Overview

This checklist is a general guide to assist you in planning your event. Each event and venue is unique, so this checklist will not cover every need for every event. We encourage you to both consult with your REC Foundation Manager and use this checklist and the Event Partner section of the REC Library while planning your event. 

Glossary

EP: Event Partner

RE: RobotEvents.com

TM: Tournament Manager

First Steps

Event Planning Stage

  • Review the Event Planning section in the REC Library
  • Create an  Event budget
  • Create an Agenda - Sample Agendas
  • Determine if you will have Judging at your event and whether it will be in person/remote/hybrid; if you will have Judging at your event:
    • Review the Guide to Judging
    • Determine the Judged Awards you will hand out at your event - consult with your REC Foundation Manager
  • Select and reserve the venue for event day and set up the day/night before
  • Create a layout of your venue - consider traffic flow and crowd control when doing so
    • Be sure to include:
      • Scoring table, competition fields, skill fields and queuing tables
        • Include screens and projectors for field timers and Audience Display
      • Pit areas and practice fields
        • Include screens and projectors for Pit Display
      • Check in table and Inspection stations
      • Judges’ deliberation room, volunteer hospitality room
      • Concession stands and accessible audience seating
    • Where do you need stanchions/rope to control access?
    • How will you control traffic to and from fields?
  • Post your event on RE - Posting an Event on RobotEvents.com
  • Determine if/how you will offer food and/or concessions
  • Review the Student Policies (Student Centered Policy and Code of Conduct) 
  •  

Two-to-Three Months Before

Event

  • Confirm your reservation for the venue
  • Review the layout plan with your REC Foundation Manager
  • Create a detailed plan for the concession stand
  • Promote your event with local media, school district, and social media outlets

Equipment

  • Determine how many fields and game element sets you will need
  • Make arrangements to secure fields and game elements (purchase or borrow)
  • Secure electronics needed for the event. This includes, but is not limited to: 
    • Laptop or desktop computer with TM software;* additional computers may be required for larger events*
    • Ethernet port switch
    • Wireless router
    • Printer to use at the scoring table, along with a connector cable, extra toner, and paper
    • Projector and/or screen for an audience display; * additional displays may be required for larger events*
    • Laptops or Raspberry Pis for displays
    • Audio system for announcements and playing match sounds (connected to main TM computer)
    • Mobile devices for scoring
    • Discuss additional equipment needs with your REC Foundation Manager
  • For VRC and VEX U events, confirm you have either VEXnet field controllers or Smart Field Controllers for both the Competition and Robot Skills fields (not needed for VIQC)
  • Order trophies, trophy plates and banners
  • Make arrangements to secure inspection sizing tools

RobotEvents.com

  • Review event listing on Robotevents.com with your REC Foundation Manager, confirm details are correct

Volunteers

  • Invite special guests and sponsors to the event
  • Recruit key volunteers and share volunteer resources and training certifications:
    • Certified Judge Advisor
    • Certified Head Referee
    • Volunteer Coordinator
    • Concessions Coordinator
  • Begin recruiting additional volunteers and share volunteer resources; refer to the Volunteer Staffing Guide for a list of volunteers needed and where to find training resources
  • Order Volunteer shirts (optional)

Additional Items

  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________

One Month Before the Event

Event

  • Reach out to your REC Foundation Manager and discuss any concerns or questions about your event
  • Update/confirm your agenda to guide teams and volunteers through the event day
  • Reserve 2-way radios or establish some other method for event-day staff communication
  • Create a safety plan and share it with local emergency and/or security service providers
  • Coordinate event-day custodial services to keep areas clean and well stocked with paper supplies
  • If playing music, create a playlist that is appropriate for all ages and ensure you have the proper licenses to play selected music
  • Arrange for event photography
    • Share photos/videos with your REC Foundation Manager and your community
  • Promote your event and send out press release(s)

Volunteers

  • Continue to recruit volunteers
  • Ensure your Head Referee and Judge Advisor have completed their volunteer certifications
  • Add your Head Referee and Judge Advisor to your RE event listing
  • Encourage Scorekeeper Referees to read the game manual, watch referee videos and complete the Head Referee certification (optional)
  • Encourage Judges to read the Guide to Judging and complete certification (optional)

Equipment

  • Assemble Field Elements/Game Objects
  • Confirm trophies
  • Confirm all needed equipment (including fields, field elements, electronics, computers, projectors, PA system)

Additional Items

  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________

One to Two Weeks Before the Event

Event

  • Reach out to your REC Foundation Manager and discuss any concerns or questions about your event
  • Confirm all venue details with the venue coordinator
  • Have an emergency contact for the facility in case of emergency or miscommunication
  • Confirm concession stand details

Volunteers

  • Order food and beverages for your setup and event-day volunteers (well cared for volunteers like to volunteer again) 
  • Email volunteers details about the event
  • Confirm volunteers have reviewed the training documents needed for their role
  • Create name tags for volunteers
  • If volunteer T-shirts are ordered, confirm delivery and/or organize shirts

