Planning the event is the hard part. You need to be in control from the time you conceive the idea to the post-event analysis.
This can be quite a challenge, especially if you don’t have any experience. Or if the event includes several sport activities.
Want the event to be a smashing success? Here’s exactly what you can do.
1. Prepare a detailed plan
Plan well. To do so, you need to have experts on board. Get a team of reliable volunteers and specialists.
Some of the items you need to address in this stage include:
- The goal of the event
- Its feasibility
- Laws regulating such events
- Length of time (e.g. one day, a few days, a week, and so on)
- A rough estimate of the budget
- Estimated number of participants
- Identify potential sponsors if you need some
Tip: For inspiration, take a look at this “Sports Events Checklist” from Kent Sports.
2. Set the date, time, and place
This is more crucial than most people realise. There are a myriad of factors to consider.
How will the weather be? Are all participants available? Do you have enough time to get everything in order? Are there major sports events in the neighbourhood that could overshadow your event?
Take your time with this. (No pun intended.)
Next, approach the management of your preferred venues and enquire about their availability.
Before sealing the deal, confirm that the venue has all the necessary facilities for the sports event. Make sure the management allows you to use them. You don’t want to hire a venue without a swimming pool when swimming is one of your main activities.
Check if they have separate changing rooms for ladies and men. Or if you can temporarily convert what’s available to cater for this.
Tip: For advice on picking the right event date, take a look at this guide.
3. Refine the original plan
To this point, we have been operating with the rough ideas generated in the initial meeting with experts and volunteers.
With the date set and venue booked, it’s time to get the plan more refined. This involves setting the specific details such as the types of tournaments to be played.
Let’s use football as an example. Will it be a knockout tournament? Full scale matches or modified? How many teams will play?
Apply this to all sports activities that will take place. Focusing on details will help you get a clearer picture of the supplies and services you need.
To be more efficient, make a list of the needed supplies and their prices. This way, it will be harder for you to overlook anything.
4. Convince those sponsors
You now have an elaborate plan and budget. Now you are in a good position to approach the sponsors you identified. Tell them about the event, the objectives, why they would be the ideal sponsor, and what you need from them.
There is no room for error. Things like your communication style, approach, reliability, and punctuality count. Make sure you are clear about what you need from them. Be ready to justify your request.
There is always the chance that the prospective sponsor will turn you down, forcing you to approach others. In such instances, just dust yourself and move on to your next prospect.
Tip: To learn more about getting sponsors for an event, read our detailed guide.
5. Create the day’s program
It’s time to create a detailed program for the day. Scheduling is going to be a tough task, especially if the event has multiple activities.
First, consider the attendants. Sports events are often family oriented. They attract a sizeable number of families with children, some coming from far away. For their sake, try to make sure that key activities wrap up before dusk.
Different activities and participants might also share equipment and officials. Take note of such details. Avoid scheduling them at the same time and causing conflicts.
Ideally, you need to acknowledge the sponsors in the program. Negotiate with them and agree on the promotional information to use.
Tip: To make your work slightly easier, use a free online tool to help design your program.
6. Arrange for supplies and officials
Get all the supplies you need for the event in good time. The supplies may differ from one event to another. Generally, you need things like:
- First aid kits
Limited funding is one of the main challenges facing event planners today. Save some money by renting some of the durable items.
The venue’s management may own some of the equipment you need. Approach them and inquire if you can borrow or hire.
If the competition is going to be professional, get professional referees and officials. Make sure they are not conflicted. None should be affiliated with any of the teams in the tournament. This helps to avoid unfair competition.
Agree on the amount you are going to pay them beforehand.
Tip: GGS International have a selection of sports equipment to buy or hire for your event.
7. Double check everything
Confirm that all the necessary items and equipment is available. Make sure they are in good condition. The same applies for officials and volunteers.
Make sure there are a few people who can perform basic first aid procedures. In addition, they should be able to detect signs of illness such as a dangerous shortness of breath. Have an ambulance and paramedics on standby. Distribute a list of emergency numbers among attendees.
After that, contact all participating individuals and teams to confirm their attendance. Ensure they sign a waiver of liability. This protects you legally in case of injury.
If there are specific rules for the event, inform them accordingly. In addition, provide them with a helpline they can call for questions and comments.
Enjoy the sports event but…
…don’t forget you are in charge.
As the organiser, you should have fun, just like everyone else. It’s okay to cheer and take those memorable pictures.
However, don’t forget even for a minute that you are responsible for all the participants. Your real success is running the event to completion with minimal hitches. Be reachable throughout the event. Stay alert to notice any challenges or emergencies.
We’ll soon have a guide on how to run the sports event on the day. Stay tuned.