This post is the next installment in an ongoing series of feature highlights for our all-in-one competition management platform that systematically illustrate just how easy it is for you to launch and run an amazing competition that can bring your community together in a fresh and exciting new way. This post illustrates how to get started with a marketing page and configure registration so you can start selling tickets. Future posts will follow and cover programming, scheduling, and much more… -MAR
As a box owner or head coach, your days are full. You’re programming; you’re managing coaches; you’re keeping your members happy. Just when you think you’re done for the day, you need to clean the gym, put away the weights, mop the floor, and clean the bathrooms. You’ve been thinking about ways to engage the broader community and keep coming back to this idea of organizing a competition — and maybe make some extra money to upgrade the ergs or take a nice vacation afterward while you’re at it — but the thought of figuring out how to connect all of those pieces really is exhausting.
The good news is that we’ve spent years optimizing a solution to this problem, so that you don’t have to figure those things out! The remainder of this post introduces our new guided setup process that makes it easier than ever to get started with a step-by-step planning process and work through the milestones of planning a competition at your own pace.
After you’ve created an account and signed in, you’ll be greeted by a dashboard that invites you to create a competition, and the first series of steps in the guided setup involves setting up a marketing page for your competition. During this setup process, you’ll think about the name of your competition, the venue, the date(s)/time(s), and other design elements like a banner image. Although not illustrated in the posts below, you can also configure your event as an online qualifier or online-only event, which further customizes some of the workflow.
If you’ve ever created an event and managed ticket sales or RSVPs with a site like EventBrite, it’ll feel like a pretty familiar process. (However, unlike EventBrite, our competition management platform will automatically populate all of your registrations into the scoring system and heats scheduling system with no additional import/export work on your part, which makes that much easier downstream. More on that in a future post…)
After you’ve completed the setup for your marketing page, you have an event page that you could use to start marketing your event and get the word out, but there are a few other steps you’ll want to complete to fully launch your competition. Over the next few posts, we’ll cover each of the areas of Programming, Registration, Payments, Launch and even Heats Scheduling, but for the remainder of this post we’ll briefly illustrate Programming. Many athletes will tell you that they came to your competition the first time for the fun, but they come back a second time for the programming. This is the area that will help differentiate your competition from others! Let’s walk through how to setup programming in the app.
The first thing to know about programming is who you’re programming for! We let you create as many divisions as you like, but we start you off with the 4 that are most common: Women’s Scaled, Women’s Rx, Men’s Scaled, and Men’s Rx. Each division can have its own set of standards or descriptions associated with it. As obvious as it may sound, the purpose of these descriptions is to inform potential registrants of the best division for them to register into so that they can have the best possible competition experience. For example, you might inform Rx divisions that expected movements will include ring muscle-ups while Scaled divisions not include ring muscle ups but will include chest-to-bar pull-ups. Registrants are presented with this information to consider when purchasing a ticket for your competition. Generally speaking, the better you can manage your athletes’ expectations about division standards, the better experience everyone will have at the live event!
But no competition can run on athletes alone. You’ll need lots of volunteers to help you run a smooth event and keep things on schedule, so we include the ability to easily register and manage volunteer divisions through the same intuitive interface. Each volunteer division can include instructions and the same kind of additional information for each of these volunteer groups. Although the largest volunteer category you’ll typically need is judges (after all, athletes can’t be performing workouts in a lane without a judge in the lane to observe them…)
Here is a list of some kinds of volunteers you might want to consider:
- Competition Setup and Breakdown
- First Aid
- Vendor Management
- Event Changeover
- Event Director
Keeping in mind that there are a lot of details go into planning and running a competition, all details and setup can be “copied” and used as a template for the next one you host. We’ve already populated these templates with some reasonable defaults, but as you customize these templates to suit your own competition, we want those templates to be easily available to you so that you don’t have to repeat the work on the next one. For events that tend to have the same basic format, this can be really handy.
Now that we’ve got our divisions set up, it’s time to think more about programming and configure the workouts athletes will be tackling. We’ll be covering that in our next post, so stay tuned…