Smash hit: Glow
Events sells out
4 nights of
Imagine this: padel, but played in the dark using special lights, magical tape, and paint that glows. The popular racket sport, often compared to the American favorite pickleball, has seen a surge in popularity in recent years and can now be played in a variety of locations. A glow-in-the-dark version of padel didn't exist yet, so Marco Cecchi and his daughter Anne decided to make their dream a reality.
Marco had previously seen glow-in-the-dark sports come to life with hockey. He tried for a long time to persuade padel clubs to organize such an event but to no avail. They decided to "set a good example" by creating a pop-up event themselves.
Anne, still visibly enjoying the success of the event, recalls their decision: "Why don't we just make the investment?” Then we can show how awesome it is”.
Glow Events was born and needed a booking system. To keep costs down, they primarily looked for a free solution with lots of flexibility and found Vev. They had previously run into difficulties creating a Google form as it quickly became too complex.
According to Anne, software for managing a padel court should be simple: "People need to quickly see what they can book. And for us (as the event hosts), it should be as little work as possible. There were two courts, so hours could be double booked. Someone could also rent equipment, and payments could also be made online."
Vev was the perfect solution to schedule the four-day event. In addition to padel courts, they transformed one court into a glow-in-the-dark tennis court.
Flyers were key to successfully promoting the event, but it wasn't without its challenges, as Anne learned: "We found some pictures on the internet to clearly show: this is what we're going to do. You'd think people would understand what 'glow in the dark' and 'padel' are separately, but when combined, they just had no idea. We kept adjusting the digital and paper flyers." A QR code made it easy for people to open the Vev booking page and reserve a time slot.
To promote the event, father and daughter visited soccer clubs, among other places, and made clever use of Marco's extensive social network. "We sent out a lot of WhatsApp messages. Anne recalls with a laugh knowing how many of these messages they’ve sent out: “Guys, have you heard? Yada yada”.
The most important lesson Anne learned was: "Choose the right time. If you send a message during the day, no one responds. We saw lots of bookings pouring in by sending it out around 7 to 8 pm".
The most successful 'channel' for Glow Events turned out to be the extensive network of friends and friends of friends. "WhatsApp was the best-converting channel in the end. We also put out an ad on Facebook that performed well."
A pro tip from Anne for anyone organizing an event: "Make sure you have enough people to help. Especially to set up the event on the day itself. It's a lot of work, and it should be fun to do."
The padel players certainly had fun with Anne and Marco: "It took a minute to figure it out, but as soon as they got the hang of it, everyone had a great time. It was really an outing, and became less about the sport itself."
Anne: "Make sure you have enough people to help. Especially to set up the event on the day itself. It's a lot of work, and it should be fun to do."
“Choose the right time. If you send a message during the day, no one responds. Lots of bookings poured in by sending it out around 7 to 8 pm ”
The next chapter for Glow Events is renting out the equipment they purchased. A smart move, as they have not only the gear on hand but also the experience and tips and tricks for successful execution. Anne adds, "My father is the one with the connections, while I take care of the visual aspect and further communication."