Mary Helen Sprecher 2015-02-20 05:12:03
Wanted: Your Input RECENTLY, I WAS SITTING IN A BOARD MEETING for the state association of the sport I play. The question came up as to whether our state should make a proposal to host an event on the pro tour. We had hosted plenty of amateur and open tournaments, but this represented a bigger step for us. After discussion, we agreed to toss our hat into the ring. However, one hurdle we had to cross came when one board member asked, “What makes you think they would want to use our state? Why would they want to have an event here?” We were able to hash out the idea and answer the question satisfactorily, but I spent a lot of time reflecting on it later. I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves the same question in one form or another. Why us? Why would someone want to host our group? Why would someone pick my venue? What makes us think we as a vendor have a shot at getting this contract? Am I really qualified for that job? I face similar issues each time I plan an issue of this magazine. We’re always on the lookout for members of the industry to write articles addressing the issues our readers are concerned about. Some great examples are found in this issue, such as the articles on insurance, on hotel options, on stay-to-play and on planning for medical emergencies. They’re written by people who do this kind of work every day, and who are ready to share their knowledge. Oddly enough, though, when you approach people about the possibility of writing about these types of topics, you often get a refusal, and mostly it’s based on one of these concepts: (a) I’m not really an expert. (b) There are a lot of people who know the subject much better than I do. It’s frustrating, particularly since so many people have so much to offer. Is anyone’s knowledge perfect? Not by a long shot. We all have learning to do and if we’re lucky, we keep on learning throughout our time in this industry. And the best way we learn is from our colleagues. Nobody gets better at their job by hoarding knowledge. In order to expand what you know, you have to share it with others. It’s why I always encourage people to read over our magazine, think about your interests and the ideas they have for articles, and get in touch with me. When you read through this issue, you’ll see any number of great articles, including the pieces on golf, baseball and swimming/diving, as well as those providing insights into national governing bodies such as AAU. And you won’t want to miss the article about quidditch, the quirky, quickly emerging niche sport. All of these articles – and others – showcase the knowledge of people who wrote them, who were interviewed for them, or who provided the ideas for them. We depend on our readers to share their knowledge. Why don’t you consider it this year? I’m always looking for new ideas, new input and new voices, and I welcome yours. Mary Helen Sprec her MARY HELEN SPRECHER, managing editor of Sports Destination Management, has been a technical writer for almost 30 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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