OLYMPICS & MAJOR EVENTS

Notodden Blues Festival

In March 2015, David sat with Espen Fjelle (Director of the European Blues Centre) in a coffee shop in Oslo. Espen knew that David had worked with Little Steven for years, and that since the show 'Lilyhammer' was ended its 3-year run that Steven Van Zandt would be leaving Norway.


"Can you ask Little Steven to come to the Notodden Blues Festival?"


Steven did come to the Festival in 2015, then returned again in 2016 to found the 'Little Steven's Blues School' and again in 2017 to perform with his Disciples of Soul and to continue with the 'Bluestown Rising' documentary.


David's role in this 30-year festival has been small, but important. As part of the team, this year the festival broke all records with 25,000 tickets sold and 40,000 visitors to the different events.


The Notodden Blues Festival is poised for an exciting future with increased international attention, the development of the Bluestown Rising documentary, the growth of Little Steven's Blues School and the continued efforts of the many hundreds of volunteers and staff that have helped this festival grow to become one of the most respected in the world.

2016 Youth Olympic Games

Back in 2010, David was contacted by the The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) and was asked to undertake the writing of bid documentation for the 2016 Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games.


Then on December 7, 2011 the good news came down that the International Olympic Committee had named Lillehammer, Norway, as the host city of the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2016.


Planning work began then, and during 2012 and 2013 David was involved  marketing and branding. As the organization grew - with the average age of employees only in their 20s - David had to let the YOGOC go - for the time being.


As  the Opening Ceremony neared, David was contacted once more and then following the successful staging of the 2016YOG, David was asked to write the English version of three separate final reports:

  • Final Report to the IOC
  • Report to the Ministry of Culture, 
  • Transfer of Knowledge report on behalf CEO  Thomas Holmestad 

The link to the 133 page Final Report

Olympic Bids

During the past 20 years David has been involved in numerous bids for major events, both as bidder and as evaluator on behalf of the 'owner'.


David has been involved in bids since the year 2000, including the Gothenburg Bid for the 2006 European Althetics Championships, the 2014 and 2018 Lillehammer Olympic bids, the 2022 Oslo Olympic bid and the successful bid for the 2016 Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games. 

 

Critical for any bid committee:

  • Experienced and clean communication, written, verbal and presentations
  • Engage the enthusiasm of the people - without it you will go nowhere (note Oslo2022!)
  • good coordination with cities, business, sport, culture, financial, political stakeholders
  • Coordination with the country's NOC, the IOC and the regional and national governments.
  • Excellent budget and logistic experience and planning.

In July 2017 the IOC approved simplified  bid measures, reducing costs. The Invitation Phase has been extended to 1 year, starting in 9/2017, and the Candidature Phase shortened to 1 year, starting from 2018. 

2013 Global Talent Week, Oslo Norway

The Global Talent Week was at its height in 2013, with both the Oslo Concert Hall (Oslo Konserthus) and the newly refurbished Ingeniørenes Hus as venues.


At the time, Norwegian companies were facing an acute competence gap, and combined with increasily global labour markets made the need for this event relevant to stimulate future-focused mindset and cultural competence.


The week-long event included a 2-day Global Mobility Forum reviewing questions as Global Mega Mobility trends as well as highlighting governmental  immigration criteria.


This was preceeded by the Global Talent Career Fair (Oslo Concert Hall), attended by nearly 2,000 highly educated young professionals..


David was the Project Director for the Global Talent Week, primarily relying on a volunteer staff of 50 Masters students from the University of Oslo, the University College of Oslo & Akershus, and the Norwegian School of Management (BI)

2007 NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting

Practical NATO-Russia cooperation, missile defence, and the CFE treaty were the three main issues discussed by Foreign Ministers at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Oslo, 26 April, 2007.


The NATO-Russia Council meeting was part of a two-day  meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Oslo, 26-27 April 2017 and included such dignitaries as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice together with an entourage of nearly 200. 

Working together with the Ministy of Foreign Affairs and my long time colleage Torunn Steinhaug, I was responsble for developing a 10-day 'screenplay' for the run up and staging of the event.


David's  responsbilities included a full day simulation with different organizations involved that included the Ministries, the city of Oslo, the National Police Security Service and others.

European Athletics Championships

Together with Jomar Selvaag and Lillehammer Consulting Group, we worked closely with Gothenburg in bidding for the 2006 European Athletics Championship implementing communication strategies that developed during several workshops beginning in February 2000.


When Gothenburg was announced as the winner in Frankfurt in October 2000, David continued as a mentor for the leader group, developing the Master Plan and budgets. 


Later,d uring the Venue Transition Phase in 2004-05,  2005 David created a Simulation Workshop for the entire organization (including key volunteers) that was well-received and helped the Organization Committee prepare for operative event activities.


During the 2006 European Athletics Championships themselves, David was present as an observer, coordinating with the Leader Group during the event.

World Lottery Association Global Events

From our creation of a million dollar sponsor program in 2000, David worked with General Secretary Yvonne Schnyder and long-time colleague Torunn Steinhaug to grow the Swiss-based WLA to an organization that at its height had nearly 150 governmental lottery members.


Each year, a major event was held on a different continent. We were involved in all aspects of planning, from the choice of the city to budget to planning and finally, staging of the event.

 
Together with the TS Forum team, we created, organized and staged these annual global industry events:

  • 2001 Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
  • 2002 Adelaide, Australia
  • 2003 Granada, Spain
  • 2004 Durban, South Africa
  • 2005 Merida, Mexico
  • 2006 Singapore

1998 Asian Games Bangkok

Together with Lillehammer Consulting Group partners Petter Ronningen, Sigmund Thue and Jomar Selvaag, the team made a series of trips to Bangkok in order to assist the Bangkok Asian Game Organizing Committee with preparations.


The Asian Games are actually larger that the Summer Olympic Games with 376 events in 36 sports compared to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games with 300 events in 28 sports - so this was a complex assignment, especially given the cultural difference.


One highlight of preparation was a workshop staged several months before the Games, attended by 100 of the key leadership in the organizing committee, including Thailand's Finance Minister.


David's focus was primarliy on event-support areas such as ticketing and other logistics areas.

1996 Atlanta Centennial Summer Olympics

Following the conclusion of the 'Best Games Ever' in Lillehammer 1994, David was recruited by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as Ticketing Manager with areas of responsibilities that included:

  • Distribution of 8 million Olympic tickets with a value of over 200 million USD
  • Distribution of tickets to Special Groups that included Sponsors, Official Suppliers, National Olympic Committees and others
  • Planning Main Ticket Center operations  
  • Training and management of over 100 employees and volunteers
  • Operation of Main Ticket Center activities that included logistics activities within the 'Olympic Ring', sales of tickets to the public, security related to ticket activities, HR, etc.

Please note that this information is also included in the 'Olympics & Major Events' section.

The XVII Lillehammer Winter Olympics

David joined the LOOC (Lillehammer Olympic Organization Committee) in 1990 as Ticketing Director, the first in a department that would eventually number over 100 employees and volunteers during the Olympics. As Ticketing Director, David's tasks included:

  • Developing ticket price and sales policies for all customer groups
  • Development of the ticketing system that could manage 1.2 million Olympic tickets
  • Establishment of the Customer Service Center
  • Marketing, sales and distribution of all tickets
  • Establishment of the Main Ticket Center
  • Supervising all Games-time ticketing activities at 11 different venue.

Called the 'Best Games Ever' by the IOC President Juan Samaranch, the Ticketing Department set a record for sales (88%) that stands to this day.