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

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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