Posts Tagged ‘Tips From The Member Mentoring Committee’

Building Community Relationships

February 23, 2016

 

Building relationships within your community is essential to the success of sporting events you host.  From venue support, event management, volunteer recruitment, fundraising and sponsorships, your local community holds the resources that rights holders look for when awarding events.

How do you begin?

  • Visit all prospective venues in your area. Get to know everything about them, build a relationship with their staff and learn who books their events.
    • Why?
      • A venue is usually the most critical component to a successful bid.
      • Their customers may become prospects and customers of yours.
    • Get to know all of the local clubs and sport organizations.
      • Where to find them?
        • Local news
        • Referrals
        • Google Alerts and Search Engines
        • Relationships with local venues
        • Club listings on national websites (i.e. National Governing Bodies)
      • Why?
        • They are the experts in their sport and invaluable resources in areas such as event management, vendor relationships, volunteers, and they may also have relationships with venues.
      • Reach out to local government; they may grant access to venues, provide support services, and/or offer financial support that could be essential to a successful proposal.
        • Parks and recreation departments
        • Police, fire and EMS
        • Department of Transportation
        • Elected officials such as a Mayor, City Council, County Commissioners
      • Be sure to include the business community in your outreach as they can may provide sponsorship opportunities and a pool for volunteers.

What tools are available to build and support your relationships?

  • Social media
  • Volunteering at sports events in your community
  • Join and/or serve on a board or committee for a club, organization or association
  • Create an event to bring your local sports community together to foster discussions and promote networking amongst themselves.

Bonny Bernat, CSEE
Senior Sports and Events Sales Manager
Visit Winston-Salem
Bonny@Visitwinstonsalem.com
NASC Mentoring Committee

 

 

Tips for the RFP Process

February 9, 2016

Responding to an RFP can be a daunting task, especially in the sports market.  Yet, tackling an RFP piece-by-piece can make the process easier and, hopefully, yield lucrative results.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that the requirements are a good fit for your destination. Read the RFP thoroughly to see if you have the items needed to place a bid.  The bare bones necessary are the venues, hotel space, volunteer availability, expertise of a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and a plan to deal with bid fees.  If you have any questions, pick up the phone and call the planner.  A phone call will go a long way, and allows you to find out what the hot button issues are. In some cases, what you might think is important actually may be unimportant for the planner.  Always ask the question. For example, if a bid specifies that your fields need to have lights but yours don’t, ask the planner if lack of lights is a deal breaker.  Another example might be that a client prefers Hilton properties, but the bulk of your rooms are with Marriott. If this happens, let the client know, and check to see if this will be an issue for the bid.

One of the most important steps in this process is to check the history of the event you are bidding on.  The best way to do this is to talk to the CVBs or Sports Commissions in cities that have hosted the event in the past.  Ask them about venues used, hotel pickup and if there were any challenges with the event operator.  Make sure to find out if they had any overall problems with the event.  This information is very valuable, and will help you in the RFP process.  It is important to also check the geographical history of the event – has the event ever occurred in your region? Some events are a better fit to certain areas of the country- what works in the South might not work as well in the North. It’s fine to let a client know that you have researched their event.  It shows that you are thorough and helps keep them transparent and communicative.

Many destinations cannot afford – or simply won’t pay – bid fees. Many times, a bid fee can be circumvented by offering concessions instead.  A list of concessions is usually provided along with the bid fee. These can include complimentary hotel rooms, airline tickets, rental cars etc.   Only the sales person and the destination marketing or sports organization can determine if you can address their concessions.  Perhaps you can form a partnership with a local rental car agency to get a reduced weekly rate in exchange for agency being listed as the sponsor. Airlines can be a bit challenging, however contact your local hub, they may be willing to work with you. Utilize relationships with the hotels in the area to obtain comp rooms for the proposal.  Some events will require two or more hotels to fill the comps. Always make sure the comp policy is consistent across hotels listed in the proposal.

