A flawless draw, perfect lighting, good video and a successful broadcast are all key elements for the organizers of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa League Conference group stage draws, and as this article by Engelbert Strauss confirms, creating the right atmosphere behind the scenes helps a lot.
This season’s draws for the Thursday night club competitions took place on August 26 in Istanbul. UEFA events expert Joanna Greene was tasked with overseeing operations in Turkey, taking into account the needs of officials in the broadcast centre. His style ? “Try to be calm and relaxed, but also very open and welcoming. The main thing is to make sure that we are able to keep our commitments and that we are not panicked. »
Preparation of the venue for this season’s draws began seven days before the ceremony itself. “We set up our armature and then our decor, brought in our furniture, and started putting up all kinds of lights and screens,” says Greene. “Then we brought in our cameras and our trucks to run the OB van and once that was all over we were able to set everything up as part of a rehearsal. »
“The first rehearsal is always a technical rehearsal. It is relatively difficult. We stop and leave. We use stunt doubles for our guests and somehow try to put it all together visually for the TV director. »
The draw guests, and presenter Adriano Del Monte, only get a chance to rehearse on the morning of the draw, once all the teams are known, though Greene makes sure there is enough time for a rehearsal before the actual staging of the ceremony.
Adrenaline is pumping everywhere on draw day, but the secret to a successful event for Del Monte is staying relaxed. “I really like the excitement of being live,” says the Italian-Australian reporter. “I like to bring my very cold and calm approach to everything I do. That’s who I am as an individual and I like to convey that when I present. »
The team organizing the event has the experience and expertise to make it all work.
Greene: “The technical team has been working on this event for a number of years now, and we’re lucky enough to get together once a year and do these draws. And it’s really important for the success of the team that we know each other and we’re really happy and happy to be here… and already looking forward and looking forward to next year’s one”.
“Teamwork brings the dream to life,” adds Del Monte. “You have experts from all kinds of fields, from all kinds of backgrounds, from different countries, from different cultures, and that’s a beautiful thing in football. »
The draws mark the start of the two competitions proper, and the team in Istanbul were delighted with the success once the cameras were switched off. As Del Monte says, “Hopefully at the end of the show, (everyone is) smiling and the draw went well. That’s what I really enjoy doing: seeing the people around me having fun and having a good time”.