Planning and hosting sports events can be much different than business meetings, social events or conventions. Industry professionals offer the following best-practice tips for working with these groups.
- 1. Staffing
- Staffing is key to success, said Nicole Seltzer, director of convention center sales with the Memphis Cook Convention Center. “With the sheer number of people flowing through the building, you must staff accordingly to keep up with the wear and tear on the building,” she suggested.
- 2. Adapt To Each Event’s Unique Demands & Needs
- James Linderholm with the Alabama-based Huntsville Gymnastics Center stressed that convention centers, hotels and other destination groups and facilities need to understand the specific nuances and demands of each sports group. “We think our event has a lot of quirks, but I’m guessing every event is like that,” he said, pointing out that he enjoys working with the Von Braun Center for this reason.
- “Knowing that the Von Braun Center managers and workers will work with us to get what we need and ensure our event runs smoothly is very important to us. There are always things that will change at the last minute and it helps a lot to have good people there who will get it taken care of.”
- 3. Hone In And Focus On Budget
- Respect budget limitations, Christine Simmons, director of operations for USA Fencing advised. “USA Fencing is a non-profit, so destinations should understand our budget limitations and provide concessions to minimize the impact of holding the event in that city,” she said. “We are looking for long-term partnerships so that we can build the sport of fencing in each community we visit.”