5.06.2013

Quidditch World Cup VI: The Lead-up

I've struggled getting to this post (which has subsequently turned into four posts) because I was too busy to take pictures, there is so much to tell (because I've completely failed to even mention quidditch on my blog yet) and I hate having long posts with limited images. But, the 2013 Quidditch World Cup was too epic to leave out, so here we go.


Over Christmas Taylor and I met up with some of my high school friends at La Vics and Nadia mentioned she was volunteering with the International Quidditch Association's world cup. Let me stop here: Yes, the magical sport from the Harry Potter books. Read my breakdown of the non-magical quidditch sport if you missed it.


Because the event was happening close to where I live (Kissimmee, just next to Orlando), she said I should volunteer. Assuming I would be a day-of volunteer, I got online and started poking around the site, only to stumble on the position of Hospitality Director. Apparently the original director's team qualified for the event so he had to back out of the position. I applied, had a Skype interview, received a "You're Hired!" email that evening and the next night I was back on Skype for my first meeting.



When you're thrown into an upper-level management position half-way through the planning process of a major event, with an organization you know nothing about, you tend to feel like you're drinking from the world's largest fire hydrant. Luckily, the entire World Cup Organizing Team (WCOT) was amazing. When I say "amazing" I mean I go through withdrawals every Thursday night because we no longer have our weekly meetings.


The Responsibilities

My team was split into three sections: Teams, Guests, Entertainment. Let me just take a second and say I could not have asked for a better team. They were hard working, easy to communicate with, and they made the entire process fun. Seriously, I got so lucky.

Teams – Registering teams and organizing player rosters; check teams in to the event; communicate with teams; coordinate travel and accommodations.

Guests – Ticket sales; plan and coordinate VIP everything; guest experiences.

Entertainment – Plan, book and support our non-sport entertainment.

Kidditch – Kid-sized quidditch for attendees.


The Arrival
 
I drove down to Kissimmee (just outside of Orlando) on the morning of Thursday 4/11. Let me just say, I understand why toll roads exist, but I hate them with a passion. I would much rather pay taxes than pay tolls. I was so pissed off after my third toll stop in ten miles I swore them off for the rest of the weekend.


Anyway, the whole shebang took place at Austin Tindale park, which was great, apart from the 30 minute drive from our hotels. We spent the day getting all the general set-up and organizing done.

Pretty much everyone already knew each other, so it was kind of like being the +1 to the popular kid's high school reunion. Only one person knew me beforehand, but I was immediately accepted.

There's something unique and very distinct about quidkids. They are quidditch and Harry Potter nerds and that passion drives them to volunteer hundreds of hours in developing the sport and the league. It pays off. The event was wildly successful behind the scenes and we heard lots of positive feedback from players and guests alike.


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