Tiny details make a big difference

Recently, to accommodate a larger holiday meal, another batch of forks were added to my cutlery drawer by someone who thinks a fork is a fork is a fork is a fork.

The fork on top is thin and well-balanced, with long, tapered tines and a flat handle that rests against my palm. It feels like an extension of my hand as I deftly navigate my way through the food on my plate to my mouth.

The fork on the bottom has short blunt tines, with a thin handle where I struggle to keep the fork aligned with my knife. It feels like I’m fighting my fighting my food, bludgeoning it to give up its home on the plate.

What do forks have to do with a soccer tournament? Everything!

Our Advice: If you are using TourneyCentral to manage your soccer tournament event, you are already honing the user experience for your tournament. We are obsessive about sharpening the tines and shaping the handle so your web site and management tools feel like an extension of your event.

But you can do more.

Make sure your news on the front page is clear and concise. Keep updating the news for your event during the tournament. On the ground, make sure your signage to the parking is clear and visible. Make sure all your volunteers know the web address, the twitter, facebook, snapchat and instagram accounts. Update the scores as quickly as you can after the games. Post the standings in real time. Dedicate one or two people (depending on your tournament size) to posting scores during the tournament–that is all they do.

Broadcast about your vendors and sponsors on a schedule. Make this part of their sponsorship package, especially the vendors who rely on you for foot traffic to their on-site booth.

Build a media team.

Highlight some of your guest teams. Write short personal stories about them. Include human interest photos. Crop your photos well; don’t just slap up a team photo. Show your tournament personality. Capture the fun and excitement, the agony and the joy of being there. Shine a spotlight on some of the attendees by picking them out of a crowd and showing an interest in their story. (Get permission from their parents, please, if you are posting photos of minors… preferably a release your media volunteers already have. It’s 2017; be mindful.)

Make stickers with your tournament logo and social channels, maybe even establish a special “secret” instagram or snapchat account they can join. Kids love stickers. (Their parents secretly love stickers, too. Really.) Make sure your volunteers have a ready supply and hand them out generously.

Create a program/yearbook and publish it using CreateSpace, then push it to the Amazon store where participants and their families can buy it for a nominal price. Make it special so it is worth buying by designing it. Yes, hire a graphic designer… a good one.

Give your guest teams a seamless experience, from registration through posting the schedule and field maps to finding the games to enjoying the social activities to connecting with you on social to chatting about your tournament on the ride home to not being able to wait until next year to participate in your tournament. Expand the 90 Minute Attention Span a few more minutes.

Tiny details, huge user experience difference.