Finding the right fit for sporting events can encompass many more unusual needs than a traditional meeting or conference. Instead of finding a luxurious resort or vibrant downtown hotel with the right amount of meeting space, a sports planner may be challenged to find an ice rink that can hold thousands of fans or a city that can block off streets for hundreds of cyclists. Or it can mean finding an engaged city to help promote and support the event.
From organizing the seventh largest 10k race in the United States to planning an Olympic-like event for seniors, one thing two Midwest planners have in common is passion! Hear from Roland Schmidt, Licensed Athletic Trainer at Bellin Health/Medical Coordinator for the Bellin Run and Marc T. Riker, CEO, National Senior Games Association, about these monumental events and get a glimpse into what it’s like to be involved in creating successful, fun experiences for attendees and spectators.
You’re a planner that knows everything there is to know about your meeting programs because you’ve been booking the space and planning every seminar down to the position of the last chair in the room since you first began your meeting planning odyssey. But now your boss is throwing a new twist into your well-organized wheelhouse by telling you to add another element to this year’s schedule. What’s that, you say? You have no idea how to manage a [fill-in-the-blank 5K, softball tournament, rowing event]? Planners meet your new best friends - the dedicated sports specialists now available in most every city, normally courtesy of the local, county, or state governments. Yes, the skill of organizing and hosting sporting events is big business, and in recent years has come onto the planning scene strong and fast.
As a planner we are sometimes challenged to go outside our personal comfort zone to host or put together an event that might include elements we’re not familiar with like jigs, spinnerballs, ‘crappies,’ and trolling. Say what? All of these and more are part of the terminology you might hear while planning a fishing excursion for your group, so pay attention as we hold hands and explore this new territory together. Yes, I admit I’m a newbie at this myself, but under the category of ‘always willing to broaden my horizons,’ I accepted this assignment and am happy to share my findings as we, um, fish on this journey together.
Now more than ever, knowing how and when to hire security for your event is a must for planners. In our world full of instant and terrifying news about the latest drive-by shootings, terrorism attacks, and hostage taking situations, the need for providing a safe and secure environment for your meetings and events is one that should be taken quite seriously. That’s not to say that every function you sponsor needs to have armed guards at the ready, but it is imperative that planners take a close look at their programs to assess the risk in order to determine when it is appropriate.
Visit Mankato President Anna Thill, CDME, spoke with Midwest Meetings in the Summer 2012 issue about the lessons her and her team had learned in planning the Mankato Marathon.
Three years later, the marathon has grown into a weekend event with races and activities for people of all ages. Thill spoke with Midwest Meetings again to talk about how things have grown and what goes into pulling off marathon weekend.
After studying in Sweden for a year and as a gift for their move to Helena, MT, Eric Anderson’s father, Steven, gave him and his wife Erin a kubb (pronounced koob, rhymes with tube) set. In 2007, they returned to Eau Claire, WI, and set out to share the game of kubb with the U.S. and started the first kubb tournament.