What my membership in the NASC means to me

April 29, 2013

I had some time to reflect on the Symposium on my short drive home last Thursday, and one thing among many was pretty evident—-there is a passion for sports and sporting events like never before!

This brings me to the reason of this message to all of you. I wanted to pass along some thoughts on “What my Membership in the NASC means to me”? I really don’t know where to start with this other than the fact that it is OUR Association, and while we have some great leadership and staff at the National level, it is only as good as what we put into it. I have had the pleasure these past several years to serve on the Mentoring Committee, and as a committee we have had the opportunity to meet and talk with our new members and educate them on the value of the great decision that they and the organization that they belong to made by joining the NASC. How rewarding it has been for me help and assist someone as they venture into this exciting field of Sports and Events! Our new members are our future, and as the Symposium hit a new milestone with over 750 people in attendance this past week, we can only hope that we continue to see steady growth in the years to come. We can achieve this by offering strong educational programs, CSEE Certification, and  an outstanding Symposium each year.

If you are not active serving the NASC in some capacity—-Start Now! You would be pleasantly surprised by what you can offer (who would have thought that I would be writing this note to you now) and your event experience could help another member and its Organization save some time and effort on an Event they may be working on. There are many Committees that are available to serve on and you could be a valuable addition bringing in new ideas and thoughts. Learn more about committees and volunteer opportunities here.

If you are not enrolled in the CSEE Certification—Consider it! Expertise in any field is the benchmark for how you are perceived in your trade. Continuing education is important and what better place to receive that than in a CSEE Module. Educated and updated by the best in our field, that is what you can expect at each Module. Learn more about CSEE here.

If you are not looking at the website on a regular basis—Do it! Great updated information is only a “click” away. Make the website a favorite on your Internet menu and review it often.

If you have questions reach out to someone and find the answer. If you met someone this past week I am sure that they would be happy to speak with you. Not sure if that is where you want to start—call the National Office, they will have ideas and may recommend someone to call.

 

Thanks again to Louisville for hosting an outstanding Symposium!

 

Yours in Sports,

 

Ron Eifert, CSEE, Sr. Sales/Sports Manager

Dayton/Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Direct: 937.226.8284

E-mail: reifert@daytoncvb.net

Website: http://www.daytoncvb.com

 

What my NASC membership means to me?

April 11, 2013

Being a veteran in the Sports Tourism Industry for 20 years, I can remember back when I first got involved with the NASC.  You see, I just came of the coaching world of college baseball and now I found myself in a new career path.

I attended the NASC Annual meeting, yes it was not the NASC Symposium yet, not knowing what to expect or even what the conference was about.  My first experience can mostly be related to the “TEAM” aspect that has been part of my life for over 45 years.  I found myself surrounded with individuals who, just like me, wanted to absorb everything anyone had to offer.  I was so blown away by the willingness of my competitors to share and help me learn about the industry.

I view my NASC membership as being part of that “TEAM” again.  I have been literally involved at all levels the NASC from serving on the committees, being a board member, being part of the Executive Committee and eventually the Chairman and I can honestly say every minute I spent working on projects for the NASC has enabled me to gain a better understanding of the industry and as well as provide me the tools to be successful.

The membership benefits are great, opportunities to get involved are numerous and the payoff is fantastic.  I am very glad to be part of the National Association of Sports Commission and I look forward every year to reconnecting with my all my old friends and meeting my new “competitors”.

As once said by a very famous coach to his team….”You can only get out of it what you are willing to put into it.”

 

Rick Hatcher web  Rick Hatcher, CSEE
Director of Business Development
PSA
536 Chapel Hills Drive, Suite 146
Colorado Springs, CO  80920

Rick Hatcher has over twenty years of experience in the Sports Travel  & Event Management Industry. He is currently the Commercial Development Director of PSA in Colorado Springs, CO.  Prior to joining PSA, he was Sports Marketplace Coordinator for Collinson Media and Groups, President and CEO of the Lexington Area Sports Authority in Lexington, KY, Executive Director of the Tallahassee Sports Council and Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tallahassee, FL.

While serving as the President and CEO of LASA, he also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) for three years, the Executive Committee for four years and as the Chairman of the NASC for one year.  Rick also served on numerous committees for the NASC and is a standing member of the NASC Leadership Council and a graduate of the Certified Sports Events Executive (CSEE) program.

Sustainable Sports Events

March 22, 2013

Everyone seems to be talking about sustainability these days, but what does it mean for sports events to be sustainable? You may have been interested in sustainability initiatives for your sports event, but don’t know where to start.

