Chapters: Host An Event!
But to do it right and make a good impression for your chapter . . . read this first!
ASGA Multi-Chapter Event (MCE) Planning Template and Guidelines
Over the years ASGA has been in existence, we’ve organized, hosted and conducted many multi-chapter events (MCE). As a result of many of the early events hosted by ASGA, chapters across the country subsequently began to host MCE's. ASGA is proud of the number of events it offers its members and wishes to provide guidelines and set-forth certain policies as it relates to the conducting of such events.
This page is designed to give you a framework within which to build a chapter-sponsored MCE, and also to serve as a guideline and template to help make sure your MCE is as successful as it can be. The basic premise of an MCE is to bring singles (ASGA members and guests) together for a time of FUN, Fellowship and Fairways … the first emphasis being on the FUN! Emphasis is not on making money for the chapter.
Keep in mind that if your chapter wishes to host an event, the event must be coordinated with ASGA National per our official policy as well as the policies set forth in this website.
Effective April 21st, 2007, any chapter wishing to host an MCE must 1) clear the date with ASGA National, 2) have their Board of Directors officially authorize the event and 3) notify ASGA National of such authorization by the local Board by either the Chapter President or Chairman of the Board. Individuals may not host MCE's, only chapters.
Effective December 1, 2010, any chapter that hosts an MCE is responsible for payment of dues of any attendee that attends the event as a non-member. Members may be a member when they sign-up for an event, however, they may not be a member when the event occurs. Chapters must verify membership of all attendees either 1) by reviewing their membership status at www.SinglesGolf.com/RUAmember or 2) sending a list of all attendees to the national office, at one time, one week prior to the event, at info@SinglesGolf.com. Chapters that fail to adhere to this policy will cease their ability to host future MCE's, suffer a loss in their monthly dues rebate until such time non-member dues payments are made and/or be required to make full payment for the dues of any non-member attending immediately before or after the event.
Please send us an e-mail indicating the dates you wish to host a multi-chapter event (involving three or more chapters) and we will check to see if the dates are available and acceptable. For 2005 and beyond, ASGA National will host the Memorial Day weekend event and the New Year's event, which are our largest events (usually comprising 1-2 full shotguns of 136 players each). However, if we see an opportunity or need to host other events, they may be announced.
In coordinating MCE's, we want to make sure that no one is stepping on any other's plans to run a successful event. The overall goal is to meet the needs of singles . . . and that is to provide just the right number of events. Too many events lessen the attendance at any one event and too few events don't provide our members the opportunity to meet singles from other chapters.
RULES AND POLICIES RELATING TO THE SPONSORSHIP OF MULTI-CHAPTER EVENTS (MCE's)
Note: All Multi-Chapter Events must be cleared through ASGA National prior to any announcement or contract signed with any course or hotel. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, a copy of all contracts relative to your chapter's event, including hotel, golf course and restaurant contracts, must be submitted to ASGA National office 90 days prior to running the event.
1. Chapters must charge all members at the same rate for the same package (i.e. local members cannot get a better price for the same package as members from another chapter).
2. Chapters must pay for all expenses related to the event, including, but not limited to, all items being advertised (i.e. golf, hotel, food, etc.), promotional cost, deejay, nametags, dues of non-members, etc.
3. ASGA National will send out, upon request, 2-4 e-mails nationwide to promote your event as well as a posting on the website, and possibly other means of getting the word out. You must create your own write-up, registration form and preferably a web page the National office can link to. Please send your request to info@SinglesGolf.com.
4. Only chapters with 20 or more members can sponsor a multi-chapter event. The local chapter Board of Directors must approve running the event before it is announced or before any posting can be made on the website.
5. A chapter can only sponsor one (1) event per year. We want to provide other chapters an opportunity to host events as well.
6. No chapter can host an event in another chapter's city without obtaining permission from the local chapter, e.g. if you're in the Chicago chapter, you can't host an event in Orlando without their permission. In essence, events are best run by local chapters.
7. Once a price is announced for the event, a hosting chapter cannot charge additional amounts to attendees once the attendees have arrived. If you failed to include something in your package price, your chapter must absorb this loss.
8. Chapters are allowed to have a nominal markup, to cover expenses related to the event (i.e. printing, long distance, etc.), however, making money should not be the primary focus. ASGA members expect good value in what they receive and if a markup is too extreme, that value is not realized.
