Recap of strategic planning initiatives accomplished by the events department for the 2019-20 season.
USQ is doing a multipart recap series for the 2019-20 season, focusing on strategic plan goals, additional highlights, and what’s coming next for the 2020-21 season. We are currently in year two of the latest strategic plan focused on retention, recruitment, and reach. This is part five and the final installment in the series.
The events department consists of 13 volunteers including event logistics coordinators, event volunteer coordinators, event hospitality coordinators, and tournament directors (TD) support coordinators. Staff in this department work together to organize, support, and coordinate official USQ events. The event department staff maintains communication with tournament directors, coordinates general volunteers at USQ hosted events (regionals and USQ Cup), and organizes all logistical aspects of USQ hosted events.
Laura Porth, Director of Events & Partnerships
Olivia Caughey, Event & Member Services Manager
Elizabeth Barcelos, event volunteers coordinator and TD support coordinator
Josh Bartlett, event logistics coordinator
Haley Black, TD support coordinator
Katrina Bynum, event volunteers coordinator
Alex Drose, event logistics coordinator & event volunteers coordinator
Mary Hosford, event logistics coordinator
Samantha Huston, event volunteer coordinator
Kristin Joostema, TD support coordinator
Jared Leggett, event logistics coordinator
Stephanie Nowicki, event logistics coordinator
Amanda Perry, TD support coordinator
Jeremy Schleicher, event volunteers coordinator
Jeremy Taylor, TD certification coordinator
Outlined below are the specific goals from the strategic plan each team under the events department is currently working on and the progress that has been made in the 2019-20 season.
|Overall Goal||Strategy||Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal|
|Retention||Expand competitive opportunities for all members||Hosted the 2019 IQA Pan-American Games in Glen Allen, VA.|
|Retention||Expand competitive opportunities for all members||Increased the number of sanctioned events by 53% year over year.|
|Retention||Expand competitive opportunities for all members||Added the collegiate open division to US Quidditch Cup 13. 20 teams applied to be a part of this division. However, due to the cancelation of this event the plan was unable to come to fruition.|
|Retention||Make USQ-hosted events more meaningful to participants||Developed a plan to phase out super regionals, ultimately leading to the removal of this format and introducing a club circuit format in its place.|
|Retention||Make USQ-hosted events more meaningful to participants||Acted on feedback from 2018-19 USQ events by implementing new set-up procedures and assets to improve the event experience. Examples include: using Trello - a task management app - to manage field set-up, signage placement, and VIP experience planning.|
|Retention||Make USQ-hosted events more meaningful to participants||Worked closer with convention and visitors bureaus at USQ event locations to incorporate local vendors, more personalized player packets, provide local experiences, and more recommendations for pre and post-event hang outs. More specifically, the Mid-Atlantic Regionals hosted in Goldsboro, NC had the most personal and meaningful experience for players including a Friday player party with free food and music. There were also player baskets with local goodies and coupons.|
|Recruitment||Foster organized and sustainable youth play throughout the season||Hosted a youth gameplay opportunity at all USQ-hosted events this season.|
|Recruitment||Foster organized and sustainable youth play throughout the season||Hosted two external youth quidditch workshops during the 2019-20 season, including one at San Diego Comic Con.|
|Recruitment||Expand base of volunteers and officials||Added new volunteer roles to the year-round event department, such as the TD support coordinator. Recruitment for US Quidditch Cup 13 staff also began earlier than in seasons prior. For day of event volunteers, Rosterfy was introduced to help manage the recruitment and scheduling process.|
|Recruitment||Expand base of volunteers and officials||Offered the opportunity to work remotely to support the US Quidditch Cup 13. Unfortunately with the event being cancelled this year due to COVID-19, it was not able to come to fruition. This will be implemented for US Quidditch Cup 14 for full execution.|
|Recruitment||Expand base of volunteers and officials||Met 1:1 with volunteers at the start of the season to learn about their experience onsite at events as well as their experience working with onsite volunteers. This feedback was used to make improvements to the volunteer experience during the season and for future seasons.|
In a December 2019 press release, USQ announced an organizational restructure to adjust employee roles to better focus on our primary strategic plan objective of event growth. Laura Porth was hired in January 2020 as the director of events & partnerships. Olivia Caughey’s position was restructured from events manager to events and member services manager.
USQ is beginning the process of identifying year 3 strategic plan goals. Some initial goals that have been identified are highlighted below.
Increase the number of partnerships with hosting cities and businesses.
Offering a remote volunteer opportunity for US Quidditch Cup 14.
Evaluate the event bidding process and explore additional ways to measure safety of participants in potential hosting cities.
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