Recently I have decided to create a mini series of blog articles. The purpose of this mini series is to provoke thought and discussion for the reader.  Each blog will be very top line rather than an in-depth article.

I hope you are enjoy them.

Click here to read blog 1 – Is it time to change Fan Engagement to Guest Engagement?

Click here to read blog 2 – Developing Grassroots sports clubs


In the sports industry it can be easy – and even common – to forget about taking care of the small details when organising our games and events – and that can prove fatal.

But it’s these wrongly perceived minor matters that will undoubtedly contribute to make the experience unforgettable for the fan, rather than something that was ‘just ok’ or worse ‘forgettable’.

Sports organisations which focus on these small details (and executing them to the highest possible standard) are likely to be more successful as they produce high quality work that exceeds the fans expectations – and that should always be the aim.

So what are these ‘small details’ and why do they matter so much?

Well, they can be wide ranging. The following gives a glimpse of some things to consider when organising your event;

1. Providing travel details to and from the event, stadium or festival on your web site and social media. This may include bus and train timetables, car parking facilities etc

2. Ensuring your website and social platforms contain the latest and easy to find stadium information. It is also important to provide useful content such as where to gain access to the venue, details of any pre event entertainment  etc

3. Training for volunteers, stewards and staff.  Have you given in-depth training to your staff? This training should cover areas such as; customer service, how to welcome your fans to your event and a good understanding of the venue (for example, where the toilets are, lost and found booth etc).

4. Ensuring all staff and volunteers are clearly identified. Are they wearing branded clothing?

5. Clear directional signage at the event. Have you walked in the ‘shoes of the fans’ before your event? How clear and visible is your directional signage – from the car park, or drop off point, to the fans zone/village, and onward to finding your seat in the stadium?

6. Ensure you have introduced proper queue management at your event. Keep an eye on the queues and ensure fans enter your event safely but quickly.

7. Ensure you consider access at your venue for fans with disabilities.

8. Quality of food and beverage. Ensure you bring on board a partner who can supply high quality food that offers a range of alternatives for the fans.  Have you tried the food of potential suppliers before signing any agreement or better still, have you tried their food in a live environment? Have you set the supplier an agreed standard and range of food and drink options? 

9. Ensure your merchandise shop is clean and tidy and that there is enough staff especially during the busy times.

10. Providing entertainment before and during breaks at your event that creates a wow factor (not just DJ music!!).

11. Ensure you collect data from fans at your event and maximise the coverage on social media (both fan generated content on those from your marketing team).

12. Ensure you test all your event plans – from the quality of the PA system to safety measures should a crisis occur.

There are many more areas to consider so why not create a list of ‘small details’ to consider that will have a major impact for the fan experience at your event?  What are the small details that will wow and delight your fans!

Now that you have created your list, it’s time to now implement. Give this list to your organising team who should include it in their overall event management plan.

About Geoff Wilson

Geoff runs his own Sports Consultancy, working with clients such as FIFA, UEFA, AFC and FIBA across the world. He is also on the board of Tourism Northern Ireland. You can follow Geoff on twitter @geoffwnjwilson connect on Linkedin at linkedin.com/in/geoffwnjwilson

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