How to navigate being new to the Sports Tourism world

 Posted on: December 4 2019
Being new to this industry is intimidating, right? You have seasoned vets who seem to know everyone and then there is you – brand new and ready to make connections. But how? Here are a couple of tips and tricks I hope will help as you navigate being a “newbie” in this industry!  Go to the Sports ETA 4S Summit. Aside from the fact that you get to learn from some of the greatest leaders in our industry, this event is also one of the best opportunities to meet people. It’s smaller than the Symposium and is a completely education-based conference, making it your best opportunity for networking with colleagues. This is your chance to learn best practices and pick the brains of people who have walked in your shoes.     ASK THE QUESTION. This industry is built on relationships between clients and peers. With that being said, we can be each other’s greatest resource. You are learning the industry and it’...

Mentor Spotlight: Meaghan Hughes

 Posted on: December 2 2019
From volunteering her time on the Sports ETA Mentoring Committee to serving on our board and attending the first-ever Women’s Summit in Columbus, Ohio, Meaghan Hughes is a dedicated member of Sports ETA. Meaghan started off as a receptionist at the Ann Arbor Sports Commission and has risen in the ranks to be the Associate Director. She is now responsible for a variety of divisions including strategic planning, sales, social media, and managing Simpleview. Meaghan said one of her favorite experiences was when the 2014 NHL Winter Classic came to Ann Arbor and her office hosted a New Year’s Eve “The Puck Drops Here” event. She says it’s something she would never have been able to be a part of if it wasn’t for her great job. As someone who started her career in the sports industry at a younger age, Meaghan likes to mentor those who are just starting off. “I started working here [Ann Arbor Sports Commission] when I was 23 and understand ...

Mentor Spotlight: Judi Hess

 Posted on: November 26 2019
She’s a Steelers fan that cheers on her team from Binghamton, New York. When her Steelers are not on the field, she enjoys being outdoors, attending live performances and volunteering for animal rescues. Meet one of our Sports ETA mentors Judi Hess. Judi is the Director of Visit Binghamton. She is responsible for tourism promotion of Greater Binghamton including serving as the primary tourism liaison with elected officials, budget management, strategic planning, marketing program oversight, and managing all aspects of day to day operations of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. You can say Judi has many roles she takes on each day.  “Being a part of a small bureau, I get to wear many hats,” Judi said. “Because of that, I feel very comfortable mentoring in sales, marketing, social media, and branding.” Judi suggests three things to anyone in this industry: Put yourself out there Never stop learning Get involved Getting in...

Mentor Spotlight: Hank Pivarnik

 Posted on: November 21 2019
Did you know Sports ETA offers mentoring to members, new and old? The Mentoring and Engagement Committee is here to help all Sports ETA members. We will be spotlighting each mentor to help you get to know them a little better - you may even find that you connect with one of them. This way, when you need a mentor in the future, you already have one in mind. Meet Hank Pivarnik, CSEE. He recently retired from Hilton as the Director of Sports Sales after 30+ years of service. In that role, Hank oversaw sales relationships between Hilton brands and customers from MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, and NHL. In addition to sales relationships with USOPC, several NGB’S, sports broadcasting and sports housing entities. While there was plenty of hard work along the way, Hank really enjoyed the times when he was able to work with Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks at NBA Cares service day during an NBA AllStar weekend. And his work with the Denver Broncos, which gave him a game b...

Not Your Mother's Mentoring Committee

 Posted on: November 19 2019
How to use your mentor. Your fellow Sports ETA members, especially those on the mentoring committee, each come with unique perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds to our industry’s association. The best part of the diversity of membership is access to these leaders in sports tourism and what you can learn from them.  It is not just about having someone to help guide new members through their first experiences, but also an opportunity to get creative and learn. Some of the most pivotal things I've learned in this industry weren’t taught to me in school or any formal education session, but from my colleagues, their experiences and of course my own.  I would encourage anyone to lean on those members of the mentoring committee, whether your assigned mentor or another member of the committee you already know, as a resource to bounce ideas off, seek career guidance, learn from their missteps and successes alike. Someone outside your dest...