9. ASGA National provides a registration template for your use. This template standardizes the look of all events but allows for certain creativity. When you've been approved to host a national, multi-chapter event by ASGA, download the template and make any necessary changes and e-mail it to info@SinglesGolf.com or fax corrections to 980-225-0231. You'll be given a final version for approval before posting to the website.
10. Your registration form is NOT included in all printed newsletters throughout the country but members receiving the electronic version will see it. Upon request, it will be included in your chapter's newsletter. Other members can obtain one through the website or by contacting the hosting chapter by e-mail, who can, in turn, e-mail or fax it to the interested party. The National office will post in the national information block at the bottom left of each chapter's newsletter information about the chapter's event in the months prior to the event occurring.
11. Effective for all multi-chapter events in 2007 and beyond, only members can attend multi-chapter events. The purpose for this is to encourage membership in ASGA. The registration form and official notices must indicate such. Effective December 1, 2010, any chapter that hosts an MCE is responsible for payment of dues of any attendee that attends the event as a non-member. Members may be a member when they sign-up for an event, however, they might not be a member when the actual event occurs, so chapters must verify membership of all attendees either 1) by reviewing their membership status at www.SinglesGolf.com/RUAmember or 2) sending a list of all attendees to the national office, at one time, one week prior to the event, at info@SinglesGolf.com. Chapters that fail to adhere to this policy will cease their ability to host future MCE's, suffer a loss in their monthly dues rebate until such time non-member dues payments are made and/or be required to make full payment for the dues of any non-member attending immediately before or after the event.
12. Chapters must assure that all funds are handled in a fiduciary manner. Checks paid by members MUST be made payable to the chapter, under the official name of the chapter, i.e. ______ Chapter of ASGA, Inc. ASGA has prepared a form for you to present to the non-member at registration. Please go to this link for that form.
12. As rare as it may occur, ASGA or the local chapter hosting an event, reserves the right to make changes to multi-chapter event items offered as long as the individual is either reimbursed for the difference or substitute items of equal value are made.
KEEP PEOPLE TOGETHER - Your goal should be to provide every opportunity for singles to gather. No doubt, attendees can go out for breakfast, but why not have breakfast together? Look at your venue. Does it provide those kinds of impromptu meeting opportunities, e.g. hotel lobbies, common lounge, etc?
ASGA members have a certain expectation when they attend a multi-chapter event. Here are some recommended minimums:
DAYS – Your event should be no less than three days. It is recommended that you hold the event over a weekend, but that can be flexible depending on holiday schedules, etc. Sometimes you can get much better rates, and better attendance when you offer an event over weekdays instead of weekends.
LODGING – Not less than two nights stay in a 3-4 star hotel … going with cheaper accommodations may lessen your price, but may also not be well received by your attendees. Also, we recommend that when you book the hotel, you delete any attrition clauses from the contract. This is a way for the hotel to charge you for usage of banquet rooms in case you don’t meet the set number of attendees you’re contracted for. Make sure the hotel rate we are being charged can be extended for 3-days prior and 3-days after the event in the instance our members want to come early or stay later.
GOLF – A minimum of two rounds of golf, including cart and range balls, with the possibility of up to two additional, optional rounds of golf. Golf courses should be under 25-minutes travel time from the hotel. Do people have a way to get to the golf course? On the before- or after-event rounds, consider people's travel schedules. They can't play golf at 9 am on the day of arrival and should play golf early on the day of departure so they can travel later that day. Also, try your best to accommodate those who wish to play with others on certain days.
MEALS – A welcome reception (hors-d'oeuvres, etc.) on the registration day, breakfast the following 2-3 mornings, and dinner on Days 2 and 3 (can be simple the first night, and more elaborate the final night). If breakfasts are really expensive, include just a $10 or $15 voucher in the package and have the attendees pay the difference if they choose to have breakfast at the hotel.
ENTERTAINMENT – Some form of entertainment should be provided at the same location as where everyone is staying. If your dancing is 10-15 miles away from the hotel, you might want to consider the fact that members might be drinking and driving. We generally recommend a DJ for the welcome reception, and either a DJ or a band one of the other nights. The dance floor should be large enough to accommodate the attendees. It's good to have a "night on your own" or a "night on the town" whereby attendees can go out in informal groups. ASGA National generally has a policy that a deejay-hosted dance party will not occur unless "x" number of people attend.
