Organising a competition: everything you need to know for a successful event

Do you want to organise a competition but you don’t know where to start or what essential elements should be taken into account? We can provide you with all the answers you need to make your sporting event, artistic event, gaming event or any other type of event successful.


    1. Define your goals

    Set the final goals for your competition. These key performance indicators will guide you throughout the organisation, during the event and afterwards. Here are some non-exhaustive guidelines:

    • Participation: What is your target participation rate? How many participants do you have the capacity to manage?
    • Audience: What type of audience do you want to attract, local or international, is your competition aimed at amateurs or professionals?
    • Motivation: Are you supporting a good cause, or is the objective of your competition just sport, profit or entertainment? Do you want to attract new customers for your company?
    • Financial objective: Depending on whether or not you are organising the event for profit, you will not organise it the same way. We will come back later to this crucial point for your budget.

    2. Format and structure

    Choose the adequate format for your event. If the weather is good, it can be an outdoor competition instead of an indoor competition. Wherever the competition takes place, prior authorisation from the local authorities is usually necessary. In the case of a sports competition, check with the local authorities and the administration of sports clubs or federations if necessary.

    There are also many competitions organised 100% online, especially gaming competitions. In this case, it is advisable to choose the platform on which the competition will be broadcasted (Twitch, for example). You should define the format and infrastructure of your event beforehand to take into account all legal and operational elements as well as the costs inherent to the organisation.

    3. Sponsors and funding

    The next step is to work out how you are going to pay for certificates, medals, equipment hire, prizes, salaries for organising staff, referees if applicable, photographers, security, T-shirts, etc. One of the best ways to finance all this is through sponsorship with relatively well-known brands interested in the sector. In the case of using this type of agreement, it is advisable to create a commercial contract in which your sponsor commits to provide an amount of money, material and exposure on their social media… All this, in exchange for visibility during the competition, so that this type of agreement is a win-win situation.

    4. Establish a good marketing plan

    Find media outlets that might be interested in your competition and will write about it. To increase the visibility of your competition and the number of participants, advertise it well in advance. Don’t aim too high. To increase participation in the event, tailor your media outreach to your image and reputation goals. The more sponsors and partners you can attract to the competition, as mentioned above, the more media coverage it will get.

    Create specific pages for your competition on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn…) and then promote your event appropriately on each channel. Each social media channel has its own algorithm, and the communication and formats chosen are crucial to reach a relevant target audience with sufficient impact. For example, Instagram’s algorithm prioritises images and short descriptions and does not highlight long texts. Choose the right keywords as well as the right hashtags.

    5. Music and scenography

    Background music and lighting play a crucial role in all competitions. Choose the right music and lighting for the theme and atmosphere of the competition. Don’t hesitate to choose the appropriate suppliers in advance and carry out many tests before the competition.

    6. Plan and structure your budget

    The last essential element is the budget for your competition. It is essential to control it before, during and after the event, as it can change as the organisation progresses. Also, you can’t know the final costs and income with certainty until the end of the event. Budget your event with your goals in mind (audience, ticket sales, sponsorship, etc.). Here are some guidelines that will help you:

    • Income: The estimated income includes your initial funding and any agreed partnerships or sponsorship. It will also vary depending on the price you charge per registration and per ticket (if there is an audience and they pay admission).
    • You can also count as part of your total estimated income the amount you expect to earn during the event. This includes food and beverage sales, broadcasting rights, support from partners and sponsors, etc.
    • Expenses: You need to include both fixed and variable costs: venue hire, security, insurance, administration costs, salary costs, equipment, transport, catering, accommodation, cleaning, communication and promotion, as well as all taxes.
    • Contingencies: Set aside an amount equivalent to 15% of your total budget to deal with possible risks and contingencies: you may have to find a plan B in case of bad weather, make last-minute purchases in case of stock-outs, etc.

    Ready to organise your competition? Get started now with Weezevent!

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