Once you have collected all of the information required for the bid, prepare to submit the proposal. If you have not been able to meet all the concessions, it is still okay to submit. Several things can happen at this point. One response may be, that, although the concessions were not completely met, the facilities may be a better fit for the event. Another response could be a flat out no, however the organizer now is aware what you are able to do and may come back for future events.

It is important to ask for decision dates as a part of the proposal submission. If it is not specifically addressed in the RFP, make sure to ask. This allows organizations to hold space at facilities until decision time. Some facilities will place the space on “hold” for a certain number of days and give the event planner the “right of refusal” for the dates. In that case the organization on “hold” will have to go to contract and send a deposit for the space. Some organizations will request a site visit as a part of the decision process. With years of experience, it is safe to say a site visit should typically last two days to include venue and hotel options.

John Gibbons, CSEE
Executive Director of the RI Sports Commission
JGibbons@GoSportsRI.ocm

Ron Eifert, CSEE
Senior Sales Manager
Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau
reifert@daytoncvb.net

Upcoming Best Practices Webinar – Register Now

February 3, 2016

Join NASC Mentoring Committee co-chairs John David, CSEE, COO, USA BMX and Mike Price, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority, as they share different ways the mentoring committee can help you get the most out of your NASC membership!

You don’t have to be a new member or new to the industry to utilize the mentoring committee, as many industry veterans still connect with their mentor to discuss ideas and share experiences. All three membership categories are represented within the committee, which consists of over 200 years of cumulative sport tourism industry experience and knowledge. Questions about the benefits and resources available to members, the NASC Symposium and industry related topics are just a few examples of how the mentoring committee is able to assist. There will also be time to ask John and Mike questions during the webinar.

Who should attend this webinar? All members! Whether you are a new NASC member, a new hire at an NASC member organization, new to the sport tourism industry or have been around for years, we encourage you to attend!

Date: Friday, February 26
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Register Now!

If you’ve missed any of our recent Best Practices Webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives (login required).

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

2016 NASC Sports Marketplace Appointment Process

January 12, 2016

As reported in the September edition of the NASC Playbook, the Symposium Committee, based on member feedback, has created a new framework for the 2016 NASC Sports Marketplace. In this edition of the “Tips from the Mentoring Committee”, we offer the following thoughts on improvements to the appointment process and how all members can benefit from hitting the reset button on what to expect from the NASC Sports Marketplace in Grand Rapids.

Individual Appointments

Think “New Relationship NASC Sports Marketplace”

From its inception in San Antonio, TX in 1997, the purpose of the NASC Sports Marketplace has been to provide opportunities for NEW BUSINESS development for our members.

Individual appointments, which are 10 minutes each, offer destinations and vendor exhibitors the opportunity to share information about their community and/or products/services with event owners.  Ideally, individual appointments should be requested by organizations that are not currently doing business with one another.  Anyone who has attended the NASC Symposium knows the schedule includes ample time for current business partners to conduct meetings and network with each other.

For the first time, participating members will have an extended window to request, accept/decline, and prioritize individual appointments. The online appointment portal will open the first week of January and remain open until February 26, 2016.

Why the extended time?  Eight weeks gives everyone time to properly evaluate and research the organizations with whom they are requesting an appointment and organizations requesting an appointment of them.  The goal is to eliminate individual appointments taking place between a destination and/or vendor and event owner where there is clearly no opportunity to do business. For example, if a destination doesn’t have facilities required to host a particular sport and/or event, then the destination should not be requesting an appointment with that event owner.  With time to evaluate and research, these potentially embarrassing situations can and should be avoided.

Event Overview Appointments

Think “Learning & Listening Marketplace”

Event Overview Appointments offer event owners the opportunity to share information about their organization and what it takes to host an event with destinations whom they have not done business.  This is not a time to sell your destination or product/service to the event owner, but rather listen to the event overview and gather information about event requirements, future opportunities, etc. If your organization qualifies to host an event or provide a product/service based on what you learn during the appointment, then follow up after the Symposium.

