If you’re new to organising sports events, or it’s been a while since your last, you may be wondering where to start when organising your next event.
We have worked with hundreds of event organisers up and down the country, who often come up against similar challenges when preparing for their big day. We’ve put together some of our top tips for organising your sports event, so you can avoid some of the pitfalls other organisers have fallen into.
Visuals and design
It’s crucial to give the participants as many reasons as possible to remember your event, and having a beautiful website and an equally stunning event will attract and retain more people. You want to be engaging people from the second they go on your website – there is nothing worse than a bland or outdated page.
Make sure to design some branded event furniture, such as tents, banners, flags, that will grab the attention of participants and passer-by’s. An event that has a clear brand image will live long in the memory and generate interest beyond your event launch.
Find a sponsor
Having a good local business or authority to sponsor your event can be crucial for hosting a smooth and successful event. Aside from the obvious easing of the financial burdens of organising your sports event, they will help to create some useful relationships in the community. In exchange for some of their branding on your event, you will likely have access to increased advertising, engagement, participation and some extra pairs of hands for the day!
It’s crucial to promote the event using online and offline marketing. You don’t want only the most dedicated people to turn up – you want everyone to know about the event and want to be there.
Reach out to local sports club, communities and organisations, and get in touch with local papers/advertisers. This will help get the word out to the people in the area. You can then use a good social media strategy to reach out to a wider audience – but be sure to give your campaign enough time to reach people, and enough time for them to schedule it in their diaries.
Do not underestimate the amount of hands you will need to make your event run without a hitch! A poorly run event will certainly put people off from coming back in the future. Put together a team of trusted people who will organise efficiently and deliver a good event. You can reach out to local sports clubs, schools, or charities to ask for volunteers – you can never have enough of these.
You’ll also need referees or officials who can make your event ‘official’. Endurance events such as running or cycling need to be verified and have proper timing systems in place.
Not exactly the most thrilling task, but an essential one nonetheless. Read up on Health and Safety rules to find out what is required (such as a risk assessment) and look at what policies you need – especially in the case of unexpected incidents. It’s also important to get participants to sign a liability waiver when they enter, to cover against injury or damage.
Get the date and location booked well in advance
Nowadays, sporting events are planned multiple years in advance (especially in busy areas). If you want to hold your event at a popular location, or during a busy time of year, you must make sure it doesn’t clash with any other community events.
The more notice you give local authorities and business, the more compliant they are going to be about it. For your own peace of mind too, it means you can start the planning for the day itself rather than worrying about permissions and licenses.
Freebies and prizes
Small gestures like having an event medal or t-shirt, or recognise the top finishers goes a long way. This is a great way to make participants feel like they achieved something and creates opportunities for lots of photos to be taken (which in turn generates good marketing collateral). Don’t leave this to the last minute – allow plenty of time for your medals, t-shirts and trophies to be made and delivered.
So, there you have it, our most important tips for organising a sports event. This list is by no means comprehensive, but if you can nail all the above, you will be well on your way to hosting a great event. If you find this helpful, let us know how you get on, and tell us about your event.
RaceNation is a Sports Technology Company, uniquely providing Event Registration, Club Membership Management and Fundraising on one online platform. If you would like to hear more please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team.