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Expert Advice: Taking it to Extremes

By Kristy Holt, Senior Event Manager for the University of Utah Stadium & Arena Event Services


The Nitro World Games are like few other sporting events, featuring high-adrenaline performances in the fields of freestyle motorcross (FMX), bicycle motorcross (BMX), scooters, and skateboarding. These games not only push the limits, they really have no boundaries with incredibly talented athletes offering daredevil stunts at unbelievable speeds. The University of Utah had the pleasure of hosting the first-ever Nitro World Games last summer at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and we look forward to welcoming the group back this year—while still keeping in mind these takeaways from year one.

Throw control out the window. The athletes and personnel involved in action sports are highly creative and big risk takers. That can be frustrating for meeting planners used to living in a world of order and organization. Know this client will always look for bigger, higher, and faster—and they will change plans mid-stream if they think they can “wow” the audience more. Still, it’s exciting to work with these groups because it’s always different and they will constantly be thinking outside the box.

Plan for VIPs. It’s helpful to remember that action sports are more of a show than a competition, so this client wants to take care of the athletes like a concert organizer would the musical artist. They will likely have requirements for VIP treatment since the promoter believes that if the athletes are taken care of, they will be able to perform at a level that will make for an exciting show for the paying public.

Get creative with deadlines. With so many teams involved—media relations, ticketing, operations, TV production (the event is broadcast on NBC)—it can be difficult getting the necessary information to pass along to everyone prepping for the event. When deadlines need to be met for layouts, timelines, or budgets, you might consider implementing some sort of cost incentive to obtain these important documents. For example, if all the information is received on time, the client will receive a 10% discount on equipment rental, but for every day or week that the documents are not available they will have an additional percentage added on to the overall cost. Monetary incentives often help firm up plans.

Be prepared for the fans. This event brought a completely different crowd that was not used to our venue. You’ll want to have extra directional signage and guest service personnel available to help guide them, and plan to over communicate venue policies to eliminate surprises for attendees. This type of event also often has an on-field, pre-event for special ticketholders. It’s ideal to begin this experience well in advance of the actual show time in order to move guests throughout this important area without feeling rushed, and therefore avoiding any complaints.

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The Tower at Rice-Eccles
Salt Lake City, UT
(801) 581.7695