Archive for December, 2015

Managing Expectations

December 29, 2015

One of the most important aspects of any tradeshow is managing expectations. There’s a reason that destinations and sports event planners see a tradeshow as a helpful marketing tool. Instead of trying to maintain relationships at arm’s length, you have a chance to actually meet the people you do business with and connect with your peers.

Attending your first sports tradeshow, however, can be a bit overwhelming and certainly confusing at times.  Conducting a little research before heading to the NASC Sports Event Symposium will go a long way.

When the online appointment portal opens, the first registered attendee from your organization will be able to view the list of registered organizations with whom you have an opportunity to meet. Doing a little research to find out if your destination or your sports event is a good match will save you a lot of time.  At the tradeshow, the 10-minute appointment will be over before you know it. Having as much information about who you are meeting with will provide you more time to establish key relationships. The more you know before you go will provide you with more confidence during your scheduled appointments.

Now let’s talk giveaways. From my experience, during your appointments, less is more when it comes to swag – especially when most of what you are giving away will end up as trash. Trying to juggle giveaways, take notes, and exchange business cards is a lot to manage. Business cards are typically all you need.  Following up after the show is the best way to continue the dialogue. If you say you will follow up with specific items, make sure you do.

You may come back with a couple of leads and you may come back with only business cards. The most important takeaway from attending the Symposium is the relationships you are beginning to cultivate.

Remember that the goal of any tradeshow marketing experience goes way beyond just making sales and closing deals. Building your brand, promoting your destination, sport, or services, networking with peers and potential new clients, and sizing up competitors in your industry are all part of the tradeshow experience. All of these takeaways should be accurately reflected as tangible goals in your tradeshow marketing efforts.

Cheryl McCullough
NASC Mentoring Committee

 

 

Adaptive Athletes: Scott Stever

December 28, 2015

This spring the NASC Symposium will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One of the leading rehabilitation centers in the Midwest, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, also has one of the leading adaptive sports programs. In the months leading up to the Symposium, we’ll feature one adaptive athlete each month. This month it’s Scott Stever.

First, a little bit of background: How old are you and how did you and your family find out about Mary Free Bed?

I’m 16, I live in Grand Rapids Michigan, and was introduced to MFB with physical therapy at age 2.

How did you get involved in the adaptive sports program at Mary Free Bed?

I attended the Wheelchair Sports Camp at Grand Valley State University when I was 9, and there I was introduced to Sled Hockey. I have been playing since then, and am now in my eighth season. I am also involved with tennis in the summer to stay in shape during the off-season for hockey.scott hockey

Were you always active in sports? What challenge, if any, was there to learn new sports and new ways to play them?

I had never played sports before sled hockey and tennis, mostly because it was tough to get involved in regular sports with my disability.

What’s the best part of being involved in these adaptive sports?

I love being able to get to play the sport I love and the physical nature of sled hockey. I use sports as an outlet to let my competitive nature shine through, and also the family nature that comes with being part of a team. Tennis allows me to build physical endurance for hockey, and it is great to get out and do something fun in the summer

If you were asked to give a recommendation about the adaptive sports programs, what would you tell people?

I would tell them to just try a sport you think you may like, and if you have a sport that you love to watch, I would recommend that first.

Thank you for a Terrific 2015!

December 21, 2015

This is the time of the year
that we pause to show ourNASC_horiz appreciation for those who work with us, who help us out and who are our partners in the sports industry. I’m sure you have your list of co-workers, sponsors and event partners, and we’d like to add a few of our own to present holiday gifts:

First, a nice bouquet of flowers to those in the service industry who make sure that sporting events go on smoothly. From the people who set up the venue to those who work the concessions, we know that our events couldn’t happen without you. You often work behind the scenes and we appreciate everything you do.

Second, to our friends in youth sports: gasoline gift cards to the parents and coaches who drive their teams to practice and to holiday tournaments, sometimes hundreds of miles, to make sure their kids get great
instruction and good competition. Youth sports are the lifeblood of what so many of us do, and your dedication cannot be measured in dollars and cents. Thanks for giving your kids a chance to live their dreams.

Third, some extra caffeine goes to those who volunteer for our events. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of volunteers are needed to get these events up and running, giving thousands of hours of their time in the process. Whether it’s for the love of the sport or your dedication of giving back, you keep events up and running. We appreciate everything you do.

And finally, fireworks and confetti go to you, our partners and members here at NASC. Your feedback, ideas and participation in what we do keep our organization the best in the sports events business. We are so grateful to have you as part of the NASC and we are excited for the opportunities ahead in 2015.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays from all of us at NASC, including our newest addition, Baby Henry Young (born to Elizabeth and Jordan last week)!

Off-season planning for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium

December 15, 2015

It’s the season of lists. Holiday shopping, wish lists, parties, and making sure you end up on the “nice” list. In the spirit of lists, here’s your NASC 2016 Sports Event Symposium “TO DO” list. Right now is the best time to do your off-season prep, get organized, take care of the logistics, and position yourself to rock it in the new year. Grand Rapids, here we come.

(1) Get registered! You have to be there April 3-7, 2016 to take advantage of this direct selling, education, networking opportunity. It only takes a few clicks. Don’t forget the add-ons and let NASC know if this is your first Symposium. See? Easy.

(2) Make your hotel reservation. You have two choices in Grand Rapids, The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel or the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. You can’t go wrong with either property. Both have plenty of amenities and are convenient to the action at DeVos Place Convention Center. (Room blocks will sell out, so don’t delay on this one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

(3) Book your flight/make travels plans. Local airport is GRR with plenty of lift — 6 airlines and 22 major market direct flights. Or, if you feel the need to road trip, Grand Rapids is easy to get to. Our NASC staff made the trek via car last summer from Cincinnati in under six hours with no speeding tickets (I think).

