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I’m Don Schumacher, Executive Director of the National Association of Sports Commissions and I’d like to demonstrate to you here for just a moment our commitment to personal fitness. Everyone on our staff is now equipped with an exercise ball chair, and we think it’s a great way to keep fit. And it’s a great way for me to start out a video where I talk briefly to you about creating your own events. We’ve talked about this for years around the NASC and we thought we’d give you a brief video that would just have a few topics on it that I’ve put down on paper here.
How do you do it? How do you create your own event? One of the best ways to do it is to find an event in your community that’s already bringing visiting teams to the area. Meet with the organizers of that event and see what’s holding back the total number of teams that are coming into the area from out of town. It might be that they just can’t handle the hotels; it might be that they need help finding more fields or courts; it might be that the total weight of the whole organization of the event is more than they can handle on their own. Once you find out what’s holding them back, look for ways to solve the problem: find volunteers for them, help them put the hotel block together, set up a Stay to Play system if one is needed, create a goodie bag system, where that event has discount coupons to area attractions, restaurants, and so forth. In short, help an existing event grow.
If you’d rather start from scratch, then you logically go for the sport that you’re best equipped to handle. Might be its girls fast pitch; you might have enough diamonds that that’s really the sweet spot for your community. Meet with your local fast pitch community, find out if they’re well connected or well enough connected in the fast pitch softball community regional to be able to reach out and find teams that will come and spend the night while they’re participating in your marketplace. One of the best ways to put these events together is to stress the many things that people can see and do while they’re in your area. We’ve talked a lot in the industry about mini-vacations, and that’s certainly true when you’re creating your own events. And why obliviously are you going to create your own event? You’re going to create your own event so you don’t have to bid on it every year, and you’ll find that once an events established it can grow off its own accord. I’d like to suggest, there’s kind of a rule of thumb, if a team is going to come from 100 plus miles out, they’re going to be inclined to stay overnight, because that’s just too much of a distance to travel each way, back and forth.
And a final suggestion, financial stipends. If you’re helping a tournament grow, that’s being locally produced and they need financial help one of the best ways you can help them is to provide them with two, three, four thousand dollars, whatever the reasonable amount of money would be in your market, which stipulation that that moneys going to be used to promote teams coming to your market from a travel destination. So that you can be assured your money is not only being used to promote the event but its helping to build the overnight business.
There will be plenty more to say about creating events over the coming years but these are some of the hints that we found helpful.
Video blog: Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director
National Association of Sports Commissions
Published on June 30, 2014