Increase Locators Profile: Hold a Local Global Locate Masters Qualifying Event

2022 saw the inception of Global Locate Masters (GLM), a new industry initiative created by Infrastructure Resources (IR) in conjunction with UTTO. The GLM is a competition to display locators’ skills and encourage continual learning. Historically, locators have competed thorough a Locate Rodeo, but Locate Rodeos have proven difficult to conduct, time consuming, and burdensome to execute due to weather. GLM takes the traditional skills competition to the next level! This completely unique competition tests the abilities of leading locate technicians from around the world using UTTO’s VR simulators. These simulators create complex locate experiences in an immersive environment challenging a technician’s training, skill, experience, and attention-to-detail required for a successful locate.

GLM gives technicians the unprecedented opportunity to highlight their skills before a live audience of their peers and industry leaders while evaluating their performance against other competitors. GLM recognizes, rewards, and shines a spotlight on the world’s best utility locating professionals by putting on display the years of experience, critical thinking, and mental agility each competitor brings to complete quality locates in a timely manner.

In January 2022, in Minnesota, a group came together to put on a statewide version of GLM. This tremendously successful event was driven by the efforts of Barb Cederberg – Gopher State One Call, Justin Larson – Xcel Energy, Mike Mendiola – MNOPS, and Steve Olinger – CenterPoint Energy. The excitement and competitive nature from the locators were undeniable, especially when their score flashed up on the screen. After they completed their session, Tom Orth of UTTO offered insights on where they lost points and how they could improve.

Are you interested in holding a local GLM competition? The Minnesota team has detailed basic steps which contributed to making their event so successful. The Top 5 in any local GLM qualify to compete in the championships at the Global Excavation Safety Conference in Tampa, Feb 14-16, 2023. IR is offering a conference pass at 50% off for the winner of each local GLM. Check out a detailed checklist on the next page or download a copy at

Venue / Initial Planning

1.Determine venue & competition dates (Capacity of 10’ x 20’).
2.Contact UTTO to secure a VR simulator.
3.Establish a team of 3-5 volunteers for the live event.
4.Secure donations for prizes.
•Valuable prizes make a huge difference and reinforce how important a locator is:
–The Minnesota winner received a trip to the 2022 Championship at the Global Excavation Safety Conference in Phoenix, March 2022.
5.Promote, promote, and promote the GLM.
• Calls to vendors, utility companies, and 3rd party locating companies.
6.Weekly meetings help ensure success.
7.Set up registration.
• Utilize a person’s email or Event Bright for registration.
• Capture all registrants and send confirmation email of registration.
• Create spreadsheet to capture all competitor’s information, email tracking, etc.
8.Email all competitors’ names to UTTO to be entered into their system.
• Name
• Email address
9.Randomly select time slots and day for competitors. Utilize randomizer app.
• Develop 2 days locate windows:
– We utilized 2-hour windows with 6 competitors in each time slot.
10.Send competitors and their supervisor the date and time to report to the venue.


Greeter – This individual is stationed at the front entrance of the venue to guide participants to the check-in table and open door for all contestants. Ensure all contestants are following COVID protocols of the venue. Should masks be required, provide masks for those in need.
– 1 volunteer per 4-hour shift
– Provide a greeter for the entire duration of the event
Check-In Table – These individuals are responsible for checking in the contestants, collecting participant waivers, and ensuring individuals scheduled for a pre-determined timeslot are in attendance prior to their start time. Volunteers should utilize a check-in sheet displaying each timeslot, contestant’s name, and contact information (email address and phone number) should they need to call contestants.
– 2 volunteers per 4-hour shift
– Clearly announce Check-In Table hours
Check-Out Table – This individual receives the completed Check-In sheet at the start of the participants timeslot and record, by time, (Example: 10:32 AM) when an individual has completed their two locates. This individual is also responsible for assisting with wiping down tables, competition areas, and restocking refreshments.
– 1 volunteer per 4-hour shift
– Provide a Check-Out Table volunteer during competition hours and 30-minutes post
Escort – This individual is responsible for allowing access to the locating room for the next contestant. They will work in collaboration with the Check-In Table volunteers. This volunteer is also responsible for wiping down tables and the competition area.
– 1 volunteer per 4-hour shift
– Provide an Escort volunteer during competition hours and 30-minutes post
• Create volunteer schedule and determine how it will be communicated.
– Sign-Up Genius is a great free tool
– Information to capture for volunteers: name, company, email address, and phone

Day of Competition

• Competitors register at Check-In Table and move to the Waiting Lounge:
– UTTO brought competitors into the competition area to explain how the equipment works and the competition requirements.
• All but one competitor remains in the competition area. Others are escorted to the Waiting Lounge.
• Everyone will compete individually.
• Once complete, the competitor leaves via Check-Out Table. Check-Out Table volunteers capture time that the competitor finished both locates:
– This is done should the competitor’s supervisor ask where their employee is or when they finished. This allows us to know what time they completed their locate.
• The Greeter brings in the next competitor, telling the UTTO representative the name of competitor.
• Competitors earning a high score have their picture taken with their score displayed in the background. Photos were utilized in a presentation.
• The competition ran for two days.

Identify Winners

• Create a Zoom meeting and invite all competitors, vendors, supervisors, and guests.
• Winners were identified one day after the competition was completed.
• Create a presentation to thank all competitors, vendors, supervisors, guests, and identify winners.
• IR hosts a meeting to announce the winners.

Donations / Gifts

• Select prizes for each winner:
– Be sure to pre-announce all prizes.
• Provide a gift bag for each competitor.
• Provide a gift bag for volunteers.

Promote the winner at their company, through your Notification Center, and through all those who donated.

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