As you know, sports tournaments take a lot of planning and well-focused execution to be a success. Logistics, safety, cleanliness, and customer service are just a few of the areas you need to cover to ensure that the public is saying great things about your event -- both online and offline. We have teamed up with industry expert Ruth Nicholson founder of GO!, who has worked in youth and semi-professional sports, particularly soccer, for more than 30 years. Ruth has provided her expertise in order to help define what makes a tournament successful. So let's take a look at seven signs of a successful sports tournament.
1. Efficient, well-staffed parking
First, you want everybody talking about how accessible the parking is. Make sure attendees can find your field maps online weeks before the tournament, and that your parking area is well staffed. You want to avoid hearing:” Man, when we went to that tournament, the parking was expensive and it was hard to find, and the field maps weren't very good” commented Ruth. The better your parking system is organized, the more likely you'll be able to attract quality volunteer parking and safety crew members that keep efficiency up -- and your parking expenses down.
2. Real-time communication with certified medics
With Ruth’s extensive experience in tournament planning, she has seen it all and indicated that stuff happens. Kids get hurt on the field, or someone gets dehydrated and needs medical attention. You'll want your medics standing by ready to act, so use an all-in-one event tool like InitLive to maintain real-time communication at all times. This ensures that every injury is taken care of in a timely fashion reducing confusion and anxiety.
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3. Superior customer service
Your volunteer staff may already be detailed-oriented and motivated, but don't underestimate the importance of customer service evaluation. Ruth recommends taking feedback “It's not always comfortable, but it always tells me something, includes volunteers Part of volunteer checkout was filling out my 'how did it go' survey. What you want to hear volunteers, if I got, I had good information going in, the communications before and during we're good.” added Ruth. You can even take this and apply it to your attendees and survey them for feedback post-tournament.
4. A well-defined chain of command
Whenever a surprise issue comes up, your attendees want to know who to talk to. Establishing a chain of command and posting it online in advance will let both your volunteers and the public know who to turn to when they want a particular issue addressed.
Ruth recommends the following roles for a streamlined chain of command:
Registration Coordinator: A check-in tent for teams as they come in, and tournament check-in often lasts for a couple of days, and has a number of shifts or volunteers who help check-in teams as they come in.
Scout coordinator: some college coaches to come to watch your teams and you have a tent where the college coaches can get out of the sun, sit in the shade, work on their paperwork, maybe you offer them food or drink or something.
Field marshals Coordinators So maybe you have tents set up around your complex and you have field marshals who kind of watch over two or three fields to make sure everything's going well. And you might have a coordinator who works with those specific people and those jobs. So you have these sort of mid-level managers if you will.
5. Focused volunteers
Even if you cast a wide net for scads of volunteers to "just show up and help out," you'll sabotage your own event if someone complains that "they're all just standing around." Make role descriptions available online weeks before the event so that each volunteer has a list of "to-dos." Connecting individuals with the right skills, with the right jobs is essential to a well-run volunteer management program. In addition, allowing self-scheduling will let motivated volunteers sign up for the tasks, roles, and shifts they want based on the detailed job descriptions they have access to online.
6. Constant communication
Even the best tournament events run short of supplies for any food, drinks or water. But in a successful event, the designated team lead tracks a volunteer's whereabouts as they make a run for last-minute missing items. InitLive can help you keep in direct contact with volunteer teams and individuals on event with their event day app. Having convenient access to your volunteer schedule in real-time can help you track down missing volunteers and avoid shift gap and confusion.
7. Cleanliness and sustainability
Finally, the last thing you want to hear at your tournament is a lot of complaints about litter, waste, and lack of recycling management. Cleanliness and sustainable disposal processes are essential to a successful sports tournament, so schedule volunteers just for keeping up with this important detail.
Take your tournament to the next level!
Join tournament expert Ruth Nicholson and Julia Frame for a 60-minute free webinar where you will learn expert tips and tricks for a successful tournament every time.