The athletes have caught their breath, and all the crowds have left. You may think it’s time for you to close up the shutters and put up your feet, but you’d be wrong.
The game isn’t over for you.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves once more and start planning your follow-up. This is your chance to grow the relationship with your attendees, gain valuable information, and plan for future sports events.
Follow these five steps to turn your attendees into fans.
1. Say thank you
You’ve had a great event, and some thanks are in order.
Running a sports event involves many people: the athletes, staff, sponsors, and fans. Thanking them can be one of the most important acts you do post-event. It’ll be a big step towards building and maintaining the relationship.
First, ensure you are utilising social media. Get your thanks out there immediately following the event. Send a tweet, post on Instagram, and update your Facebook.
You’ll want to send out something a little bit more personal, too. Send out a letter or email thanking everyone personally if you have the time and resources to do so.
These are the people you put the event on for, so send them a big thank you for making it a success.
Here are some things to include in your message to them:
- Tell them what an incredible atmosphere they’ve created.
- Include images and media from the day’s events.
- Give them some numbers (sports fans love stats).
- Get them excited about future events (potentially include a discount).
Whether they’re runners, footballers, or darts players, they’re the reason people came.
Things to include:
- Thank them for their excellent performance.
- Tell them the attendance numbers.
- Let them know that you hope to include them in future events.
They helped put on your event by supplying you with the resources to finance it.
Things to include:
- Thank them for their involvement.
- Send them any attendee and revenue data you have.
- Let them know that their help made the event possible.
- Tell them you hope to work with them again in the future.
The staff and volunteers
Without these guys, you would never have gotten your event off without a hitch.
Things to include:
- Thank them for all the hard work.
- Let them know their contribution led to a great event.
- Offer to give them a written recommendation for their next event.
- Suggest to stay in touch for future sports events you might organise.
Tip: If you’re afraid of sounding too generic, check out these creative ways to say thank you.
2. Do post-event coverage
You’ve been tweeting up a storm during the event, and that shouldn’t stop after it’s done. It’s a sports event, so post-event coverage is a must.
Social media is incredibly important for any sporting event, because it makes it really easy for the fans to stay in the loop.
You should have media prepared and ready to go immediately following the event. Fans will want to relive all the best bits.
Sharing a video of that winning goal could keep them talking about your event for weeks.
Feel free to get creative with your post-event coverage:
- Prepare interviews with athletes and share these.
- Create an infographic.
- Invite a local newspaper or local radio station to cover your event.
This is an excellent chance for you to push any additional promotion. If you have products or merchandise, this is the time to sell. Your fans will be far more receptive while they are still high from the event.
Finally, use this opportunity to start drumming up excitement for your next event. If you already have a game scheduled, make sure to let them know when and where.
3. Collect feedback
Feedback is going to be vital to developing and planning future events.
You will want to get feedback from your attendees and your athletes. These two perspectives are integral to growing your event.
The basic questions to ask:
- What did you think was right about the event?
- Did you enjoy the event?
- What do you think could be improved?
- What would you like to see in future events?
You will need to ask specific questions, too. This is how you’ll get to the heart of things you need to know. Tailor your questions to your attendees and athletes.
Sample questions to ask your attendees:
- What did you think of the venue?
- How was the view from your seat?
Sample questions to ask your athletes:
- What did you think of the changing facilities?
- Did you have what you needed to perform your best?
Use this as an opportunity to get feedback on the things that matter to you. This will help you develop your future events.
Tip: Check out our guide on free event survey tools to help you collect feedback.
When it’s all said and done, it’s time to sit back and evaluate the success of your event.
Have an open discussion with your team. This will help you uncover potential hidden issues and bring forward new ideas.
Make a note of what you wanted to achieve and what your goals were. How well do those stack up to the final outcome?
Did you want to sell a thousand tickets? Well, how many did you sell?
If you didn’t sell enough, you could look at what people think needs improvement. Use this to come up with a plan to improve those areas.
Maybe you sold more than you expected. That’s great! Now, look at the things people want for the future. Create a plan of how you can implement these ideas.
Think about some of the logistical issues and what went right and wrong. Was the venue fit for purpose? Come up with a plan on how you can improve these next time.
With each event, you learn something new. This is the time to build upon that learning.
Tip: Check out our guide to evaluating your event, so you’re sure to cover all bases and catch the little details.
5. Plan your next event
You’ve put on your first successful event, and you’re a little experienced. It’s time to take everything you’ve learned and put it into practice.
Through your feedback and evaluation process, you’ve identified any existing or potential issues. Armed with all those newfound insights, you can shape your next event to be bigger and better.
You don’t have to get it perfect, but you do have to get that little bit closer to perfection.
Tip: Check out these event planning websites to help you with your next event.
Share your questions and experiences
Did we miss anything in the follow-up process? Then drop us a question in the comments below.
If you have experience with following up after a sports event, feel free to share it with us!