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5 Tips for Tournament Planning

May 5, 2014

by — Posted in How To, Noombers Team

Are you thinking about planning a tournament? Well that’s great! Just to give you a hand we have curated 5 tournament planning tips that are of great help when planning your tournament.

Tip #1 – The right location isn’t just about the playing area

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Choosing a tournament location can be a lot more complicated than it seems. For instance, if you’re running a baseball tournament, choosing a facility with a few nice baseball fields is not enough. You need to take into account a wide range of factors. Here are some important guidelines to follow when selecting a location:
How many spectators do you expect? Is there enough sitting room around the playing locations? If not, is there at least enough standing room?
Does the location offer substantial parking? Do they offer parking for free?
If participants are staying at hotels, how far is the location from nearby hotels?
Is your event a full contact event, or dangerous in any way? If so, how far is the location from the closest hospital?

Tip #2 – Don’t skip the “Kiosk” stand

The “Kiosk” stand is one of the most important pieces of a successful event, however, it is often dismissed as a minor side thought. Treat the “Kiosk” stand as an opportunity. At most tournaments, there are hundreds of spectators huddled into one area for hours at a time. People don’t like leaving the event location for food because they may miss an important announcement or even a game when they’re gone. So, most people have no choice but to eat one, and commonly two or three, meals at the tournament “Kiosk” stand.

Tip #3 – Market online

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The old days of promoting tournaments with flyers and trade-magazine ads are over. If you want to attract attention to your event, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, it’s critical you look into digital marketing. There are essentially two forms of online marketing; paid and free. The paid version consists of buying things like Google Adwords and banner impressions. The free version consists of using tactics like email marketing, directory submissions and social networking to drive exposure for your event. Use Noombers to promote your tournament too.

Tip #4 – Have a inspiring/motivating guest

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A featured guest is very helpful for a tournament. Getting one isn’t as tricky, or expensive, as many people think. There are a lot of agencies dedicated to scheduling personal appearances with “known name” people. Do a Google search for agencies in your niche and area. For instance, are you hosting a youth basketball tournament? It would be pretty cool if you had a retired NBA player who lives in the area show up on tournament day. An investment in a featured guest will be able to pay itself back. You can leverage the guest appearance in the following ways:
Feature the guest’s picture on your website and in your ads, which will lead to word-of-mouth buzz and more sign ups.
Charge a slightly higher tournament registration fee than you typically would, which is justified by the guest’s presence.

Tip #5 – Don’t use printed forms and checks to conduct registration

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Today’s consumer is used to being able to learn about and buy a product online and on-demand in seconds. Tournament managers that are using antiquated registration processes like printed forms and checks are creating huge obstacles for the modern consumer. Requiring a time-consuming registration process is a major hassle for people, and will likely lead to bad event turnout. The tournament landscape is very competitive. There are a ton of quality events out there in almost every sort of niche. If a potential participant is deciding between two events of equal quality, but one offers instant online sign ups with a platform like Noombers and the other involves printing out a PDF form, filling out a check and going to the post office, who do you think the person will choose?

Do you have any other tips about tournament planning? Would you like to make this list longer? Then leave a comment below!