Archive for the ‘Venues and Facilities’ Category

How to Successfully Prospect

January 26, 2016

Sporting events represent an opportunity to showcase and to make a significant economic impact on your community.  Where should you start in the process of securing events and meetings?

Strengths:

To be effective with your time, you need is to evaluate what events could work in your area, especially the resources that you have available for your use.  These resources are primarily facilities and people.

  • What types of facilities do you have available to host events? Don’t limit your vision to “major” complexes.  There are a variety of options that may work including city facilities, parks, colleges, public and private schools, open spaces, hotels and even your roads.
  • Who in your community has interest, expertise and understanding of sports? Do they have relationships with event planners and will they be an advocate for you?  Who has access to recruiting volunteers who are knowledgeable with sport? Who will help collaborate to bring events to your community and to insure that they are successful?

Opportunities:

The variety and number of available meetings and events is extensive.  There are events that will work for all regions and others that you should not pursue.  There is no reason to spend any resources on pursuing a downhill skiing event if you live in Florida.  Some other topics for event marketers to explore include:

  • What types of events could work in your community?
    • Which events have a significant fan and participant base in your area?
    • What sports have an interest in growing or breaking into your area?
    • What events work in your facilities? What events have similar elements to those events?
    • What events are the facility managers interested in pursuing?
  • Look at what similar towns/cities in your area and in the country are doing. What is your competition hosting?
  • When are there “holes” in your City’s calendar, where bringing in events would make the biggest economic impact? If you live in a beach community, perhaps a winter event would have more impact than a July event when your community is already busy.

Resources / History:

There is no need to reinvent the wheel.  As a member of the National Association of Sports Commissions, you have access to research, meetings and events that are available for bid and access to other NASC members.  Utilize these resources.

Part of the vetting process is to research the history of the events and event organizers.  Are the elements in their RFP realistic? Is bidding on this event and making an investment in time, and potentially money, going to have a return on your investment?  Does history confirm their claims of room nights and economic impact?  Do they pay their bills?  Use the internet as a tool and call the CVBs / Sports Commissions that have hosted these events in the past.

Many RFPs are a starting point in the bid / negotiation process.  Many event planners will ask for everything and the kitchen sink up front.  After vetting the event and deciding that it is something that you want to pursue, even if you can’t match all of the bid elements, feel free to counter offer and make your pitch on why the event would be successful in your community.

Bidding:

Make sure that the event makes sense for your community.  It may be okay to take a loss on an event if it helps you gain exposure, grow your event portfolio or lead to other events.  Take a long range view of event procurement.

Let the event planner know the strengths of your community including who will be involved in the bid and execution of the event if you win it.   Why should the event come to your community?  Can you draw spectators and participants?  What is your experience in the sport?  Can your community provide expertise, volunteers, financial backing?  Is there a legacy if the event does come?

Conclusion:

There are sporting events and meetings that will work for all communities.  Start by looking at your strengths and then match these with the available opportunities.

Bob Murdock
Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau
860-882-1103
robertm@ctcsb.org

Getting the most of the venues you have

September 29, 2015

Fenway Park in Boston has been the home for football, for concerts, for hockey, and now, this winter, it will be the home for big-air snowboarding. “Big Air at Fenway” will bring in top winter extreme athletes to compete on a 140-foot snow ramp inside the park. With the winter Boston had last season, having enough snow or cold shouldn’t be a problem. If it is, organizers say they’ll just truck in enough snow for the athletes.

“I think it’s more that we see Fenway as a community gathering place, and doing high-profile, blue-chip events outside of baseball season a couple times a year is an appealing thing for the community,” according to Red Sox and Fenway Sports Management President Sam Kennedy. “A lot of them are a return to a past. Soccer had happened way back in the early part of the century, and the Patriots even played at Fenway and Boston College played at Fenway way back, so I think we’ve been inspired by Fenway’s history and actually bringing these events back in terms of a return to the past.”

More and more venues are getting more and more use out of their facilities by opening them up to new ideas and new sports. Yes, sometimes it’s a pure gimmick, as with the U.S. Synchronized Swim Team performing routines in what was called the largest swim tank in Times Square history last week, but it’s another way to expose what may be a niche sport to more people. You can bet Fenway will be sold out for the Big Air event.

(Boston, MA, 09/22/15) Fenway Sports Management (FSM) and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) during a press conference announce a big air ski and snowboard competition that will take place at Fenway Park in February.  A drawing of the massive snow ramp within the park on Tuesday,  September  22, 2015.  Staff photo by Matt Stone

Drawing courtesy of Fenway Sports Management

A New Look at Old Venues

December 30, 2014

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is crammed with all kinds of sporting events, not the least of which is the New Year’s traditional 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, featuring hockey (Chicago and Washington) playing outdoors, this time at the Washington Nationals stadium.

The outdoor series started as a made-for-TV New Year’s tradition in 2008, and since then has become one of the most popular and most-watched NHL games of the season. It’s spurred a similar Canadian series, the NHL Heritage Classic, and has NHL teams asking to either host, or take part in the series. 2015-WinterClassic-Rink-Build

These so-called “gimmick games” aren’t anything new, but they do emphasize the point that sometimes a change of venue can give new life, and bring new fans, to any sport. Basketball has been played on aircraft carriers and on the stage at Radio City Music Hall, even outside in the desert in the dead of winter. Collegiate hockey (as well as the NHL) has been played at the “Big House” of Michigan Stadium.

Golf balls have been hit off decks and docks and tennis has been played on the top of skyscrapers (as promotional stunts); Wrigley Field and Fenway Park have been the hosts for college football games in recent years and Yankee Stadium holds the annual Pinstripe Bowl.

