- Call local contacts (CVBs and Sports Commissions) early in the booking process. They will save you time and hassles by doing the legwork for you in locating venues and putting you in touch with the right people who will complete a winning planning team for your event!
- Let the locals negotiate on your behalf. They have the contacts and know the limits of what can be done. Plus, they also know the larger picture of their local community with regards to weather conditions and other events that might interfere with (or enhance) your preferred time frame. BONUS: In many cases these people can also assist you with sponsorship needs and who doesn’t need more of that kind of good karma?
- Don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions, especially if this is your first time. This includes details about traffic, parking, police or security details, the need for local permits and possibly licensing, traffic cones or designated markings, field lighting, grounds keeping, portable potty rentals, and so much more.
- Keep the big picture of the event in mind. It’s not enough to concentrate on the athletes alone, you also have to think about spectators, coaches, officials, press/media, support personnel, etc., plus everyone’s need for food and beverage before, during, and after the event itself. Food trucks? Catering? Tent Rental and seating? Look at every aspect and think of specific needs for each one.
- Keep all your team members informed of details along the journey. Think of this no differently than the very organized communications you keep with your CSM in planning those detailed meeting specs from start to finish. Prepare a professional event resume and keep the communications flowing among the entire team.