This was written by Aaron Jaworowski and first appeared in the Tournament Guy blog. You can read the full article here.
There are five important things that determine if a tournament is a success. This is an open discussion from a youth baseball coach. Here are my five C’s of a great tournament.
One key to a great tournament experience is the complex or fields you are playing on. Is it fan friendly? If it is a high school event, is there a quad used for enhanced recruiting? Are games played on college fields? Younger kids like turf and cool dugouts. Parents want good, free, and safe parking. We like concession stands with simple, great quality, and fair priced food. I don’t want a steak, but I do want a good tasty hot dog in between games. How is the lighting? Are there batting cages and warm up areas? These are all BIG factors that can play a BIG role in a running a nice event.
Important!!! Coaches are typically leaders by trait and are great communicators. They want to know brackets, game times, directions, format, and tournament policies as far in advance as they can so they can communicate with their families. All questions should be answered in advance of the event in a positive and clear tone. Consider using one of many tournament software companies that can assist in brackets and director-coach communication (Tourney Machine, LeagueApps, and Got Soccer are great choices). Preparation is key and this will greatly reduce the stress of directors during tournament week.
Last point on communication: OVER COMMUNICATE
Your online presence matters. This without a doubt will change the perspective of your company. The dollars you invest online will return to you 10 fold. Credibility is earned through positive customer experiences and it becomes gold if you can communicate it online. Get the market to trust your product. Share your stories and highlights, promote your brand. Online content wins. Here are a few brands we like in the social media space:
Pro Tip: Video is King
Coaches want value in their events. They will compare entry fee’s to minimum games played. They don’t want to pay a premium for a 3 game guarantee. They would prefer a late start on opening day if they are traveling to help reduce hotel cost. The cost of playing competitive youth sports is expensive enough and coaches will shop to find quality events at a good value. Consider things when setting your cost such as are baseballs included? Is there a 1, 2, or 3 man umpire crew that becomes a variable? Is there a gate fee or parking fee? Do you offer quantity discounts? Do you offer club discounts? Do you have a stay and play hotel policy? These are all questions that must be evaluated when setting the right price.
One of the most important aspects of a successful event is the competition level. Teams want close games. Think about how professional leagues set up their franchises. The league is fighting for attention, so they need to create games that are close and suspenseful. This is why you have the worst team draft first every year.
This will take a great amount of effort, but this is part of your quality of product. Directors should be honest and upfront with teams they are attracting and place similar level teams on the same field and the same bracket.
HOW TO EXECUTE THE 5 C’s
Staff is important, and you must invest back into your business. A team is willing to pay if the product is high quality. You cannot do this on your own. Invest into two to three staff members.