Lessons from the NASC’s Women’s Summit

Surely it hasn’t been almost a month since my last blog post? I’ll dust off and get back on track as there is so much happening in the world of sports right now.

Spring in the Grand Valley. Courtesy Visit Grand Junction

I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Sports Commission’s inaugural Women’s Summit in Columbus, Ohio (Go Bucks!) at the end of March. The event, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four tournament was a wonderful experience all-together. Fifty female sport-tourism professionals had the opportunity to build relationships, hear from industry experts, and share best practices.

What impressed me the most about this event was the inspiration I drew from these women – regardless of professional success or market-size – and the encouragement I felt for the future of our industry. I truly walked away humbled, wheels turning, and excited for the next edition of this great event. Topics of conversation included negotiation, mentoring, trends and issues, among others.

NASC Women’s Summit. Courtesy NASC

I’m not going to lie, it didn’t hurt that for an extra few bucks I got to attend the semi-finals games, in which I witnessed two of the best basketball games I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Despite the fact that my Louisville Cardinals gave a way their chance at the championship game with a little over 11 seconds to spare in regulation, before falling flat in OT, both games were unbelievable!

I’m ashamed, but must admit, I had a 7am flight out the next morning and actually leaned over to ask a friend if she was ready to leave with 3 minutes left in the UCONN/Notre Dame game! Sometimes I forget that being in your mid-30’s does not mean you can’t stay up late every once in awhile, and sleep on the plane.

Needless to say, I’m grateful that she politely told me there was no way in hell she was leaving. I was glad I didn’t, too.

When Game 2 got really interesting!

Digressing back to the Women’s Summit.

You see, this event may have been catered to women in the industry, but the demographic is irrelevant. The lessons and take-aways are universal. As with much of sport…and life.

Here were my Top 5 Take-Aways from the inaugural NASC Women’s Summit:

5. You can learn just as much by getting to know colleagues out of the formal sessions as you can in them. Learn from both.

4. Cross-generational support and mentorship is INVALUABLE. Be willing to mentor and be willing to be mentored.

3. The good news is, if you’re facing an issue, odds are overwhelmingly high that you aren’t the only one. Be vulnerable, find someone who has been there, and connect.

2. Stay up a little late every now and then! It’s okay, you can sleep on the plane, and the memories just might be worth it.

1. There is no better lesson in sport than the triumph of an underdog. Well done, Notre Dame.

In sport, as in life, the things that mean the most require the most sacrifice and effort.


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