How does this work?  Destinations, vendor exhibitors, and event owners will have the opportunity to request, accept/decline, and prioritize event overview appointments. These appointments will take place at tables in the Sports Marketplace, not at the event owner’s booth.  Up to five (5) destinations and/or vendor exhibitors will be seated at a table with one event owner. The event owner will provide information on what it takes to host their event and may allow a minute or two at the end of the 10-minute appointment for questions.

Key Dates

  • Week of January 4 – Individual Appointment schedule portal opens
  • Midnight PT February 19 – Last day to registered to be guaranteed appointments
  • Midnight PT February 26 – Individual Appointment portal closes
  • Week of March 14 – Individual Appointment schedules released and Event Overview Appointment portal opens
  • Midnight PT March 18 – Event Overview Appointment portal closes
  • Week of March 28 – Event Overview Appointment schedules released

It is important to note, registration fees must be paid in full before the first attendee from your organization can view the online appointment portal.

Direct any questions about the appointment process to your member services coordinator.

Active Members:

Meagan McCalla, Meagan@SportsCommissions.org or 513.842.8307.

Allied and Rights Holder Members:

Allison Deak, Allison@SportsCommissions.org or 513.250.4366.

Yours in sport,

John David, CSEE
USA BMX
NASC Mentoring Committee Co-Chair
John@USABMX.com

Mike Price, CSEE
Greater Lansing Sports Authority
NASC Mentoring Committee Co-Chair
mprice@lansing.org

 

What my membership in the NASC means to me

April 29, 2013

I had some time to reflect on the Symposium on my short drive home last Thursday, and one thing among many was pretty evident—-there is a passion for sports and sporting events like never before!

This brings me to the reason of this message to all of you. I wanted to pass along some thoughts on “What my Membership in the NASC means to me”? I really don’t know where to start with this other than the fact that it is OUR Association, and while we have some great leadership and staff at the National level, it is only as good as what we put into it. I have had the pleasure these past several years to serve on the Mentoring Committee, and as a committee we have had the opportunity to meet and talk with our new members and educate them on the value of the great decision that they and the organization that they belong to made by joining the NASC. How rewarding it has been for me help and assist someone as they venture into this exciting field of Sports and Events! Our new members are our future, and as the Symposium hit a new milestone with over 750 people in attendance this past week, we can only hope that we continue to see steady growth in the years to come. We can achieve this by offering strong educational programs, CSEE Certification, and  an outstanding Symposium each year.

If you are not active serving the NASC in some capacity—-Start Now! You would be pleasantly surprised by what you can offer (who would have thought that I would be writing this note to you now) and your event experience could help another member and its Organization save some time and effort on an Event they may be working on. There are many Committees that are available to serve on and you could be a valuable addition bringing in new ideas and thoughts. Learn more about committees and volunteer opportunities here.

If you are not enrolled in the CSEE Certification—Consider it! Expertise in any field is the benchmark for how you are perceived in your trade. Continuing education is important and what better place to receive that than in a CSEE Module. Educated and updated by the best in our field, that is what you can expect at each Module. Learn more about CSEE here.

If you are not looking at the website on a regular basis—Do it! Great updated information is only a “click” away. Make the website a favorite on your Internet menu and review it often.

If you have questions reach out to someone and find the answer. If you met someone this past week I am sure that they would be happy to speak with you. Not sure if that is where you want to start—call the National Office, they will have ideas and may recommend someone to call.

Thanks again to Louisville for hosting an outstanding Symposium!

Yours in Sports,

Ron Eifert, CSEE, Sr. Sales/Sports Manager

Dayton/Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Direct: 937.226.8284

E-mail: reifert@daytoncvb.net

Website: http://www.daytoncvb.com

What my NASC membership means to me?

