Executing an event successfully takes careful planning and organization, but it’s definitely possible to accomplish, especially if you have some great volunteers to help you. Here are some golf event planning tips on how to make the day of the tournament run smoothly.
The most important part of running the tournament is staying focused on your objectives. On the day of the event, remember that your attention should be on making sure your players and your sponsors have a great time. Keep in mind the reasons bringing them to your event, and work hard to meet their needs. For example, sponsors are participating in your event for exposure and visibility. To make sure they are satisfied with their brand exposure, make your signs and banners visible, nicely displayed, and of high quality. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile getting professional signs for your event: you can save them for next year and end up saving you money. Also, your sponsor will also expect to be recognized at meals and awards ceremonies as another form of visibility, so make sure you have a script ready and give everyone the credit they deserve.
Recognizing your sponsors with the signage and awards ceremony will go a long way, but nothing will leave a better impression than being a good social host to your sponsor. Remember, they chose your event to meet the players, so making the effort to introduce your sponsors to players get the conversation going will be the best form of publicity you can offer your sponsor. And if a sponsor generates one good business contact from your event, they will be back for more.
Players are at your event to have a great time, support your cause, and meet new people. To get things off to a good start, it’s a good idea to greet your players the minute they drive into the parking lot. Have someone show them the way, unloading their bags and directing them towards the registration area. Another great way to make your players feel welcome is to present each of them with a quality “Welcome Gift.” Players have paid to play and your gift should reflect your gratitude, ensuring they will remember your event when it is time to sign up again next year. Work with your volunteers to make the registration process a great experience, and when issues do arise during registration process (they always do) don’t let it ruffle your feathers. For example, if you are missing a name or a payment of a registrant, simply have the volunteer take the player information and direct the registrant to the next area according to your agenda. The volunteer should then contact you, or someone in charge, to work out the issue and follow up with the player away from the registration area.
Once registration is over, make sure your players are comfortable and informed. Have volunteers in every area and tell them to look for players who seem a bit “lost”. Instruct the volunteers to ask the player’s name and if they need help finding their bag or where to go next. Making personal connections will make your players feel welcome: once you know the player’s name – use it! Make sure to have enough signs that clearly mark the course and ensure that people know where they are going, and continuously move around to make sure that everyone is where they should be.
The awards ceremony is a great place to show your gratitude for the players and make them feel special. Consider giving a participation gift, as well as awards for the contest winners and the 1st, 2nd,and 3rd place winners. Last but not least, make your players’ exit easy. Have the bags ready with staff there to help when players are preparing to leave. A great way to make this a smooth process, and promote next year’s event, is to place bag tags with your event name and next year’s date on each player’s bag. And don’t forgot the parting gift! Whether it’s chocolates or flowers, a little gift can go a long way.
Following these golf event planning tips will help ensure that both your players and your sponsors leave satisfied and ready for next year!
As far as sponsors go, the key to getting them to return year after year is getting them involved in your cause. If your tournament is for a non-profit, this means allowing the sponsors to meet some of the people they are directly benefiting with their sponsorship. If it is for a corporate event, talk to the sponsor about what his support is achieving and how important they are to you and your company. Don’t forget that sponsors are also at your event for exposure, so make sure they get time to talk to the players and meet as many people as possible. As the tournament organizer, it is up to you to make sure connections are being made and that people are being given what they have been promised.
Another important part of retaining players and sponsors is having a memorable awards ceremony that is inclusive and fun. The awards ceremony is how you wrap up the night, and highlight the purpose of the tournament. The mood of the awards ceremony is the mood that the players will leave with at the end of the night, so make it full of fun speeches, great prizes, and delicious food.
The key to a successful golf tournament is that once someone takes interest in your event, you KEEP their interest and grow it to the point that they share their experience with friends, family, and coworkers. Don’t lose your players and sponsors once you have gotten them involved. This is the way your tournament can grow every year and develop the strong image you are looking for!
The continuing success of your tournament will depend on what you do after this event, and applying what you learned to make your next event even better. Tying up loose ends the week after your tournament will save you a lot of hassle for next year. Realistically, planning next year’s golf event starts the day after this year’s tournament ends!