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What is S.P.O.R.T.S.?

S.P.O.R.T.S. The Relationship Conference is an exclusive and space-limited event designed to bring together sports event owners and rights holders with host organizations and sports-industry suppliers. Our unique format and limited number of supplier participants inspire the development of warm friendships and lasting new relationships which, we believe, is the most effective formula to ensure the results you most want to achieve—namely learning, sharing, enjoying and developing enduring sports business connections. S.P.O.R.T.S. also offers pre-qualified, one-on-one appointments that are twice as long as those at similar industry events—two components we believe are key to generating real business and getting the most out of your conference experience!


When it comes to building relationships, we believe that less means more. So we limit the number of supplier attendees while hosting nearly the same number of rights holders as other industry events. Our low 3-to-1 ratio ensures unparalleled access to the industry’s top sports event planners. 



At S.P.O.R.T.S. you’ll relish in the relaxed format and intimate setting which inspire the development of warm friendships and lasting business relationships. But bring plenty of business cards, because

with 70-80 event planners on site, there will be a wealth of sports business opportunities to close. 


By limiting the number of supplier attendees, S.P.O.R.T.S. offers attendees lengthy pre-scheduled, fully qualified appointments that are a full 15 minutes long. And with eight full hours of appointment sessions over the course of two days, you’ll have plenty of time to share your story and make a lasting impression with your future business partners! 



Whether it’s clocking 200 mph around a speedway, racing wooden schooners across Chesapeake Bay or rowing dragon boats through downtown Oklahoma City, there’s always surprising and relationship-building activities at S.P.O.R.T.S. Want to know what you’ll get into while at S.P.O.R.T.S.?  Expect the unexpected. Come and see!


Our professional, warm and welcoming staff takes personal service to a whole new level, ensuring that your conference experience will simply be exceptional. 



What Is A Reverse Trade Show?

S.P.O.R.T.S. utilizes a reverse trade show format which simply means that event planners will be stationed at designated tables during appointment sessions while suppliers (host destinations, venues and vendors) move from table to table for their pre-scheduled appointments. It's the opposite format of a typical exhibit-style event where suppliers sit at exhibit booths and hope that planner attendees come to them.  Individual appointment sessions are 12-minutes long (with a 3-minute transition time between appointments) and an audio recording signals the beginning and end of each appointment.

How Does The Appointment Process Work?

Prior to the conference, suppliers will be able to access our appointment scheduling portal where planner profiles can be viewed and appointment requests can be submitted by priority.  Once all appointment requests are submitted, the system “matches” host destinations and industry suppliers with event planners based on their requests. Mutual requests have top priority, then planner requests are considered, followed by supplier requests. It is not a first-come, first-served process. As long as you submit your requests by the pre-determined deadline, your appointment requests will be given the appropriate priority.


When Will The Appointment Portal Open?

Mid-August, the primary registrant from your organization (the person who registered your group if there’s more than one registrant) will receive an email with a link to our appointment request portal where you’ll be able to view a list of event planning organizations attending S.P.O.R.T.S. 2023. Once you’ve had time to review the list, one person from your organization can rank your preferences in order of priority and submit your preferences.

When Will I Receive My Official Appointment Schedule?

The primary registrant from your organization will receive your appointment schedule no later than September 6th via email. A printed copy will also be available in your registration packet on-site at the event. Additionally, you will be able to access your appointment schedule via the conference app (more info on that coming soon!)


How Much Is Registration & What Does It Include?

Supplier registration is $1,795.00 for the first attendee and $1,595.00 for any additional attendees from your organization. One set of appointments will be granted to each organization, regardless of how many attendees register from that organization. 

Registration includes full breakfast and lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday and dinner on Wednesday night. Tuesday night is set aside for suppliers to "Take A Prospect To Dinner" at one of South Bend's many restaurants.

Planner registration fees are waived pending pre-approval.  Contact Stephanie Eckman for qualification details.


What If I Want To Be A Sponsor?

Sponsorships sold out in 2021 & 2022, to inquire about our MANY unique and custom sponsorship options for 2023, please contact Brenda Burns or Jane Stein. 

General Event FAQs

What Are People Saying?

"I ALWAYS walk away with business from S.P.O.R.T.S. The Relationship Conference. Due to its intimacy, I never feel rushed or as if I'm running to meet up with 1,000+ people. At this show, you are guaranteed to see everyone at least 1 time a day if not more. Perfect show for a small destination."


- Jennifer Rothman, Discover Long Island

"If you have not attended a S.P.O.R.T.S experience I highly recommend it. The quality of the speakers, timely topics (that I can identify with); the mature approach and intimacy; overall attention to detail; the opportunity to get to know "suppliers' needs, which can differ from one to another; the venues, food and drink, and the care demonstrated by the leadership team was EXCELLENT!"

- Gregory Scoma, President

World Table Hockey Assn.

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