The most basic elements of a sustainable event include reducing energy use and carbon emissions, conserving water, maximizing recycling opportunities and minimizing waste, supporting local businesses, providing equal access to your event, and creating a legacy.

It doesn’t have to be an intimidating prospect to move your event toward greater sustainability. Start small and increase your initiatives each year. Here are a few basic pointers to get started:

  • Be sure you are planning ahead and have gained buy-in from your stakeholders, organization and/or board. Support from your constituents is critical.
  • Identify ways to reduce waste and maximize recycling opportunities. Are you using recycled paper in your printer? Do you default to double-sided copies? Consider electronic tickets or using web or social media to communicate program information and marketing outreach. Use biodegradable or recycled materials when possible. Provide water stations to fill reusable water bottles instead of bottled water.
  • Consider ways in which you can reduce emissions. Consult with your local utility for renewable power options. Encourage participants and fans to use mass transit. Use hybrid or electric vehicles.
  • Encourage use of hotel facilities which have strong green initiatives.
  • Use local businesses for services and products.
  • Serve locally grown and produced food and beverages.
  • Determine if your venue is ADA-compliant and offer solutions for those who may need additional assistance.
  • Designate a certain number of tickets for local schools or non-profits.
  • Donate leftover foods and supplies to food banks and shelters.

These are just a few examples of sustainable initiatives that any event can implement. Remember, many of these initiatives offer excellent sponsorship opportunities!

Resources for additional sustainability information:

Janis TwoJanis Ross, Executive Director
Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports

Don’t be that guy!!

March 11, 2013

In April, I will be attending my 6th NASC Symposium. I want to believe I have grown and learned a lot since attending my 1st show in Omaha.

Since that first show though, I have noticed the same thing happens. The “NOOBS”, the new fresh faces at this show come in with ambition

to land that AAU Basketball National Championship, that USYSA President CUP Championship, or that GREAT WHITE BUFFALO (The Super Bowl as I call it)

at the Symposium. (I mean I was the same way, I knew I could land AAU, or at least a  NCAA Golf Regional)

Nope. It didn’t happen, any of it.

You want to know the reason why? It wasn’t for a lack of effort, it was because I didn’t know what my community was willing to support. My Vision was something different than the people of my town. They wanted smaller state regional events, while I wanted the glamour of national regional events. Ultimately it was a failure in my part by NOT KNOWING what my community is capable of handling.

This is the KEY!!!     You hear that everyone?

The secret for any great successful event, is to have community support of that said event.

What you want may be different that what you can provide. NGB’s, Event Directors, and Rights Holders want to have their events in communities that want

to have them there.

You can’t compare LA to NY, or Branson to Reno, or Kings Mountain, NC to Bozeman, MT.

Each community is not the same, even if population wise it seems they are similar.

You have to know what your community can host!

Just because an event ran great in one area doesn’t mean it will be great for yours.

What worked for many people I have spoken to over the years in recruiting events is:

  1. Know what your Community can host? Know your resources!!
  2. Learn about the Event, Group.
  3. Make sure your community is interested in support.
  4. Research communities that have hosted the event in the past.
  5. Call the city that hosted the event and ask questions

After you do follow the steps. Then you can move forward.

In MHO, It is better to spend time researching and developing relationships and knowing what to expect, than to shoot from the hip.

The great thing about our network of professionals is that if you call Justin Stine in Kansas, or Mike Anderson in North Carolina, or Tammy Dunn in Washington each of them will talk to you and help you out with any questions you may have. (Well maybe not Justin as he is on the Golf Course every other Day) but when he is in the office he will call you back.

I guess what I am trying to say to anyone who is reading this blog in preparation for the Symposium, is to ask questions. Don’t assume you know everything. Even people who have been doing this since many of us were in elementary school,  they still ask questions.

With that see you in LOUISVILLE!!!

newsom

Jesse Newsom

Jesse is the sports marketing director for the Fayetteville area CVB. He previously spent 4 1/2 years as the executive director of the Jacksonville Onslow sports commission. Jesse has over 9 years in the sports travel industry. He is probably the coolest guy you will ever meet.

You Get What You Give. What You Put Into Things Is What You Get Out Of Them!

March 8, 2013

Every year when April rolls around I’m totally exhausted and ready for a break from the realities of the work place. I’m tired from all the sending of emails, answering phone calls and labor intensive weekends out working events. To be honest I’m in need of a pick me up, a change or even a vacation, NASC Symposium just so happens to take place at this exact time every year and for me puts the excitement back into my job and gets me fired up for the second half of the year.

