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experience. community. perspective.

Volume 02 // Issue 01

1 The Communication Issue


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Just because you might be able to play anywhere doesn't mean you should. Bring your next sporting event to Pensacola for the facilities and hospitality. Stay for its historic culture, unique adventures, and award-winning sugar-white beaches.

IT'S NOT IF YOU WIN OR LOSE, IT'S WHERE YOU PLAY PensacolaSports.org THE GAME

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With January almost over, the start to 2021 felt like the last time I stood on a start line at a race‌Take your mark, GO! I dove in and immediately my googles fell off! Now that vaccines are being distributed, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone I talk to is busier than ever‌and if you are not, get busy, or you will get left behind. Significant events mean significant change. As we all experienced, life changed after the 9/11 attacks. For example, we are now required to take our shoes off before going through security screening at an airport. The same will be the case following the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few predictions from the Raconteurs teams: Organizations may share an office. If we are being honest, social distancing is not going away any time soon. Most of us will continue to be careful long after our virus numbers stabilize. This means we will go into an office less. Organizations can, and will, make the decision to save annual operating expenses by sharing office space. This subject is being discussed across the globe as we have all proved working remotely is successful. We will live in different cities. As remote work continues to build and become normal, many segments of our industry, have the flexibility to rethink our lives. Where we live, doing what we always wanted but due to various constraints could not, even how we design our work and living spaces. Without the weight of an office to visit every day, would you still live in your town? Have you always wanted to live elsewhere but have been holding off? Maybe you pay a huge amount in rent, but now can move to a more affordable city and keep your gig. 4


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Software will continue to improve. When this all began, the idea of using a web-based video conferencing tool was impersonal, and so were the software options. In a short window of time, we have seen rapid improvements, upgraded features, and additions. Let us hope the awkward wave goodbye at the end of a video conference goes away! Remote Meetings will become the norm. Prior to Covid-19 taking over, we may have hesitated before offering to meet with someone virtually rather than in person as to not hurt their feelings. After the pandemic, taking a temperature on when to Zoom and when to meet personally will be different. Could this change our conference and trade show structure as an industry? Time will tell. Our new social existence. We will not see things go totally back to normal for quite some time. Even after our vaccine protocol essentially expels Covid-19 from the United States, things will not change until the rest of the world beats the virus. We will see our numbers drop, but in other parts of the world you could still see a resurgence. Therefore, people will stay relatively conservative in behavior, especially if socializing with at-risk older folks. Additionally, since we are spending less time at the office, and thus your social contact at work is going down, we will seek more social experiences from your local community. All this combines into a hopeful picture of a future filled with efficient work, closer communities, and much better virus readiness.

X Matt Dunn 5


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The Communication Issue 8

DMO/Sports Commission Profile

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Build Organizational Culture in 2021

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9 Tips to Communicate Effectively

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Technology Profile

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5 Signals You’ve Found a Solid Content Generator

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Effectively Manage Your Time

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3-2-2

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Industry Confidential

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Pete Harvey DMO/Sports Commission Profile

What is your title, and how long have you held the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission position? My title is Director of Sport Development. I have been in this position since 2007. What brought you to the city? What keeps you there? What do you love the most about it? I came to Buffalo under unique circumstances. I had been in Florida for many years in the hospitality and sports marketing business when my 3-yearold daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer in early 2005. We needed to be around family, so we moved to Buffalo. My daughter, after an incredible battle, has done very well. She is now a college freshman. She is my hero. I love this city, the people, and their passion for sports, food, and fun. Buffalo is what keeps me here. Name one word that describes the city and its people.

I think the one word that describes Buffalo and its people is friendly. Buffalo is known as “The City of Good Neighbors,” and I think people try to live up to that. It’s a place where people go out of their way to make you feel welcome. What are your major tourist attractions, and how do they play a part in your event solicitation efforts? There is an abundance of things to do in Buffalo, but it certainly helps that we have one of the Wonders of the World just down the road. In my experience, there’s no one – no matter what their background is – who isn’t interested in seeing Niagara Falls. Everyone I’ve ever taken there has been blown away by the experience. Buffalo is also known for its cultural attractions. Two that rise to the top for most people are the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Darwin Martin House. The Albright has one of the most significant collections of modern art globally, and the Darwin Martin House is considered one 9


PUSH Magazine of the grandest houses ever designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Both attract people from across the United States and Canada.

