SHREVEPORT, LA — The annual S.P.O.R.T.S. Relationship Conference continued Tuesday (October 6) in Shreveport, Louisiana. SportsEvents Media Group’s Publisher Talty O’Connor opened the morning’s general “Town Hall” session with a focus on identifying industry challenges, along with sustainable solutions.
“Today during Town Hall we are defining issues for Sports Planners and Destinations,” O’Connor addressed the delegates. “Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will be searching for solutions to those problems.”
Also welcoming delegates at the opening Tuesday session was Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler.
The event’s popular one-on-one appointment sessions between event organizers and site hosts was another busy period. Actually, there were two 2-hour long one-on-one periods during the Tuesday agenda.
Director of Foley Sports Tourism Don Staley, attending along with Foley (AL) City Councilman Rick Blackwell, looks forward to the S.P.O.R.T.S. Conference every year. “Without question this is one of the top sports conferences in the country,” Staley said from the event on Tuesday.
“At this particular conference I believe I have twelve one-on-one meetings scheduled, which is a little less than the 46 I had at the last conference,” Staley continued. “When you get to these events, a lot has to do with the meetings outside of the scheduled meetings. I could have twelve scheduled and I could probably easily have another 12-15 just networking with people.”
The main Tuesday lunch reception featured special guest speaker Bob Beaudine, CEO of Eastman & Beaudine and author of The Power of Who. During our Opening Luncheon, Beaudine challenged many widely held presumptions, including the importance of traditional networking.
The social media flow was brisk as attendees posted and tweeted highlights of the presentation. Among the most shared segments: “The energy between two people is what creates great marriages, families, companies, universities & ‘Legendary Results’.”
Tuesday’s Beaudine speaker appearance was sponsored by Sports Wisconsin! with the luncheon sponsored by Athletes in Paradise!
An afternoon session on ‘Selling Sponsorships’ was led by Scott Wysong, featuring panelists Grady Raskin, Breon Dennis, and Tommy McClelland.
Making an appearance at the Tuesday evening Networking Reception was 2007 PGA Champion David Toms, who continues play on the PGA Tour. He is also in the Ark-La-Tex Museum of Champions and heads the nearby David Toms Golf Academy.
Another full day of networking sessions and sports industry presentations continues on Wednesday, which will wrap up with a final sendoff for delegates including a fireworks show over Shreveport’s Red River.