This month The HAC is proud to host one of our regular rugby teams, Saracens, in a pre-season game against the Ospreys. We host a range of sporting events throughout the year and have learnt a thing or two along the way about how to get it right. Whether you’re organising a public-attended rugby match, a football day for staff or a cricket match for clients there are certain rules of thumb to follow during the planning journey. It’s quite likely the actual match, game or race will be the central focus of your efforts, but the secret to success is being able to get all the other threads (catering, transport, scheduling…) seamlessly pulling together so your guests can sit back and enjoy the sport.
As with most events, turnout is going to be dictated – in part – by how easy it is to get to your sporting event. Public transport links or good parking are essential to ensure you aren’t starting off on a back foot. If the location of your day produces groans from your list of invitees, you’re going to have to work really hard to convince them to make the effort to attend.
Facilities for participants
Looking after your players or runners is really important, as they are the stars of the show. Good changing rooms, secure places to keep their belongings and decent showers are an absolute must, plus it’s worth ensuring cool, shady places for them to rest when they aren’t playing. Equally, in the winter, warmth is important for resting participants.
Guests to a sporting match are largely there to watch the action, but if you are hosting an all-day event, the sport alone won’t be enough to keep spectators engaged. Whether it’s pitch side entertainment, half-time music or an MC keeping onlookers’ spirits up while they wait for runners to pass them by, think about their needs when there’s a lull in proceedings.
Food and drink are the bedrock to any successful event, but at a sporting one you have two, maybe three different groups of people to accommodate. Players, spectators and staff (this might include referees, marshals or scorers) might have different schedules as to when they can eat and drink and their requirements may differ.
No doubt your sporting event will be made up of several different elements and you may need to move spectators and players from one place to another. You’ll need to ensure your venue has the AV facilities to meet your communication needs and that you have staff on the day ensuring everyone is where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there.
An event is only a success if people attend. As well as making the most of your in-house marketing resources, speak to your venue and any other partners you’re working with about any help they can offer. This will expose your event to new audiences and increase your footfall.
A sporting event is a great way to bring people together but without a social event after the match or game you’re at risk of a serious anti-climax. A drinks party, sit-down dinner or even charity auction in the evening after the sport is over is a great way to celebrate and let your guests and spectators come together to chew over the day’s activities.
Your City sporting event at The HAC
As well as five acres of lawns which can host cricket, rugby and football matches, we also have indoor space – the Prince Consort Rooms - that can cater for up to 700 for standing receptions. The contemporary event space is kitted out with high-end AV facilities which means you can watch highlights form the day, host an awards do or charity auction and then let your guests dance the night away. Our unique City location gives organisers access to a pool of Square Mile attendees and our iconic venue always adds a touch of prestige to our events. Give our Events Team a call on 020 7382 1533 to discuss your ideas.