Center at Amherst has four sheets and is a favorite place for USA Hockey age group national championships.

We’ve also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in rebuilding our waterfront in recent years. Canalside is the place to go for kayaking, paddle boarding, water biking, and to grab some sun along the boardwalk. There’s also fantastic sport fishing in Lake Erie and a big sailing community.

The LECOM Harborcenter is a unique facility. There are 2 NHL size rinks on the 6th and 7th floor of the Marriott hotel. This hotel and ice facility are also attached to the Key Bank Center, home to our Buffalo Sabres.

What are the must-do experiences in Buffalo Niagara? Are they youth, family, and sports-focused? When in Buffalo, do what Buffalonians do and go out for wings. The original buffalo wing started at the Anchor Bar; the place rocks most days with locals and out-of-towners. There’s also the Buffalo Wing Trail featuring a dozen of the best wing joints in the region where you can try various wing styles – all in old school Buffalo bars and taverns. For what sports is the Buffalo Niagara area known? Are they so because you have a state of the art facilities catering to those sports? Buffalo is a hockey town. We have some fantastic facilities. The Northtown

Another popular venue is Riverworks. Riverworks has two outdoor rinks used for Summer sports like lacrosse and cornhole, inside an entertainment facility. They have hatchet throwing, escape rooms, a ropes course, kayaking, roller derby, and a great bar and restaurant. Describe Buffalo Niagara tourism’s seasonality and how you use it in your approach to recruit and create new events. Peak season for Buffalo tourism runs from May through October – we have some of the best summers and falls in the entire country, that is the time to experience Buffalo at its best. That said, Buffalo can be a unique experience in the wintertime, especially when the Falls freeze over. During frigid winters, an ice bridge forms across the Niagara River connecting the United States with Canada. It really should be on everyone’s bucket list.

From the local

The 3rd-floor patio, with a view of the sunset over Lake Erie, is the perfect way to start winding down the day. They offer a great craft beer selection in addition to a tasty menu. Pearl Street is downtown and within walking distance of many hotels and sports venues.

If a visitor only had time for one meal in your city, what should they eat & from where? Buffalo has a fantastic food scene. Renowned food critic Michael Stern called Buffalo “one of the great eating cities.” The co-author of Eat Your Way Across the USA even declared that no city – “except maybe New Orleans” – has as many regional specialties as Buffalo. That being said, you are in Buffalo; ya gotta have the Wings! I leave the place to have them up to you because there are so many great spots, but yeah, try the wings!

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Your best travel tip? Where is the happiest happy hour? Pearl Street Grill and Brewery would be the spot I choose for Happy Hour.

My best travel tip is to be respectful to everyone as you travel. The airport checkin people, your fellow passengers, Uber drivers. Everyone. Yes, I know travel is sometimes stressful, but getting upset and yelling and treating people poorly rarely helps or solves the challenge.


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BUILD

Organizational Culture IN 2021

Void of espresso coffee machines and mid-day tennis table tournaments, we now need to concentrate on what employees genuinely want from their organization. For years, individuals compared culture to employee benefits. We have seen trends including beer taps, pool tables, and wellness programs. Though, it is favored that employees concentrate on their objective over organizational benefits. Our co-workers appreciate a company’s values far more. Now that many offices remain closed through the coronavirus pandemic, the change of focus off benefits is taking shape. During an unprecedented time in our history that has brought on hardships, most of us have never faced our professional careers.

We want and need our organizations to succeed being placed under a magnifying glass. Organizations that emphasize compassion, humanity and transparency in communication to employees are the ones who have seen increases in employee commitment. On a positive note, moving into 2021, we foresee a few areas of concentration that will become key in crafting a sound employee experience; and they do not require a considerable portion of an annual budget or even product. However, they do involve a solemn pledge from management. 13


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Clear-cut and Dependable Communication Employees would prefer information on lousy news to working each day in the dark, and the majority admit they are more valuable to an organization when knowledgeable. An employee’s retention and commitment increase when they have access to a leadership’s thought process and organizational performance numbers. When addressing your team on an energizing update or conveying a necessary adjustment, co-workers need to know what is coming and how they will be looked after. A successful approach includes always maintaining transparency to all, whether that be addressing a team all at once regularly, sending weekly email updates, or your version of an open-door policy.

