Behind the Scenes Sometimes, you just can’t help but be amazed at the disproportionate amount of time that is spent planning sports events, only to have them blow by us at what seems to be the speed of sound. Of course, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, really. We may spend a lot of time on the back end of an event – researching hotels or negotiating with venues, for example – while the visible part of the event (the part the athletes and spectators experience) may be over in days or even hours. And if we’ve done our jobs correctly, the event has gone off seamlessly and nobody knows exactly how much work is involved with pulling it all together. This issue examines some of those things we invest a lot of time in – insurance, for instance, or tooling the RFP process. After all, those are aspects of our planning that are invisible to our athletes, but are essential nonetheless. But that’s not to say everything we do goes unnoticed. For example, one aspect of our planning, recording and streaming events, is actually gaining prominence as a marketing tool. We can’t afford to overlook this technology, nor any other kind. This issue also looks at sports events for athletes with special needs, and at some hot trends in sports, including obstacle racing and rugby. We’re in the season of winter and ice sports, so don’t miss our feature on those – or the one on BMX and skateboarding, both of which are growing exponentially. And with March Madness just around the corner, our article on basketball venues couldn’t be more timely. This is also our ‘destination’ issue, with our Regional Focus on the Northeast, and our Industry Leadership on New & Expanding Markets. If you’ve been looking for a new home for your event, you may just find it in the pages of this issue. By the way, just as our magazine covers excellent opportunities for learning, our e-newsletter, the SDM Blitz, brings up some of the hottest and most current topics in our industry. If you haven’t subscribed to this yet, please drop me an e-mail at email@example.com and I’ll be glad to make sure you’re on our list. We’re looking forward to a great 2017 and we’re glad you’ll be a part of it with us. 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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