Mary Helen Sprecher 2014-05-06 04:13:33
When Teams Work SometimeS, it’S good to get a reminder of how a real team works. I recently had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Sports Commissions Sport Symposium, held in Oklahoma City. It was, as always, a great place to reconnect with others in the industry, recharge the batteries and in general, get me fired up for the coming season. At one of the luncheons, I sat with some symposium participants who manage sports facilities. One was discussing the fact that he had been able to access some important information about contracts and rental prices for facilities in his region. He didn’t do this by purchasing a study or hiring a consultant. He got in his car and drove to those facilities, talked to their managers (all of whom he knew through NASC) and asked questions. “We knew it was in our best interests to work together,” he said, “so we just sat down and hashed everything out.” At the end of the day, he noted, everyone came away with not just a better understanding of the price structure and the sports economy in the area, but with some pretty accurate information to use in response to potential customers who were trying to negotiate lower prices by claiming other facilities had offered them a discounted rate. It was a great illustration of how the sports event planning industry should, and can, work together. And in this issue, you’ll see it echoed in a number of articles. For example, in “Enhancing the Economic Power of Sports Tourism,” in which Tara Hamburger discusses what she calls ‘coop-etition,’ or the ability to work together with colleagues at competing CVBs and sports commissions in order to achieve the best results. This issue is filled with information about how to create better sports events, how to become better professionals and how to find the best information in our industry. This issue discusses fishing, soccer and track & field. It’s not just about prime destinations, either; it’s about learning about the best fit for your event, based on your group and its needs. And if you want to learn about the rising stars in the business, we have them as well, in our special Industry Leadership section. I left NASC feeling stronger, more optimistic and a lot more informed as a result of spending time with my colleagues. I hope you’ll turn the last page of this issue and feel the same way. MARY HELEN SPRECHER is managing editor of Sports Destination Management 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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