REGISTRATION FEE – The current “threshold” seems to be in the $399 to $599 range unless you're at a resort or high-end location. Anything above those figures will most likely reduce your attendance. It is important to remember to build all costs (including taxes and food services charges) associated with having your event into the registration fee, otherwise, you’re stuck covering the extras. You will see, however, some chapters doing events for as low as a hundred bucks. Remember: you get what you pay for. Check the details and see what is included in the event, the rating for the hotel, accessibility to airlines, dinners, etc. Don't ASSUME that just because a linen tableclothed dinner was provided at one event that it will be included in all MCE's.
IMPORTANT ITEMS – Some other important items that you should make sure are included:
Name Tags – Stick on or clip on, it doesn’t matter … these are really important so people know who other people are, and what chapter they are from. They must be given out at registration so people begin getting to know each other right away. If you print your own name tags, make sure they have 3-4 more for the rest of the event. If you want quality, hard-plastic nametags, contact www.NametagCountry.com - - they have our ASGA logo. Cost is usually under six bucks each.
Program and Pairings Guide – An integral tool for giving people the right information on what is happening, where they are playing, who they are playing with, and anything else they need to know to be informed, such as directions to the golf courses, actual addresses for venues ahead of time for GPS use, etc. Communicating with attendees ahead of time is crucial.
Need-A-Ride / Give-A-Ride Forms – These are highly important so that people without cars have a way to get to the golf courses. You can download the form here. Have these available at the registration table.
Mulligans – The recommendation is to sell these in advance. These are an easy way to raise prize money, as well as help cover additional costs associated with the event. Important note: Make sure you inform the courses of who has mulligans so the scorecards can be marked accordingly.
Prizes – We recommend something simple, like coupons for future MCEs. Check with ASGA national headquarters to see if they will sell you coupons (in any denomination) that can be used for any future MCE across the country. (Use the CONTACT US link at left to contact ASGA National.)
Cancellation Policy – Another important thing to include. Depending on your contract with the hotel, you need to establish a cut-off date for a partial refund, and a date for no refunds. Always give your registrants the opportunity to “sell” their position to another golfer if they have to cancel after the cutoff, but ensure they understand that, because of contractual obligations, we can’t refund after that date. Check past ASGA Event Registration Forms for wording that has worked well in the past. For events sponsored by ASGA National, we have an official cancellation policy that applies only to the ASGA-National-sponsored events, and you may use that as your policy, pull from it or come-up with your own policy. This is an important area of concern. Your chapter doesn't want to be left paying a bill at the hotel if the member didn't pay you!
Travel Insurance - Many companies sell travel or trip insurance so you should encourage participants to purchase it. ASGA National has a vendor, "Golf Safe," that has some additional benefits for golfers. Click here for details. The banner ad for this company is also located on the homepage of www.SinglesGolf.com at the bottom.
Finances - One of the most important things you’ll handle will be the finances associated with your MCE. The host chapter can easily handle cash and checks, but if the attendee wishes to pay by credit card, that can be funneled that through the National office in Charlotte. You’ll need to let us know the amount of the registration fee (include the 3% processing fee for credit card + admin fee of 1%). To simplify the process, we’ll batch all the transactions for your event and process them at one time. Once the card has processed (and we have the money in our Charlotte office), we’ll cut the host chapter a check … this will generally happen within a few days following the close of your event, or pay the hotel or golf courses via credit card in one lump sum. It generally takes a few days (sometimes 2-3 weeks) after the event for the hotel to compute their final bill, so you’ll have time to get your check and be able to cover your contract with the hotel.
As always, your ASGA National Staff stands ready to assist in any way to help make your MCE a success. We’re never more than a phone call away (980-833-6450 or 1-888-GOLFMATE) or you can contact Tom Alsop, ASGA's Founder, at info@SinglesGolf.com for some feedback, questions, what works, what doesn't, etc. Tom's organized about 100 of these multi-chapter events over the past 25 years and is happy to assist you.
Finally, please be aware of our policy towards promoting these events: the cost of promoting these events is borne by the hosting chapter. ASGA National will send out a couple of national e-mails to members, promote it through the singlesgolf.com website (with downloadable registration forms provide by you), promote it in the national section of the newsletter and other means which are not "out-of-pocket." Any direct mail, or out-of-pocket expenses necessary to promote the event must be borne by the hosting chapter.
Good luck … and remember to Keep It FUN First!!
American Singles Golf Association, 1122 Industrial Drive, Suite 107, Matthews, NC 28105