Speaker Shares Lessons From 2002 Winter Games

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As a member of the Board of Trustees for the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee and executive director of Utah's Park City Chamber of Commerce, Bill Malone lent his expertise as part of the RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speakers Series in 2006.

During his speaking tour to Vancouver, Nanaimo, Surrey, and Vernon, Malone shared his 2002 Winter Games experiences where he hosted a media centre, activated volunteers for Visitor Services, and prepared 850-member business organization for the Olympic and Paralympic event.

Malone spoke of dispelling myths prior to the Games with regards to construction-related obstacles, traffic, ticket pricing, and accessibility to amenities. He noted many visitors who thought they would be unable to get last-minute tickets were pleasantly surprised.

He also stressed the importance of cultivating Goodwill Ambassadors within the community, citing Salt Lake City's Survival Guide as an example. The booklet, produced for local businesses, ensured they had necessary resources at their fingertips, including language tips, currency, and ways to direct customers to Olympic venues. Ongoing dialogue between local business and the Organizing Committee ensured the community remained engaged and informed.

Malone pointed to RBC's connection with Vancouver businesses, noting those in Salt Lake City lacked an official financial resource to help them capitalize on the Games. He encouraged Vancouver companies to look to RBC's expertise and connections to assist them with opportunities. Acknowledging there are benefits for residents and businesses big and small, Malone said the Games require everything from dry cleaning and catering to bleachers and fencing. In fact, communities with sport facilities should be building relationships with various teams for training opportunities.

"Hosting the Olympics gave us a lot of confidence. That confidence has taught our people not to be fearful of other opportunities," said Malone. "Once you've hosted the Games it gives you a lot of confidence – that you can do almost anything. And, that translates to your customers."

The RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speaker Series hosted ten internationally-acclaimed speakers who shared their Olympic and Paralympic expertise with businesses and communities throughout BC. From 2006-2008, these speakers visited several communities to share their knowledge and experience. They also participated in an interview which was webcast live and archived online at 2010LegaciesNow.com. The program was sponsored by RBC, CTV, the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver Sun.