Throwing a Reopening Event for your Sports Facility
Many high schools and leagues may have cancelled or delayed their seasons, but the game must go on for sports facilities. Perhaps you’ve already started offering services to clients. But what steps have you taken to raise awareness — either of your opening event or your grand reopening event?
The best way to get the word out is to throw a party! A grand reopening event is great publicity for your business — and can be a lot of fun for you and your community.
5 Tips for a Memorable Event
Here are some tips for organizing a safe and successful opening ceremony, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Choose a date and decide who to invite
Choose a date that doesn’t conflict with local events or holidays. You should also plan who to invite and what day works for them. Then you need to verify how many can your building accommodate and, more importantly, how many people are allowed to congregate inside based on your area’s current guidelines.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t have guidelines for a specific number of attendees. They do, however, encourage event organizers to limit people’s contact with each other. According to the CDC’s website, “Each event organizer will need to determine the appropriate number for their setting in collaboration with local health officials.” You also want to stay up to date on how many people can gather inside on a state-by-state basis and if it’s feasible to stage the event outside.
Some states allow 50 people together at a time. Other states prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people. Bear that in mind as you prioritize your guest list! Consider these different types of guests when making your invites:
- Long-time and potential customers
- Online influencers
- Local media
- City government officials
- Business partners
- Celebrity guests (within reason and budget)
You’ll want to follow-up with your guests. Grab names, emails, and phone numbers. This information can be easily captured ahead of time with RSVPs and online sign-up forms.
Find a theme and decide on a budget
What type of event is best for your business and target audience? You have many options, including a:
- Ribbon cutting
- Open house
You can also decide on a theme. The obvious answer is sports-related!
Put together a financial plan once you’ve nailed down those key details. Use your sports facility, if possible, since part of the event should be showing it off to clientele.
How much money will need to be spent on entertainment, refreshments, and prizes? You’ll also need to budget for marketing and promotion.
What’s the right entertainment, food, and beverages for your event?
You must keep your guests entertained. What better way than with music? Look into local DJs or bands. Consider your facility’s acoustics.
Food and beverages can complement the chosen theme. A tropical party in the summer demands beach-inspired drinks, while pumpkin spice drinks are a hit in the fall.
You may need to hire staff to serve the food and beverages. You also need to plan to have all the necessary permits. Will there be alcohol? You’ll need a noise permit for after 10 p.m. if the party is held outside. Fireworks, health permits for food and building permits for tents — there’s a lot to anticipate!
Don’t overlook the behind-the scenes elements
Make sure to have enough trash cans and restrooms, including portable restrooms. Will you be doing the clean-up afterwards? Does that come as part of the package with the serving staff?
Get the word out
The easiest way to spread the word is by updating your website and social media! Offer special deals limited-time coupons, raffles, and giveaways to accompany the event.
There’s also the old-fashioned approach. Decorate your building with signs and balloons. Send out announcements in the mail or use local advertising — online, print or radio.
Plan for COVID-19
How can you exercise caution while throwing a socially distanced party? The first thing you can is appoint a workplace coordinator — for the event and your everyday business activities.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration advises, “Employers should identify a qualified workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues, help develop plans for implementing infection control procedures, and help assess the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace.”
The workplace coordinator’s advice, emergency protocols, and communication tools can be utilized during the event. These protocols include:
- Wearing facemasks
- Taking temperatures of employees and guests at the door
- Maintaining social distancing of 6 feet
- Placing proper signages and designate areas for guests
- Promoting handwashing, proper cough, and sneezing practices
- Cleaning and disinfecting the gathering space thoroughly before and after the event using EPA-approved cleaning products for COVID-19
When planning your party in the time of COVID-19, don’t rule out a hybrid indoor/outdoor party, with major activities in the parking lot and small tours of the facility at timed intervals.
And if your local and state restrictions don’t make any kind of in-person party practical, consider a Virtual Open House. You can host an invite/VIP Zoom call where you can update your customers on what you’re currently offering, make some time for catching up among your members, and remind your customers of the value you deliver.
For More Information
Use eSoft Planner to plan a smart and healthy event. The comprehensive sports facility management solution can help base your event on what’s best for your business and customers.
The software’s communications tools can help you email and text customers, post messages on social media, provide customers with self-service registration, and book the event with real-time, online scheduling. Our expert team also offers consultative customer support and industry best practices to help build your business.