SportsEvents Magazine

MAY 2018

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

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Page 12 of 99 May 2018 13 t GAME Plan 6 T IPS FOR MANAGING SUCCESSFUL SPORTS EVENTS BY PAIGE TOWNLEY Everything Speaks, So Know Your Message Everything associated with your event speaks to the customer: your website, emails, design, the layout of the event, the signage. Literally everything associated with your event tells a story to your customers about you and your event and because of that, the event planner must first understand the story they want to tell their customers, said John Connors of The Color Run: "You must look at every single detail of your event and ask yourself, 'What is this detail saying? Is this detail consistent with the story I want to tell?'" To answer those questions, Connors cre- ates a customer journey map that identifies every single possible touch point for the guest. "Once I've done that, I can look at each of those moments and ask, 'How do I design this particular moment to make sure it adds depth to the story I am trying to tell?'" While Everything Speaks, It's Not All At The Same Volume Because certain aspects of an event speak louder than others, event planners should fix the "loudest" things first. Otherwise, the list of communication moments gets almost impossibly long, Connors said. "There is just so much to do and there is a temptation to just start finding things I can quickly check off and start doing them in whatever random order they present themselves just so I can tell myself that I got something done," he said. "But doing that has proven to be a mistake for me. The list is so big that it's unlikely that I will be able to address every single potential moment of communication with the amount of thought I would like." Instead, Connors notes, it's critical to prioritize the list before trying to check anything off of it. Some things are simply more fundamentally important to the event and those have to be made right. "These are the things you have directly promised to your participants in your marketing," Connors said. "You cannot compromise on these. Make sure you know what they are and get them right first, then focus on everything else. There are so many things to do in the lead-up to an event and you can keep yourself busy on things lower down on your list and really feel like you are getting a lot done but if there are a few key promises that you are not going to be able to keep because you incorrectly prioritize them, you're going to be in trouble." Put Together The Right Team One thing event planners must ensure right from the start is the sports committee supporting the event, said Ross Balling of the EVP Beach Volleyball Tour. "The committee can make or break an event," he said. "That commit- tee should be thought out, from the sports commission to the local operators." One thing to consider when selecting members of the team: passion for the sport. "You must find people who are passionate local stakeholders who can support the event, as well as put a good word in or make things happen," Balling said. "That's one key to long-term success." Communicate, Communicate, Communicate For an event to be successful, it's critical to have everyone on the same page and on the same schedule, and prompt and clear communication to team managers is the best way to make that happen, said David Raflo of USA Ultimate. "If there is the potential for a big change before your event, let your team managers know you are monitoring and evaluating the situation, and communicate updates early and ► It's an understatement to say that there are numerous details to keep in mind and consider when it comes to managing sporting events. Budgets, schedules, communication and marketing plans, referees, venue selections – there are many elements to balance in order to be successful. But while planning for and managing sports events can be quite a headache, there's nothing quite as exciting as seeing the event go off without a hitch. To help make that happen, we've compiled six tips shared by planners across the country that can help lead to success. 1 2 3 4

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