April 11, 2013

Being a veteran in the Sports Tourism Industry for 20 years, I can remember back when I first got involved with the NASC.  You see, I just came of the coaching world of college baseball and now I found myself in a new career path.

I attended the NASC Annual meeting, yes it was not the NASC Symposium yet, not knowing what to expect or even what the conference was about.  My first experience can mostly be related to the “TEAM” aspect that has been part of my life for over 45 years.  I found myself surrounded with individuals who, just like me, wanted to absorb everything anyone had to offer.  I was so blown away by the willingness of my competitors to share and help me learn about the industry.

I view my NASC membership as being part of that “TEAM” again.  I have been literally involved at all levels the NASC from serving on the committees, being a board member, being part of the Executive Committee and eventually the Chairman and I can honestly say every minute I spent working on projects for the NASC has enabled me to gain a better understanding of the industry and as well as provide me the tools to be successful.

The membership benefits are great, opportunities to get involved are numerous and the payoff is fantastic.  I am very glad to be part of the National Association of Sports Commission and I look forward every year to reconnecting with my all my old friends and meeting my new “competitors”.

As once said by a very famous coach to his team….”You can only get out of it what you are willing to put into it.”

Rick Hatcher web  Rick Hatcher, CSEE
Director of Business Development
PSA
536 Chapel Hills Drive, Suite 146
Colorado Springs, CO  80920

Rick Hatcher has over twenty years of experience in the Sports Travel  & Event Management Industry. He is currently the Commercial Development Director of PSA in Colorado Springs, CO.  Prior to joining PSA, he was Sports Marketplace Coordinator for Collinson Media and Groups, President and CEO of the Lexington Area Sports Authority in Lexington, KY, Executive Director of the Tallahassee Sports Council and Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tallahassee, FL.

While serving as the President and CEO of LASA, he also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) for three years, the Executive Committee for four years and as the Chairman of the NASC for one year.  Rick also served on numerous committees for the NASC and is a standing member of the NASC Leadership Council and a graduate of the Certified Sports Events Executive (CSEE) program.

2013 NASC Symposium

February 26, 2013

Every year our organization looks forward to April, not only is it when the lacrosse season really starts to heat up, but it’s when the NASC Symposium occurs.  We’ve identified the symposium as one of our premier opportunities to connect with fellow rights holders and learn about best practices, trends and emerging event planning thinking.  We’ve also identified the symposium as an opportunity to connect with cities that would be interested in hosting our national events.

As a rights holder, it can be intimidating to sit at a table and look at a schedule that includes between 40-80 appointments with cities and sports complexes and just like speed dating, first impressions are everything.  It’s easy to quickly rule out a city as a potential host if they come unprepared for the meeting.  Just as it’s easy for a city to assume that a rights holder is not an expert event manager if they are unprepared.

Our team has found that we can eliminate a ruined opportunity by providing as much information up front as possible.  Basically, we believe in doing our homework.  We make sure that we fill out our profile and in it, we include our must haves for any host city (120×70 yard field are hard to find!).  When a city sits down, we ask them if they have reviewed any of our RFP’s on the NASC website and we ask them if they have looked at our minimum requirements.  When the answer is yes, we are ready to have a great conversation.

When the answer is no….well….it gets….a….little….awkward…..

We’re not perfect, but we try and respect people who also try.  At US Lacrosse, you get an A for effort.

And most importantly, if you can’t meet our requirements and you know it, but still want to ask us how to get your community more involved in supporting our sport, we are happy to help.  As the National Governing Body for the sport, our job is to provide people with information on how to start a league, how to find officials and how to grow the sport.  We want lacrosse to continue to grow and we are always seeking allies to help us with that.

Photo: John Strohsacker / LaxPhotos.comBeth Porreca

Beth holds a BS in Sport Management from Daniel Webster College and a Master of Education in Sports Administration from Temple University.  She is currently the Director of Events at US Lacrosse where she is responsible for the planning and execution of 11 distinct national events annually.  She is also responsible for the planning and execution of the 2014 Federation International Lacrosse Men’s World Championships.  Beth leads US Lacrosse’s efforts to develop organizational strategy to direct the overall events platform, including evolving current events and developing new events.  Beth previously held positions with both Disney Sports Attractions and the US Olympic Committee.  She is currently enrolled in the CSEE program.

