Here’s why you shouldn’t manage your competition with a spreadsheet

Using a spreadsheet for your competition might seem like the easiest (and quickest) way to organize your event. Unfortunately, those benefits don’t last long, and spreadsheets soon become a painful and time-consuming alternative to a dedicated event management platform. Here’s why:

Seeding and Re-Seeding 

Problem: Spreadsheets don’t allow you to quickly re-seed athletes in real-time.

Why this matters: Major events like the Rogue Invitational, CrossFit Games and Wodapalooza seed and re-seed athletes for every workout based on performance. Why? Because it guarantees that the best compete against the best, creating a more competitive and dynamic playing field across heats and workouts. Not only that, but it’s a lot more intriguing to watch athletes who are close in rankings go head-to-head.

If you use a spreadsheet, it’s nearly impossible to re-seed and re-assign heat and lane assignments across all your athletes, divisions and workouts accurately and in real-time. That’s why serious event organizers choose to use event management software: so they can make adjustments to seeding and heat assignments across their event with a click of a button.

Strongest Scheduling Kit Heat Sheet Generation

It’s all about timing

Problem: You need a lot of advanced formulas (or a lot of manual calculations) to accurately schedule with a spreadsheet.

Why this is a problem: The smallest difference between what you estimate for time and what actually happens can have big, compounding implications on your schedule. Maybe you estimated a transition time of 3 minutes between heats, but between equipment changes and trying to clear the floor of exhausted athletes, it’s taking closer to 4. How do you quickly adjust for this and reflect that change to all the other events that follow?

If you’re using a spreadsheet, you’ll need to change your formula, then copy and paste it across all your divisions and workouts. If you’re using something like the Scheduling Kit in the Strongest Competition platform though, all you need to do is change the transition time, press “OK”, and all your other workouts will be automatically adjusted.

Strongest Competition Platform Event Scheduler

Distribution and Communication

Problem: Spreadsheets are an extremely inefficient way to share accurate, real-time  information with different groups of people.

Why this matters: Athletes, spectators and your event operations team all need specific, relevant, accurate information in a timely manner. Each audience needs different information that is meaningful to them. More importantly, you need to be sure the information is correct. 

Having ONE single source of data to house all your complex event information is key to accuracy. Having options to distribute it from that one source with tailored views for different audiences is key to organization. 

To set this up in a spreadsheet, you’ll need multiple sheets, complex formatting and advanced calculations – and then you’ll need to figure out how to communicate and publish it easily. 

Competition management software like Strongest can streamline all of this for you, then help you distribute your most up-to-date information to all audiences in just a few clicks.

Strongest Competition Platform Heat Sheet Distribution Lists

Scoring input

Problem: There is high potential for scoring errors and inaccurate results when you use a spreadsheet.

Why this matters: This one is a pretty obvious one, but nothing good comes out of scoring errors. Wrong scores and placements casts doubt, erodes trust, and decreases morale. 

Unfortunately, too many event organizers are still manually inputting their scores into a spreadsheet. This leaves way too much room for errors like:

  • Mixing up athletes, heats and divisions
  • Overwriting of correct scores due to multiple access to the spreadsheet
  • Inaccurate placement calculations
  • No verification of scores
  • Having to re-publish on a separate leaderboard sheet

When you use a fitness competition scoring software like Strongest, only your Scoring Team will be able to input scores and edit the scoreboard. They’ll also be able to:

  • Populate the scoring sheet based on registration data
  • Enter scores based on heats schedules
  • See scores that have been modified in one glance
  • Preview the scoreboard before publishing 
Strongest Scoring Entry Platform

The Big Picture

Problem: You lose sight of key steps in the event creation process when you use a spreadsheet.

Why this matters: There is a lot to think about when it comes to your event. So far, we’ve talked mostly about scoring, schedules, and communication – but what about registration fees,  spectator tickets, merchandise, sponsors, or refunds?

While spreadsheets can be helpful with one or two parts of your event, they don’t help bring together the event into one experience.

Software like Strongest, which is made for fitness competitions and events, provide event organizers with a color-by-number process. It’s an expert-level event organization workflow that’s easy, even for beginners – and will make sure your event is nothing but epic.

Get started now and launch a world-class event in minutes.

