How Big is Yours? Hosting martial arts events.

I have been asked to post a blog on hosting martial arts events.

It would probably be helpful if I tell you a little bit about my background..

You mightv not know this, but I have been involved in the entertainment industry, on and off, for 30 years.

Tired of working for others, I started a company specialising in event entertainment and management inĀ  April 2000.

I have the personal experience of planning and coordinating thousands of events.

Events ranging from intimate Highland weddings at local castles and estates for millionaires and foreign dignitaries to fashion shows for an internationally renowned clothing retailer,

And as the head of the SBA I have hosted many martial events.

We have had individual guest instructos from across the globe and larger events with multiple mats operating with 11 instructors from varying styles.

Now You have an idea of my background, it should give more weight to my insight.

As with most things in life you have to consider size, cos size matters.

Let’s start with small, in-house events.

These are usually with a guest instructor or to cover a specialist topic.

You are only looking to involve your own students, which means you can use your class venue or dojo.

Planning can be ad-hoc and could be done by one person.

Marketing is easy and should include class announcements or texting and will need a months notice.

Timing is important, make sure it doesn’t clash with other events or holidays.

Running a Kata day on a Sunday might sound like a good idea, but if it clashes with “Mothers Day” it’s going to be a quiet class.

Schedule towards the end of the month to take into account when people get paid.

Medium sized events will require a little more planning and resources.

As they are bigger there needs to be communication.

You will have to source a larger venue, meaning you have to consider your budget. This could mean an increased costs to students attending.

Suitable venues often have peak times which you need to consider, for example most hotels are busy during the wedding or festive season.

This means space is of a premium and hire rates can go through the roof.

Inviting other instructors, clubs or association’s will increase numbers and therefore revenue.

But with increased numbers comes scheduling issues as there are only 12 “Pay” weekends a year and everyone is working on the same calendar which affects instructor availability.

From a planning point of view you need to look 3-6 months and have a small team to work on the coordination.

Big ticket events..

These bring you the largest revenue

There will be more opportunities to upsell with branded event products and merchandising.

But big ticket events needs organisation and longer planning.

There needs to be a competent team of organisers. experienced in hosting and marketing large events.

Planning should be minimum of a year, allowing people to save and book travel and accommodation.

As the host, you will needs access to big name instructors.

You are looking for headliners, people capable of drawing a crowd.

Scheduling for larger events will be difficult but you’ll need confirmation of participating instructors before you can even think about advertising.

No one will register for an event without knowing who is teaching.

Now, let’s consider the logistics:

Firstly location.

Location location location..

Yes, it is really that important.

Is your town suitable to host a large event?

I’m sure it’s a lovely place to live, with loads of local sites that people could visit but if you are looking for large numbers of people to attend, then it needs to be accessible.

In reality it has to be in a location with a hub airport and great transport links.

If your town/city is known for hosting conventions, then you should be good to go.

You need a larger training venue,

Depending on the number of guest instructors you may need to think about a venue big enough for 200+ people per day.

During the day, attendees will need to be fed and watered.

Does the venue supply catering or will you need to out source.

The venue has to have attached or nearby accommodation preferably with a variety restaurants.

If the location is family friendly you’ll get a larger audience. People are more likely to make it into a vacation.

Lastly to host any kind of event, you’ll need deep pockets.

You need strict budget control as revenue won’t flow until registrations occur and that will be after everything has been booked and payed for.

Obviously I can’t cover everything in a single blog post, but If you would like further advice on event hosting, please get in touch..

Speak to you soon..

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