Diversity & Inclusion Programming Last year, employees turned to leadership for direction following prejudices within our social dynamic. How organizations feel about systemic racism and meaningful change within their communities and companies is on individuals’ minds across the United States. They want action, not just talk. They are watching organizational leaders see if they will not only get involved but deliver. 14


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Mental Health

Work Schedule Flexibility Where and how we work changed in 2020. With office and school closings, re-openings, government shutdowns, and changes due to quarantining believe it or not, we are all still getting used to what this means. When are we most productive? The answer is different for everyone based on your new schedule juggling the ins and outs of life. Not to mention setting up a new work environment. Organizations must invest in communication tools and resources to aid in our remote setting. Leadership, too, must determine new structures for performance standards.

We can only work to our best ability when we are in a good state of mind. To do so, we must take time to have conversations about health, both physically and mentally. Most of us would admit that the pandemic has affected us negatively in some regard. Leaders can build organizational culture by supporting employees in pushing back from the home office, getting outside, and clearing the mind. More than ever, especially when we are steering ourselves through a pandemic, employees will focus their attention on how an organization enthusiastically supports health efforts. Forget the virus, stress, office closures, and life’s changes; creating an uplifting culture is the right thing to do. Organizational culture will always be about the subtle aspects – compassion shown, leadership offered, supported personal growth, and genuine kindness. So, to build a reputable culture, begin by listening to your employees and their needs. 15


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Discover natural peace and your perfect battleground.

With top-notch facilities and expert support staff, Tallahassee is the perfect destination to host your next athletic event. In-between competitions, dine at world-class restaurants, take in some live music or explore one of our many local adventures.

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VisitTallahasseeSports.com


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Oak Marsh #9

from holes TO HOPS

TM

In the past decade, the rise of the Northeast Florida beer and distillery scene proves that it’s never too late to craft your image. Home to Anheuser Busch and over 15 artisan-owned breweries, Northeast Florida takes golfers from holes to hops all along it’s coast. www.florida-golf.org

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to 9 tips Communicate Effectively in

2021

Our current situation involving the coronavirus and the distribution of vaccines is changing rapidly and is unclear. Thus, making nothing more valuable than the way a leader communicates. Within most organizations, employees tend to hyper-focus on leader communication more so than communication from other employees. People concentrate on leader communication, construe it, and seek to decipher it. Uncertainty creates attention to what our leaders say and what they truly mean. As leaders of the sports tourism industry, how should we communicate during these stressful times related to COVID-19? Being direct and transparent can be the critical factors in building trust, yet how much is too much? Below are nine tips to consider.

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Focus on the facts and clarity. Misinformation can take hold when scenarios are uncertain and emotions run high. Therefore, make sure you focus on facts rather than assumptions. With so many options to obtain information, make sure you are a factual source. Be accurate and clear. When employees are stressed, they may be less able to grasp what you are hinting at. Make certain your communication is detailed and free from mixed messages. Co-workers will not have faith in what they do not comprehend; therefore, the clearer you can communicate, the better. Be compassionate. Let people know you care and are listening. Even though you cannot always change a situation, you can voice your knowledge of obstacles and empathy for their battles. Acknowledge these and allow for people’s angst. You do not have to focus a great deal of time on these, but at a minimum, let employees know you recognize them. This will help create trust.

Be repetitive and relevant. Employees you communicate with regularly will welcome pertinent communication to their concerns. If you do not have currently relevant information, you may wish to share only what is most suitable now. Also, check-in regularly. Remember, even though you said something one time does not mean people absorbed it, so be deliberately redundant. People hear messages differently. Your redundancy will be comforting during times of stress.

