Written by Christy Duke, Tournament Sales Manager
Contributions by Eric Aldrich, Head Golf Professional
Bolingbrook Golf Club
A guru, as defined by Merriam Webster, is a teacher or guide that you trust. Well, consider me your golf event guru. Planning an event can be a strenuous undertaking, even for the seasoned event planner; therefore, it is imperative you have someone like me on your side when planning and executing your golf event. Here are 3 simple tips to make your 2015 event a successful one.
Sponsorship plays 3 major roles in your event:
1) Sponsorship can foster the strength of your organization’s brand when associated with high-profile sponsors.
2) Sponsorship money can help underwrite specific portions of your event, even player entry fees.
3) Sponsorship can provide prizes and/or auction items to help raise additional funds.
A good rule of thumb is to try to break even on the event with entry fees and make your money through sponsorship contributions; but tracking down sponsors can be a daunting task. My best advice is to bolster value in your sponsorship packages and in some cases; added value does not have to include foursomes. There is an endless number of exposure opportunities for sponsors—just ask me for the list! Increase a sponsor’s brand awareness and they will be more likely to support your event. Equally important is recognition and expression of gratitude for sponsors’ support. Have you thought about including an ancillary sponsor only VIP event? If not, ask your host facility about a package price to include such an event.
Yes, it makes a difference. My best advice here is to target high-end facilities first. As I mentioned in the previous section, the stronger the public awareness of a golf facility, the better chance you have at securing more sponsors and even more players with higher disposable incomes. Even more important to point out: Ask the facility about their flexibility with rate. You will be very surprised what you hear, even from high-end facilities. If they are not responsive to your budgetary needs, simply move on to another golf course. It is imperative to find a facility (and tournament sales coordinator) that understands your needs and is willing to do what it takes to exceed your event goals.
My final and very important tip is to ensure you have strong support from the host facility. You should be able to look at your tournament sales coordinator as a partner, one who is engaged and assists every step of the way. Is your coordinator willing to provide services and help with an event website and online registration process? Have you been offered assistance with your printing and signage needs, or offered sponsorship exposure opportunities? Have you been introduced to the on-site PGA golf professional staff and Executive Chef?
On your event day, make sure your event coordinator and facility staff are at your beck and call, and most importantly, trust that they will accomplish whatever you need done.
Feeling better about your event? If you want more support, I am happy to continue the discussion anytime.