Event coordinator, Denny Ritner, teamed up with Juliana Korver, 5x Women’s World Champion, to create the all women’s tournament La Vie En Rose in Live Oak, FL. This event boasted success in 2009 and 2010 with 60 women in attendance from all over the United States. Denny was determined to spread the word about his event to get more women to play. And to speak from experience – the tournament was a BLAST!
Denny has shared some insight on what helped build the La Vie En Rose tournament through publicity, attendance, and sponsorship.
-Make a plan that involves a variety of sources and time the initial release of information to coordinate into a strong initial push.
-Don’t “hit and quit”, as the initial wave of awareness starts to wane, come back with another set of messages.
-Use internet sources like Facebook, PDGA discussion board, DiscGolfer.us, club message boards, PDGA magazine, PDGA radio, front page of pdga.com , personalized mailings, and local media to get the word out.
-Create a UNIQUE logo early and incorporate the logo with all press releases and merchandise.
How to keep ’em coming back:
-Remain very OPEN to feedback. Some of it may hurt to hear after you’ve worked very hard, but take it ALL in and make tweaks that will make the experience BETTER each subsequent time.
-Solicit a lot of ideas from a variety of sources in the conceptual planning stages. i.e. I spent a lot of time talking with Jonathan Poole about ideas for Suwannee before thinking up La Vie en Rose.
Getting over the hurdles:
-Maintaining a positive attitude with a lot of energy can be difficult as you face various challenges. Surround yourself with positive people and delegate as much as possible. Doing everything yourself is a recipe for burnout.
How to get sponsorship for your event:
-It’s essential to be very organized in your approach. Securing sponsorship will require many pitches and lots of follow-up. Many times people will promise to sponsor, but you’ll have to follow up two, three or more times to actually get the money and/or product out of them.
-Don’t let an opportunity slip away because you didn’t cross your i’s and dot your t’s. VERY IMPORTANT: Give your sponsors VALUE for their contribution. Sponsorship is usually NOT a donation; it is usually a business marketing expenditure.
Most importantly, the Thank you’s:
-Follow up with volunteers, sponsors and players. Nothing tops a hand-written note for important folks.