SPORTS ETA ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM
Conference: Sports ETA Annual Symposium Dates: April 20-23, 2020 Host Destination: Kansas City, MO Contributing Writer: Dr. Jennnifer Stoll, CSEE Sports ETA Research & Education, Stoll Sports Strategies, LLC
Springtime is Just Ahead – That Means the Sports Events and Tourism Industry is About to Descend on KC: Be in-the-know about all things 2020 Sports ETA Annual Symposium H ere Comes the Warm-Up While much of the country remains in the midst of winter chill, Kansas City is just heating up coming off the Chiefs’ impressive Super Bowl win. As the frost starts to thaw for the rest of us, we can look ahead to warmer days for another big Kansas City event this spring: the 2020 Sports ETA Annual Symposium.
Sports ETA – the professional trade association for the sports events and tourism industry – has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, including the roll-out of a new brand, successful launching new education initiatives such as the Women’s and Chief Executive Summits, and by enhancing value across the spectrum of member segments.
Professionals in the industry can expect this momentum to roll right into Kansas City April 20-23 when the Annual Symposium comes to town. If you have spent much time in the sports events and tourism industry, you know the Annual Symposium has an impressive track record of bringing together a diverse collection of industry professionals from across the country in its 28-year history.
As the gold-star standard conference in the industry, hallmark elements of the Annual Symposium include dynamic marketplace appointments, top-tier education sessions, and engaging networking opportunities.
This recipe has yielded tremendous success in the past, but Sports ETA is working diligently in concert with the KC team to up its game this year. That vision is being driven in large part by former Sports ETA Executive Committee member and new Vice President of Events and Experiences, Janis Ross.
“Our goal is about more than just content,” commented Ross. “It’s about how we deliver education to our attendees, as well as offering a variety of engagement and networking opportunities.”
Marketplace Mash-Up Each year, the post-symposium survey of attendees reiterates one of the top-rated aspects of the event is the marketplace appointments. 2020 attendees can expect robust appointment schedules to continue and can also look forward to enhanced marketplace elements such as un-programmed time for networking, a professional development area, and a stage in the marketplace featuring short, topical educational sessions, product demos, and more.
Marketplace has been re-envisioned as more than a trade show, but as the Symposium’s “living room”, where attendees will want to spend their off-appointment time to network and to learn. Savvy professionals know that business-to-business success is found both in and out of appointments. It is just as likely to make an important connection in the buffet line or hanging out in the Fun Zone.
Education Enhancements CSEE Courses - Due to increased demand in CSEE course content, organizers are adding a second live CSEE course to the schedule. The first course will run from 9am to noon on Monday, April 20, and the second course (an entirely different course and topic) will take place from 3-6pm the same day.
While specifics regarding the morning course will be available shortly, the afternoon course will tackle the elements of developing a Performance Mindset by former NFL player and Kansas City local, Jon McGraw, Founder of Vision Pursue. As part of the workshop, Jon walks participants through a practical and engaging way to reach your peak performance through harnessing the power of one of your most powerful assets: your mind. Jon presented his course to top industry leaders at last year’s Chief Executive Summit and received rave reviews. Traditional CSEE courses at the 2020 Annual Symposium are $400 each for Sports ETA members.
Education Tracks - Improvements are also coming to the Annual Symposium’s general education tracks in 2020. Let’s face it, content about sponsorship, for example, should not look the same for a first-time attendee and a seasoned sports professional. Blanketing a topic to the masses dilutes the depth of content covered and often limits the learning outcomes of the participant.
To address the need for quality content geared toward each individual learner, this year’s content tracks promote diving into topics with peers from similar levels of experience. Unlike the past, when education tracks were divided by session topic, this year’s symposium tracks will be categorized as Rookie, All-Star, and Veteran.
The Rookie track will provide excellent content for those professionals newer to the sports events and tourism industry, looking to learn about the industry, develop transferable professional skills, and set a strong foundation for a successful career. This track is recommended for those with industry experience of less than five years.
The All-Star track caters content to individuals who have taken the next step in their career paths, those who have more than a handful of years of experience in the industry, who perhaps are managers, and who find themselves responsible for much of the operational implementation of the strategy set by organization executives.
The Veteran track is designed as high-level content specifically for those who are the ultimate decision maker in their organizations. Content will focus on larger industry trends and issues, strategy, governance and policy, and personnel, for example.
Not to be forgotten, new this year will also be a dedicated track for our industry’s valuable members: Rights holders. This track is designed with event operations in mind and will foster an environment for rights holders to engage with one another and receive content unique to the circumstances rights holders face.
Sports ETA is excited about the new path of education for the 2020 Annual Symposium and will be reaching out to attendees for feedback during and after the event. It is our continued mission to resource all segments of our industry with education that helps you grow professionally and make better business decisions.
