The Ultimate Event Owner Checklist

#Article

The Ultimate Event Owner Checklist

The ultimate goal in life is to be as productive and successful as possible while doing the least amount of work. This drive has led to many innovations over the years like the car, microwave oven, computers, the production-line, and robots.

This same desire can now be realized for tournament managers like yourself 👏. EventConnect has created the most advanced, encompassing software to make you look like a superstar while also reducing your workload. But, just like a hammer is useless if you don’t know how to swing it, you have to know how to get the full potential out of EventConnect’s network.

So without further ado, here is the EventConnect Ultimate Event Owner Checklist (patent pending).

  • Communications
  • Reporting
  • Financials
  • Scheduling and Scoring
  • Referees
  • Venues
  • Divisions
  • Accommodations
  • Registration
  • Volunteers
  • Merch and Vendors
  • Player Forms
  • Custom Questions

COMMUNICATIONS

For your event to perform at its best you’ll need to establish strong communication amongst teams, directors, participants, and venues. Although this sounds mundane, it's going to make EVERYTHING run much smoother than you could expect. There are no shortage of communication channels to leverage. Take for example: email, instant messaging, phone calls, Slack, SMS, WhatsApp, etc.  

As your events grow in size there are more and more moving parts that are needed to make them run seamlessly. With EventConnect you gain the power of our in-app Team Based Messaging (email, SMS, and our own mobile app). We keep communications all in one space for ease of use and quick replies.

REPORTING

Having a clear insight into your event’s performance is critical to maintaining an amazing tournament experience for your teams. Knowing exactly how many teams are registered as your event approaches will allow you to make well informed decisions based on accurate data. This is a major relief for anyone who is used to VLOOKUPs and conditional highlighting in Excel. Having up to date information is also going to increase your accountability when dealing with CVB’s, sports commissions, and other governing bodies.

Reporting has a special place in our hearts, probably because we love data so much. We’ve made pulling highly detailed reports a breeze inside of your Event Owner dashboard. You can instantly see a full run-down of real-time data for registrations, players, referees, donations, merchandise, accommodations, and payments. No guesswork or estimates, just pure accuracy.

Are you ready for easy event management?

Yes!

FINANCIALS

Everyone loves money. Money is what makes your tournaments possible year after year. Making more money means being able to provide more amazing experiences. It’s a really nice cycle.

Using our Event Owner dashboard you can designate event/convenience fees, deadlines, and accepted payment types. You can also set up a donation field to attract the altruistic team parents. Create your own custom coupons to share with teams and participants that need a little surprise and delight.

If you have multiple registration types you can offer a discount specific to sport type and division. Encourage a comprehensive tournament experience by rewarding participants that register to more than one sport.

With our tailored revenue model you get paid for every room night your teams book. That’s right, your business can introduce a new steady revenue stream simply by doing what you’re already doing now. Our model is dictated by the amount of room nights sold and has four stages; bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Once you reach a certain number of room nights sold you then move up a stage and increase your revenue per room night. Some of our partners see amazing success with collecting revenue from hotels and are able to inject large amounts of financial support into their businesses. This makes it even easier to provide your participants with amazing experiences.

The event owner dashboard clearly lays out registration & division metrics.

SCHEDULING & SCORING

Trying to plan where to stay and when to leave would be terrible if the team is unaware of the schedule. Having your playing schedule and scoring brackets established and distributed to players well in advance of your event will give your teams ample time to prepare and plan out their own schedules for your event.

With EventConnect you can easily create, review, and export custom pools and playoff brackets based on your divisions. Instantly check standings with their respective schedules and export them for your teams to use. You can even build custom points to be awarded for Wins, Losses, and Ties for specific divisions. Take all your hardwork and easily publish your schedule on your site with our embed feature, teams and participants can also conveniently view these schedules on our mobile app . You’ll never have to handwrite a 30 team round robin bracket again!

REFEREES

These men and women in black keep your games in check. They are essential to any tournament. Referees must be qualified and suited for your event. If you are running games that require more advanced refereeing then you will need to have your refs supply the proper documentation in advance of your event date. They may also need to hold a general meeting to review the teams, venue, and schedule. Organizing your refs early on will give them more time to prepare and facilitate a better tournament.

In the Event Owner dashboard, you can specify the requirements needed for a referee to be considered while also opening up a registration process for them to complete. By using Custom Questions you’re able to define exactly what is needed from each referee like necessary certifications, required trainings, availability, and travel accommodations. Once you have confirmed your refs they’ll be added to your roster where they then will be assigned games during their available time slots.

VENUES

“If you build it, they will come.”

Venues are integral to a well-run event. Although a venue may look perfect on paper you could be surprised on game day if you haven’t done a site tour first. It’s important to have a detailed understanding of the venue’s limitations/services provided and how those align with the requirements of your event. Making sure there are enough available fields or rinks, that there is security past 9PM, no conflicts with other events or a large enough parking lot are all important details that can make or break a great tournament.

Our Key Accounts team has extensive experience in event management and are ready to assist you in making your event amazing. Their hands-on involvement operating large scale multifaceted sporting tournaments makes them a strong asset to add to your team.  When you partner with EventConnect you gain their knowledge of how to organize the perfect event for your teams using our digital platform. Your next venue visit will be as easy as a Sunday Open House.  

