One of the best selling books of all time is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Chapman, a Baptist minister, put years of experience in couples counseling to pen the book which has spent hundreds of weeks on the New York Times best seller list over the past three decades. We have had the honor of hearing Chapman speak live about the theories behind the love languages. He is as good a speaker as he is an author and pastor.
The main premise of the book is that there are five core ways we can give, and receive, love. There are tests that you can take that put your personal preferences in priority. Spoiler alert, how you like to receive love is rarely the same way your partner likes to receive it. This is the main takeaway from the text.
The language that I personally like to give is “Acts of Service.” As the name implies, I like to do things for people to show them how much I care about them. Diving into the word “service” we can tie in the sports tourism world for this week’s Monday Huddle Up…..
In counseling destinations on how to tackle the sports tourism and events market, we always recommend that there be at least two dedicated staff members – one in business development and one to help service (or support) the events when they come to town. One “books” the business (development), one “cooks” the business (servicing). Servicing sporting events is nothing like servicing meetings and conventions. Servicing in our world is wearing “backpacks” as we like to say. Literally helping with event operations outside the lines so the event owner can focus on the championship between the lines. Managing volunteers, referee hospitality, airport signage, running transportation, these are “backpack” elements to producing events.
Okay you say, nice theory. We don’t have budget for all that. Fair enough. What if we use data from over 400 destinations to support this notion?.....
If you are a CVB, DMO, or sports commission, consider these data points when it comes to biding on events:
Those organizations with a dedicated sports development staff position have a bid success rate of 9% higher than their peers.
Those organizations that also have a dedicated services position generate an additional 8% success rate.
That is a combined 17% towards a higher “batting average” for making the simple investment in human capital.
Let’s take this one step further. Once you land an event, what does the data say about renewing those partnerships for additional years? Here you go…..
Those organizations with a dedicated sports development staff position have an event renewal success rate of 16% higher than their peers.
Those organizations that also have a dedicated services position generate an additional 15% renewal rate.
That is a combined 31% towards keeping the events that you land by having these two positions staffed up in the first place.
Since Chapman is a pastor I will use a lien from our pastor here in Phoenix, “Here is the big idea”…..
Invest in people (human capital) to build and maintain relationships with event owners. Generate more business. Keep more business. Then you don’t have to constantly be searching for events to replace what you lost, or didn’t land in the first place.