Are Sports Event Dwindling Away?

How many time don’t you hear “The Young Generation Only Plays Video Games, Therefore the Event is Loosing Participants”?

The NYC Marathon is bigger than ever. The Boston Marathon is bigger than ever. Need I go on?

So why do they grow and small town events shrink? Could it be because of the hoopla with the big events and the small events are stagnated?

In the 90’s and 2000’s we grew a small town back-yard canoe event into the largest canoe and kayak event in Connecticut. You may ask how and we may have some differences of opinion, but here is my list:

  • Create a great event by thinking Customer Service – what will makes us different?
    • Enjoyable environment
    • Instant timing and scoring – how exiting to see your standings real time. This is not a lottery with a surprise at the end!
    • PA Announcer – provide information real time. Keep the event informative and alive.
    • Balance formality and convenience – we live in a convenient world with drive up food, bank and pharmacies. With this said, a well organized race is really appreciated.
    • Make it easy for the family supporting the racers. Make it fun for them to be there.
    • Staff needs to be able to provide answers, or get them via radio, not the big “I don’t Know (and really don’t care).
  • The Bad:
    • Growing is great, but it takes more and more support. Must be willing to provide this.
    • Crowds equals traffic grid-lock. Police is great, but don’t let them destroy the event by making access too cumbersome. Run the event and use the police to support you, not take over your organizer responsibilities.
    • As you grow – things “don’t get easier”, but if you love a good event, you have the opportunity to make one.

By the way, video games have been available for 50 years (remember pong?). It is only an excuse for lazy organizers.

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