Transform Your Sporting Venue: Innovative Ways to Attract Different Types of Events

In this article, written by Brittany George of iVvy, find out how your sporting venue can become the destination of choice for events of all shapes and sizes.

Attention all sporting venue managers: Your venue space is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered, offering more than just the thrill for sports fans. It has the potential to host exhilarating matches while being the preferred setting for unforgettable events, ranging from corporate conferences to intimate gatherings.

But how can you unlock this potential and turn your venue into the ultimate choice for a variety of events? Let’s delve into some tailored strategies to transform your sporting venue into a compelling option for event planners.

Emphasise What Makes Your Venue Unique

Every venue has its story – what’s yours? Maybe it’s the echo of historic victories, the architectural design, impressive technologies, or perhaps an unbeatable location. Identifying these unique selling points for your sporting venue is your first step.

Share these stories in your marketing efforts; let potential clients see not just a venue, but a place where their event can become part of a larger narrative.

Mackay Golf Club seamlessly integrates professional venue and event services with its one-of-a-kind location to enhance its appeal to event professionals

Case Study: Mackay Golf Club

Situated in a prime central location just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city centre, Mackay Golf Club offers easy access to and from the region with convenient travel routes.

Boasting a top-notch facility surrounded by stunning landscapes, the club’s events team goes above and beyond to tailor packages that cater to every client’s needs. From unique meeting spaces to engaging corporate team-building exercises, guests can enjoy a variety of activities such as indoor and outdoor putting challenges, 9-hole rounds of golf, and chipping challenges from the bunker.

Mackay Golf Club seamlessly integrates professional venue and event services with its one-of-a-kind location to enhance its appeal to event professionals. With a focus on maximising attendee engagement and delivering a truly unique experience, the club sets itself apart as a premier venue for events.

Flexibility is Key

The secret to attracting diverse events in your sporting venue? Flexibility. Show how your venue spaces can transform, from intimate gatherings in luxury boxes to expansive trade shows on the field. Use photos, videos, or even virtual tours to showcase various setups – let potential clients dream up their perfect event in your versatile space.

Twickenham Stadium cleverly markets its venue spaces with flexibility in mind, providing website visitors with inspiration for various event types

Case Study: Twickenham Stadium

Twickenham Stadium cleverly markets its venue spaces with flexibility in mind, providing website visitors with inspiration for various event types. These events can range from small and large-scale events such as pitch-side barbecues, gatherings on the rooftop rose garden, and esports and gaming events like international tournaments, live broadcasts, boot camps, and B2B expos.

In addition to event promotion, the stadium also provides commercial film hire services, with a range of filming spaces, service areas, and car parking facilities, as well as a specialised gym, changing room, and boxes that can be used as boardrooms, high-end offices, and large restaurant spaces.

Tech Upgrades That Talk

Your sporting venue’s tech readiness can be a game-changer. Whether it’s state-of-the-art AV systems for a product launch or robust Wi-Fi for a tech summit, event planners want venues that can handle their digital demands. Invest in these technologies and make sure you flaunt them. Being able to host hybrid events can set you leagues ahead, offering a mix of in-person and virtual attendance options.

Making Everyone Feel Welcome

Comfort and accessibility aren’t just niceties; they’re essentials. From ensuring your venue is accessible to all guests to providing plenty of parking and comfy seating, these details matter. Thankfully, as a sporting venue, you will have several guidelines and best practices to everyone can enjoy the events you host. Ensuring accessibility means complying with legal requirements including providing accessible seating, parking spaces, restrooms, and means of travel.

Comfort goes beyond just physical accessibility. It also means creating an environment where all guests feel welcome and accommodated. This includes having seating options to cater to different preferences and needs, clear signage, and maintaining a clean and safe environment. For parking, ample space close to the venue is crucial, especially for those with disabilities. Offering different transport and parking options, such as valet services or shuttle bus services, can enhance guest experiences.

Additionally, having well-trained staff knowledgeable about accessibility and guest comfort can make a significant difference in the overall experience of your visitors. Go the extra mile to show that your sporting venue is not just about accommodating guests but ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Green is the New Black

Sustainability isn’t a buzzword; it’s a commitment. Implementing eco-friendly practices can significantly enhance your venue’s appeal. Whether it’s recycling programs, energy-saving lights, or using local and sustainable catering options, these efforts show you care about the planet and the comfort of your guests. Make sure these green initiatives are front and centre in your promotional materials.

Principality Stadium achieved its mission of becoming the UK’s first certifiably sustainable event stadium

Case Study: Principality Stadium

In 2010, Principality Stadium in Cardiff employed a Facilities Manager to establish and administer a sustainability policy. In September of the same year, the Welsh Rugby Union, the stadium owners, set out on a mission to make Principality Stadium the UK’s first officially recognised sustainable stadium.

Combined, these efforts resulted in the stadium taking on several sustainable initiatives, including segregating all recycling to reduce landfill waste, utilising a rainwater harvesting system, and promoting public transport for event days. These changes had Principality Stadium achieve its mission, becoming the UK’s first certifiably sustainable event stadium.

Full-Service Experience

Anything you can do to make an event planner’s job easier is like gold. Offering comprehensive support services, from top-notch catering to logistical help, can make your sporting venue stand out. If you can be a one-stop shop for event needs, you’ll not only attract more events but also earn the loyalty of event planners who appreciate the convenience and quality you offer.

Network and Market with Purpose

Good old-fashioned networking never goes out of style. But do it with a twist. Engage with your community online and offline, join industry associations, and don’t shy away from showcasing your venue at trade shows or on social media. Personal stories and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your venue in action can captivate potential clients more effectively than any brochure.

The Power of Praise

Never underestimate the power of a good review. Collecting testimonials from past event organisers and attendees can give your venue the credibility boost it needs. Share these stories, and let the success of past events paint a picture of what new clients can expect. Remember, people connect with people. Let the voices of satisfied customers be your sporting venue’s most persuasive marketing tool.

Persuasive Pricing

Last but not least, let’s talk numbers. Transparent, competitive pricing and flexible packages can open up your sporting venue to a wider audience. Consider creating bundled options that offer value beyond just space rental, perhaps including catering, security, tech support – or any on-site inclusions like VIP stadium tours, activity options, or special guest appearances.

Making your pricing and packages clear and tailored can demystify the planning process for potential clients, making your venue an attractive option.

Maximise Your Venue Space & Increase Your Event Bookings

Turning your sporting venue into a hub for diverse events involves harnessing its unique features, embracing flexibility, embracing technology, ensuring accessibility, prioritising sustainability, and providing unwavering support. When these elements come together alongside targeted marketing and authentic customer feedback, your venue’s appeal will skyrocket.

Remember – behind every successful event is a venue dedicated to crafting unforgettable experiences. Let your sporting venue embody that essence.

Source & imagery, courtesy: iVvy

Sports Venue Business has launched a raft of new offerings under the SVB LIVE banner, including Networking Events and a Webinar Series. The 2024 SVB LIVE Conference & Exhibition is being held at Croke Park on October 9th and 10th, with an Opening Night Icebreaker on October 8th. The SVB LIVE Expert Council is helping to shape the year-round content.

Check out the latest sports and entertainment venue development news in the exclusive, subscription-only, SVB Global Report here.

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