SecretWeapon: You WE’RE ALL GOOD AT SOMETHING. (I’d personally like to think I’m the best athlete ever at my chosen sport, but it’s probably more realistic to say I’m a decent writer and editor, and when the occasion calls for it, I can be a mediocre weekend warrior with the best of them). But the fact remains -- we all have our strengths and if we’re smart, we learn to capitalize on those strengths, both in our professional and personal lives. I’m reminded of the book,Watership Down, which followed the lives of a community of rabbits. The leader of those rabbits was named Hazel. He wasn’t the strongest or the biggest animal in the group, but as a leader, he excelled in finding exactly the right rabbit in the community when a specific task needed to be done. I see this in our industry all the time: certain people excel at the various tasks that make an event run perfectly. Someone might be great at logistics, another can navigate the maze of permitting, another is good at gaining the support of a community for a new event. And all told, those people, and others, make a race, a tournament or a week-long sports festival come together. It’s a funny thing, though: those same people don’t consider themselves experts. Case in point: one person is a whiz when it comes to calculating economic impact. He or she can tell you multiple approaches to capturing and factoring the data regarding the ways a city can benefit from hosting a sports event. But if you ask that person for an expert opinion?You get a shrug and a mumbled response about not really being an expert. As an editor, I am tasked with finding people to write articles addressing various subjects in our industry. Our readers have all kinds of wisdom. But when they’re asked to share it, they back off, thinking someone else knows more. But here’s a three-part news flash for everyone out there: • You are the experts. • Nobody knows this industry better than you. • Everyone has something to learn from someone else. Here at SDM, we’re always looking for people to write articles or provide expert opinions. Some are about tried and true topics, like sports tours or safety and security. Some aremore trendy topics, like finding the right site for an obstacle race, or special safety concerns about head injuries. But whatever the topic, we know the experts are out there, and we know they’re you. May we quote you?Would you, possibly, like to write an article for us, or to be interviewed for one?We’d love to have your input, and we’ll be glad to help out whenever necessary. E-mail me at email@example.com and let me know.We can help you find the right topic, the right article and more.And just as it was inWatership Down, the job you do—the right one for you—will benefit everyone who reads this publication. Flip through this issue. It is made up of articles written by industry members just like you. Join them this year and share your knowledge. Sincerely, Mary Helen Sprecher Managing Editor MARY HELEN SPRECHER has been a technical writer for more than 20 years with the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national association of designers, builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities. She has worked in meeting and convention planning for non-profit associations, and previously was a staff writer for a Baltimore, Maryland newspaper. She is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, a professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and has taught meeting planning and event management courses in the continuing studies program at Goucher College, located in Towson, Maryland. Her freelance writing includes coverage of topics in the areas of fitness, health, sports medicine and special education.
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