Archive for October, 2012

Why It’s Important to Never Burn Bridges

October 25, 2012

It may sound cliché, but in this industry especially, you have to be very careful about not burning any bridges with clients or peers.  The longer you stay in this industry, the more you realize that there is a high retention rate amongst the key players.  Some of them stay in the same organization for years, while others may switch companies or go from a supplier to a buyer.  But just remember that a lot of people in this industry aren’t necessarily in it for the money, they’re here because they have a genuine passion for the industry and their unique skills have allowed them to sustain a successful career.  Each of you can probably think of a handful of competitors that you go up against time and again.  It’s worth asking yourself, how well do I treat those rivals?  Do I avoid them or am I cordial and friendly with them?  If that person turned into a potential client someday, would they trust me enough to call me for help?

A few years ago I was working for a different CVB, and we made the short list for a large youth hockey tournament.  We were bidding against an intra-state rival CVB.  I knew their sports guy pretty well, as we both attended the NASC Symposium for several years, and we were always friendly with each other.   As we met prior to this bid opportunity, we both made a conscious effort to wish each other good luck and offer to help each other out on future bid opportunities.  I was sincere with my words of encouragement and a few years later, I realized that he was too.

Two years later, I accepted a position for Meet Minneapolis and found myself having a lot more venues to sell and was in need of new clients to help fill the funnel.  Then one day, I received a call from that same rival, letting me know that he had recently left the CVB world to start a career as a third party planner for sports groups.  It made perfect sense for him because he had such a vast knowledge of clients that needed housing help.  And best of all, he wanted to work with me to book some business!  Since that day, we’ve booked several groups together with significant room nights.

So when you’re at the NASC Symposium, don’t forget about the value of networking with your peers, even your competitors.  NASC does a really good job of allowing time for you to interact with your fellow attendees.  Try not to get caught up in only talking to “clients” because often times, your peers can provide valuable information that may help you someday.  Plus, you never know when a rival might become one of your best clients!

Matt Meunier
National Account Executive
Meet Minneapolis

NASC Call for Proposals

October 23, 2012

Are you interested at presenting a breakouts session, or know someone who might be, at the upcoming 21st annual NASC Sports Event Symposium, April 22-25, 2013 in Louisville, KY.  If so check out the recently released Call for Proposals form.

The 2013 breakouts sessions are being collectively called “Engaging Education Sessions” with the aim of allowing attendees to drive their own learning experience by extracting the collective knowledge from industry experts and the audience.  There will be three sets of four concurrent sessions  (12 sessions in total) and each meeting room will have its own theme:

  1. Room 1: Event Management (for example: Local Organizing Committee (LOC); working with municipality, county, state governments; event insurance; contract negotiations; volunteer recruitment, training, recognition; preparing for an event; etc.)
  2. Room 2: Sales & Marketing (for example: sponsor development/fulfillment; membership recruitment; media partnerships; ticket sales; marketing plans; essentials of good salesmanship; effective promotional strategies, etc.)
  3. Room 3: Financial (for example: determining ROI; revenue sources for not-for-profits; economic impact; etc.)
  4. Room 4: Executive (for example: strategic planning; leadership and management skills; board relations; etc.)

Deadline to submit is Friday, November 9th.

6 Reasons to Enroll in the NASC Shipping Program!

October 22, 2012

As a member of NASC, you have access to a number of value-added services. So why not take advantage of them? PartnerShip® offers NASC members like you an exclusive money saving benefit – the NASC Shipping Program. Here’s why you should enroll:

  1. You save on your small package shipping – up to 27%* on select FedEx® services.
  2. There’s no cost to use the program – it is a FREE benefit from NASC.
  3. When you enroll, you get access to a dedicated account representative for all of your questions and concerns – a shipping expert on your side.
  4. Program savings could help you offset the cost of your membership dues.
  5. There are money saving options for ALL of your shipping needs – inbound, outbound, small or large… even your time-sensitive tradeshow shipments.
  6. And best of all, the NASC Shipping Program directly supports your association.

Visit PartnerShip.com/09NASC to enroll today!

If you have any questions, email sales@PartnerShip.com or call 800-599-2902 to speak to one of our dedicated account representatives.

*Includes a bonus 5%* online processing discount. Full details available at http://www.PartnerShip.com/09NASC/FedExdiscounts.

Q and A with Domico Rodriguez – 1st registered attendee for 2013 NASC Sports Event Symposium

October 18, 2012

We conducted a brief Q&A with Domico Rodriguez, Sports & Events Sales Director for the Rapid City CVB, who was the first officially registered attendee for the 21st annual NASC Sports Event Symposium to be held in Louisville, KY April 22-25, 2013. Domico shares his thoughts on why he attends the Symposium and how his attendance has benefited his organization.

