by American Stalls October 05, 2022
Note: The following is provided through a partnership between STRIDER and the USEA. As part of Strider's commitment to diversity, enabling access, and building capacity throughout the industry, Strider is pleased to provide this content to benefit the sport of eventing. Below was originally published on USEventing.com.
To organize a successful horse trial, combined test, clinic, or cross-country schooling day involves good management of many moving parts.
As an organizer, it’s important to remember: your time matters. Having a variety of methods in your event management toolbox can help quiet the organizational chaos. Check out these five tips to save time (and boost revenue) as an eventing organizer.
1. Have a Plan (and then another)
Work backwards from the date of your event and create a timeline. This is helpful for everything from communications to the ordering of supplies.
Remember: Taking a few minutes to create a backup plan for weather and other logistical nightmares can save you time in case of an emergency. Your insurance company may also require you to have a written emergency plan.
2. Clearly Define Policies, and Stick to Them
Decide early on what your late entry, cancellation, weather, and refund policies will be. Then, stick to them. Be sure to clearly define and outline these policies in an easily accessible place for participants entering your event.
Remember: Your time is valuable. Handling horse and rider changes after your closing date, adding late entries, and processing refunds can take up a great deal of time. To set and enforce policies can save you a great deal of headache as an organizer, while also making things as clear as possible for your participants.
3. Automate Where You Can
Schedule social media posts announcing your event, entry open date, and entry closing date in advance. Business suite from Meta (or Facebook) has a handy scheduler that enables you to publish to multiple social media channels at once. You can similarly schedule email invitations and entry reminders through programs such as Mailchimp or ConstantContact.
Automated, digital processes are more efficient than paper. Take time to consider the paper processes you currently have in place and research some tech you can adopt to save time.
Remember: Online entries, digital payment tools, and electronic waiver services are great ways to streamline processes for yourself and for riders. Not every tool will work for every organizer. It’s important to evaluate solutions that will work for your event’s goals and are within your budget.
4. Communicate Clearly
Answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in advance. Make it easy for riders to find trailer-friendly driving directions, ride times, your facility’s dog policy, and answers to other logistical questions. Post these answers somewhere public so you won’t have to answer them by text and email.
Take advantage of your scheduled emails to remind folks of closing dates, your facility’s policies, and other important details.
Remember: You’ll save hours when you eliminate random texts, calls, and emails from participants that distract from your day.
Remember: It takes a village! Hire an expert, coordinate volunteers, or phone-a-friend to assist with pre-event details.
Streamlined processes, clear communication, and teamwork allow organizers to focus on the details that make their events so special. Time matters. To implement policies and tech to save hours in paperwork hassle can go a long way.
As participants, it’s key to be as respectful as possible of policies and processes in place that enable these events to continue. Regardless of where you’re headed this season: thank your organizers, thank your volunteers, and of course – thank your horse.
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