SportsEvents Magazine

DEC 2015

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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December 2015 20 www.sportseventsmagazine.com THE "REAL" DETAILS For sports commissions, a discussion with event planners usually includes all sorts of information about what the event is, how many athletes tend to register, the number of family and fans that typically attend and the estimated economic impact on the city. But there are other details that should be included by event planners, said Joel Jewell, director of sports sales and development for the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission. "That's all really good information to know, but if it's a pre-planned meeting, I've already done my homework and researched that information," he said. "I want to know what they look for in a facility, the space requirements and equipment needed for set up. Will registration and meetings be held at the event site or will there be a need for hotel headquarters and pre-function space? Does the event need to be held in one location or can multiple locations be utilized? What facilities have been used in the past and what did the event planner like or not like about them?" FLEXIBILITY While everyone comes to the table with specifc ideas in mind, it helps sports commissions truly determine if they are right for an event if an event planner comes with a realistic fexibility. One specifc item where fexibility is needed is event dates, said Dominique Powell, sports sales manager for the Bryan- College Station CVB. "By providing true fexibility, we're able to make the event more successful for both the participants and our attendees," she said. "For example, by moving an event a day earlier or a week either direction, it can drastically change the experience and success of the event." Sports commissions also need event planners to be somewhat fexible with the fnancial requirements from the city, added Jewell. "Let's be honest, it costs money to both host and run a sporting event, and neither side is going into an event cost free," he said. "How fexible can we be? While some cities can, others may not have the ability to pay extravagant amounts for bid fees but may be able to match that cost through in-kind services. While fexibility isn't completely necessary, knowing that there are opportunities to get creative can lead to some really remarkable ideas that would beneft both sides." GROWTH PLANS Ask any sports commission, and they will most certainly acknowledge that they would like to partner with event planners to host their event year after year. To do so, sports commissions like to know the planner's growth plans for the event, how they see participation growing and how the sports commission could partner with them to foster the growth. "All of these questions build the basis for a healthy partnership for both parties moving forward and shows the commitment on both ends to continuing this for many years," said John Friebele, sports sales manager for the Bryan-College Station CVB. "We also need this information to take to funding partners for future facility growth. We cannot grow in the right ways unless we know HONESTY Perhaps the most important need of sports commissions is honesty. Derek Bombeck, sales development manager for the Lincoln CVB, once had an organization provide inaccurate info about the event. "That didn't change my decision to do business with them, but because of that I knew to take everything they said with a grain of salt," he explained. Honesty also includes event planners being specifc and open about what they really want from the host city. "I hope a planner puts all expectations on the table up front," said Alex Tyson, executive director of Visit Billings. "If it's important to have area businesses adopt the teams or schools that will be competing in an event, tell us in the RFP. That's as important to me to execute appropriately in a bid scenario as accommodating peak room nights." n SPECIAL FEATURE: CVBS & SPORTS COMMISSIONS What Do Sports Commissions Want From Event Planners? BY PAIGE TOWNLEY When it comes to organizing and hosting a sporting event, getting in on the game isn't always so easy for sports commissions. There are quite a few details sports commissions need to know up front from event planners in order to make an educated decision when determining if the sporting event is right for the community or that the contracted event will be a success. "Having the right tools and players to enhance a bid are crucial when analyzing a bid," said Robin Wright, senior sports sales manager for Visit Greenville (South Carolina). "Destinations always want to put their best foot forward and have the most competitive bid that stands out above their competitors." But just what do sports commissions really need to know? Here, sports commissions share their must-have list for ensuring a well- thought-out bid and successful event. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

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