Sports Law • Risk Management

May 1, 2011: Save Money with Pre-Event Research

When thinking about starting a new event in your area, like a running race or a triathlon, you should do a little planning and research before investing any money. First, think about what type of event you would like to host. Choose a particular event in which you have a high level of competency, which will make it easier for you to understand all the details needed to host a particular competition. Though to further improve your chance of success, consider starting with a more logistically simple race, such as coordinating a small running race. Once you experience success then consider adding a more complex event like a triathlon.

Second, consider market saturation of the population as compared to the number of existing races in a given year. The more dense the population the more likely the race will succeed, particularly in its inaugural year. Look at a geographic radius within 100 miles or broaden your search to a larger geographic area if you are more rurally located. An event may find success in largely populated areas; however, rural areas might attract participants if there are few competing events and if it is a location that is a family destination.

Next, look at the timing of the date of other races in your geographic vicinity. Avoid hosting an event within three weeks of another similar event. By spacing out the timing of your event from your competitors, you will be more likely to share the marketplace with athletes who will pay to participate in several events in the same year.

Once you have researched the market, explore whether or not you will have local support for the event. Check the calendar of the city or town in which you wish to hold your event. Local support will be more likely if your event does not infringe on the resources or the potential success of other ongoing events in the same area. Talk with the community officials to get a feel for how receptive they would be to approving a license for your event. Incorporate any reasonable suggestions from local officials to ensure your event site will be approved.

Next set up a budget. You need to determine how much money you will need to host the event. You will need to determine how many participants may register and how the athletes would pay for your race. Utilize the data from neighboring events to predict the price point and the likely number of participants. Despite the number of participants you might attract, you should establish a maximum number of athletes that the location can safely support. The local government may impose restrictions on your participant numbers or you may look to other resources to help you predetermine a safe limit.

The above steps should be done prior to spending any money on a first time event. Avoid financial loss by first doing some research and hopefully you will set yourself up for hosting a successful and profitable event.