Come Often & Come Hungry to Louisville

February 26, 2013

When people think of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby or Louisville Slugger usually come to mind, but people might be surprised to learn Louisville has a vibrant and eclectic food scene. It is how we earned nods like being named one of the “Best Foodie Getaways around the World” by Zagat and the “Top 10 Tastiest Towns” by Southern Living two years in a row.

Locals are very proud of our great eats and it is easy to see why.  Louisville has a wide variety of restaurants offering farm-to-fork foods with award-winning chefs boasting the use of “Kentucky Proud” products.  A group called “Louisville Originals” features more than 30 unique restaurants, showcasing what real Louisville eating is all about. Far from what you might expect, Louisville has flavors from all over the globe including Ethiopian, Vietnamese, French and of course good old fashioned Southern comfort food.  There really is something for everyone.

We are also the “Gateway to Bourbon Country” so you can’t leave town without sampling America’s only native spirit.  This is a town that knows a thing or two about cocktails. The Old Fashioned was actually created right here in Louisville. Our bartenders also have a passion for pouring. As a matter of fact, Louisville bar MEAT was named one of the “World’s 50 Best Bars 2012” by Drinks International. They are just one of many bars in Louisville to quench your thirst.

We like to say “when it comes to food, Louisville brings a lot to the table.” You will find that it is absolutely true. Your biggest problem will not be finding a place to eat, but choosing where and what to eat. So come often and come hungry!

Gen Howard Headshot
Gen Howard

Gen Howard is the Senior Sales Manager for the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.  She is responsible for selling Louisville as a premier sports destination and generating room nights for the city.  Howard has been with the Louisville CVB for over 4 years and has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years. Prior to joining the Louisville CVB, Howard was the Sales & Marketing Manager for the Hard Rock Café at 4th Street Live.  While at the Hard Rock Café, she assisted with opening the Louisville restaurant and managed all events, concerts, and marketing for the brand in the region for 5 years.  Howard started out her career at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, where she worked in various marketing & sales positions to promote and sell the Six Flags brand. Howard attended Western Kentucky University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications & Marketing. Howard grew up in Louisville and is very passionate about the city and everything is has to offer both residents and visitors.  When she is not selling Louisville, she enjoys running, biking, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Bid Preparation & Presentation: Responding to the RFP

February 14, 2013

Ever wonder why you didn’t get the event? We all have methods for responding to RFP’s and perhaps that’s where you fell short. Here are some tips for responding to RFP’s that might help you the next time you target an event for your community.

Being a Know-It All

Before you respond, there are several things you should “know” when you make your decision.

1)      KnoW your approach – Are you the Shotgun (throw yourself at anything that comes along) or the Rifle (targeting specific events). As you progress to the step of making your decision, knowing your approach will help you find a better success rate because you’ll be more focused.

2)      KNOW YOUR METRICS FOR SUCCESS – Too often we focus strictly on head-in-beds or economic impact. While the metric threshold for each event will vary due to event size, it’s important to consider all the metrics you wish to use in evaluating your approach. Are there media impacts (TV/webcasts) associated with the event? Are there opportunities to attract a new sponsor: one other than the “usual suspects”?

3)      KNOW YOUR SUCCESS RATE – No metric is more important than knowing your own success rate. It’s the only measure of how well you’re doing and how efficient you are with your valuable, yet often limited, resources

Build a Go/No-Go Matrix

Everyone should have a set of metrics from above, along with potential risks, that is used to reach a decision on whether or not to pursue the event. If you don’t, you’re probably closer to the “Shotgun” model.

