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 supports robotics and drone 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 events.
Event Partner Role
The EP acts as the coordinator of a planning team that organizes Aerial Drone Competition 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 on a VEX Robotics team in the VRC program. 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
Event Engagement Managers (EEMs), Program Managers are REC Foundation staff that support Aerial Drone Competition Events and Aerial Drone Competition teams. EEMs and Program Managers work with EPs to plan the event schedule for the season and train new EPs.
Some regions also have Event Support Specialists (ESS) who are REC Foundation staff that provide event day support under the guidance of a Program Manager.
As an EP, you can expect the following support from the REC Foundation and your EEM and Program Manager in the 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.
- 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 (EEM, Program Manager or ESS). If in-person support is not available, your EEM and/or Program Manager 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 Event Engagement Manager (EEM) or Program Manager. Your EEM and Program Manager 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 yourEEM and Program Manager with your User ID. This allows your EEM and Program Manager to update your account status to “Event Partner” so you can create and manage events as well as get future EP communications and offerings.
- Post your event on RobotEvents.com. Work with your EEM/Program Manager 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 EEM/Program Manager 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 EEM/Program Manager 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 EEM/Program Manager 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 EEM/Program Manager 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 EEM/Program Manager.
The REC Foundation and the EEM/Program Manager who provides support for the event region agree to:
- Adhere to the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.
- Train EPs and provide event planning resources for hosting REC Foundation Competitions.
- Provide documentation necessary to run events on the RoboticsEducation.org website. This includes but is not limited to Game Manuals, Referee Guides, Judge Guide, EP Guide, and Qualifying Criteria.
- Provide feedback on event configuration and settings before approving the event at RobotEvents.com.
- Approve events posted on RobotEvents.com when appropriate.
- Communicate the Qualification Criteria for events as it applies to Championship spots allocation for your event.
- Assign EP product discounts as available, and explain the ordering process.
- Check in regularly with EPs prior to the event to ensure readiness, and follow-up with the EP after the event to verify uploaded results and acquire feedback.
- Provide event support with on-site or on-call REC Foundation staff as determined by the EEM/Program Manager.
- Assist with Tournament Manager setup and operation as needed.
- Provide assistance with event management on RobotEvents.com prior to and following the event day.
- Ensure the Judge Advisor has completed and passed the Judge Certification Course and adheres to the rules and practices in the Judge Guide and Official Judging Q&A.
As an Event Partner for the REC Foundation, I agree to:
- Adhere to the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.
- Adhere to the rules in the Event Partner Guide, Qualifying Criteria, Game Manual, Judge Guide, and Referee Guide.
- Seek out assistance from the EEM/Program Manager with questions or concerns about event planning or operation.
- Endeavor to provide adequate staff to ensure a quality experience for all attendees per the Volunteer Guide recommendations.
- Ensure the Judge Advisor adheres to the rules and practices in the Judge Guide and Official Judging Q&A.
- Read and provide copies of the judging materials to judges and to monitor that all processes and procedures of the judging process are meeting the standards as specified in the Judge Guide.
- Ensure the Head Referee adheres to the rules and practices in the Game Manual, Official Q&A.
- Endeavor to staff the event with referees and judges who are not affiliated with teams at the event to ensure unbiased decisions.
- Communicate in advance with the EEM/Program Manager any change of status of the event including size, location, awards, and any other conditions.
- Adhere to the Early Bird registration process, where applicable, and not attempt to circumvent or avoid the process.
- Provide an Event venue with the following:
- Venue follows all local safety, security, and facility rules and requirements as mandated by the venue.
- Any insurance required by the facility is the responsibility of the EP.
- Venue is free and open to the public. Parking or other fees must be discussed with the EEM/Program Manager prior to approving the event.
- Venue is ADA compliant (inside the U.S.) or follows local inclusion laws to allow access for all (outside the U.S.).
- Venue provides adequate spectator seating, team pit areas, competition and practice fields, event electronics, audience and pit displays, and PA or sound system.