This just doesn’t happen you have to go into the Symposium with an open mind and desire to learn something new. The best advice I can give to a new attendee or even a veteran is to be open to new ideas and put yourself out there. Don’t stay in your room and hug the wall! Jump in head first and be willing and ready to walk away after the week is done with that, hey I never thought of doing that or we have to try that back home or even a new contact or two. You can’t be shy when it comes to the Symposium, the networking opportunities are invaluable! Don’t be afraid to walk up to someone and introduce yourself or attend an extra innings lounge by yourself. Chances are the person you are walking up to has been in your shoes before and will welcome you into conversation. The Symposium has so much to offer but if you hide under a rug and don’t embrace everything that is in front of you, you will head home after the week with an inbox full of emails and a phone full of voicemails to catch up on and be right back to where you started.

Don’t be shy and just remember you get what you give. What you put into things is what you’ll get out of them.

Meghan CarmodyMeghan Ziehmer, CTA, is a Michigan State University graduate and proud Spartan. Meghan now serves as the Manager of Sports Events for the Greater Lansing Sports Authority where she has been since October 2009. In her time with the GLSA she has served on the local organizing committee for March Magic Hoopfest, two USA Hockey National Championship events, the 2012 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships and is currently serving as the Chair for the 2014 Midwestern Sectional Figure Skating Championships.

2013 NASC Symposium

February 26, 2013

Every year our organization looks forward to April, not only is it when the lacrosse season really starts to heat up, but it’s when the NASC Symposium occurs.  We’ve identified the symposium as one of our premier opportunities to connect with fellow rights holders and learn about best practices, trends and emerging event planning thinking.  We’ve also identified the symposium as an opportunity to connect with cities that would be interested in hosting our national events.

As a rights holder, it can be intimidating to sit at a table and look at a schedule that includes between 40-80 appointments with cities and sports complexes and just like speed dating, first impressions are everything.  It’s easy to quickly rule out a city as a potential host if they come unprepared for the meeting.  Just as it’s easy for a city to assume that a rights holder is not an expert event manager if they are unprepared.

Our team has found that we can eliminate a ruined opportunity by providing as much information up front as possible.  Basically, we believe in doing our homework.  We make sure that we fill out our profile and in it, we include our must haves for any host city (120×70 yard field are hard to find!).  When a city sits down, we ask them if they have reviewed any of our RFP’s on the NASC website and we ask them if they have looked at our minimum requirements.  When the answer is yes, we are ready to have a great conversation.

When the answer is no….well….it gets….a….little….awkward…..

We’re not perfect, but we try and respect people who also try.  At US Lacrosse, you get an A for effort.

And most importantly, if you can’t meet our requirements and you know it, but still want to ask us how to get your community more involved in supporting our sport, we are happy to help.  As the National Governing Body for the sport, our job is to provide people with information on how to start a league, how to find officials and how to grow the sport.  We want lacrosse to continue to grow and we are always seeking allies to help us with that.

Photo: John Strohsacker / LaxPhotos.comBeth Porreca

Beth holds a BS in Sport Management from Daniel Webster College and a Master of Education in Sports Administration from Temple University.  She is currently the Director of Events at US Lacrosse where she is responsible for the planning and execution of 11 distinct national events annually.  She is also responsible for the planning and execution of the 2014 Federation International Lacrosse Men’s World Championships.  Beth leads US Lacrosse’s efforts to develop organizational strategy to direct the overall events platform, including evolving current events and developing new events.  Beth previously held positions with both Disney Sports Attractions and the US Olympic Committee.  She is currently enrolled in the CSEE program.

Come Often & Come Hungry to Louisville

February 26, 2013

When people think of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby or Louisville Slugger usually come to mind, but people might be surprised to learn Louisville has a vibrant and eclectic food scene. It is how we earned nods like being named one of the “Best Foodie Getaways around the World” by Zagat and the “Top 10 Tastiest Towns” by Southern Living two years in a row.

Locals are very proud of our great eats and it is easy to see why.  Louisville has a wide variety of restaurants offering farm-to-fork foods with award-winning chefs boasting the use of “Kentucky Proud” products.  A group called “Louisville Originals” features more than 30 unique restaurants, showcasing what real Louisville eating is all about. Far from what you might expect, Louisville has flavors from all over the globe including Ethiopian, Vietnamese, French and of course good old fashioned Southern comfort food.  There really is something for everyone.

