One of the best-kept secrets about High Point is the abundance and quality of our sports facilities. We have first-class baseball, soccer, tennis, bowling and gymnastics facilities — not to mention the new High Point Rowing Club www.highpointrowing.com on beautiful Oak Hollow Lake.
To strengthen the High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau’s ability to serve sports enthusiasts considering the area as a destination for their events, I decided to earn my Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) credential. Sponsored by the National Association of Sports Commissions, the CSEE program is the only certification available for experienced sports event professionals, like myself, seeking continuing education and professional development in the field of sports tourism. Some 140 sports tourism professionals have achieved the CSEE designation nationwide since the program’s launch in 2002, with more than 432 participants currently enrolled in the program.
The designation requires completion of a series of eight 4-hour courses focused on the topics of strategic planning, sales and marketing, sports event management, the bid process and more. Courses included a mix of educational elements and practical application, all designed to raise the standards of professionalism in the sports tourism industry,
As a result of this training, my ability to find the right venue for a tournament and choose a date that doesn’t compete with other community events has been greatly enhanced. In addition, the program has provided me with new insights into other key areas, such as bid preparation, finding affordable hotel rates, providing registration support and compiling restaurant and attraction information.
The CSEE program also helps us to stay on top of ever-changing industry trends in sports tourism. During the courses, I was able to meet with tourism officials from other similar-sized cities across the country, sharing success stories and ideas for how to make events the best they can be.
High Point is a popular destination for sports groups. For example, you may not be aware that Special Olympics North Carolina’s Fall Tournament has taken place in High Point for the past 10 years. This year’s tournament, being held Nov. 7 to 9, features events at the Oak Hollow Golf Course, High Point Athletic Complex, Oak Hollow Tennis Center, High Point Gymnastics Academy and the Johnson Street Sports Complex.
Many other tournaments featuring North Carolina teams, as well as travel teams from up and down the East Coast, also report many years of positive experiences hosting their events in High Point.
To help broaden the reach of the many fine facilities in our city, the High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau has established a Sports Committee. As the city’s destination marketing organization, the mission of the CVB is to create economic development through tourism, which is funded by a voluntary local hotel occupancy tax on overnight stays. We are experienced in putting together complicated bids for sports tournaments and other events by gathering the necessary information and presenting it professionally as a packet, a PowerPoint presentation or an in-person presentation. We also offer assistance with bid fees.
High Point also has a mutually beneficial partnership with the Convention & Visitors Bureaus in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Burlington to share facilities and accommodations as needed.
For more information about hosting your organization’s sports event in High Point, call 336-884-5255 and ask for Marva Wells or feel free to drop by and visit us at 1634 N. Main St.