Major Events International (MEI) facilitated a panel of sports events experts at the Event Production Show on 25th February 2020 at Excel, London.
Moderated by CEO of WiFi specialist provider Etherlive, Tom McInerney, the panel discussed various issues that arise at sports events where lessons might be learnt for the wider events eco-system.
Panelists were: Peter Ward, Founder and CEO, We Track; Adrian Smith, CEO Belle Vue Speedway and Alex Smith, Commercial Director at Clipper Ventures
On social media:
- Write once- publish on multiple platforms in tweaked formats;
- Short form (10 sec) video working well;
- Consider using Facebook live
On Fan Engagement:
- Move towards the experiential; Clipper Ventures is the ultimate experience where ordinary people do extraordinary things. But even if elite sportsmen/women or musicians are the ‘stars’ more can be done to give the fans a chance to have a go;
- We will see a trend for mass filtered events such as Drone Champions where the talent starts by competing in the virtual world against hundreds of thousands of competitors, and end up in the physical world competing against the best of the best. Increasingly eSports will come to complement physical sports.
- It’s all about a rifle shot approach rather than buck shot;
- Target and craft a bespoke solution to address specific corporate aims- it’s not always about brand awareness any more;
- Clipper Ventures activation is being used by Dell to amplify their green credentials;
- Every sponsor will have different objectives- spend at least as much time working out what these are as you do on delivering them.
On talent acquisition:
- In an increasingly competitive world internships and apprenticeships should be actively embraced;
- Interns are also great for plugging talent gaps at busy times;
- Massive value in engaging with universities- who are keen to link with the ‘real world’ and nurture under-grad talent.
On the challenge for one off events:
- Sport tends to have a ‘season’ and it therefore easier to keep the narrative going. One-off events should develop a strategy to storify their event and find ‘champions’ to extend their narrative. The Olympics is a great example of this: the Olympic Channel is constantly finding moments in time to reflect on past Olympic moments.
On engaging with the local community:
- Essential you get on with your neighbors- they can be advocates or they can undermine your reputation;
- Engage with your local community- schools are a great conduit for this:
- Don’t under-estimate the power of volunteers for event delivery, but also for social media amplification.
- It’s not just about technology;
- Think outside of the box e.g Speedway has had to change the night of the week they deliver their events.
On an aging demographic:
- Evolution not revolution- Speedway “can’t move away from the pie and chips, but we can provide a vegetarian alternative”
- Think about tickets, lanyards, cups- it’s no longer something simply to provide lip service to;
- It’s not just about doing the right thing, but doing the right thing for the long term. Sustainability needs to be sustainable;
- The best way to be sustainable is improved project management: fewer flights, address issues earlier to save duplication, improve efficiencies;
- Challenge yourself to year on year improvements using robust criteria and metrics.
Hope you find that useful and a fair and accurate summary.
Thanks again for your contributions.