We are also the “Gateway to Bourbon Country” so you can’t leave town without sampling America’s only native spirit.  This is a town that knows a thing or two about cocktails. The Old Fashioned was actually created right here in Louisville. Our bartenders also have a passion for pouring. As a matter of fact, Louisville bar MEAT was named one of the “World’s 50 Best Bars 2012” by Drinks International. They are just one of many bars in Louisville to quench your thirst.

We like to say “when it comes to food, Louisville brings a lot to the table.” You will find that it is absolutely true. Your biggest problem will not be finding a place to eat, but choosing where and what to eat. So come often and come hungry!

Gen Howard Headshot
Gen Howard

Gen Howard is the Senior Sales Manager for the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.  She is responsible for selling Louisville as a premier sports destination and generating room nights for the city.  Howard has been with the Louisville CVB for over 4 years and has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years. Prior to joining the Louisville CVB, Howard was the Sales & Marketing Manager for the Hard Rock Café at 4th Street Live.  While at the Hard Rock Café, she assisted with opening the Louisville restaurant and managed all events, concerts, and marketing for the brand in the region for 5 years.  Howard started out her career at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, where she worked in various marketing & sales positions to promote and sell the Six Flags brand. Howard attended Western Kentucky University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications & Marketing. Howard grew up in Louisville and is very passionate about the city and everything is has to offer both residents and visitors.  When she is not selling Louisville, she enjoys running, biking, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

 

Don’t Have an Appointment, Who Cares?!

February 19, 2013

The NASC Sports Marketplace is an invaluable networking opportunity, so make sure to do your research! Your first priority is to study up on participating event owners, so you know their needs and wants. Then, make your selections and prioritize them.

You will receive your appointment schedule in early April, which will outline who you will be speaking with at the Symposium. Didn’t get matched up with everyone you wanted to meet? Don’t stress! The 2013 NASC Symposium schedule is packed with networking opportunities, so there is no reason not to hit everyone on your “must-see” list.

Read on for more tips on how to make connections during the 2013 NASC Symposium.

  • Meals:
    Everyone has to eat, right? Make plans to meet with potential clients during the continental breakfast or sit next to one another at lunch. In fact, Tuesday’s lunch is specifically planned as a networking opportunity on the Marketplace floor.
  • Receptions:
    The Symposium’s evening receptions are organized specifically to give attendees the opportunity to network, so make sure you attend! These events are the perfect time to introduce yourself to that rights holder or the host city your group would love to go visit.
  • Rapid RFP Review Sessions:

New in 2013, this structured opportunity will allow attendees to spend eight minutes with participating event owners in small groups.  You’ll be able to hear details about events currently up for bid, ask questions and share business cards.

  • Reach out early:

Contact event owners in advance and use your downtime wisely. Make plans to catch up at with someone at one of the general sessions or during a break.

  • Extra Innings:

Before calling it a night, stop in and enjoy your favorite drink with a fellow attendee or potential client. Exchange a business card and make plans to follow-up the next day or when you return home.

There are opportunities around every corner during the Sports Event Symposium, so take advantage of the event and don’t worry if you don’t have an appointment!

Laura_Headshot

Laura Gurreri is the Director of Sales at the York County Convention and Visitors Bureau where she has been since 2002.  After a facility audit in 2007, Laura was instrumental in developing Sport York, a brand dedicated to promoting York County as Pennsylvania’s Premier Sports Destination.  This renewed focus on sports tourism was key to securing numerous state, regional and national events including the Keystone State Games, South Atlantic Figure Skating Championships and the National Horseshoe Pitchers World Tournament.

Bid Preparation & Presentation: Responding to the RFP

February 14, 2013

Ever wonder why you didn’t get the event? We all have methods for responding to RFP’s and perhaps that’s where you fell short. Here are some tips for responding to RFP’s that might help you the next time you target an event for your community.

Being a Know-It All

Before you respond, there are several things you should “know” when you make your decision.

1)      KnoW your approach – Are you the Shotgun (throw yourself at anything that comes along) or the Rifle (targeting specific events). As you progress to the step of making your decision, knowing your approach will help you find a better success rate because you’ll be more focused.

2)      KNOW YOUR METRICS FOR SUCCESS – Too often we focus strictly on head-in-beds or economic impact. While the metric threshold for each event will vary due to event size, it’s important to consider all the metrics you wish to use in evaluating your approach. Are there media impacts (TV/webcasts) associated with the event? Are there opportunities to attract a new sponsor: one other than the “usual suspects”?

3)      KNOW YOUR SUCCESS RATE – No metric is more important than knowing your own success rate. It’s the only measure of how well you’re doing and how efficient you are with your valuable, yet often limited, resources

Build a Go/No-Go Matrix

Everyone should have a set of metrics from above, along with potential risks, that is used to reach a decision on whether or not to pursue the event. If you don’t, you’re probably closer to the “Shotgun” model.

