Message from the Executive Director

Perhaps you have had the opportunity to read the recent Report on the Sports Travel Industry. If not, I hope you will be able to take a look. You can find it on our web site. The overall purpose was to sketch out the roles played by the organizations making up our industry.

In Hartford among the dozens and dozens of conversations I found some confusion among event owners on the roles played by convention and visitors bureaus. I also became aware of the need for some of our newer members to do their homework.

There can be a very big difference between the help offered to event owners by our members. In the more than thirty years I have spent dealing with these issues it surprises me to find event owners or publications who think one host organization is the same as most others. Not true. Some of you do a brilliant job selling your destination but must partner with a local organization to make events happen. You are not in the sports planning and delivery business.

Event owners need to pay particular attention to the abilities of prospective host organizations.

Sports commissions have professional staff that can handle every aspect of the event. Convention and visitors bureaus do an excellent job marketing the destination and assisting the event owner in connecting with local experts. A small number also have event experts on staff that can follow-up on behalf of the event owner.

As to the homework issue, it is just not enough to take appointments at the marketplace and think magic will occur. I was talking with a member who was excited about a new running track at one of their high schools. The message to me was they have this new track and are looking forward to hosting events. No concerns about the number and width of the lanes, where the field events take place, or other important details.

What can the NASC do to help?  We will review with our Symposium Committee ways in which we may be able to segment our breakout sessions. This can serve to focus attention on the various levels of expertise within the membership. I think this is particularly important as we prepare for Louisville. Our purpose will be to address in the coming months the things to keep in mind before contacting event owners.

We simply want to find the best ways to prepare each member for success.

I would be pleased to hear your thoughts.

– Don

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