Mary Helen Sprecher 2013-11-01 01:41:46
Keep Calm and Game On THE OTHER DAY, I SAW A BUMPER STICKER that said Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. It was meant to be humorous, but I realized it applies to our industry. We all want a successful sports event with no hiccups and no surprises. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. From a leaky roof on a facility to a multi-day rainout on a field to a flat tire on the team bus that delays the start of a game, we’ve all dealt with unexpected wrinkles. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that coping with those last-minute problems is an essential part of the job description when it comes to sports event planning. If we’re lucky, nobody notices the problem. And when it is noticeable, we can always console ourselves with the notion that it could be a lot worse (cough cough —Super Bowl power failure — cough cough). As planners, we’re often judged on our ability to keep our cool and solve the problem (or at least find a way around it) while listening to complaints without losing our temper. That’s a hard multi-task to accomplish, but we do it. After all, it’s the challenges and problems, not the perfect events, that are the measure of our skills. In this issue, we’ll learn about how to remain flexible and solve problems – and we’ll read about some real-life case studies where planners had to think on their feet. That’s not all we have in store, though. We’ll learn about the best of the best in the Midwest, some ace tennis facilities and the ways volleyball is shaping our sports landscape. You won’t want to miss the feature on equestrian and rodeo, or the one on action sports. There’s always something to learn in our business and plenty of new trends to keep up with. Been to a college or pro game recently? Have you noticed how many souvenirs you can buy or gifts that people are handing out? Ever thought of putting some of that into practice with your event? If not, you might be missing out on a great revenue stream (or just a marketing opportunity) so we’ve done the legwork for you. We’ll also give you a shortlist of some great venues to consider for your next event. And that’s really the most important thing about our industry: it keeps evolving, and our knowledge and skill sets need to evolve as well. Stay flexible, keep learning and always explore new ideas. It’s our best defense against things that might go wrong, and our best tool for helping all our events surpass expectations. We’re near the close of one year and the beginning of another. Keeping an open mind to some new possibilities might be the best resolution we can make. 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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