Cloud-based automation makes golf outings more successful with less work
With over a million estimated golf events in the United States each year, the competition for golfers and fundraising dollars heightens. That puts an even greater demand on busy golf outing planners – many of whom are volunteers with a passion for supporting their companies or favorite charities. I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary Robinson, President of Golfsquid.com and Dan Spigner, head of Northeast Tradeshow Promotions.. These industry veterans kindly shared the scoop on golf outing best practices during our #ThursdayTips teleseminar.
After years of working with golf tournaments, providing event management and marketing for large and small tournaments, Gary heard many common complaints from these time-crunched organizers: find better ways to make outing planning fun and easy to grow participation while keeping expenses down. He recognized this growing need and created an online source to plan, promote, and market a golf tournament for any size organization. Now the national corporate outing partner for GolfSmith, Golfsquid.com automates event registration, management, reporting and promoting, making your event more successful with less work. Together, Gary and Dan shared their 7 Automation Secrets to ROCK your GOLF OUTINGS:
Cultivate a cohesive golf out committee and keep collaboration simple: Golf is one of the best ways to contribute to charity and it attracts a variety of people to join golf committees. In fact, many companies have community service requirements and your event could help them fulfill these needs. In fact, the more influential your committee, the easier it becomes to fill your foursomes with their network of friends. With modern technology, thankfully, meetings do not even have to take place in person anymore. Look for a cloud-based, shared document system that enables busy planners to stay “on the same page.” This ensures both document version control and that they can access information at the office or remotely via their computers, tablets or cell phones.
Volunteers appreciate knowing what’s expected. Do your best to spell out assignment options both based on shifts/time slots as well as tasks needed. Keep them abreast of updates, especially last-minute changes. Volunteers must feel informed, valued and accountable. After all, they keep costs down. Thank them properly for all their efforts so that they return and bring friends next year.
Make it comfortable for golf novices to participate in your outings. Give them a proper pre-event orientation of the rules, etiquette and layout of the outing. Get them involved where they can be successful: gathering prizes, preparing gift baskets, registration, selling raffle tickets, monitoring closest to the pin or other contests so they get to see some of the on-course action without feeling intimidated.
Keep the focus on your charity. Put the benefitting charity’s name in the event title to keep it prominent and searchable. During the opening welcome and closing banquet, the speakers should briefly talk about the impact the organization is making in the community and how fundraising dollars directly support the cause. If possible, have beneficiaries come out to or play in the event so you can see and feel their appreciation. Allow them to say a few words to engage the audience in their mission. This touching sentiment that goes a long way.
Promote your unique program through your company, social media, local media and committee/volunteers. Give the event a fun theme and logo to carry throughout the signage, wearable clothing, gifts and giveaways. Drive VALUE for the golfers at every opportunity so they return each year and bring more golfers. Resources like golfsquid.com offer listings enabling golfers to find local or destination outings, expos and fun golf events. there are plenty of free or low-cost options to help promote your event. Some radio stations, news outlets and advertising companies may even barter with you a sponsorship of your event for advertising. Resources like Golfsquid.com offer listings enabling golfers to find local or destination outings, expos and fun golf events. Search options include dates, location, type of event, sanctioning body, host organization and more. There are plenty of free or low-cost options to help promote your event. Some radio stations, news outlets and advertising companies may even barter with you a sponsorship of your event for advertising.
Sponsors and charity recipients deserve VIP treatment. Host a “kick-off” event months prior to the outing and invite your high-level sponsors, benefactors and award nominees to get acquainted. Sponsorship postings and automated systems make it easier to generate additional fundraising dollars and give your sponsors added exposure for their participation. Make sure you view sponsorships as more of a collaborative partnership than a gift. Why not make it simple for local retailers to maximize their investment when they pay online and can take 5 minutes to click and sponsor a particular hole, contest or whole event? Include an easy way for non-golfers to make an additional donation or come just for the awards banquet and further support the auctions, raffles and other after-golf fundraising.
Save organizers as much TIME as possible. Recent estimates indicate it’s possible to save planners as much as 40-50 hours per event by automating the process where you can, avoid duplication (enter data ONCE and reuse whenever possible), facilitate easy communication between the committee, volunteers, golfers, sponsors and other participants. If you can keep costs down, help drive donations and save valuable time then that’s the holy grail!
If you’re a “do once, use many” fanatic like me, you’ll find sheer joy in the simple pleasures of automation: less hassle, more time and generating more dollars for the charities we love. Here’s a bonus: for a limited time, Golfsquid.com will donate a $100 Golfsmith Gift Card to any new outing with 50+ registered golfers. Visit www.golfsquid.com/golfsmith for details. Please use referral code 4011 when you register your organization so they know that Pat sent you!
Please share your best tips (and worse golf outing experiences) in the comments section so we can all learn from each other.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, I am representing GolfSquid.com and Northeast Tradeshow Promotions because I value their services and think that they represent quality opportunities to help you ROCK your business. My opinions are my own. If you want to try Golfsquid.com for your next outing, please use my affiliate referral code 4011, thanks.
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