Playeasy Booth Setup at Sports ETA
Our booth setup.

It’s been two weeks since we kicked off our meetings in Birmingham, AL at Sports ETA’s annual Symposium. After nearly two years apart, we had a great time meeting with our partners in person to discuss the future of Playeasy. We were also able to make new connections with Destinations & Event Organizers and share why Playeasy is the future of Sports Tourism. Continue reading to hear some highlights from Symposium 2021.

Kickoff (Opening Party) at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

After a successful first day of networking and appointments with Destinations, our team was thrilled to head over to Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum for the Opening Party. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum houses the world’s largest collection of motorcycles, as well as a collection of vintage Lotus cars. We loved reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and (of course) admiring the collection of motorcycles and cars!

Collection of Motorcycles at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Collection of Motorcycles at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.

Panel: Driving into the future of event management with industry leaders at the wheel

Symposium day two opened with a morning of terrific appointments connecting with Destinations. Next up was a Panel for Small to Mid-Market Communities about the future of event management that our Co-Founder and CEO, Sean Flaherty, spoke on. Sean was joined by industry leaders Frank Lett (Visit Kingsport), Matt Dunn (EventConnect), Dan Migala (4FRONT), and Justin Roach (Sports Facilities Management) for an open and candid conversation on the future of the sports events and tourism industry, and touched on technology, sponsorship, innovation, venues, and more.

Co-founder, Sean Flaherty, and four colleagues take part in a panel discussion
Co-Founder & CEO, Sean Flaherty, 2nd in from right speaks about technology in Sports Tourism.

Keynote Speaker: SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey

Our team thoroughly enjoyed day two’s keynote speaker, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. Mr. Sankey shared an inside look at the pivot and management of college athletics from the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic through the present, and shared the 12 leadership lessons he learned along the way.

Some of the 12 include:

  • It’s okay to say “I don’t know”
  • When sharing information, start with what you know, followed by what you don’t know, and then share what you think
  • Take as long as possible when making a decision to ensure you have the most up-to-date and relevant information
  • Timelines are everything – make sure you lay out dedicated plans for your team, so they know where you are going

Whether a CEO or entry-level employee, Mr. Sankey’s message surely resonated with the entire audience.

SEC Commissioner, Greg Sankey, giving a keynote speech.
SEC Commissioner, Greg Sankey, sharing his 12 leadership lessons.

Team Indiana Happy Hour

Our team was thrilled to have a chance to catch up with our partners at Team Indiana in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. We appreciated the chance to talk with our destination partners in Indiana about their Playeasy experience and the future of Playeasy while exploring Alabama’s sports history.

Outside entrance of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Our team toured the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame thanks to Team Indiana.
Display inside the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Closing Session

Symposium 2022: Fort Worth

The closing session of Symposium 2021 was a treat, featuring a fantastic performance by Summer Dawn and a delicious lunch sponsored by next Symposium’s host, Fort Worth. We look forward to seeing Summer Dawn and the Fort Worth Team in May!

Keynote Speaker: Erik Moses

Our final keynote speaker of the week was a discussion with Erik Moses, President of Nashville Superspeedway, led by Marq Burnett, Associate Editor, American City Business Journal. Mr. Moses spoke about his career that ultimately led to becoming the President of the Nashville Superspeedway to bring NASCAR to Nashville. Mr. Moses detailed the journey of bringing NASACR to middle Tennessee and making it inclusive for all attendees. We were inspired by his ability to make the track a welcoming place for all by ensuring that individuals saw themselves reflected in both the activities and the attendees.

erik moses and mark burnett take part in a keynote discussion
Erik Moses (L) and Marq Burnett (R) during the closing session.

Playeasy User Group Meeting

Finally, we capped off Sports ETA Symposium 2021 with a User Group Meeting for our Partners. This intimate roundtable discussion allowed us to share the future of Playeasy with our partners as well as listen to and learn from their feedback on our platform. Thank you to all who joined us!

Playeasy Chief Innovation Officer Jon Gorin (L), and Co-Founder, President, & CPO, Kerri Shields (R) share the future of Playeasy's product
Playeasy CIO, Jon Gorin (L), and Co-Founder, President, & CPO, Kerri Shields (R) share the future of Playeasy’s product.

“Our team had a great time this year at Sports ETA. We always look forward to attending Sports ETA’s Annual Symposium, but this year was extra special as we were finally able to connect with our partners in person. It was inspiring to hear all of the great things they’re doing in each of their communities, and we were excited to share our future plans for Playeasy! We are looking forward to connecting again soon in Fort Worth.”

Kerri Shields, Co-Founder | President | CPO

Our team sends a special thanks to Al Kidd and Sports ETA for having us and Birmingham for hosting us.

We are looking forward to connecting again soon at the 30th annual symposium in Fort Worth this May!

Playeasy Co-Founders (L-R: Ryan Quigley, Kerri Shields, & Sean Flaherty) in front of our booth.
Playeasy Co-Founders (L-R: Ryan Quigley, Kerri Shields, & Sean Flaherty) in front of our booth.