by Robin Mackinaw
When it comes to running a successful tournament, it’s all about priorities, a game plan
“Event logistics include selecting a location/city, venue/hotel contracting, moving and setting up tournament equipment, hiring officials, securing marketing opportunities, local media coverage, taking care of ‘in tournament’ contracts with convention center vendors and executing the tournament on site. Every step USA Fencing takes is on a shared checklist with the logistics, timelines, team assignment and completion dates identified.” Simmons continued,
“The partnership you develop and maintain with the CVB and/or sports commission is essential to running a great tournament. With these partners, you can get expertise and assistance with marketing your event and access to local business partners to help offset costs or even sponsor your tournament. We have a small event staff so the additional assistance with getting the local news to cover our competitions is essential to our success.”
Simmons stressed that “maintaining a successful partnership with the CVB/sports commission and focusing on each detail of the tournament planning makes all the difference when your goal is running a successful tournament and striving to exceed expectations for your attendees.”
Mike Nichols, chief business officer for the LPGA Symetra Tour, oversees the development of the tour’s strategic plan, budget, sales, marketing, owned events, corporate sponsorships
1. Start With The End In Mind.
“Too many times I’ve seen people so anxious to get started on their events and feel the need to start doing something. Their knee-jerk reaction is to begin work or a project that needs to be done at some point, without a lot of strategy or thought involved. If you are conducting a running event, for example, start at what equipment you need to have on-hand at the finish line and build back from there. If you picture how many participants you will have
2. Prioritize Your Constituents.
“Ask yourself, ‘Who is my most important constituent at the event?’ Is it the athletes? The parents? The venue? The CVB? The sponsors? In professional golf, for example, the events don’t happen without the sponsors, so they are the No. 1 priority. That doesn’t mean you don’t care about the athletes, because you want to be sure to annually attract the best, or the venue, because you need their help staging the event and you want them to welcome you back. But there will be times where the different groups may have conflicting agendas so prioritizing this list in advance of the event can help when trying to make a tough decision on a tight timeline.”
3. If No One Noticed, Don’t Sweat It.
“Dropped balls, mistakes
4. Carry A Notepad.
“Perhaps this is my self-diagnosed ADD talking but when you are running events you are inevitably being pulled in multiple directions simultaneously. If you’ve ever carried a radio, you know what I mean. If you commit to someone you will complete a task, write it down. It doesn’t matter how small – as those are the ones that are normally forgotten – and keep in mind they are probably not small to the person asking. If certain tasks don’t need to be done until later in the day or week (and are usually the ones forgotten because they lack urgency), you can attend to them once things settle down – provided you remember them. If you write them down, you won’t forget.”
5. Did Anyone Die Today?
“This is the question I used to ask my staff at the evening meetings we used to hold during the course of the tournament week at the golf tournaments I used to