- No matter the sport, make sure you get permits, and if you’re on city property or public playing fields, there are multiple levels to check: city, county, health department, sanitation (for those all-important port-a-pots), sometimes even regional permits are issued for vendors and such. Make sure to pay attention to the coverage dates of those permits or you could learn the hard way that some are issued per day and others per week, so prepare to cover the load-in and setup times needed to support your event and the activities surrounding it.
- A good starting point for information and scheduling is your local department of parks and recreation and/or various city support services.
- If your sport involves road closures such as for walks and races, you need permission from your local police department or highway patrol, as well as their support to block off roads and to be on location to guard those closures.
- Event insurance and medical waivers are a must; never underestimate their importance!
- Think about overall flow including the ingress and outflow of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic in and around your event location, parking lots, seated areas (with and without shade), bathroom facilities, and access to water or vendor carts providing the same.
- Have a good medical emergency plan in place that involves the fire department, local hospitals, EMTs, and possibly onsite first aid stations for minor situations.
- If sponsors are present with equipment such as booths, food trucks, exhibits, or tabletop displays make sure you get professional help in creating a schematic of location assignments and that you clearly understand the electric needs of each vendor so you have sufficient power sources.
- Think about weather challenges and plan accordingly.
- Don’t forget the need for a central stage and good outdoor PA system. In most cases, these are necessary items and money well spent.
- Did someone mention garbage? No one wants to actually think about it, but everyone generates some so make sure to plan on there being plenty of it and recycle when possible!
by Terry Matthews-Lombardo, CMP
10 Tips for planning