This article was initially published by Sports Destinations Management Magazine.
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney
There are many moving parts to running a successful sporting event, camp, or clinic. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to provide a great experience to your attendees. A well-run event will result in positive experiences that not only encourage repeat business, but, as Walt Disney says, will bring new faces in the future.
Software is a critical component of both the back end of the event planning process and the attendee-facing experience. In order to run a successful game, camp, or clinic, you must understand how you can utilize technology to manage every touchpoint and elevate the athlete experience.
Manage your staff and resources
First, a sports software provides a high-level overview of your event, including how you will allocate your resources (i.e. courts, fields, gyms, etc.) and your staff. This allows event organizers to maximize the use of their facility, ensuring no space is double booked or goes unused. Efficient use of your resources will give your athletes a high quality in-event experience, while also empowering event organizers and staff to reinvest time saved on administrative tasks into developing strong event programming and training.
In addition to managing your resources, you will be able to manage your staff, ensuring there is an adequate staff to athlete ratio to devote proper attention to the athletes. This is critical to delivering a high quality, personalized experience to all attendees. A mobile app will also make your staff more aware of their schedules and view upcoming session details, allowing them access to their schedule at their fingertips. Whether you have 5 staff members of 50, the use of a sports software will empower you to eliminate any oversights in your planning process, ensuring you execute a well-run, high-quality event.
Streamline Event Registration
We all understand the power of a first impression. Oftentimes, an athlete’s first interaction with your event is when registering. So, it is imperative that you leverage technology to enhance the registration process. Online event registration will make it easy for athletes to find information about your event while also maintaining a clean and accurate roster and attendance record. Through online registration, attendees can seamlessly register and pay for the event, improving overall satisfaction and eliminating frustrations incurred from poor experiences.
When it comes to event day, long check-in lines can hurt the attendee experience. So, you must utilize technology to manage your check-in processes and provide a top notch athlete experience. Mobile apps can digitize this check-in process, providing an unrivaled, easy-to-use solution for attendees.
Collect Necessary Waivers, Paperwork, and Payments
In addition to the registration process, sports software can also aid the collection of necessary waivers, paperwork, and payments ahead of the event. Pre-registration and electronic waivers will enhance the in-event experience by letting attendees enjoy the event the moment they arrive. Moreover, the ability to process payments via a mobile app or software allows for greater flexibility for your customers, while also protecting you from lost revenue by tracking payments. This is especially important for large camps or clinics that attract many athletes, as organization is key to operational success.
The ability to provide a seamless, online experience for your event will allow you to focus your attention on providing high quality programming and training to your camp or clinic while eliminating the laborious administrative tasks.
With the amount of time we all spend on our mobile devices, the ability to communicate with our athletes at their fingertips is critical in maintaining a positive relationship and encouraging attendance at future events.
The ability to send auto-reminders via email or text keeps attendees informed of their schedules, which reduces no-shows and ensures they are kept up to date with important event information. For example, pre-event communication allows event organizers to send an auto-reminder about items you will need to bring or provide updates surrounding inclement weather. Through using a mobile app, event managers are able to efficiently communicate information that will keep attendees engaged all at their fingertips.
While not inherently athlete-centric, the use of a mobile app or sports software to manage your event will unlock powerful insights that empower quicker and more informed business decisions through accessible data. As a result, the in-event experience should elevate each year, encouraging repeat attendance at your camp or clinic. Reporting capabilities will allow event organizers to examine what areas of the event were most successful as well as any impending blockers to event success in the future.
Putting it all Together
From the first impression to the last, mobile apps and technology can be utilized to provide a personalized and premium attendee experience while also eliminating the burden of managing administrative tasks that ensure a strong event. Just as Walt Disney said, doing something well will encourage growth. In our increasingly digital world, leveraging technology to deliver a premium attendee experience at events plays an important role in achieving that growth. As the habits of consumers continue to shift, it becomes even more apparent that sports businesses need to embrace digital. We must recognize the role that technology will continue to play as it relates to events and find new ways to elevate the athlete experience through technology.