NASC: How many Symposiums have you attended?
Domico Rodriguez (DR):I have attended three symposiums. The first one I attended was in Columbus and it was my first time in Columbus and it was AMAZING. I will forever remember the activities at Ohio State and meeting the THEN Coach Jim Tressel.

NASC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve learned (from a peer, in an education session, etc.)  at a Symposium that you have attended that you were able to implement at your organization?
DR: A lot of the process of this business and recruiting events is the relationship part. So much of the time it takes a few years of building the relationship to get your foot in the door, be patient and honest with the process.

NASC: What is the biggest selling point for you to attend the Symposium?
DR: The business answer is… First and foremost it is the education aspect of the Symposium, you can learn so much from how other communities work that you can take some of that with you and adjust how you do things in your community.
The sports fan answer is… All of the activities you get to do; as a sports fan these are once in a lifetime opportunities and to get the opportunity to do these things as part of work are priceless. Touring the Ohio State University team locker rooms at the 20120 Symposium in Columbus, OH is an example of these unique opportunities.

NASC: How has your organization benefited from your attendance at the Symposium?
DR: We have been able to start the relationship process with the events and have been able to lay the groundwork for hosting events from rights holders at the Symposium.

NASC: Tell us about some of your past events or upcoming events and how you have been able to improve those events (increase attendance, increase participation, book more rooms, bring more awareness to your community) as a result of your Symposium attendance.
DR: We hosted a first time Amateur Men’s Basketball tournament in our slowest month for hotel rooms, April 2012. The local organizer had never hosted an event but had the idea and because of hearing some of the trials and tribulations from other communities in helping with events I was able to jump in and help the tournament coordinator with so much of the event process. From all aspects of the event from Sponsorship, working with hotels and marketing, I was able to help him. This was my first event getting that involved with as I even officiated during the event and this led our CVB to the discussion as to whether or not to get more involved with events to ensure they are reaching their full potential as many of the event coordinators are volunteers and might not fully understand all that goes into events.

NASC: Anything else you’d like to share?
DR: I truly look forward to the Symposium and out of all of the shows that are out there I still feel this is the best hands down, none of them offer the education aspect that the NASC Symposium does. We cannot take for granted these opportunities because, with the ever changing sports industry, we need to evolve with it.

Working with your Parks and Recreation Departments Effectively

October 17, 2012

We all know how important our Parks and Recreation Departments are for our events.  In many cases they have some of the best facilities in our communities.  However, sometimes it is difficult to get to those facilities.  While many Parks and Recreation Departments are faced with the fiduciary responsibility of making those facilities be revenue generators in the way of tournaments and events, some are solely concerned about the local leagues and constituents, or so it seems.  In the paragraphs that follow, I will give you an insight in to what worked for Bryan-College Station and leave you with some ideas for working with your Parks and Recreation Departments as well.

First, allow me to give you the set-up.  In Bryan-College Station we are blessed to have two cities, so two Parks and Recreation Departments and City Councils.  One of the first things I noticed when I began working for the Convention and Visitors Bureau 8 years ago was that there was not a strong relationship between the CVB and the Parks and Recreation Departments from either city.  So, the first thing that took place was a meeting with the Directors of both cities.  This was key.  I simply explained to them what exactly my goal was in bringing events to the community.  I asked about the leagues and the usage of the facilities.  Since they were first and foremost concerned about the local groups and users, it was a learning experience trying to be creative in explaining how tournaments, while they are wear and tear on fields, could really benefit the local leagues and park users.

The Directors are also an important part of our Advisory Board.  As we are not a stand-alone sports commission, we have an advisory board made up of key facility managers in our community.  Through the interaction with them on this board, the Directors grew to understand the purpose of the CVB and the reasons the events were so important to our community.  They quickly learned that bringing these events in could be great revenue generators for them and community.  These events create more sales tax expenditures in our communities which in turn affect the general funds of the city.  The events would help create more funding for the Parks and Recreation Departments.  In our situation, our Parks and Recreation staffs both had some great experiences in the Amateur Softball Association.  That really helped our cause as they see the impact that large tournaments can make on the community.

Our issue was soccer.  As I stated earlier, our Parks and Recreation Directors’ main concern is the local leagues and local users.  Knowing this, I contacted them to get to the soccer clubs and leagues in our community.  We scheduled a meeting with them and talked about our purpose of bringing these tournaments in to our community.  Our soccer leagues thought we were bringing competitors in that would take field time away from them.  However, during the meeting we explained that we would like these tournaments to be fundraisers for them and we would like to give back to the community by doing so.  The key to getting that going was having the backing of the Parks and Recreation Directors and staffs.