Show your human side. During especially stressful times, employees want messages from leaders, not computers. Possibly there is a procedural change or benefit that needs to be adjusted. You may have questions to what you are working through, which is fine; you can recognize you too have questions and are in the process of figuring out the right path forward. Transparency generates trust. 19


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Motivate. Though it may be a daunting task, it is imperative to portray commitment and motivation. Underline and emphasize the mission and vision statements of the organization. Show employees how and why you are moving in the direction you are headed and succeed. The ride may be bumpy from time to time, but they need to know all the hard work will be worth it. Show that you are focused on finding creative methods, influencing fresh tactics, and remaining a closeknit unit that will soon return to normalcy. Be honest and paint a realistic picture. Things may be challenging now, but aiming for what is on the horizon will keep people engaged.

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Remind them of the big picture. During times of doubt, people can narrow their views and focus on themselves and only their pressing needs. Remind them of the bigger picture. It is not all about one person, one department, or even your organization. Your message fits in a larger framework, and others are experiencing the same feelings. Employees manage best when they are sympathizing with the wellbeing of others, rather than concentrating on themselves.

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Be rational. When experiencing a challenge, people flourish when you provide direction. Empower them by letting them know what you need and how they can help. Ask employees to concentrate on sales, event planning, data collection, and lending a hand to one another. Create an open forum‌ questions are much better than gossip. Rational and engaged ideas will support your message.

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Bring people together. Let your team know you are on this path together with them and emphasize the organization. Relationships with others significantly influences employees, and daily tasks can be deeply social. Therefore, be sure your outreach to them unifies instead of divides and underlines a message of helping one another.

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Be choosy. Above all, choose your words wisely. Words have a powerful meaning, and leaders have an overwhelming influence on how personnel succeeds during uncertain times. Employees will hang on to every word from upper management. Play devil’s advocate as you develop your message, knowing your words will be discussed from employee to employee and how they could be misconstrued. Be accurate and uplifting.

Leaders have an essential voice in keeping people relaxed, concentrated, and connected. Know that when communicating, your message will be repeated over and over. Provide the facts, be compassionate, and show empathy. Always work to unite employees drive their focus with a concentration on your mission. Address the present but emphasize the future, thus guiding people to find promise in the confusion and comfort in what is next. When careful about your specific words, you will place yourself in a position to influence during times of uncertainty positively. 21


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JohnD’ Orsay Technology Profile

New and exciting changes are in store for EventConnect in 2021‌ new leadership at the helm, well-deserved promotions, new segments of the platform to better serve your clients, and more. What are you most excited about as we start the new year?

customers and industry stakeholders can work together seamlessly. We are bringing a platform to the market to lower amateur sport technology costs and give each user a way better experience. This culmination will create transparency and efficiency not yet seen in youth sports.

The most exciting part of where we are headed in 2021 is two-fold, Team growth and Product Growth. As CEO, watching the team grow as individuals, level up with new skills and work together at a lightning-fast pace in an industry that genuinely needs technology because of the creativity we can apply to our jobs and industry. We are proud that our product will displace and disrupt how our

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the course of action for organizations in the sports tourism industry. What pivots did EventConnect make in 2020 to be proactive? We did not have to pivot our company much at all. We have taken this opportunity to speak with all of our partners and drive for faster technology deployment 23


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A no-cost, technology suite that aims to evolve the management of youth and amateur sports events.

Digtial Registration

Fully integrated with hotels, schedules, scoring, team tracking and merch.

Hotels/Housing

Exclusive discounted hotel inventory with full customer support.

Local integration

Connect with the hosting city for automated financial impact tracking/reporting.

Scheduling & Scoring

Integrated directly with registration, managing your schedules have never been so easy.