Know the RFP Critical Elements

Every RFP has 6 critical elements. Make sure they are all there, or begin asking questions. The six critical elements are: 1) History of the NGB and Event; 2) Scope of Services for both NGB and Host; 3) Required Proposal Contents; 4) Evaluation Criteria, Process and Timeline; 5) Financial Arrangements; 6) Venue Specifications

Fold Your Knowledge Into Your Response

1)      KNOW THE EVENT – If you haven’t actually seen the event, studied the operational issues, participant demographics and geography, you won’t be able to detail how you can enhance the event and participation.

2)      KNOW YOUR COMPETITION – By knowing the hosts you’re competing against, you’ll be better able to capitalize on their weaknesses and minimize any strengths they might have.

3)      KNOW YOUR CLIENT – Who will sign the contract and how stable is the organization? Are there any issues that may add risk to hosting this event? You need to know your own “deal breakers” so you know where to draw the line in contract negotiation.

RFP Do’s & Don’ts

1)       DO YOUR RESEARCH – Make sure you’ve evaluated all the positives and the risks, and built your Go/No-Go decision on good metrics.

2)      DON’T FLUFF – Be precise and concise. Make the response easy to read and easy for the evaluators to find what makes your community the best choice.

3)      SHOW WHAT YOU CAN DO, NOT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE – Every community has experience in hosting events. Use this to illustrate how you can enhance the event you wish to host. This step will help you stand out against the competition.

4)      HIGHLIGHT WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE – What is different about you that no one else has. Go back to the know your competition step and emphasize your strengths. All communities have golf courses; attractions; restaurants, etc. What is it about you and your community that will make the event more successful than it has been in the past?

Following these steps should help you improve your success rate. Good Luck and Good Hosting!

Greg Moore

Greg Moore, PE, PMP
Director of Tournaments
United States Bowling Congress
Greg.Moore@bowl.com

Plan early for NASC Sports Event Symposium!

January 21, 2013

Well folks, it’s that time of year again – the time that we all start rolling out the New Year’s resolutions.  Some of us will vow to eat less, exercise more, be more appreciative of what we have, spend more quality time with loved ones, etc.  Here’s one for you:  Plan early for NASC Sports Event Symposium!

  • The deadline to register (let’s start there) is Friday, March 8.
  • Watch for the best airfare.
  • Book your hotel reservations while there is still room left in the block – you will save money by getting the group rate and a lot of business takes place in the corridors or public areas of the headquarter hotel(s).
  • Strategically think about the people that you’d like to extend an invitation to meet with during open time in your schedule.  The earlier you reach out to individuals to ask if they are attending and if they’d please take an appointment request from you, the better your chances of actually making it happen!
  • To get the most out of the conference, start your research early.  Research takes effort and time.  Know who you are requesting an appointment with and whether it’s truly a good match for both parties.  Many people skip this step and wonder why they don’t get more out of the appointments.
  • Make a wish list of the people that you’d like to have an appointment with and the moment the opportunity arises to request times, you’ll be ahead of the game with a priority list already made.
  • Try to remind yourself that quality is better than quantity.  Having a packed agenda of meetings or introductions that go nowhere doesn’t benefit anyone.
  • Have fun.  The sports industry is great because it’s not only a really enjoyable market, but anyone can be a winner – big events or small competitions, large cities or tiny towns… find the right partner and soar.

Happy New Year!  I’ll see all of you resolution makers and breakers at the Symposium.

Janis Schmees Head Shot Color 2012Janis Schmees, CSEE, has been the CEO of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority since 2006 when she became the third chief executive and first woman to hold the position since the inception of the organization.  In addition to overseeing the billion dollars of bond debt service for Houston’s premiere, professional sports stadiums, under her leadership, Houston has been awarded major sporting events.  Schmees has been recognized by Conference USA and Rice University for her outstanding contributions and achievements as a woman in the Houston sports industry, honored as a “Woman on the Move” by the Texas Executive Women’s Association, and recently named “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2012.”