Preparing To Plan

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Preparing to Plan


The key to a well organised event is a thorough planning process. Typically, a sporting event will only last one day, yet the planning that goes into the event will last for months, if not years.

Your initial planning stages will reveal any possible obstacles in your way, opportunities for growth and will give a real structure to the event planning process.

Setting Objectives

It’s important to first realise what you want to achieve from your event. There are several factors to take into consideration, including the internal KPI’s, the objectives of the event for your audience and financial targets. As with any plan, your objectives should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Results-focused
  • Time bound

The objectives will determine the success of your event. Your internal KPI’s will measure the overall return on investment for your event. For example, you may want to set a KPI of 1,000 competition entries at the event or 200 magazine subscribers. You may want to think about setting a promotional target, such as a ‘hashtag reach’ on social media for your events personalised hashtag.

Audience objectives are all about creating a positive experience for the audience. This can be hard to measure, so you may want to set an objective of receiving 500 positive reviews from the attendees, or possibly ask them to fill out a survey after the event. Audience satisfaction is key to the future success of your event.

Financial targets are not to be ignored either. While you want your event to be a success with the audience, you most likely want to make a profit too. Your financial objective will help you to measure your financial return on investment. Perhaps you want to set an objective of a certain number of ticket sales or purchases at the event? This will encourage your team to get the event sold out as fast as possible.


Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve with your event, you need to start thinking about the logistics involved. Budgeting will play an important role here as you decide on the scale of your event. Once you know what you can spend, you can start creating the event plan.

Firstly, you need to decide who will be participating in the sporting event. Which teams/sportsperson do you need to organise? This will be the most important step as the rest of the event organisation will revolve around this. Once you have them booked, you can arrange the venue. You should consider where the best location for this event will be, the capacity required, the specific facilities you need and whether or not your chosen venue is appropriate for your specific sporting event.

With the sporting participants and venue booked, you are half way there. Next you need to consider what equipment you will need, how you are going to provide tickets to attendees and whether or not you need to insure the event.


One thing you should never forget is the importance of your team when organising your event. They will be the ones who make your ideas and plans come to life, so you want a team you can trust. You need to think about the operational procedures of the event, such as the set up before hand, arrival of attendees, running of the event, entertainment and refreshments. You also need to consider the qualified people you need, such as security professionals, health and safety experts and fire safety wardens. This will give you an idea of the number of people you will need. You should have an open communication channel between yourself and your team at all times to ensure smooth running of the event.

Top Tip

Follow the SMART structure for your objectives so that you can track your progress and success in a well-structured way.

Did You Know?

  • A survey by Genioso Event Magazine revealed that event planners find content curation and event agenda building the most time consuming aspects of event planning.
  • 30% of sporting event organisers use a blog to help promote their event.
  • A survey conducted by Eventbrite revealed that 51% of total event revenue comes from ticket sales, which should be taken into account when planning your event.