It was a calm, polite crowd watching last night’s game, until the seal drove by with the tee-shirts.

Hi, Readers:

Ever since I started at Eventbrite, I’ve been learning about event planning in everything I do.

This was precisely the case last night when I went to my first San Francisco Giants game. Even in baseball, there are lessons for event organizers. Here are some of the teachings I pulled from the experience.

Make New People Feel Welcome

When I was walking into AT&T Park, I mentioned to the woman scanning my ticket that it was my first game.

“Oh, head down to section 119,” she said. “Everyone who comes for their first game gets a certificate.”

I, along with every eight-year-old in the park, was so excited to learn this. As a Boston transplant, it’s nice to know that people are welcoming to a guy who associates baseball games with chants demonizing the Yankees.

Keep Security Visible

Everyone wants to feel safe at a big event, even if the closest security guy looks like he accidentally put on a security jacket while trying to find his grandkids in the bleachers.

Your security staff should be knowledgeable, cordial, and easy to identify. (The staff at the Giants game were all three.) For tips on thinking about security for your event, check out this week’s post from guest blogger, Dan Petrovic.

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

If your event has a team or cause to rally behind, encourage it. Promoting solidarity is a great way to get people excited about your event and to feel like they are part of a common cause, whether it’s fundraising or simply scoring a homerun.

Our friends in Washington, D.C. are doing a great job of this with Red4Joplin, where folks will wear red ties, dresses, and more, in a show of solidarity for those who were affected by the Missouri tornado. Stay tuned to our blog in the coming weeks, where the organizers from Red4Joplin will discuss throwing and promoting a fundraising event on a moment’s notice.

And One More, for Good Measure

This guy wants you to fight for his shirt.

I know this puts me at four points, but I just can’t let this one go without mention.

I don’t know what it is, but people love tee-shirts. I mean, really love tee-shirts. Something about getting some XXL love thrown at you from a giant seal on a moving go-kart, has grown men spilling beer as they wrestle one another for the chance to take home something they could buy for $15 at The Sports Authority.

Yes, it’s ridiculous, and perhaps a little hokey. But, my goodness, free tee-shirts get people engaged and excited. When that seal came screaming around left field on two wheels, our data guru, Felicia, shrieked, “TEE-SHIRTS!”, before dropping her garlic fries and leaning over the rail with open hands and spirit fingers. It was the only time she stood up during the entire game.

Ultimately, the home team failed to win last night, but all was not lost. The San Francisco Giants taught me a couple of things, and I got to eat a really good hot dog. (It was no Fenway Frank, but I’ll take it.) Now excuse me as I run out to buy a frame for my certificate.


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