Administration

  • Email registered teams with final event details and any last-minute instructions
  • Purchase and organize supplies: 
    • Pens, self-stick notes, highlighters, paper, stapler, scissors, clipboards, and tape 
    • Gaffers/Wrestling Tape is a great option for walls and floors as it doesn’t leave a residue
    • If using a wireless microphone, purchase extra batteries
  • Create Welcome Packets for each team with pertinent information about the event’s agenda and procedure
  • Print and make copies of Judging Materials; these can be found in the Guide to Judging
    • Guide to Judging – 1 copy
    • Award Descriptions – 1 copy
    • Judge Sign in Sheet – 1 copy
    • Volunteer Field Note to Judges- several copies
    • Judge Note to missed teams – 1 for each 10 teams
    • Field Note to Judges – 1 copy for every 10 teams
    • Engineering Notebook Rubric and Team Interview Rubric – 1 per team
    • Team Interview Notes- 1 per Judge
    • Initial Award Candidate Ranking Sheet– 1 per Judge
    • Final Award Nominee Ranking Sheet- 1 copy
    • Interview Tips and Sample Questions – 1 per Judge
    • Code of Conduct- 1 per Judge
    • Student Centered Policy- 1 per Judge
  • Print and make copies of the following event documents; these can be found in the REC Library - contact your REC Foundation Manager if you need assistance locating them
    • Current Version of the Game Manual – 1 copy for Head Referee
    • Game Manual Robot Skills Appendix – 1 copy for Robot Skills area
    • Score Sheets – if using tablets to score, you only need to print a few in case of connectivity issues; if you are using paper scoring, you’ll need to print enough for all matches including Finals/Eliminations and Robot Skills matches
    • Robot license plate template for teams without official plates– 1 copy
    • Event Meeting Announcements – 1 copy
    • Head Referee Anomaly Log – 1 copy
    • Robot Inspection Sheet – 1 per team if using physical forms, a few in case of issues if you are doing digital inspections
    • Field Reset Diagram – 1-2 copies per field
  • Create and make copies of the following:
    • Event signage
    • Photography and recording notices (if applicable)
    • List of registered volunteers, with cell phone numbers (1 or more copies)

Equipment

  • Confirm equipment including fields, field elements, electronics, computers, projectors, PA system
  • Assemble trophies 

RobotEvents.com/TM

  • Ensure that all event registration fees are paid by reviewing the team registration report on RobotEvents.com and follow up with teams who haven’t paid
  • Create a “Dummy” event in TM to practice using the software and to finalize your event schedule (Note: Do not use your TM or RE codes for dummy events; contact your REC Foundation Manager for any assistance with this critical step)
  • If needed: Update TM as needed on laptops and/or Raspberry Pis

Additional Items

  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________

Day before the Event

Venue Set up

  • Team pit areas with tables, chairs, pit signs 
    • Label team pit tables or spaces in team number order to make pit areas easier to find
    • Signs can be printed from TM under Reports
  • Check-in desk with program fliers, team and volunteer registration lists, pens, containers to collect engineering notebooks
  • Charging stations or power to each pit table
    • Ensure that the charging stations (if used) are set up with power strips and extension cords
  • Inspection Area: Blank Inspection Checklists, pens, sizing tools
  • Queuing Tables (typically one per field) 
  • Judges Room with judging materials
  • Concession Stand: Items to sell and cash for providing change
  • Make that sure all cords are safely secured and are set up outside of high-traffic areas
    • Tape cords down for safety; gaffers or Wrestling Tape is great for this as it doesn’t stick to the floor
  • Post signage, tape, and/or stanchions to direct safe and efficient flow of participants
  • Make sure that the trophies are assembled and displayed in the event area and optional participation or recognition certificates are available for distribution

Volunteers

  • Ensure that supplies are available for volunteers, such as clipboards and pens for referees, highlighters and clipboards for the queue crew, and pens, note pads as needed for Judges
  • Set up a Volunteer break area including snacks and water

Equipment/TM

  • Set up competition, Robot Skills and practice fields
  • Set up scoring table(s) for scoring computer(s), printer, projector, screen, and PA system
  • Test all equipment to ensure that it works properly with TM
    • Print a test page on the scoring printer to ensure the printer driver has been properly installed
    • Make sure that printer paper and an extra toner cartridge are available
    • Test the speakers to ensure match sounds play properly through the PA system or other speakers connected to the main TM computer
    • Test all displays, wireless network, and mobile scoring devices
    • VRC Only: Use TM to test connectivity between scoring computer and VRC game fields to ensure proper driver control and autonomous functions
  • Verify fields are set up correctly according to the Game Manual
    • Test to ensure field elements are fastened to the field, if applicable
    • Have backup game objects on hand  

