Last weekend I went to the Slatman Triathlon in North Wales to watch my partner Jonny and his Dad race a grulling 750km swim, 51km bike and 11km run (which included over 1,500ft of climbing). I have now been to many triathlon, cycling and running events around the country, a few of which I have marshaled at. The thing that stood out at the Slateman event, besides the fantastic scenery, was just how well the event was organised.
This experience has prompted me to write a post on factors to consider when executing a successful sporting event. There are many racing events around the country from triathlons, duathlons, cycling sportive, charity runs, the Bupa Great North Run, the Great Swim events and even Midnight walking events. Regardless of the particular event, whether it be cycling or a charity walk, all sporting events seek to raise money for charities, raise awareness of physical activity, promote the sport and make profit or raise charitable funds… and to enjoy the event of course!!
To make the event top notch, I believe you have to consider these following elements:
- Vibe on the day – Make sure you create a good vibe on the day. It is important to make it interesting for spectaors to watch, alongside creating excitment for those participating. Having a spoksperson is a great way to create this, as they can update you on the event alongside interviewing spectators and getting them involved.
- Well marshalled event – It is important to have marshalls all the way around your course route in order to make sure participants feel supported and looked after if they needed any help. Event managers don’t want paricipants to not enjoy the route and then not return the following year, so this is very important!
- Branding – Use your branding well. Make sure spectators and participants both know who organises the events and who their sponsors are. Make sure that people know what other events you hold and when they are. If they enjoy it on the day, they are more likely to sign-up for another of your events than anyone elses.
- Spectator activities – It’s great to involve spectators into the race / event. Spectators are important to gain support from as they in turn support the participants. So making sure there is somewhere to go if it rains, stalls to buy food and drinks, sponsors stalls, music etc are great ways to keep people happy whist the event is taking place.
- Photography – Is very important, participants, especially first timers are always keen to purchase good race photo’s! In addition, good photography of your events can be used for marketing and promotional material in order to make the event more successful the following year.
Any more tips are very welcome!