Introduction

Event Partners (EPs) are the core of the REC Foundation competition programs and we are very grateful for your interest in becoming an integral part of our community. EPs' passion and involvement grow and sustain events and, in many cases, grow and sustain the teams themselves.

The REC Foundation is a non-profit organization that partners with VEX and EPs to support robotics events and initiatives aimed to inspire and motivate students to excel in STEM education. Each entity in this partnership contributes a vital role in providing fun and positive learning experiences through robotics events.

Event Partner Role

The EP acts as the coordinator of a planning team that organizes VEX IQ Robotics Competition (VIQRC), VEX V5 Robotics Competition (V5RC), VEX U Robotics Competition (VURC), or VEX AI Robotics Competition (VAIRC) tournaments, leagues, scrimmages, and/or workshops. The EP is the leader who acts as the liaison between the REC Foundation and the planning team that runs an event. The key tasks are date and site selection, budget development, volunteer recruiting and management, volunteer training, team communication, event execution, uploading event results, and follow-up. The EP must be an adult (18+) who is not currently a member of a high school VEX Robotics Competition team. As a leader, the EP is expected to exemplify the REC Foundation Code of Conduct in planning and running events. EPs can set an example for all students and mentors to follow.

REC Foundation Support Role

Regional Support Managers (RSMs) are REC Foundation staff that support VEX Robotics Events and VEX teams in a designated region. RSMs work with EPs in their region to plan the event schedule for the season and train new EPs. RSMs for each region can be found on RobotEvents.com/support. Some regions also have Regional Support Specialists (RSS) who are REC Foundation staff that provide event day support under the guidance of an RSM.

As an EP, you can expect the following support from the REC Foundation and your RSM in the robotics event planning and hosting process:

  • Provide training and event planning resources.
  • Provide documentation necessary to run events. These include but are not limited to Game Manuals, Referee Guide, Judge Guide, EP Guide, and Qualifying Criteria. These documents and more are searchable in the REC Foundation Library.
  • Communicate the process for becoming an EP and enabling your RobotEvents.com account with the EP Role.
  • Review and approve events posted on RobotEvents.com.
  • Communicate the qualification criteria for events and how this process applies to your event.
  • Provide regular check-ins prior to the event to ensure readiness, and follow-ups after the event to verify uploaded results and acquire feedback.
  • In certain cases, provide in-person event day support (RSM or RSS). If in-person support is not available, your RSM will be available by phone.
  • Assistance with event management on RobotEvents.com prior to and following the event day.

Becoming an Event Partner

If you are interested in becoming an EP, please complete these steps:

  • Contact your Regional Support Manager (RSM). Your RSM will explain the requirements, show resources available to you, and connect you to the community of other EPs.
  • Request EP account permissions on RobotEvents.com. Create an account on RobotEvents.com (if you don’t already have one) and provide your RSM with your User ID. This allows your RSM to update your account status to “Event Partner” so you can create and manage events as well as get future EP communications and offerings.
  • Complete the REC Foundation EP Certification. The Event Partner Certification Course is an online training tool to prepare EPs for hosting VIQRC, V5RC, VAIRC, and VURC events. The certification is accessible as a free resource for new and experienced EPs.
  • Post your event on RobotEvents.com. Work with your RSM to post your event on RobotEvents.com. More information on how to post an event is included in the article Posting an Event on RobotEvents.com.
  • Complete a background check in RobotEvents.com. The REC Foundation’s top priority is the safety of its volunteers, staff, students, and entire community. In the best interest of our students, and for the safety of everyone participating in REC Foundation events, all EPs in the United States are required to undergo a criminal background check that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Background checks are completed as part of posting your event in RobotEvents.com and are valid for three years. Click here for full instructions for this background check. Additional information about the background check process is available in the EP Background Check FAQ article. 
  • Gain EP experience. It is highly recommended that EPs attend and volunteer at an event to learn more about the event planning and execution process prior to managing their own event. Your RSM can suggest events in your area to attend, and can connect you with an experienced EP.

Initial Factors to Consider

Your EP journey starts with the decision to host an event. When making this decision there are many factors to consider, including the following:

  • Is there a need for an event? This should start with a discussion with the RSM for the event region. They can recommend what types of events are needed and when it may be best to host the event to provide the best opportunities for teams.
  • Do you have resources from additional people associated with your program? You cannot do this alone! Hosting an event requires volunteer support during the event planning process and on the day of the event. Consider identifying volunteer and funding resources from your organization, community, and team parents.
  • Do you have access to the equipment to support an event? A basic list of equipment is reviewed in the Venue Selection and Planning article, and your RSM will review the equipment needs with you. One the first tasks undertaken in the planning process is to ensure your organization will have access to the needed equipment since it may determine your event capacity, venue, and budget.
  • Do you have an available venue? Events can be held in a variety of venue types, but the most common is a school gym or common area. Since many venues are used by multiple organizations, it’s recommended that the venue is reserved prior to posting your event on RobotEvents.com. It is highly recommended to also reserve the venue the day or night before the event for setup. Ensure the venue is available for at least 4-6 hours the day before the event for setup and equipment checks.
  • Do you have the time to engage in this project? Events are a great way to support your organization’s robotics program and provide a fun opportunity for students, but they do take several months of planning. Please ensure your organization has the resources and time to adequately plan for the event. This will make the experience easier for your event staff and provide a quality experience for teams.

Commitment to Event Excellence

The intent of the REC Foundation Commitment to Event Excellence (CEE) is to communicate the partnership and expectations between the REC Foundation and EPs with the ultimate goal of providing teams with quality and uniform competition experiences throughout our programs. This agreement is between the REC Foundation, the RSM who provides support for the event region, and the EP who posts the event on RobotEvents.com.

During the event posting process, there is a required section to review and agree to the CEE before the event can be approved. If you have any questions or concerns about the expectations included in the CEE, please contact your RSM.

You can review the full contents and expectations of the Commitment to Event Excellence in this article in the EP Reference Material section of the REC Library.