RobotEvents.com/TM

  • Ensure that all event registration fees are paid by reviewing the team registration report on RobotEvents.com
  • Set up the event in TM using your TM and RE Code found on RobotEvent.com
  • Print from Tournament Manager (under reports tab)
    • Field and pits signs
    • Blank Award Ceremony Scripts for Judges
    • Print final team list for check in table
    • Participation Certificates (optional)

Additional Items

  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________

Day of Event

Before the Event Begins

  • Delegate many activities to key volunteers, you will be busy and you will need assistance
    • Even the best-run events have unforeseen issues come up
    • Try to keep yourself free to solve those problems
  • Unlock the doors and turn on the lights and heating/air conditioning
    • Plan for room temperatures to change as the space(s) fill with participants
  • Open all restrooms, and make sure the restrooms are fully stocked with soap and paper supplies
  • Ensure all parking areas are accessible and signage is posted to direct participants to event check-in
  • Post all banners and event signage to direct participants to their proper event locations
  • Set up snacks and beverages for volunteers to fuel their energy levels for the day
  • Ensure that accessible seating is available
  • Check that the game fields are set up properly
  • Test all audio and visual equipment, such as projector(s), screens, Tournament Manager displays and sounds, and the public-address system to ensure that they are working properly
  • VRC- Test field controls to ensure they are operating correctly
  • Distribute two-way radios, if used, or exchange cell phone numbers among key volunteers

When Teams and Volunteers Arrive

  • Greet your volunteers and teams! Make sure they receive a warm welcome and are directed to the locations for check-in and training meetings. Provide support at the busy check-in tables
  • Greet special guests, sponsors, and members of the media. Share your plan for the event day and direct them to volunteers who can share details about the program and participants
  • Share your event agenda with key volunteers
  • Share the welcome and/or Event Meeting Announcements with presenters
  • Share your safety plan with your key volunteers
  • Ask experienced teams to check game fields to ensure that they are set up properly
  • Collect engineering notebooks at check-in or inspection, and make sure each notebook has an easy to find team number
  • Make sure that all participating teams are registered and have paid their registration fees

Before the Robot Matches and Judging Begin

  • Check with the team registration desk to ensure that all teams have checked in; try to contact teams that are not checked in
  • Use the Team Check-In feature in Tournament Manager to indicate teams that are checked in
  • Once the schedule and list of participating teams is established, regenerating Match Schedule in Tournament Manager, if necessary
  • Check that the Volunteer Coordinator is making adjustments, as needed, due to no-shows
  • Ensure that lead volunteers coordinate any scheduled volunteer training meetings
  • Make sure that all teams have passed or are prepared to pass robot inspection; ask veteran teams to support the efforts of other participating teams to pass inspection
  • Print a copy of the Announcer Sheets for the Emcee from TM Reports
  • Print Match Lists from TM Reports for distribution to each team, queueing staff, Scorekeeper/Head Referees, judging teams, and key volunteers
  • Conduct an Event Meeting prior to the start of the robot matches; use the topics outlined in the Event Meeting Announcements

During the Event

  • Ensure snacks and beverages are available for all volunteers and lunch is provided for full-day volunteers; be sensitive to volunteer dietary restrictions and follow venue food/drink policies
  • Walk around to proactively resolve any issues, answer questions, and provide support
  • Ensure that trash containers are emptied and that the restrooms are clean and well stocked
  • Have the TM Operator periodically save a copy of your event file on a USB flash drive
  • Check with the Judge Advisor to ensure that judging activities are on schedule; provide updated match and skills rankings when appropriate (See Judge Guide)
  • When judging is complete, collect the list of award winners from the Judge Advisor
  • Return engineering notebooks to teams after the judging team has completed their evaluations
  • Have the TM Operator enter the Judged award winners and Auto Fill Winners in TM after the Finals/Elimination Matches have been completed
  • Encourage all teams, volunteers, and sponsors to participate in the awards ceremony, which celebrates the accomplishments of all teams and provides recognition for Judged and performance-based awards
  • Print Award Ceremony Scripts reports located in TM Reports; develop presentation slides for the awards ceremony in TM Slides tab
  • Thank your volunteers, coaches, mentors, parents, and sponsors for their invaluable support

After the Event

  • Verify the Awards winners and Match scores have been entered into TM
  • Create a backup copy of the TM file on a USB flash drive
  • Upload and finalize all TM results to RobotEvents.com 
    • Call your REC Foundation Manager if you experience any errors when uploading the results 
  • Take down all equipment and materials for safe storage and clean the venue, as required
  • Maintain all relevant competition materials until all results have been successfully uploaded
  • Ensure Judge Advisor has collected and destroyed confidential judging materials
  • Establish a plan and a place for participants to pick up lost and found items
  • Send a follow-up message of appreciation to your volunteers
  • Share photos and/or news from the event with the media and your community
  • Reach out to teams and ask for feedback on their experience at your event
  • Reach out to your REC Foundation Manager and share the results of the event

Celebrate your accomplishments! Thank you for your support!