This is a famous Thomas Edison quote from his quest to invent the light bulb. In a way, this quote can be turned around when talking about the Sport Tourism industry to read like this: "This is what we do, but there are 10,000 other ways that will work as well."
This was quickly learned on a recent trip to Indianapolis, Indiana for the NASC Market Segment Meetings. Brady Turk and I represented the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission (RASC) and the two of us came away with a substantial amount of information and ideas that we can implement in our organization.
The Market Segment Meetings are held annually in different cities across the United States and give Sports Commissions the opportunity to meet with other members in their market to discuss relevant issues and share unique approaches in the industry today.
The meetings lasted just a day and a half, but provided non-stop education. Much of the time was spent split into our markets of large, mid, and small-sized Sports Commissions. Our time was spent in the mid and small-sized segments, where we covered a variety of issues, including creating a positive culture, facility development, non-traditional housing, working with venue owners and much more! In addition to these breakout sessions there was an educational course on the first morning we were there.
The NASC provides its members opportunities to become Certified Sports Event Executives through a series of eight educational courses. Each course covers a different area in Sport Tourism to help strengthen knowledge of the participating members.
What was most important about the meetings is that Brady and I learned a lot and made important connections. Many of the attendees have been in the business for 10-plus years while the two of us have eight months' experience combined.
We went in as a blank sheet of paper and let some of our industry leaders fill us with the knowledge it takes to succeed in our organization. Quickly we learned many other organizations share similar challenges and we were able to see different perspectives on how those challenges were handled.
It certainly takes time to fully adapt to a new position. In our case the best way to learn is to jump feet first, and the Market Segment Meetings went a long way in growing our careers in the field.
With the continued education provided by NASC, the networking opportunities, and the ideas that were shared that can assist us with our own events, we took a big step forward in becoming more comfortable in our positions by attending these meetings!