DIVISIONS

Setting up divisions is a big part of event management. There are many factors to consider during this process to ensure your event is evenly matched, entertaining, and accessible. Typically setting up divisions based on age+gender is the classic, sure-fire way to build a traditional tournament. Recently we’ve seen an increase in younger divisions as parents are signing their children up for sports at an earlier age.

With our Event Owner dashboard, you can effortlessly set up divisions based upon age+gender for your event. At that same time you can specify the registration cost for each division. For added clarity there is a Registration Pace graph which shows in real-time detail how your registration is performing. Another way we make event management more transparent.

Easy to find, completely organized divisions.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Next to venues, tournament housing stands a close second as one of the most critical ingredients to an amazing event experience. Where your teams stay can be dictated by your relationships with local hotels, whether or not your tournament is a stay-to-play, or if your venue is in close enough proximity to preferred hotels. These factors and more will ultimately dictate where your teams stay for your event. Having proper accommodations available for participants and spectators will make their experience amazing compared to scrambling for last-minute rooms in a motel 45 minutes away from the venue.

You can choose from a wide variety of exclusive hotel inventory we’ve procured for our partners. Here you can see what amenities are available and can easily add shoulder nights while seeing a dynamic map in relation to their hotel and your venue location. You’re able to provide your attendees with their choice of rooms at the lowest rates possible. Teams have the opportunity to block as many rooms as they need at a time within the same hotel to ensure everyone is together. Gone are the dreaded days of an organizer trying to convince a hotel to let 12 hockey teams in over a long weekend, and then handling $1000’s in eTransfers and envelopes of cash (we can hear your sigh of relief already).

REGISTRATION

The last thing you want to run into on event day is a team director asking if their team can still register for your tournament two hours before the games begin. To avoid this, open registration as soon as you comfortably can. The sooner your teams register for your event, the sooner they pay you and can begin preparing for a great tournament. Early registration also allows you to gain early indications of your event’s performance. If teams are signing up right away you know that communications are working effectively and efficiently.

After years of managing a myriad of events for our partners, we’ve found that a Registration First model absolutely outperforms conventional registration processes. We feel so strongly about this that we’ve written an article which outlines how & why Registration First will make your event a knockout.

See exactly how your registration is pick up is performing.

VOLUNTEERS

The unsung heroes of any event. Volunteers cross the t’s and dot the i’s we miss when juggling a mountain of other issues. It’s advised that you source volunteers either internally (friends/family of teams or organizers) or partner with local agencies who can supply you with qualified individuals to help with various tasks like running merch booths or serving food & drinks.

Working with volunteers on our platform can produce incredible results. By improving communications between volunteers you make them a total game changer for your events. Instead of trying to organize them through a series of email chains and sporadic text messages - you can create a Volunteer Team which houses all of their contact information and provides them with an internal messaging app. Need to bring everyone together for a pre-game huddle? Easy, make an event for them within EventConnect and you’ll have everyone together in no time.

MERCH & VENDORS

During your planning process it’s key to source food options that will be enjoyed by your attendees. We know almost everyone loves a bratwurst but for those who don’t it’s important to have alternative choices like vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and reduced fat. If you’re serving alcohol it’s mandatory to follow state regulations and have the proper licensing and certificates for bartenders. Swag can be supplied by the teams or organizations themselves, it’s recommended that you confirm with them the designated space for their booth as well as what they will be bringing for sale. Be sure to establish your beer, food, and swag well in advance of your tournament as these things can take weeks to sort out if licensing and certifications are involved.

On our Event Owner dashboard we’ve included an entire section just for team merchandise. Here teams can easily upload and sell any swag items they have produced for sale. We’ve seen our partners capitalize on this system very well by incorporating it into their registration process. With that, participants are shown available merchandise before checkout and given the chance to add items to their cart. In marketing this is called “Checkstand Merchandising, it’s when the customer is about to checkout and already has items to purchase and are highly likely to toss in an extra item as they’re already spending money.

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PLAYER FORMS

When on-boarding teams into your tournament, you need to ensure that all necessary information is collected in a proper manner. There are legalities you must follow pertaining to personal information gatherings like privacy and third-party sharing. Before asking for this information it’s imperative that the player is fully aware of what their information will be used for and where it will be stored.

On EventConnect we’ve created player forms that are customizable and easily integrated into the player on-boarding process. This information is stored securely and only available to authorized users. Here you can get digital agreements, release agreements, liability contracts, and more completed before the player is able to move forward with registration. You can also acquire additional information about the player to streamline their on-boarding experience. Asking questions like clothing size, player number, location, position played, or even a photo to make their profile more complete.

CUSTOM QUESTIONS

When you need to know specifics about your teams and volunteers it can be tricky to track them down and get a definitive answer. We’ve taken the liberty of creating a Custom Questions tab where you have the ability to build surveys and send them amongst teams and organizers. These can be very effective in gathering the information you need within a tight time frame.

This is a good opportunity for you to ask coaches if their team has concussion training, or if your refs can accommodate special needs players. By using custom questions you can easily reach everyone on your roster with an effective survey which will provide you with the information you need to keep your event running smoothly.

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