How to organise a sports competition?

How to organise a sports competition?

To organ­ise a sports com­pe­ti­tion is to share one’s vision of the sport with enthu­si­asts, to chal­lenge one­self. The atmos­phere should be friend­ly pro­vid­ed that the event was planned well. 

Before div­ing in this adven­ture, it is essen­tial to fol­low the 4 essen­tial steps of good event plan­ning.

Set specific goals

Take the time to set the objec­tives of your com­pe­ti­tion. These will serve to define its iden­ti­ty.

  • Tar­get atten­dance rate: how many par­tic­i­pants? How many sup­port­ers are expect­ed?
  • Tar­get rep­u­ta­tion: do you want to attract a local or inter­na­tion­al audi­ence? Do you expect ama­teur par­tic­i­pants or pro­fes­sion­als?
  • Tar­get image: which val­ues are you pro­mot­ing? Is the goal pure­ly sports-relat­ed or do you sup­port a good cause? Are you try­ing to attract new cus­tomers for your busi­ness?
  • Finan­cial tar­get: You will not organ­ise your event in the same way depend­ing on whether you are doing it for prof­it or not. This last point is essen­tial to the cre­ation of your bud­get — to which we will return lat­er.

Targeting your audience

Then set the tar­get audi­ence for your com­pe­ti­tion.

  • Type of par­tic­i­pants: Are you tar­get­ing stu­dents, employ­ee rep­re­sen­ta­tive com­mit­tees, chil­dren or ani­mals?
    • Every­thing is pos­si­ble, pro­vid­ed you think about the asso­ci­at­ed activ­i­ties. For instance, stu­dents will enjoy a par­ty after the com­pe­ti­tion. For chil­dren, pre­fer a play­ground or a tea par­ty, etc.
  • Define the teams: any sports com­pe­ti­tion requires check­ing key ele­ments such as phys­i­cal fit­ness for the sport in ques­tion. Do not for­get to ask your par­tic­i­pants for this infor­ma­tion at reg­is­tra­tion, and to pro­vide sup­port­ing evi­dence, in order to cre­ate teams and organ­ise the dif­fer­ent stages of the tour­na­ment. To do this, you can cre­ate a cus­tomised reg­is­tra­tion form. The same applies to the infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing per­for­mance lev­els, the prize list, etc.
  • Con­tact the right media: You should also search for media out­lets that might be inter­est­ed and write about you. Con­tact them ear­ly to give your com­pe­ti­tion some vis­i­bil­i­ty and attract more par­tic­i­pants. You should not aim too high. Adjust your media search to your image and rep­u­ta­tion tar­gets as dis­cussed above — local media to increase atten­dance to the event or con­verse­ly nation­al media for greater noto­ri­ety. The big­ger your media cov­er­age, the more spon­sors and part­ners you can attract for the next event.

Choose a suitable venue

  • Acces­si­bil­i­ty: Does the venue have park­ing spaces? Is it eas­i­ly acces­si­ble by pub­lic trans­ports? Is it acces­si­ble to peo­ple with reduced mobil­i­ty?
  • Capac­i­ty: it sounds obvi­ous but is there enough room to accom­mo­date your tar­get atten­dance? Include your teams, the par­tic­i­pants but also the sup­port­ers. If you do not pri­va­tise the whole venue, con­sid­er the aver­age usu­al crowd of the place and how your com­pe­ti­tion will fit in the space.
  • Avail­able equip­ment: how many water foun­tains? How many toi­lets? For a pre­dom­i­nant­ly female com­pe­ti­tion, plan for more toi­lets with doors. How many fields? Does the club pro­vide the jer­seys? How are the lock­er rooms? How is the space for the audi­ence? Think of the com­fort of both your par­tic­i­pants and sup­port­ers.
  • Insurance/licenses: check with the venue man­ag­er if they have licens­es to sell food, alco­hol and to host the type of event you are organ­is­ing. Think of the insur­ance that you will need to con­tract in addi­tion to those cov­er­ing the venue.

You should not nec­es­sar­i­ly book the very first venue you like. Vis­it sev­er­al, choose two and keep one in mind as a back­up.

Create a forecast budget

Your bud­get can evolve through­out the organ­i­sa­tion process. You may obtain grants, finan­cial sup­port from spon­sors or income from tick­et sales and oth­er relat­ed prod­ucts.

Your bud­get will be cre­at­ed accord­ing to the objec­tives set before­hand (brand aware­ness, image, fundrais­ing…). If you are organ­is­ing your first sports com­pe­ti­tion, you should first test things out, tak­ing each ele­ment of your plan­ning and ask­ing for sev­er­al requests for quotes to famil­iarise your­self with the costs of this type of event. It is only with expe­ri­ence that you will assess the impact of cer­tain expens­es that are impor­tant for your atten­dees to be sat­is­fied (a real asset).

  • Your resources: in addi­tion to your ini­tial cap­i­tal, include part­ner­ships and exchange of ser­vices already in place and con­sid­er adding them as you go.
  • Your needs: include all expens­es, fixed and vari­able costs — venue hire, secu­ri­ty, insur­ance, admin­is­tra­tive costs, staff (nation­al insur­ance con­tri­bu­tions), equip­ment, trans­port, cater­ing, accom­mo­da­tion, clean­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pro­mo­tion as well as all tax­es (VAT, PRS for Music, etc.). Antic­i­pate on poten­tial risks — need for pro­tec­tion from the weath­er, addi­tion­al inven­to­ry … — by includ­ing a cash reserve of about 15% of your total bud­get.
  • Your esti­mat­ed rev­enue: pub­lic sub­si­dies — after esti­mat­ing the nec­es­sary bud­get, make an appli­ca­tion to your local gov­ern­ment —, sales of food and drinks, broad­cast­ing rights, help from part­ners, etc.

This bud­get must remain avail­able at all stages of the plan­ning process. Enter all the expens­es – even small ones — and all the rev­enues (Weezevent’s tick­et­ing solu­tion offers, for instance, to pay the rev­enues from tick­et sales every 15 days).

Your actu­al costs may be dif­fer­ent from what you expect­ed. To help you with future events, add a col­umn for the actu­al costs of your organ­i­sa­tion, this way you will improve your plan­ning skills for this type of event.

These four steps done, you can move on to the fol­low­ing steps (while keep­ing this part in mind). Soon we will explain how to com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly about your sports com­pe­ti­tion.

Ready to plan your own sports com­pe­ti­tion? Start now with Weezevent:

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