Love your sport, and we’ll help with the rest

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experience. community. perspective. and build new offerings. If anything, these past 10-months has given us more clarity on how our platform can be used and why. We have chosen to grow our league and club management software, our scheduling features and our hotel offering and integrations. We even changed our policy on refunds to ensure that our athletes and parents have a better experience and ensured that cancelled events would receive 100% hotel refunds. Your “Everyone Loves a Comeback” report was all the buzz in November and December of last year. What went into building that report? That report was a fantastic project to create. We spent time analyzing years of our own collected data to give the market a deeper understanding of how we can work better together. We looked at everything from when events are created, how early teams register when hotels are booked, and why certain hotels sell faster than others. And when schedules are created and what types of pooling makes the most sense to the teams. By doing this, we have found even better ways to engineer our platform to give our tournament directors faster tools to maximize the teams/athlete’s experience. We’ve never really seen anyone showcase that type of data at the micro-level. I’m sure you will see more of this in 2021, and the report lives on our website if anyone wishes to download it. EventConnect invests an impressive amount of time, energy, and resources into further developing the platform… all at a cost absorbs by the company and not passed onto your clients. How did

you design this concept, and what is the typical process for determining a new feature? Well, I guess this comes from our background as technology geeks. The concept is simple, don’t add new fees to the industry, be transparent, and everyone wins. Work together to find where there are natural flows of spending and ensure that all parties somehow see an upside. We all know now that building a platform that connects our industry is valuable to all the stakeholders. What we haven’t had until now is a way to do this. The new feature process is simple on the development team, and we are continually innovating. The features need to drive home value to the athlete and then unite our users with data clarity. I’ll give you an example; when you create a schedule for your tournament, we go from pool play to eliminations. To develop great pools, you need a couple of data points in the schedule. Don’t group teams with teams they play against often, or from the same home association, and two match teams that are close enough in skill level to give all athletes a great experience. With the platform, this is all simple and automated. Working with over 400 rights holders, over 20,000 lodging partners, and over 800 destinations in the United States and Canada must be at times daunting. Your team’s ability to thrive in that setting is impressive; how have you been able to build such an extraordinary team? Love is the answer. Building teams is my favourite thing to do. Give your employees tons of autonomy and watch them grow. Give your team a lighthouse of what we are trying to achieve, and let them climb the hill with you. It’s a win-good combination for success in the industry and empowers youth and amateur sports and a healthy lifestyle.

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The EventConnect platform houses families, coaches, teams, rights holders, facilities, and destinations all in one location. The data collected alone helps justify tax dollar spending in a world where budgets, projects, and success are scrutinized daily. Tell us about some examples where the platform has turned the tide for a destination marketing organization or sports commission. We love our partners, and there are so many to share. Here are a few: • Kissimmee Sports Tourism relies on EventConnect. Not all of the events they partner with are not stay and play, so they need real-time reporting on total teams registered and how many were travelling from specific distances. • Visit Irvine and Fox Cities uses EventConnect to stay connected with shared visibility with their hotel partners and event organizers. When everyone has access to the same data, events can run smoothly as event information is at everyone’s fingertips. • With EventConnect, Tourism London used the reporting information by sharing it with local media. The goal was to instantly detail the cities where athletes travelled from for the Ontario summer games via the integrated heat-map platforms. • The Ontario Summer Games & Tourism London also used the platform to engage the participants and volunteers for the Summer Games in promoting the local restaurants and attractions through the integrated communication platform EventConnect provides through the system. • When Event Owners such as World Series Youth Lacrosse and Volleyball Canada are requesting destinations to bid on their events, they can build EventConnect Destination Impact Reports that provide hard data, such as exact room night pick-up and total travelling teams from a defined distance. Event Owners will also create custom surveys for teams and the families to complete to help provide even further reporting to the destinations.

You and Eric are not only business partners but have also been close friends for decades in the advertising, marketing, and tech spaces. How do your strengths and weaknesses play off one another for success? HA! We both have the same work ethic and beliefs that allow speed to product fit, sales and market penetration. We invest in people fast, we both hate bureaucracy, and we love building things. And family is an 26

essential value that creates alignment both personally and professionally. Where we differ is that our backgrounds are Product development vs. Product design. These separate views lead to a fascinating problem as partners. We disagree on everything when we are in the details. Build feature A first, or ship feature B super fast to test. Therefore, when we finally agree to focus on the next feature or company direction, it’s gone through the stages, and we can move very, very quickly.


experience. community. perspective.