Strongest Compete Fitness Competition Dashboard

Conclusion

A spreadsheet might feel like the most familiar and fastest way to organize your functional fitness competition, but in the end it will cost you more time. There are a lot of nuances that will come up when you’re running your functional fitness competition; make sure you’re ready for them by choosing software that was made for fitness event management.

[Free Template] How to get (and keep) sponsors for your fitness event

Throughout the thousands of events we’ve helped organize at Strongest Events, we’ve noticed that organizers generally fall into one of two categories:

  1. Those whose primary objective is to make a profit
  2. Those who hold on an event as a passion or community project

In either case, a good goal is to generate revenue. Whether you’re hosting an event for fun or you’re trying to monetize and grow it, you want to make sure you don’t lose money. 

Enter sponsorships. Sponsorships can help pay for the cost of items like podium prizes, equipment, food and drink, and swag. This all helps create a memorable event – and helps grow your revenue.

Here are our top tips for getting event sponsors, including a template you can use to secure them.

Where to find sponsors

Think about what your event needs from start to finish. Consider everything from the minute registration opens to the final day’s prize ceremonies, and all in between. Then, be creative and identify where potential sponsors can help with those needs. 

For example, you could get a local business to give gift cards to early bird registrants, a healthy meal prep service to feed your volunteers, and a skincare line to provide sunblock for outdoor events. 

Create a list of both past and potential sponsors. Go big – think about everyone from your dream sponsor to smaller ones. Reach out to your friends, family, and gym members. Post on social media. And, of course, ask businesses in your community – they are often eager to support other local businesses.

How to approach sponsors [free template]

Whether you plan to approach someone in person or by email, having a template will make reaching out to sponsors more efficient. Here’s what your sponsorship request template should include:

  • A brief intro to your event.
  • Your event website link. [Don’t have a website yet? Create your event website with Strongest in minutes for free.]
  • Why they’d want to get involved/what’s in it for them. Include stats like the number of athletes registered, spectators expected, historical data, and social media stats.
  • Options on how they can get involved, including sponsorship tiers or options for donations. 

Using this template, your sponsorship request email could look something like:

Hi Mark!

My name is Liana, and I’m the Founder of Strongest Gym here in Toronto. 

I’m reaching out to see if you’d be interested in becoming a sponsor for our the 3rd Annual Strongest Challenge, June 24-26 2022. Here’s our event website; [event URL].

We have over 120 athletes from all over Ontario attending, and we expect to sell over 500 spectator tickets throughout the weekend. We also have a following of over 9k engaged followers across Instagram and Facebook.

There are several different sponsorship levels that will help increase your audience and sales, ensuring your ROI. All of our options can be found in the attached PDF. 

Take a look and let me know which option interests you the most. I’ll reach out in a couple of days to follow-up.

All the best,

Liana

What to offer sponsors

Decide on your sponsorship tiers and what each will offer. Have a good range so that would-be sponsors can find a level that fits their needs.

Outline the donation needed to qualify for each tier and what your sponsor will get. Remember not all donations have to be monetary. Gift certificates, memberships, and snacks make great prizes or raffle items.

Be creative. Think about different parts of your event as separate sponsorship opportunities. For example, you could specify that a specific Workout Sponsor would get:

  • Digital Ads: their logo as a banner ad on that specific workout page. [Create and manage sponsor digital ads easily with the Strongest Sponsorship Kit].
  • 2x social media posts
  • Their logo on event t-shirts
  • Onsite signage
  • Shoutouts during the workout by the event MC

Looking for other ideas on levels and tiers? Download our Competition Guide now.

How to keep them coming back

After all the prizes are handed out, most organizers think their work is done. However, this is a key time to build your sponsor relationships. Putting in some extra effort after the event will help encourage sponsors to tell other businesses about their investment – and help them return next year.

The more data you can give, the better. Provide reports to your sponsors on how their digital ads performed. Strongest’s Sponsorship Kit Ad Reports provide detailed information on the number of people who saw their digital ads as well as the number of clicks. You’ll also want to give them other metrics like social media post reach and engagement and onsite attendee numbers.

Finally, don’t forget to thank your sponsors through social media. This will keep growing awareness and driving traffic to them post-event – and it’s, of course, a nice gesture that will make them feel appreciated.

Ready? 3-2-1 Grow.

Set yourself up for event success with the Strongest Competition Platform. It has all the tools you need to approach sponsors, advertise for them, and prove ROI.

Get started for free and launch a world-class competition in minutes.