(4) Update your member profile. This is a good idea any time of the year, but especially when your potential partners are looking for you in prep for the Symposium. Logon to the NASC website and search for yourself in the member directory.  Make sure your POC is current and your message is relevant to your goals for your meetings this spring. It’s the NASC version of Googling yourself.

(5) Ok, now for additional cool stuff. The NASC Member Awards program is great way to recognize those in our industry that deserve our praise. Learn more here.

There are also opportunities to do good work and leave a mark on the local community while in Grand Rapids. Watch for details on the Sports Legacy Fund Community Service Project and get involved by joining your fellow colleagues at a local park clean up. We’d love to see everyone ready with sleeves rolled up. Don’t fret about the weather, no one froze last year! The Sports Legacy Fund silent auction and raffle will benefit the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Wheelchair Tennis Program. This organization assists hundreds of children and adults participate in a variety of organized team sports. Details on donating can be found here. Please, please bring your raffle ticket CA$H and your credit card with the highest limit.

(6) Get your clients to Grand Rapids. Are your current partners NASC members? Wouldn’t it be awesome to see them at the Symposium?  Why not personally invite them to join the association and meet you there. If you need membership info or would like a member of the Membership Committee to contact them, just say the word.

There you have it. Include this list with all the others. Check these items off now to be ready when the Symposium season arrives. See you in Grand Rapids. Ready…..Go!

Janna Clark, CSEE
Elizabethtown Sports Park
NASC Board of Directors
NASC Mentoring Committee

Put sports on your giving list

December 14, 2015

As you’re doing your holiday shopping this season, you can’t help but notice a plethora of requests for donations. Besides the Red Kettle on the corner, you’ll often see on your credit card checkout pad a request to add a dollar for a number of good causes, from homeless pets to meals for the hungry.

youth lacrosse

Photo courtesy of Greater Cincinnati Sports Corporation

While you’re considering year-end gifts, don’t forget about some of the non-profit sports organizations in your own back yard. Whether it’s a local youth baseball team, or even the sports commission or sports corporation that may help you as a rights holder or event manager put on events, all would appreciate a donation at this time of year.

And what will that donation mean? Well, it can help continue a youth basketball program whose gym rental fee went up this year; it can help an inner-city Pop Warner football team buy new gear, including safer helmets and pads; and it can help a sports corporation pay the filing fees for new events that it wants to bring to your area.

Big or small, any gift is appreciated by these groups. And the best part of it is, you can see how that gift pays off with more sporting events and more people participating in sports. According to the U.S. Department of Education, student-athletes in the lower grades are four times more likely to attend college than their counterparts who do not play. And Up2Us Sports says student-athletes have an 11% higher graduation rate than non-athletes.

All in all, sports is a good investment, no matter what time of year it is. Putting your favorite sports non-profit on your year-end giving list helps invest in the future of sports.

The Future of Football

December 8, 2015

Before the Christmas release of the film, “Concussion,” the researcher whose work is the basis for the movie, Bennet Omalu, wrote a New York Times op-ed piece that appeared Monday, in which he says that children under age 18 should not be allowed to play full-contact football.

AFI FEST 2015 Presented By Audi Centerpiece Gala Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "Concussion" - Arrivals

HOLLYWOOD, CA – NOVEMBER 10: Bennet Omalu attends the Centerpiece Gala Premiere of Columbia Pictures’ “Concussion” during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Omalu likens the dangers of football to other known dangers like smoking, asbestos and alcohol, His argument is, we learned of the dangers of each, and now have education and, in some cases, laws in place to protect people from their misuse. We know about the dangers of football, he argues, and it is now time to protect young people from the head trauma that we’ve seen in older players.

Omalu is the first person to link repeated concussions and head trauma to CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition blamed in part for the deaths of a number of high profile NFL players, including Junior Seau and Mike Webster.

In the article, Omalu makes the point “that repetitive blows to the head in high-impact contact sports like football, ice hockey, mixed-martial arts and boxing place athletes at high risk of permanent brain damage. …Why, then, do we continue to intentionally expose our children to this risk?”

In the short term, Omalu’s proposal would change youth football to a non-contact, touch or flag football game. In the long term, though, eliminating youth football as it is played at higher levels would effectively kill the college and professional game in the United States. If youngsters don’t grow up playing the game at it exists now, there’s a slim to none chance they will pick it up when they are “of age.”

In the wake of the New York Times piece, former college and NFL quarterback Danny Kanell tweeted that “the war on football is real.” For youth football organizers, it’s time to look realistically at the dangers and work hard to make the game safer.

 

Upcoming Webinars – Register Now

December 2, 2015

Mark your calendars now! We have a great line-up of both Best Practices Webinars and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below, and reserve your spot today!
________________________________________

National Congress of State Games
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

Join Kevin Cummings, Vice-President, National Congress of State Games, as he discusses their RFPs for the 2019 and 2021 State Games of America and what it takes to land those events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 9th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).
________________________________________

Facility Development in the Sport Tourism Industry
Best Practices Webinar
Thursday, December 10, 2015
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

Join Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, NASC, as he discusses best practices for facility development in the sport tourism industry. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 10th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).
________________________________________

USA Triathlon
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Thursday, December 17, 2015
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

Join Brian D’Amico, National Events Senior Manager, USA Triathlon, as he discusses USA Triathlon and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 17th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).
________________________________________

Webinar Archives
If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives or our Event Webinar Archives.

Contact the Member Services Department if you have any questions.