Ask a Sports ETA Mentor

 Posted on: November 18 2019
Becoming a new member of Sports ETA is an exciting time. Event and tourism organizations are welcomed into a big network of colleagues and introduced to dozens of resources. It can be a lot to take in. That’s where our Mentoring and Engagement committee comes in. Experienced Sports ETA members volunteer to serve as mentors to new member organizations and first-time Sports ETA event attendees who are new to the sports events and tourism industry. These mentors are there to offer advice, best practices in different areas of the industry, and a friendly face at Sports ETA events. These mentors are not just there for new members; they can be of help to members who have been with Sports ETA for years. If you have a dilemma and need some friendly advice, one of our mentors will be glad to help you. Or if you are traveling to a city you are unfamiliar with, check out our mentors to see if they can make any recommendations. This committee of about 40 industry leaders have a...

The Importance of Professional Connections

 Posted on: November 7 2019
"I believe that you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."--Zig Ziglar That quote is the inspiration that I use every day.  Mentoring, fostering, sharing, and caring are qualities that help us to build strong and healthy relationships both personally and professionally. The key to creating life-long connections is to give as much, if not more than you take. Staying connected and developing professional relationships takes time, work, and strategy. If you’re trying to improve your professional connections, you should be. These connections will be the key to your professional growth. Here are some tips to follow: Strong communication skills will help lay a strong foundation. Making yourself clearly understood as well as truly listening and learning from others. Show respect by being courteous, using non-offensive language, and being courteous of people’s time.  Be open to hone...

Mentoring Blogs – Why Read? And What to Look Forward To!

 Posted on: November 5 2019
The Mentoring Committee was put in place years ago to assist new individuals attending Sports ETA Symposium. For some first-time attendees, it is their first trade show, ever! That was me…. straight out of college. For others, they have been in the workforce, and have attended other trade shows, but never a sports-related trade show. There are many new kinds of attendees and this committee was built to help all of them. Along with providing a mentor, the committee has added additional resources to assist first-timers. One of those is the blog that is written by mentors – who have been a part of Sports ETA for at least five years. They want to help their colleagues entering this new world of sports tourism. The blogs do not just focus on the Symposium, but important things to know about your membership, other events that are hosted by Sports ETA, fun facts, and more. Some blogs to look forward to prior to Sports ETA Symposium 2020 are: The Importance of Building...

NETWORKING TIPS FOR THE 2019 NASC SYMPOSIUM (OR ANY NETWORKING EVENT!)

 Posted on: April 30 2019
People tend to fall on three sides of the networking spectrum: The people that love socializing and meet all kinds of people The people that hate networking and skip these sessions or don’t participate The people that are good at networking and leave with a valuable lead and/or resource Depending on the day, each of us usually falls into one of these categories when we must attend networking events. Many factors contribute to how we react to networking including the hours worked that day, what’s happening outside of work, and energy levels in general.  Please take a moment to learn some networking lessons that may provide positive results while networking at the 2019 NASC Symposium. Look at this stack of business cards! These are on my desk right now. Can you imagine if your card is located near the bottom of that stack? I’m sure my card is at the bottom of stacks on hundreds of desks around the country. This is a constant reminder that I’...

Tips for the first-time attendee and great reminders for veterans of the industry

 Posted on: April 17 2019
The countdown is on for the 27th annual NASC Symposium! Before your bags are packed, check the conference website. Then, as you prepare to meet event rights holders, vendors and destination representatives from throughout the USA in Knoxville, Tennessee May 6- 9, you might want to check it again. This will help you ensure the most efficient and effective use of your time! NASC staff and volunteer members have worked diligently to provide several great resources to assist you as you get organized to attend the NASC’s annual meeting (for the first time or the 27th)! Follow the links below to find answers to many of your questions: Hotel & Travel Schedule Education Marketplace NASC FAQs Blogs Hotel & Travel: Traveling to a destination by yourself (especially for the first-time) can seem a bit intimidating. A little advanced homework will reduce potential concerns and set you up for a fun, successful conference experience. Review your...
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