From the perspective of an attendee, a competition seems to run smoothly for the most part. They don’t see the preparation before, the constant monitoring during and the cleanup afterwards. As a Box owner, this is a great thing they don’t notice any of that, but on the other hand, it’s something you have to be involved in.
The buildup to a competition includes a lot of marketing in order to get competitors and an audience informed enough about the event that they will show up. For CrossFit Nashua in New Hampshire, owner Eric Fasciani said they rely a lot on Facebook as the major platform for marketing their competitions.
“We usually start the Facebook event three to four months before the competition date, and then open up registration about three months before the competition date,” said Fasciani. “We will invite all of the local gym owners, friends and folks that have come to previous competitions of ours via Facebook. We used to have great luck with Rxcompetitions.com, but other than that we just do word of mouth and rely on past participants to come back again.”
Once the word begins to get out about your competition, the operations side of things become important. Some Boxes charge for admission into events, but Fasciani said they tend to shy away from that, unless there is a unique selling aspect to this specific competition.
“I would not recommend selling tickets to events,” said Fasciani. “If it is professional athletes competing that is one thing, people will pay for the star or celebrity ‘wow’ factor. Asking people to pay to watch their friends compete doesn’t seem like a good idea to us. We make money off the competitors and sponsors. They are the ones benefitting and getting the value from the competition, so those are the people that should pay, unless you have a Mat Fraser or Katrin Davidsdottir throwing down.”
It can be easy to get on a high after hosting one competition and start planning more events from all the ideas you got from the current one. However, there is always the case of having too much of a good thing. Hosting too many events can take away the excitement for the competitors.
“Don’t get greedy with competitions,” said Fasciani. “Two, maybe three, a year is the most one Box should do. With so many competitions out there, It’s important not to saturate it by doing one every couple months. We have a Spring individual beginner competition and a Fall six-person team competition.”