Don’t have a beach to host the pro volleyball tour? No problem. For the AVP stop in Cincinnati two years ago, sand was trucked into the middle of the street and bleachers were set up on the sidewalks and voila, sand volleyball!

All this is to say, don’t hesitate to look at your facilities in different ways for different uses. Several years ago when the organizers of the Las Vegas Bowl weren’t able to use the stadium’s suites for hospitality, they took the end-zone space, put up a tent, brought in lounge chairs and big-screen televisions and created their own field-level exclusive hospitality area which became even more popular than the traditional suite box.

By looking at venues with a new, creative eye, sometimes you can make an event an even more exciting experience and bring in new fans at the same time. Make 2015 the year of maximizing your venues for the best experience possible.

NASC Playbook – December 2013 Edition Available Now

December 30, 2013
The latest edition of the NASC Playbook is available now.Image
Inside this issue:
  • 2013 Year in Review
  • CSEE/Market Segment Meeting Recap
  • 2014 Board Nominations
  • 2014 Member Awards
  • 22nd annual NASC Sports Event Symposium Preview
The NASC Playbook was created to feature members’ success stories and share industry best practices among the membership.  If your organization has a story to share and would like to be interviewed for a future article, contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing.
Read the Playbook now.

New Events Added to Online Event Database and Upcoming Event Webinars

September 19, 2013

The NASC Event Database is a wonderful resource for both NASC active members and rights holder members. This free resource allows rights holder members to post their events available for bid to the online database for all active members to search for events to bid on. Recently, USRowing posted four event RFPs: USRowing Youth National Championships, USRowing Club National Championships, USRowing Masters National Championships and USRowing Masters National Head Race Championships. Additionally, USA Track & Field added their 2015 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships RFP, and Sommer Sports added their Xtreme Obstacle Challenge RFP. USA Fencing has also followed suit and added their 2014 March NAC bid requirements.

Active members are encouraged to opt-in to receive instant email notifications when events are added.  Members may opt-in from their online account: http://www.sportscommissions.org/My-Account/Manage-Account.aspx.

Many Rights Holder members have taken a step further and presented Event Marketplace Webinars in an effort to more thoroughly share information about their events and requirements to bid with destinations interested in hosting their events, including: USA Triathlon, USA BMX, ASA/USA Softball, Corporate Games, USA Cycling, and NCAA. The upcoming event webinar schedule is below:

Wednesday, September 25th at 2pm ET – USRowing (Youth Nationals, Club & Masters Nationals)
Register now​-https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/978914334

Tuesday, October 1st at 2pm ET – Sommer Sports (Xtreme Obstacle Challenge)
Register now​-https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/216711110

Monday, October 14th at 2pm ET – USRowing (Masters National Head Race)
Register now​-https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/216711110

If you are interested in posting an event you have available for bid to our event database or would like to host an event webinar to discuss your RFP and bid requirements, please contact Elizabeth Chaney, Director of Membership an Marketing, at Elizabeth@SportsCommissions.org.

Updates to online profiles on NASC website

November 27, 2012

In the most recent video blog, Don discusses updates to the NASC website which will allow Active members to add more detailed information about venues to their online profile. The enhancements will allow event owners to search through the member directory by venue type.  This new tool is a valuable one; but it will only be a useful tool to help promote your destination’s facilities and venues if you update your organization’s profile.  The new area of the website that will be available in the coming weeks.

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.

Managing Expectations in the Sports Event Industry

August 7, 2012

In this short video, NASC Executive Director Don Schumacher, CSEE, discusses what it takes to be successful in the sports event industry … and that the best place to start is by managing expectations.

Here with just a few of our closest friends

August 3, 2012

As our Olympic Games journey comes to an end, we finally made it to where the games began – Olympic Park.  In order to access the Park, either a ticket for a venue within the area or a day-pass that had to be purchased months in advance is required.  At first, this made no sense to me as many sponsors have interactive exhibits here, and the Merchandise Mega Store takes up a good portion of the area.  Furthermore, it is a great place to people watch.  However, upon spending a few minutes here, I understand the method to what I assumed was madness.  I am guesstimating there will be upwards of 400,000 people here today. If they had opened the doors to everyone, it would be a security nightmare, nearly impossible to enjoy and just plain crazy.  It has been a great trip and I look forward to sharing the nearly 2,000 photos I have taken.

 

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC

It’s Fun and Games

August 2, 2012

Greater London has caught the Olympic spirit. Banners are up on houses, businesses and streets. Free and pay activities have been created and heavily promoted such as BT Live in Hyde Park.  Large screens have been erected at Hampton Court Palace grounds to watch competitions.  Although there has been quite a fuss about tickets being listed as unavailable even though many seats have been empty at major events (you’ve probably seen them on TV), there are still plenty of ways to participate and catch the Olympic spirit.

Olympic Flags

BT Live

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC

What is with all of this Pink?!

August 1, 2012

A few days before we left for the Games, a friend posted a picture of the Olympics gymnastics competition floor, and it was bright pink – I mean BRIGHT pink.  I shared the picture on Facebook with the comment “wow, that’s a lot of pink”, and a few friends posted things like “It hurts my eyes” and “I am sure the men love that”.  However, now that we have seen a gymnastics competition on that bright pink floor (and have learned that pink is the color scheme of the games), I think it was a brilliant move by the LOCOG (London Organizing Committee Olympic Games).  Everything, and I mean everything a spectator would need to be able to identify, is pink – flooring at many of the venues, signage, volunteers uniforms, the big foam fingers that the “directional” volunteers hold to point spectators in the right direction, barrier coverings, etc.  It is so easy to identify Olympic Games features as they are all pink and stand out.  My overwhelming opinion of the London 2012 Games is how organised and well thought out they are – at least from a spectator’s perspective.

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC