SportsEvents Magazine

DEC 2015

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

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December 2015 8 If you have comments, suggestions or simply want to respond to any of my ramblings, send me an email to or connect on Facebook at www facebook com/taltytrek Opinions, quotes and other pointless commentary from the publisher Life In The Talty Lane… Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Some days don't you want to scream if you have to make another decision? That's me. Today. Now. Decisions all day and now deciding what to write about in this much-awaited column. I know it must be much-awaited because research shows the column's readership has doubled and is now up to at least four people, two of whom are new employees for which it is required reading... The sports events industry is all about making lots of decisions. We make those decisions by analyzing details like felds & facilities, sponsorships, destinations, housing, volunteer bases and a host of factual information. Yet at the end of the day, decisions are heavily swayed by emotional factors. It's a people business and people want to do business with people they like and trust. They also like to know about others who share the same types of decisions and challenges as they do, which is why we share people's sto- ries and comments from throughout the industry each year in our January issue. Maybe sharing their thoughts, concerns, ideas and humorous stories will help ease the stress of our own decision-making. I've been doing quite a lot of think- ing and research recently on effective decision-making. If you were in on many of my decisions during 2015 you would completely understand the need for this research. Actually, it's been one of our best years ever, so maybe a few decisions were passable. For all of us, good decisions are the foundation of our successes, followed up, of course, with hard work and detailed follow-through. If we're in sales—and we're all in sales in one way or another— facts and fgures are part of the analytics but they are seldom the singular basis of the decision. It's how we make each other feel that counts so much. But still, studies show that most of us think factual information tops the list as the most important factor that drives decision-making. In some cases, the emotional factor in making decisions is obvious. I imagine we'll all agree that the teenager is deciding on the trendy and fashionable over the practical and affordable every time. But if one was to think that the wise business person has matured to simply making decisions based on logic and analysis, one would be dead wrong. Scientifc brain research is proving something I've long preached in our busi- ness practices and marketing efforts. The decision making process revolves around emotions and feelings much more than simply facts and fgures. As an account- ing major in college, I prepared many a spread sheet showing cost and beneft analysis. Never do I recall any emotional factors processed in the evaluation. Boy was that wrong when it comes down to how we make a fnal decision. One of the world's leading neurosci- entists, Antonio Damasio, has published extensive research on studies he has made on patients who had suffered some form of brain injury or trauma that left them without the ability to feel emotion of any kind. The post-trauma patients exhibited excellent intellectual abilities with normal learning, language, memory and analytical skills. Yet they all exhibit- ed one common and very disturbing trait, an acute inability to make decisions. Professor Damasio's book, "Descartes' Error," profled a successful businessman who had undergone brain surgery to remove a tumor. While his excellent IQ remained in the highest percentile, his business and marriage rapidly fell apart following the surgery. The part of his brain that was removed left him without "a tinge of emotion." At the same time, he became simply incapable of making decisions. His lack of emotion para- lyzed his decision-making ability, even when perfect analytics led to clear and logical conclusions. If you're marketing a sports destina- tion, it's how the event organizer feels that ultimately sways the fnal decision. If you're a sports event planner, it's how you feel about working with the event site's team as much as it is sports facilities, room rates, sponsorhsips and attractions. So in summary, I'll leave you with my three steps to making perfect decisions: 1) Create a grid analysis 2) Calculate the expected value of every outcome 3) Throw it all in fle 13, and go the way your heart leads you... I hope you and yours have happy holidays and send my very best wishes for successful decision-making in 2016! n The Science of Decision Making

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