View Full Version : I LOVED that tournament (or how to get more entries)
10-29-2008, 11:40 AM
So, as we launch into another year of competition and hosting, I am interested in the question that I (and I assume some of you as well) am always pondering as I get ready for my tournament: How can I get more schools to enter?
What are those elements that make a tournament GREAT versus "just ok"? How important is the judging pool, the hospitality room, the tab room, the theme (does the theme matter at all?)???
What techniques, tricks, and tips do you have?
Over the next week or so, as I prep for my first tournament of the year, I plan on listing some of the elements that we are working on here in Moberly, MO. Please feel free to add your own ideas, critique mine, and help all of us grow!!!
10-30-2008, 07:05 AM
As promised, I will try and post my thoughts on helping grow the number of entries at your tournament (and as a side item, how to make sure that the people that do come, keep coming back and are happy in doing so).
My first thought on the idea is that of publicity. How do people know that you are having a tournament anyway? Here you have many options; some more important than others.
In Missouri, our state activities association (MSHSAA.org) provides a list of all tournaments in the state. However, to get on the list you need to know the dates of your tournament at the state tournament the prior year's April (and you need to be at the state tournament). Additionally, not all coaches put their tournament on the state-wide list. Thus, the list is rarely complete or accurate, but it is a good starting point. Check with your state's activities association to see what they provide in this area.
Additionally, our NFL district (East MO) is very helpful in setting up a tournament schedule and resolving conflicts. This is a great reason to be involved in district coaches meetings.
Thirdly, there are many sites out here on the wilds of the internets that allow you to post details of your tournament (this being one of them). I also post information on my team website (check out http://moberly.k12.mo.us/blogs/cmiller).
Something I have tried in the past (and just didn't get to this year) was a start-of-the-year letter to all of the coaches in my area that I hoped would attend one of my tournaments, or that would send me an invitation. This serves several purposes. First, it verifies the contact information you have for a school. Second, it develops (or expands) the relationship you have with that coach. Finally, it shows organization - a great trait when running a tournament (yes, I know the irony of the fact that I didn't send the letter this year...I get it).
Finally, talk to people. Call them. Email them. Visit them at home and bring food. ... Ok, maybe the last one is a bit much, but you get the idea. The more you are out there making contact and building bridges for your program, the better it will be for your kids. And that is what it is about. Kids. And coffee. But mainly kids.
Have a GREAT DAY and please post your thoughts/ideas/rants!
10-30-2008, 09:43 AM
Chris, what a great idea for a post -- very useful for our whole community.
Some of the most successful tournaments I've hosted or attended had a particular theme -- sometimes aligned with a holiday the tournament falls near, with "favors" or giveaways related to that theme. Some tournaments have a costume or fashion show (fashion meaning how dressed for forensics the kids are).
If you can find a local business or organization to sponsor the tournament, it may allow you to have a gift for the students, or defray the cost of entries, give out a scholarship, etc.
Word of mouth is the best way, of course, and soliciting ideas and involvement from coaches in your area is a great way for people to feel included. It's always important for me to have a diverse representation of coaches in my tab room.
On a side note, I must commend you on your blog (and your school district for offering such a resource). Would you consider adding this site to your blogroll? Also, if you put a "www." in front of the NFLonline.org URL, it will actually load the newsflash better.
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