How to plan recreational sports events for organizations
Sporting events are vital stress-relievers and can be really enjoyable. However, they do require a lot of planning to pull them off successfully. You will have to consider many things.
First assemble a planning committee. This is not a job for one man or woman. There will be different facets to the planning and execution of an event that will require the undivided attention of a responsible individual. You may have a committee head to oversee the event, as well as others for fundraising, marketing, program planning, health, security etc. The exact composition will vary depending on the type of event chosen, its size and other issues.
Timing is critical. Ideally you want to ensure that the majority of employees will be free at the proposed time. This will be easier if the organization has a Monday to Friday schedule. Weekend events will naturally attract a large crowd. It will be trickier for those 24/7 operations. Check their rota and plan around the least busy period. Timing may also involve looking at peak and slow periods throughout the year and planning as appropriate. Finally with respect to timing, make sure to plan well ahead of time to allow for unforeseen problems.
Now that a good timeframe has been decided, now you will need to decide the sport or sports to be involved. If you are familiar with the employees this will be easy. If you're not too sure, try sending around a memo asking for suggestions and preferences. You want to build consensus, by promoting and planning for their popular sporting interests.
Next comes venue. Depending on the organization, some will have facilities available. This will probably be more likely for those who have teams that enter various sporting leagues. However, many will not have their own facility for the chosen sport. So you will have to arrange for the use of one. This should not be too difficult as a little searching in the papers and online should lead you in the right direction. You may also want to make arrangements for music and other forms of entertainment.
Its now time to start raising funds and promoting the event. Depending on the size of the event and the need for an outside venue, fundraising may involve simply collecting donation among workers, or seeking outside sponsorship. If the latter is required, then a greater amount of marketing will be required. Fundraising can be facilitated, by networking with other organizations nearby or with whom you do business. In either case the event must also be promoted within your own organization. Methods may include flyers, emails and announcements at staff meetings. If collaboration is sought from outside, then print and Internet advertising may be necessary.
Someone should be in charge of the details of developing a program. This is recreational and just for fun, but a well-organized program that flows will actually enhance the enjoyment and satisfaction of the patrons. Being for fun, it should not be a hectic schedule, giving generous allowance for social interaction and the opportunity to turn it into a family outing. Make sure to include a brief opening 'ceremony' perhaps with a light introduction from one of the management personnel. Also, plan to print flyers advertising the event as a whole and more specifically the schedule, so that employees can plan for the event .
Never assume that a recreational sport event is risk free. Adequate thought should be given to health care issues. At the very least, plan to have a health station at the venue. This should be equipped with first aid materials, energy drinks and be manned throughout the event. Ideally there should be a medical person on site or at least available on call.
You may also consider making arrangements for security at the venue. Again, this should not be hard to arrange, but remember that you will have to budget for this added expense.
I think that having covered these bases, you are well on your way to a safe and successful event. Let the games begin.