Our business is built on relationships.  It is not just the relationships that we build with event rights holders or suppliers.  It is also about the relationships we build with our own partners in our communities.  We try to meet regularly with our Parks and Recreation Directors for them to share their calendar with us and for us to talk about the possibilities of tournaments and events that we can bring to their facilities.  Once we are all on the same plan and after the same goal, we can accomplish great things.  It all boils down to the key to working with your Parks and Recreation Departments is all about the relationships you establish and maintain.  Once those relationships are in place, you and your community can successfully work together to host and create memorable events for your local groups and the visitors to your community.

Submitted by Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP
Bryan-College Station CVB |Vice President of Sales & Marketing

CSEE Fall 2012 Module: “Bidding… From A to Z” Recap

October 16, 2012

Dale Neuburger of TSE Consulting facilitated the CSEE Module on “Bidding … from A to Z” held on October 2, 2012 at the Cobo Convention Center Hall in Detroit, MI.  Nearly 140 current and prospective CSEE members were in attendance.  The primary theme of the presentation was the components necessary to develop a winning sports event strategy, including researching, strategizing, campaigning and activating.  In addition, four NASC members (Buddy Wheeler, Janis Schmees , Terry Hasseltine and Sean Krabach) provided input and examples of specific bidding practices they have each utilized to benefit their destinations.  At the conclusion of the module, six individuals were recognized for completing the requirements to earn their CSEE designation.

Fall 2012 CSEE graduates:

Karin Aaron, CSEE, Visit Loudoun
Lindsay Arellano, CSEE, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Josh Dill, CSEE, Visit Lubbock, Inc.
Roy Edmondson, CSEE, Team San Jose
Dave Plevich, CSEE, Greater Morgantown Convention & Visitors Bureau
Justin Stine, CSEE, Overland Park Sports Alliance

NASC Symposium…Endless Possibilities!

October 5, 2012

With Louisville being “Possibility City” the 2013 NASC Symposium will fit right in! There will be endless possibilities for you at the Symposium, so how are you supposed to know what options are best and how you can most efficiently use your time?

Here are a few tips and some of my personal favorites from the Symposium schedule along with some local options from a Louisvillian’s perspective; feel free to use as you wish.

1) Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) Program – The CSEE Spring module will be taking place on Monday from 2:00 – 6:00 PM. I highly recommend this certification program for any new comers to the industry as it has helped me a great deal! For those of you who have already earned your CSEE, this is a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and earn your annual credit while attending the NASC Symposium.

2) Rapid RFP ReviewsThe Rapid RFP Reviews are an excellent opportunity to really fill in the gaps on your appointment schedule. If you use this time wisely and plan ahead there should be no reason that you were not able to get in front of everyone that you were hoping to speak with at Symposium. These sessions allow you to really improve your efficiency at the show and get in front of the right people on the fly.

3) Extra Innings Lounge – Okay…this one is a no brainer, but TEAM Kentucky always does a great job with their sponsorship and since the Symposium is in their backyard there is sure to be some extra special treats for everyone! Come out Tuesday and Wednesday evening and take in all that the home of Bourbon has to offer. I promise…you will not be disappointed!

4) Education Sessions – Make sure you attend as many as you are able in the time you have! Education is the NASC’s bread and butter and you can really take away so much if you put in the effort and pay attention during these sessions. I would highly recommend looking at the final schedule and planning which sessions you want to attend BEFORE the symposium so that you do not end up in a room listening to something that doesn’t apply to you. You get out what you put in here so be prepared to walk in the room focused and ready to learn!

5) Louisville Originals – If you are looking for a few things to do after arriving, or if you have any downtime before you head out please get out and take in our wonderful city! There is so much to do here, but here are a few options including some hidden gems. We really do have something for everyone, especially if museums are of interest. Check out our many museum options and see everything you can, but in my opinion the Louisville Slugger is a MUST if you have the time! If you are looking for a casual stroll with some great shops, restaurants and entertainment you should check out NuLu, which is a new vibrant area in Louisville that has really grown over the last few years. There are all kinds of hidden gems here and it is a short walk east from the hotel to Market Street. Also towards the river there are plenty of options including the historic Belle of Louisville. If you are looking for some outside options for dinner you have to check out the Rivue Restaurant on the 25th floor of the Galt House Hotel. It is a duel revolving restaurant that overlooks the beautiful Ohio River. While you are there you should also check out Jockey Silks on the 2nd floor, which is the in-house Bourbon bar with over 150 different kinds of the world’s finest bourbon.

Hopefully this helps as you prepare for your trip to Louisville for the 2013 NASC Symposium, and we cannot wait to host you here in “Possibility City”!

Nick Hope
Business Development Manager
Galt House Hotel