Last week, Playeasy team members travelled to Kansas City, Missouri for the 2023 Sports ETA Symposium from May 8-11. It was a successful, action-packed week reconnecting with our partners in person, meeting new faces and sharing about the future of Playeasy and our new partnerships. Here’s a wrap up of Sports ETA’s Symposium:
What is The Symposium?
The Sports ETA Symposium is the annual meeting of the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), the non-profit trade association for the sports events and tourism industry since 1992. Throughout the week, sports destinations meet with hundreds of decision-makers responsible for organizing sports events. “Grow professionally, exchange ideas, and drive more business at one of the largest gatherings of top executives in the sports events and tourism industry.” – Sports ETA
900+ attendees were present at the Sports ETA Symposium. There were 250+ first-time attendees – a true testament to the growth of the industry and the new wave of young professionals looking to get involved. The Playeasy team had a wonderful time connecting in person with Destinations and Event Organizers on the platform, as well as creating new connections at the event.
The Kansas City Convention Center, with over 800,000 sq ft of space, was the perfect venue for the symposium’s impressive booths and extensive attendee list. Our team was thrilled to explore the heart of downtown Kansas City. As hosts of the 2023 NFL Draft, plus the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl LVII, there was a palpable energy in the city surrounding sports and it was the perfect home for this year’s symposium.
Over the past few weeks, Playeasy has announced major partnerships with SportsTravel Magazine and The Sports Facilities Companies that will further connect the industry. We were proud to announce our strategic partnership with 3STEP Sports to kick off the symposium. Click here for a breakdown of our recent partnerships.
From opening to close, the entire week was filled with an impressive itinerary. The team had the opportunity to listen to inspiring voices including Julius Thomas, an elite athlete and performance coach, Sarah Thomas, the first full-time female official in NFL history, and Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. We also enjoyed listening in on education sessions at the convention center, evening events, and more. Here are a few of the highlights:
Opening Party – After getting settled on Monday, the Playeasy team headed to the 2023 Sports ETA Symposium Opening Party at KC Live! It was lots of fun seeing familiar and new faces to kick off the week . The team enjoyed barbecue, music and more!
First Timer Informational Session – The 250+ first time symposium attendees connected for an information session and networking at the KC Marriott Downtown. Our team members attending for the first time enjoyed meeting many new faces and hearing from industry veterans on what to expect for the week!
Education Session with Sean Flaherty: “The digital frontier: how technology can supercharge your team’s efficiency & unlock new opportunities that were previously impossible” – Playeasy Co-Founder & CEO Sean Flaherty took the stage on Thursday to present on how technology can enhance your team’s efficiency by digitally maximizing and reporting on sporting event experiences. We were grateful to open a conversation and chat with industry professionals on the topic.
NCAA Championship Bid Cycle: You CAN Host – Russ Yurk presented key information and dates surrounding NCAA Championship Cycle. Yurk also broke down common myths when it comes to hosting NCAA events. Keep an eye out for RFPs from the NCAA on Playeasy this summer!
Treasure Coast Session – We heard from our partners at Play Treasure Coast Sports Tourism and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission on how they teamed up to host the only Olympic Baseball Qualifying round in 2021 – the only Olympic Baseball Qualifying Round hosted in the United States.
Spending Time with our Partners
Our team was grateful to spend time with our Destination and Event Organizer partners throughout the week while experiencing all things Kansas City. On Tuesday night, Playeasy team members watched the Kansas City Royals compete against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium with Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission and Visit Boise. On Wednesday evening, additional team members headed to watch the Royals and White Sox battle it out again with South Carolina Sports Alliance. The team also enjoyed spending time with Arizona Destinations at McFadden’s, axe throwing with USSCI, and catching up with attendees at PBR Big Sky thanks to TEAM Kentucky. Many thanks to these incredible hosts for having us this past week, it was an unforgettable experience!
“Thank you to Sports ETA and Kansas City for an amazing week. It was great hearing how Playeasy has become such a valuable tool for so many and to receive feedback for what industry leaders want to see next.”Ryan Quigley, Co-Founder at Playeasy
To all of our partners who we connected with throughout the event, it was great to see you! We can’t thank you enough for all of your kind words on how Playeasy is helping drive efficiency in the industry. Special thanks to Sports ETA and Kansas City for having us. See you all next time!
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