Fun personal questions Besides your hobbies, what do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Playing guitar, time with family enjoying wine and chats. What is the most prized possession you have in your office? Good question. I don’t have possessions, but my pictures of my kids are my favourite things. What is your favorite sporting event annually? Too tough - US Open (Tennis), World Series (when the Jays are in contention), Masters Weekend

w w w.ga i n esv i l l es p o rts c o m m i s s i o n .c o m or Contact us at ( 3 5 2 ) 3 3 8 - 9 3 0 0

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5

Signals You Found a Solid Content Generator

Sports tourism business models from just a few short years ago should be thrown out of the window. If we have learned anything during the obstacles from 2020 – Coronavirus, furloughs, layoffs, reduced budgets – we must get out in front of our clients, partners, sponsors, and industry stakeholders in other ways to attract and maintain business relationships with them. One such method is through content generators. For years, destination marketing organizations have hired content generators – full-time, part-time, and contractors – to help meet marketing goals and drive numbers. More recently, destination marketing organizations, primarily within large and upper-middle markets, also began hiring social media influencers. One could argue, this has not fully trickled down to small markets yet. If selective, these talented content generators and influencers can fill a considerable gap within your content strategy. The right content generator is an invaluable asset. With the tourism industry’s sports tourism segment undergoing sweeping change, you may wish to innovate and broaden your network and approach. In some cases, you can do this at a fraction of the cost of traditional industry media. Though picking the right content generator can be difficult. 28


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What can content generators do for a sports tourism effort? We are used to marketing content coming from a high dollar production firm. Yes, while some of your content may still require a significant portion of your annual marketing budget, content generators can assist thrifty budgets in stretching beyond their reach and still delivering the kind of authentic, quality content that is necessary. In marketing, content generators and influencers may have similar roles. For example, both include photographers, videographers, and writers. Thus, their skill sets, and audiences, can sometimes have similarities. Influencers can provide access and impact with social networks. In comparison, content generators are more focused on delivering quality on-brand content. Below are five signals you found a reliable content generator that is right for your organization: 1. They are familiar with your activities. You can always tell when a content generator has done his or her homework; it shows. Look within their proposals. Did they send you a standard tag line or slogan? Has it been personalized? Trained proposals demonstrate a strong understanding of your brand’s position. Did they illustrate their outlook on your unique destination and its brand? Most importantly, did their proposal show how their storytelling will bring your mission value? 2. Their media kit. Showcasing influence through numbers just will not cut it. A content generator should tell their story through an introduction and deliver samples of previous gigs. Their passion for the request to work with your effort should also come 30


experience. community. perspective. out in their media kit. Look for a content generator that includes exciting ideas about your sports tourism effort, destination, a standout facility, or even activities away from competitions. 3. They are trained at messaging. Suggesting events to build content around, including specific weeks or months, or even facility or sponsor feature stories, are signs of a talented content generator. We all have lulls in our hosting calendars. Your content does not always have to come from an event; creating content around holes in your calendar can be an excellent way to stay top of mind with decision-makers. If scheduling a content generator becomes troublesome and causes too much back-and-forth communication, it signifies the type of working relationship you will have. 4. They meet deadlines. In this industry, we all know our reputation is everything. It is no different for content generators, as meeting deadlines consistently leads to repeat business. Though we all know @#$% happens! Being upfront about deadline extensions helps adjust expectations. Any missed deadlines or having to track down work is a clear-cut sign for a relationship’s future. 5. They provide the “deets” and are flexible. Throughout the pandemic, we have moved to a model, for now, that is closer to home. Focusing on state or regional events has helped many organizations stay afloat. The same model is currently embraced in media sourcing. Whether it be in your region, state, or even your city, Where is the content generator located? Or can they combine your project with another in the area? Open communication that brings out the details can be the game-changer your organization needs. Content generators should be a significant part of your organization’s media effort. A successful partnership with a content generator who truly has a grasp on your sports tourism brand can pay dividends. 31


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Start planning your trip today at VisitKingsport.com 33


