Don’t Quit After Year 1
Hosting a golf tournament is hard work. When you’ve finished your first one, it can be tempting to throw in the towel. But you shouldn’t.
An inaugural year is a great learning experience. Your first tournament probably won’t sell out, but that is okay.
Imagine if every participant who played at the first tournament told a friend. That means for your second tournament, you could have twice the number of players. After your first tournament comes some of the best advertising you could ask for: word of mouth. Plus, it’s free! In the weeks after the tournament, the players will tell their coworkers, neighbors, and friends what they did. As humans, we love to share when we’ve done something good. If your participants can follow up their tournament-talk with the statement “I can’t wait for next year’s,” you’ve already got a head start.
No matter how many people attend your first tournament, continue to host the tournament in future years. Word will spread, and people will come. While it might not happen overnight, the funds you raise with the participants that you do have will be greatly appreciated by the cause you are supporting.
Second-year (and every year after that) tournaments have a great draw for potential participants. Annual tournaments provide guests with a guarantee of good organization and good turnout. Like an established brand, people will be drawn to your annual tournament more than they would be drawn to a one-time event.
Another benefit to a second year is that it will be easier to coordinate. Volunteers from the first year can be contacted and invited to work the event again. That means that your volunteers will be familiar with the event and will be better able to provide a seamless tournament experience (and will also require less guidance). These returning volunteers also can assist new volunteers in learning the tournament processes so that you can spend more time focusing on the details.
A second-year tournament additionally means an established relationship with the club and nearby vendors, if you decide to remain in the same location. Working with a known group of people can mean less stress during planning, as well as potential benefits and perks on the day of the event.
Along these same lines, local sponsors will be happier to provide their support for something with a history. If you can provide numbers from the previous year and explain that they will be even greater in the second year, sponsors will be more willing to assist you in your cause and will desire the guaranteed exposure to the participants in the tournament.
In order to make the most of your first tournament (and prepare for the second one), keep these final notes in mind:
- Prepare for the second year during the first year by collecting contact information from golfers and volunteers and sponsors.
- Ensure that players want to return for the second year by making your first tournament engaging and exciting, no matter the turnout. Prizes, goodies, and games ensure your event will be memorable.
Don’t feel discouraged during your first tournament year. An established event requires years of dedication. But just remember – with hard work and focus, every year can be better than the last. Good luck!