events managed and co-ordinated on-site accommodation and logistics for two major sporting events. In normal circumstances this is a demanding job, but the effort doubled due to Covid restrictions. They didn’t let that stop them … because ‘the show must go on’.

How do they do it?

Step 1 A strong team

01 Employ a strong team

a. Each team member averages 15 years event management experience; essential for managing large scale sporting events.  

b. Used the extended team of CWT when necessary.

c. Technology and data helped to make very quick decisions.  A proprietary event accommodation management tool enables real-time updates of occupancy, reservations and cancellations accessible by both the customer and the CWT event team.

Step 2 Local relationships

02 Develop strong local relationships

a. …not just with the players, coaches and media. The team partnered with all stakeholders - local hoteliers, logistics providers, cultural organizations. The event had to be a success for everyone.

b. During the pandemic, higher protocols and rules were co-managed with local people e.g. a bus driver, providing team transfers, had to be part of a bubble.

Step 3 Stay Agile

03 Stay agile

Conditions were changing daily due to the pandemic. The proprietary event accommodation tool provided real-time reporting for an accurate reflection of hotel use at any time.


Step 4 - Cultivate Resilience

04 Cultivate resilience

Accepting they couldn’t achieve perfection in a high-pressure environment, they focused on the client’s goals and desired outcomes to help prioritize. Teams were organized to provide cover for the period of the event. And most of all they came together as a team.

Step 5 Sustainability

05 Hold event sustainability as a core ethos

CWT Meetings and Events Italy has an ISO accreditation that defines the standards to which the team must comply in order to have an event certified as sustainable from an environmental, social and economic point of view. Additionally, our Platinum medal from Eco Vadis demonstrated our credentials to the sports federations.



Whether you are looking to hold a virtual event, an incentive trip or a conference, CWT Meetings and Events has a solution.

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