Effectively Manage Your Time in 2021 If you are slammed every second of the day, your personal and professional growth is at risk. Own your schedule with a few ideas. Like many of us, you probably spend your week devoted to staff meetings, planning sessions, or working on replying to never-ending calls and emails. If you do not take control of your schedule, and therefore your life, it can quickly be overtaken. As we all know, during the pandemic, most people are working remotely. Many co-workers expect or even assume that people are available at all hours of the day and night. Though you might not be in a strategic session, do not allow your time to be fully consumed. Try using three straightforward ideas to take back control of your schedule and build a more productive routine for yourself and your co-workers. Schedule time on your calendar. It never looks good when you decline a meeting or state you have a previous engagement on shared calendars when yours seems wide open. Just because you are not in meetings one after the next does not mean you have plenty of free time. Make sure to shield yourself from the common question, “can I run something by you?� requests, and arrange the actions you have, separate from meetings, onto your calendar. A good step when properly set up your calendar includes building specific blocks of your day and week when it is impossible for co-workers to schedule time with you. Everyone needs time on their schedule to work on the projects being discussed in all these meetings! So, set up your calendar for uninterrupted time to accomplish and finalize these tasks. If possible, during this blocked time, additionally set all communication platforms in silent mode. You will be more effective and productive with fewer interruptions. Now and again, schedule time in the likelihood that something will come up during the week. You never know when you may need a couple of extra hours set aside to focus on something new or to catch up on project task work returning calls or emails. Blocking this concentrated time on your calendar will create a safety net for your valuable time and provide you with a little wiggle room when adjustments are needed.


Set communication expectations. Some people set a specific time for tasks and make it known as such. For example, we have seen co-workers include a note within their email signature that states they only read email at 8:00 am and 1:00 pm. This could be a challenge based on your specific organizational role, but it works for some. Doing so sets a pattern of what folks can expect. If a colleague sends an email at 8:30 am, they know not to expect a reply until after 1:00 pm. Creating this level of clarity sets everyone up for achievement while safeguarding you from the influx of emails. Be sure to create an “out of office” email autoreply if you need significant time away from your inbox, attending an offsite meeting, or are fighting to meet a project deadline. Setting expectations for success by being transparent can make all the difference when dealing with co-workers and clients. Stating your outlook is exceptionally productive and can be especially useful. Though once setting an expectation, you must then follow through. It can be easy to point the finger at others, but often, we can be the very cause of our diminished pro-

ductivity. However, “do what you say, and say what you do,” so do not set an expectation that you are not checking email and then spend a substantial portion of a day responding to your inbox. Doing so decreases trust and directs your co-workers to believe you are not following through on your communicated expectations. Create a weekly plan. On Sunday or first thing Monday morning, decide when things are going to be performed. Typical organizational patterns include, Mondays and Tuesdays are jam-packed with department meetings. At the same time, the week’s balance remains open for client meetings, project tasks, and other requirements that alternate based on the time of year. Flexibility in time management is particularly advantageous, as it allows you to be present with what is on the horizon and permits you to concentrate on opportunities that may arise. If your day is booked with meeting after another, there will be zero growth capacity, new endeavors, or time to be creative and think. Try these tools, look at how much and how well your output grows and stress levels reduce.

with CHAD HOOVER

54 Million TV Households • 238K Social Following • Kayak Bass Fishing Events KayakBassFishing.com Call Kristie: 615-426-9940


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Where we work has changed, so will when. We do not have an exact date, but the end of the coronavirus pandemic is closer now that vaccine distribution has begun. However, personal and professional changes brought on by Covid-19 are here to stay. Organizations are reviewing the four-day workweek. Economic Development directors are stumbling over themselves, positioning their communities as hot spots now that many in the workforce are free to move, live, and work where they want. Researchers have predicted we will socialize in new ways after the pandemic is long gone. However, according to Inc. and an Ivy League professor, numbers that regulate our traditional working hours may see a considerable push. Companies across the country are looking at throwing out the conventional 9 to 5 and replacing it with the “3-2-2.”

