Category Archives: Insights

Planning & Managing an Event

An event can be referred to as many things, for instance a competition, a ceremony, a festival, a party, a demo, etc. In our industry we see a combination of these.

Creating and operating an event, regardless of whether it is grassroots or large scale, is a juggling act. Many issues that you may deal with often can happen in the beginning. One of the first rules of event planning & management is to figure out why you are doing the event. When planning any event you must ask yourself a series of questions to determine if its something that people would want to come to. Listen to what people want, differentiate your event and stop doing exactly whatever everybody else is doing!!

A few things when creating an event you must take into consideration and I have broken down some of the main elements in that process:

First you conceptualize the event (define it) – what is the name of the event, what is your target audience, what’s the mission, where should you have it, when will the event be held, etc. When developing an event make sure you know why and for whom you are creating it. In this stage you will also need to define your sources of revenues (ticket sales, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, etc) – because ultimately you want and need to make money.

After you create/define the event you must then budget it. You will need to be very detailed in order to accurately budget. This is very important, because you may find yourself out of business before you even get started. I would like to point out that even though the cash flow plays an important role, it is also important from a non-financial standpoint that the event becomes an annual event.

Finding a location is a critical part of the process. When selecting a site you need to do research to make sure the location you have chosen is the best for your event. Knowing the local marketplace and the community will only help guide you and in my opinion you should become part of that local scene.

Once the location is selected, comes the most challenging part, in my opinion of the event planning process – finding your sponsors. In most cases the sponsorship support is the very lively-hood and it can be very discouraging at times. I have learned not to take anything personally, because in the long run you are far more productive when staying focused and not letting the intimidation get to you. Finding sponsors is a sales process that is typically a lengthy one.

Once you have done all of the above and more, you will then have to promote it, produce it and basically MAKE-IT- HAPPEN! Many other things will come up along the way and issues will always arrive – that is the nature of events. My advice is to always stay calm and in any instance prepare to have some sort of contingency plan. Creating a list of issues that may happen in the pre-event planning process will help you be better prepared when something does occur.

In the end you must hire & staff the best team possible to make sure that everything is intact and you are ready to go. Essentially no event can run by itself and without the help of a great staff that is motivated to go the extra mile you may run into more problems than necessary. Keep your staff happy and focused on their priorities and this will only help you in producing a successful event.

-MS

Guest Blog post from WIAS event 4/22 by Bryan Elliott, Chairman SoCal Action Sports Network

I attended the first group meet up of WIAS, Women in Action Sports last night. It was a good first showing and there were a lot of enthusiastic women in action sports there. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the subject of groups and listening to comments from Linked In, Facebook and Twitter recently to try and get some perspective. Here’s a Tweet from someone I found today, @Votteri. His profile says: Location: Los Angeles, CA, Bio: Marketing consultant, action sports lifestyle &; film specialist, brand strategist &; part time chiller. Today, Thurs 4/23 @Votteri Tweeted, “Is the action sports community becoming the latest industry 2 have 2 many meetings? Can’t keep up w all the groups meeting. Please advise.” It’s a valid question. There are a ton of new groups popping up everywhere, especially in Action Sports. More and more people seem to be flocking to join these groups on social networks like Linked In and Facebook. Is it getting out of hand? I’ve found some of these groups to be a total waste of time and others that are pretty good. You have to do the research and find out if the group has something of benefit to you. Is it active or dormant? Does the group manager SPAM members or constantly try and sell them his services? Is the group an obvious trap to build someone’s Direct Mailing list? Does the group leader make you feel like she owns you and makes negative disparaging comments if you hint that you’re planning on attending a different group event? I could go on… The important question for this post is, do we need yet another Action Sports group and more meet ups? In the case of Women in Action Sports, my answer is YES! Here’s why… Let me first say that it’s true that the WIAS folks are friends of mine, but I promised them an honest opinion and recap of their event. Just blowing smoke doesn’t do anyone any good. I believe there is room for another Action Sports group and for meet ups, especially one like this. This group is special and dynamic. It was formed by women, for women and that is a special niche. Too many meet ups to choose from? I don’t think so. Are there too many action sports brands? No. My advice is to choose meet ups based on your needs and schedule. Since there is something happening locally almost monthly with various groups, you’ll never miss a beat. Choices are a good thing, especially for people searching for something new or to meet a need that isn’t being met. Women in Action Sports seems to be filling the need for women in action sports to gather and talk candidly about issues they are facing. I also observed their panel speakers and heard them talking about opportunities and practical advice about things like: How to get venture capital, How to start your own clothing company, Following your dreams, and other really great stuff. I will say that I felt a little out of place. First of all, the event was held in a great little space but it was a women’s clothing shop with racks of girly stuff for sale everywhere. Next, it was 10-1 favoring females and there were a lot of really bright women huddle together. It was intimidating to say the least but also hard to meet people since they didn’t seem interested in talking to a “male” like myself. I was really nervous when I found out they were doing door prizes based on the business card I dropped in a bag when I arrived. When it was time for the raffle, they pulled out a little black dress and a low cut scoop neck t-shirt! As they reached into the bag to randomly pull out the winning business card I made a white knuckled fist, saying in my mind, “nooooo, please God, don’t pick me.” Luckily, two happy women won. I enjoyed listening to some of the panel speakers who offered great nuggets of information. But some of the other panelists weren’t as strong and it was like listening to a 10 minute commercial. I cringed a little and felt uncomfortable when they talked about their experiences with men in action sports. They spoke about their struggles in a male-dominated industry and having to fight for their right just to skate or to do business. They mentioned dealing with ridicule and other adversity brought on by men or an industry that doesn’t offer many opportunities for women. So back to my point about supporting a group like this… I felt uncomfortable. So what? Duh! I’m male. No kidding I might have felt a little out of place with door prizes that come in size 4 and scoop necks. That’s my point. This group isn’t for everyone. It’s not designed for everyone. It’s for women, and for men who support women in action sports. This group is great. What do women in action sports need most? In my opinion, they need good men to support them for starters. These are talented, bright, driven women in business. Creative thought leaders with a special female perspective. They are motivating other women and trying to change the status quo. Let them do their thing. Let them gather where they want, wear what they want, complain and vent about a male-dominated industry, discuss issues, follow their dreams, shred, develop their talents and passion. There is always room for a passionate community with active members who are joined in unity in a cause for good.

~ Bryan Elliott, Chairman SoCal Action Sports Network

Skateboarding in Afghanistan

I came across this article in the New York Times. I think it is amazing to see how a sport so popular in the US is affecting another country’s youth, culture and even young girls.

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Oliver Percovich, 34-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, plans to open Afghanistan’s first skateboarding school, Skateistan, this spring. He sees sport as a way to woo students into after-school activities like English and computer classes, which are otherwise reserved for the elite… More