Checklist: Launch your group and your first event!

Group Set Up

Follow this checklist to make sure you're all set up to run your first event on OpenSports!

When it comes to uploading images to your groups, events, and leagues, the crisper, cleaner, and more high quality the image, the better! Banner size: 2000 x 714 pixels; Group logo: 500 x 500 pixels.

2. Connect to Stripe To Collect Payments

To collect payments that are automatically deposited into your bank account, connect your group to your bank account through our payment gateway, Stripe. Go to the Admin Dashboard, click Settings and click View Account Balance to connect your account to Stripe. You'll be able to use an existing Stripe account or create a new one.

3. Add a waiver

Once you create a waiver, the first time somebody joins an event, league, or tournament within your group, they must accept the waiver. If you update the waiver, users will be prompted to sign the latest version the next time they sign up for your programming. You can set this up by going to the Admin Dashboard, selecting Settings, and tapping Waivers. More info about setting up waivers.

4. Embed events, leagues, and tournaments onto your website

Easily add a live updating widget onto your website that contains the list of upcoming events, leagues, and tournaments, and allows your users to easily join. The widget code can be added to any website that allows you to enter HTML code including content management systems (CMS) such as Squarespace, WIX, and WordPress.

Copy and paste the code to add widgets to your website in the Admin Dashboard, selecting Settings and choosing the product to embed. More about the widget here.

5. Assign multiple group/event admins

You can promote group members to become Event Assistants, Referees, Event Managers, League Managers, Event Admins, or Group Admins. Here’s our tutorial about adding admins to groups/events. Find this through the Admin Dashboard by selecting User Roles.

6. Familiarize yourself with the Player Dashboard

The player dashboard allows you to easily find registration information for your group members, and quickly complete administrative tasks like sending account credits or refunds! You can even view if a player has a web or app account, and if they have any memberships. Read more here.

Event Set Up

7. Event description

Ensure your event title and description contain descriptive information! Use the description text box to tell players what to bring, where to meet, what kind of surface you’re playing on, and what to expect. Here’s a great example of an event description.

PS: If the game is happening NO matter what, in the description, write that it’s a guaranteed game!

8. Create an attendee cap

Think about creating a sense of “urgency/demand” for your games. For example, if you host 5v5 games, think about limiting your first few events to 10 players initially so players want to commit/ RSVP right away. Always create a sense of urgency. Edit your attendee cap through your event’s Edit button.

9. Cancellation Deadlines, Account Credits & Refunds

OpenSports has a fantastic credit system! This means you no longer have to send refunds to a players’ bank account. Now you can just send credits (full or partial credits) to their OpenSports account, that they can immediately use towards other events, leagues, and tournaments within your group.

  • By setting up a cancellation policy, OpenSports will issue account credit to attendees who cancel the specified number of hours before the start of the event.
  • Note: If for some reason you need to send a refund (i.e., to a players’ credit card/original payment method), you can still manually refund transactions, but the organizer incurs the Stripe fee for doing so. Learn about Stripe’s fee policy on refunds.

Read more about account credits and cancellation deadlines.

10. Don’t overwhelm players/members with too many upcoming events

If you are still trying to grow your group and aren't sure how many attendees you'll get, we suggest you only create a few upcoming events at a time. Reason being: when you create events for weeks/months into the future, it takes away from the excitement/tension players feel when they have less options. Less options = better attendance!

**If you want to collect participant info (like emails and phone numbers, t-shirt sizes, skill level, etc.), then you should be collecting them with the custom questions tool. Read here) to learn more about setting up custom questions and viewing or exporting the responses.

11. Automatic waitlist

The automatic waitlist turns on when your event fills up, and does all the work for you! Read here to learn more about how it works. It is truly an administrative time saver when it comes to popular games.

Next, you need to invite players to your group and Promote, Promote, Promote!!!

For our comprehensive guide on growing your group and promoting your first few events, read here.

12. Share your group URL via email invites (For public groups)

We usually recommend sending players invites to your group through your own email address, that way your members will recognize who the email is coming from. Typically, organizers have an email database and they send an email blast through their email system. Organizers tend to send invites a few days to a week before the first event.

Sample email: You can send an email to your members saying something like: “Hey [name]! We moved to OpenSports to manage our pickup games. Join our group here to view and join upcoming events: . You can have a web account only, or download the app!”

13. Share via Social Media

If your group is public, share links to your group (and/or event) on different social media channels. You can post messages on your Facebook group like “Join this group to receive invites to our upcoming pickup games!!!”

14. Set up discounts

In a lot of sports markets, in order to gain traction, it’s very effective to create event promotions! It’s really easy to set up discounts like “the first time you play you get 50% off” or “$2 promotion for first game” — whatever it is that gets players over the initial hurdle and trying something new! Here’s some great discount ideas. Find this through the Payment tab.

15. What to Expect on Gme Day

  • Players who joined your game will get an automated reminder message, 24 hours before the event starts. This will be a push notification for players who have the app, and an email for players who have an online account only.
  • We recommend sending a message to everyone through the Event Chat one day before the event, to get participants hyped!
  • After your event, players will be prompted to leave you — the organizer — a review. This goes out whenever it is the first time a player participates in one of your events. Your reviews will show up in your group and you cannot remove or hide them!
  • Our last piece of advice is to take beautiful photos! This will be helpful in terms of promoting your upcoming games — If you can get some closer up action shots, that would be great as well!

Photo from Sons of Pitches FC:

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