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LinkedIn first posted this “workplace trends to watch in 2021.” It includes a spotlight on the prediction currently split down the middle on those contesting to continue working remotely even after being given the green light, with those who seek face-to-face interaction and wish to go back to morning commutes, the office, and meeting rooms. A compromise between the two is taking interest across the United States. Organizations allow an employee to work three days in the office, then remotely for two days, followed by two days off, or the “3-2-2.” The arrangement would undoubtedly call for policy and procedure changes and permit employees to decide on their situation best. The structure supports the intraoffice interaction that so often stimulates creativity and provides the personal connection many are looking for


experience. community. perspective. while also affording people the ability to focus on healthy routines, passionate hobbies, and family time we have all found during the pandemic. The workforce is unique to request increased flexibility, and they predicted many organizations would answer favorably. Of course, areas and industries will alter this plan as it best fits their demands and limitations. We would all happily agree that road traffic will likely ease if we are not all on the same schedule. When you think about it, the “3-2-2” suggestion perfectly fits us as sports tourism professionals. How many of us find ourselves working in an office Monday through Wednesday but then begin making deliveries, starting event set up, and greeting clients and athletes

as they arrive in town on Thursdays and Fridays to prep for a weekend event? Organizations that have used a version of this approach in the past report more enthusiastic, engaged employees, increased efficiency and productivity, and reduced days off requested. It just goes to show that moving off the boring 9-to-5 to the intriguing “3-2-2” might be much more than a method to appease employee requests post-virus for extended flexibility. It just might be a positive plus for operational efficiency and employee retention, and stability. So again, the “3-2-2” looks pretty good, huh?

Outsiders

WELCOME

See the stories: PureFlorida.com/play

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PUSH Magazine

NO 39

Long days can still feel like they’re not long enough.

SANIBEL ISLAND, FL

Islandology is our way of life. It’s escaping from lists, schedules and itineraries. It’s making more time for play time and discovering how a stretch of sand can become your own private getaway. Plan your trip at FortMyers-Sanibel.com

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experience. community. perspective.

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PUSH Magazine

y r t s Indu l a i t n e d i f Con Check in every issue for the unfiltered thoughts of our guests writers and contributors as they discuss the hottest topics in spors tourism. Join the conversation by tweeting us at: @pushsports In this issue our guest writer discusses the subject of concise communication.

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experience. community. perspective.

Who knew that a world without offices would actually mean MORE meetings? As methods of working change, we must all look for better, more effective, ways to communicate. We all have those meeting invites that cause us pause, internally dreading the potential time suck that may follow. Being efficient and effective is the only way to ensure your meeting invites stay answered and meeting guests actually pay attention. Below are a few things we can all do a bit better. Prepare prior to a meeting. We have all sat in meetings where the leader or a key guest was unprepared, they...were...dreadful. It is impossible to be brief without preparation. Prior to any key meeting, spend a few minutes to review the agenda and any supplementary documents. Make notes to organize your thoughts and if you are planning to speak, please, build talking points. These can go a long way to foreseeing questions or pushback, and more importantly stop you from getting off topic or babbling on. Creating a few expected questions is never a bad idea to rehearse, as there may not be interaction after every presentation. Remember, meetings ask guests to take time out of their day, ensure you are using that time wisely. Send key documents ahead of time. There is nothing worse than sitting in a meeting trying to quickly read enough to figure out what someone is talking about. Giving guests an opportunity to review items/ideas ahead of time is essential if you need to communicate a large amount of information. Provide your audience the vital content and context to then make your experience together shorter and more effective. Get to the point and listen more than you talk whenever possible. Deliver the main idea quickly and then start to get meeting guests involved in the conversation. If you were to communicate your desired point into one sentence, what would it look like? This is easier than it sounds, as we do it all the time; think about the subject line of an email. Understand your attendees and what it is you actually want from them. Stay away from broad strokes like “What do you guys think about XYZ�, instead focus on connecting your thoughts to the groups common goals or strategies. How are they trying to solve a matter? What is top of mind to them? Most notably, if your ideas make a mark on them, what will they gain? How will your subject matter to them most? Structure your communication towards influencing your attendees. Write concise emails.It has been said all emails should not be more than five lines. If your email is longer than that, then you should be making a phone call, not sending an email. Use brief paragraphs and sentences. If the email includes multiple action items, bullet points and numbering can be helpful in making your message easier to consume. The fundamentals of great meetings are simple, know your subject enough to be prepared and consise, set guests up properly and keep the purpose/goals forefront.

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PUSH Magazine

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Profile for PUSH Sports

PUSH Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1  

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