Facilities Boom - New CSEE courses on site at the symposium are not the only opportunity for preconference education. Another area of growth Sports ETA is monitoring and proactively filling the void of related education content is facility and venue development and operation. This year marks the second edition of the Sports Facility Summit, being held at Pinnacle National Development Center on Sunday afternoon, April 19 and Monday, April 20.
Pinnacle, the expansive training home of Sporting Kansas City soccer club, will provide the setting for the day and a half of learning related to all things sports facility. The event will be highlighted by a state of the facilities industry discussion led by some of the facility world’s top thought-leaders, sessions on topics such as local versus non-local programming, building ancillary revenue opportunities, and the ecosystem of e-sports. In addition, the course schedule has been designed with the attendee in mind, by including value time for networking, open discussion, and idea-sharing. Registration for the Sports Facilities Summit is $299 for Sports ETA members and $399 for non-members.
Revamped State of the Industry - Sports ETA, in collaboration with the Northstar Meetings Group, has engaged Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, to conduct a landmark study on the US sports events and tourism industry. This important study will serve as a benchmark for the sports events and tourism industry. For the first time, the state of the industry report will dive into the business landscape for event rights holders and facility operators in addition to destinations.
“Over the last several years we have heard from membership about the need for a more comprehensive state of the industry report. We are thrilled that through our partnership with Northstar Meetings Group, this vision is becoming a reality,” commented Alan Kidd, President and CEO of Sports ETA.
“Through our expanded research efforts, the new state of the industry report will be a resource that details the value of the sports events and tourism industry in the United States and serves as a benchmark to more precisely monitor trends in the industry for years to come.”
Attendees at the Annual Symposium will be the first to hear directly from researchers about the significant findings from the study including strategic insights on market size, economic impact, competitive dynamics, and trends within the industry.
Let’s Not Forget Leaving a Legacy - What would a Sports ETA Annual Symposium be without the generous time, effort and money donated by our membership in support of our annual Sports Legacy Fund recipient organization? This year attendees have the unique opportunity to support KC Blind All-Stars Foundation organization. KC Blind All-Stars Foundation seeks to imagine, execute, fund, and support the needs and dreams of blind and visually impaired youth who benefit from the Kansas State School for the Blind and the educators who believe in them.
KC Blind All-Stars Foundation is seeking funding to build a new, handicapped-accessible playground at the Kansas State School for the Blind. The existing playground equipment on the KSSB campus in Wyandotte County is a 30- yearold, non-handicapped accessible metal swing set installed
directly into hard ground. In order to play on a playground, children are taken off campus to a local park to play. The park is not handicapped-accessible and does not meet the special needs the children require. KC Blind All-Stars Foundation will use the grant from Sports ETA to provide immeasurable joy and self-discovery, giving these children the opportunity for safe exploration and the physical exercise that they so greatly need - now and for many years to come.
Make sure you plan to join us for the community service project, participate in the silent auction, and throw and extra $20 in the raffle.
Speaking of legacy, you will not want to miss the annual Hall of Fame inductions and Membership Awards, which are a chance to celebrate those who have relentlessly served the industry for years upon years, and those who are driving the industry into the future through innovation and ideas.
Both Hall of Fame inductees and Membership Award recipients will be honored during our General Session on Tuesday, April 21. Make it a point to seek these individuals out throughout the rest of the symposium to congratulate them on their achievements.
Outside the Convention Center Walls - Wow! With all that going on at the Annual Symposium, it is hard to believe you will have time outside the convention center walls…but we have made sure you will! We all know Kansas City is known for its BBQ, but after you polish of a rack of ribs, you may want to check out a variety of other attractions and entertainment options.
Kansas City is home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, a plethora of local eateries and live music spots, and much, much more. In fact, here are 20 suggestions on ways to explore the city from our friends at Visit KC.
Kansas City’s vibrant culture and community is underscored by the turnout of its passionate Chiefs fans at the recent Kansas City Chiefs Kingdom Super Bowl Parade, in addition to its selection as a host destination of marquee events for USA Fencing, USA Gymnastics, the 2023 NFL Draft, and more. It is easy to see why Sports ETA and Kansas City are going to make for a memorable 2020 Annual Symposium!
We’ll Make This Easy…We Want to See You There! - Now you are officially “in the know” about all things 2020 Sports ETA Annual Symposium. The schedule is set, and the time is drawing near for the must-attend conference on every sports event and tourism professional’s calendar. As the weather begins to warm up, we look forward to having you join us in Kansas City April 20-23, 2020!
Check out SportsETA.org/Symposium for all the details on these and other 2020 Sports ETA Annual Symposium happenings.