Know the RFP Critical Elements

Every RFP has 6 critical elements. Make sure they are all there, or begin asking questions. The six critical elements are: 1) History of the NGB and Event; 2) Scope of Services for both NGB and Host; 3) Required Proposal Contents; 4) Evaluation Criteria, Process and Timeline; 5) Financial Arrangements; 6) Venue Specifications

Fold Your Knowledge Into Your Response

1)      KNOW THE EVENT – If you haven’t actually seen the event, studied the operational issues, participant demographics and geography, you won’t be able to detail how you can enhance the event and participation.

2)      KNOW YOUR COMPETITION – By knowing the hosts you’re competing against, you’ll be better able to capitalize on their weaknesses and minimize any strengths they might have.

3)      KNOW YOUR CLIENT – Who will sign the contract and how stable is the organization? Are there any issues that may add risk to hosting this event? You need to know your own “deal breakers” so you know where to draw the line in contract negotiation.

RFP Do’s & Don’ts

1)       DO YOUR RESEARCH – Make sure you’ve evaluated all the positives and the risks, and built your Go/No-Go decision on good metrics.

2)      DON’T FLUFF – Be precise and concise. Make the response easy to read and easy for the evaluators to find what makes your community the best choice.

3)      SHOW WHAT YOU CAN DO, NOT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE – Every community has experience in hosting events. Use this to illustrate how you can enhance the event you wish to host. This step will help you stand out against the competition.

4)      HIGHLIGHT WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE – What is different about you that no one else has. Go back to the know your competition step and emphasize your strengths. All communities have golf courses; attractions; restaurants, etc. What is it about you and your community that will make the event more successful than it has been in the past?

Following these steps should help you improve your success rate. Good Luck and Good Hosting!

Greg Moore

Greg Moore, PE, PMP
Director of Tournaments
United States Bowling Congress
Greg.Moore@bowl.com

Finding the right events for your community

February 12, 2013

The National Association of Sports Commissions annual NASC Sports Event Symposium is a tremendous vehicle to join communities with ‘event owners’ and establish the win-win events that meet our goals and needs. The Symposium attracts communities from small to large and ‘event owners’ events that also range from small to large. It should also be noted that many of the ‘event owners’ have multiple events and those events have a wide range of participation.

As you plan your scheduling request to meet with ‘event owners’ it is extremely important to assess your communities assets and the ability for your community to conduct a successful event for a specific ‘event owner’. Some sample questions you should ask and answer before setting an appointment with a specific ‘event owner’ include:

v  Does our community have ample facilities that meet the specific requirements of the event?

  • First and foremost for a successful event is the quality of the ‘field of play’ for the event.
    • Do are facilities meet the minimum standards for field of play dimensions for the event?
    • Do we have an appropriate number of facilities to handle the expected participation?
    • If multiple sites are needed are the sites within a reasonable proximity to one another?
    • Can we provide excellent maintenance of the facilities throughout the course of the event?
    • Hotel Accommodations
      • What is the expected participation for the event and does our community have ample quality and affordable housing for the participants and their families?
      • Are the accommodations within a suitable proximity to the playing venues?
      • Hotel accommodations and rates are highly important to participants and their families and ranks second in importance next to the quality of the ‘field of play’.

v  Does our community have a population that will support the event and provide ample staff and volunteers to conduct a successful event?

v  Does our community have ‘stakeholders’ with the ‘event owner’?

  • Many ‘event owner’ for National and Regional Events have local associations or individuals that conduct the ‘event owner’s’ programs at local levels. Does your community have these ‘stakeholders’ in place that can support and lobby for your community to hold the ‘event owners’ events?

These are just a few of the questions you should ask and answer before requesting an appointment with an ‘event owner’.

If you know or feel that your community is a good match with a ‘event owner’ request an appointment and discuss future possibilities and bid requirements at the Symposium.   If you are not positive if your community is a good match with a ‘event owner’ schedule an appointment with the ‘event owner’ at the Symposium and use your time to discuss your facilities and other assets with the ‘event owner’ and inquire as to their needs and expectations for conducting successful events.

Ron

Ron Radigonda
Executive Director of the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball since May 1998.
ASA/USA Softball Commissioner for Metro Sacramento, CA. from 1982 – 1998.
Served as Executive Director of the Sacramento Sports Commission.
Incorporated and Served as Executive Director of the Sacramento Sports Foundation.


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