There’s an App for That The sports event planning industry is changing every day and there is no bigger driver for this change than the technological sector. In addition to streamlining our communication, it has taken specific aspects of our jobs and reduced them to a matter of minutes. We can go online in order to investigate competition venues and hotels, book tee times for golf tournaments, arrange brackets for team play and more. The rise in the use of smartphone apps has also changed the landscape of our industry. A full complement of those apps has appeared on the market in the last few years – apps for marathons, meets and even sports conferences. Chances are you’ve started hearing questions about whether your event needs one too. But how do you know if it’s worth it? The article in the Clipboard section of this issue can help you decide. What else can you learn in this issue? How about some of the newest trends in the merchandising and souvenir industry? Many of these are also technology-related, so get ready to think outside of the T-shirt box and get some logo merchandise your participants can use. The Business Development department has more. Another game-changer in the industry is fitness competitions. You’ll learn how it’s growing and how it’s being hosted across the United States in this issue. And while we’re talking about game-changers, think about the United States Flag and Touch Football League, profiled in our Executive Insights article. It’s a sport currently experiencing a boom that is fueled by those who favor a non-contact workout. What else can you learn? A lot about the best facilities for tennis in the United States, tips on how to plan a great volleyball event, and an overview of rodeo and equestrian sports. The Midwest is hopping with sports facilities, and our Regional Focus covers those. And if you’ve been looking for a venue to house your event, look no further than our special Industry Leadership section, which contains an excellent selection of facilities nationwide. A new season of fall sports has begun. We hope you’ll take advantage of all this issue has to offer as together we continue to experience the evolution of our industry. Mary Helen Sprec her MARY HELEN SPRECHER, 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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