We are about a month away from the NSMA Awards Weekend and One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success 2016 in Salisbury, North Carolina. I wrote several weeks back about why you should attend this weekend if you’re a serious sportscaster. Here’s a guide for the event, based on my experiences and mistakes.
When You Should Arrive: I am arriving the afternoon of Friday June 17th to have plenty of time to relax and get settled in. Registration and events start on Saturday evening, so if you have an early flight on Saturday you have plenty of time to get in. The last events take place on Monday and most people leave Tuesday morning.
Events: The NSMA Awards Weekend is what the entire weekend is built around. The highlight event is the Hall of Fame Banquet where all of the state and national winners receive their recognition. There’s also a golf tournament, tennis tournament, and several networking mixers. The most memorable of these mixers is the Sunday evening barbeque dinner where you get the opportunity to meet sports media from all over the country while eating competition Carolina-style BBQ; this event is not to be missed.
Another unique event is the Saturday evening Legacy Night Panel Discussion. It’s another banquet style event with great food, great relationship building opportunities, and a great panel of industry heavyweights. Last year the discussion was about the legacy left behind after the passing of Stuart Scott.
Finally, the event that first motivated me to make the trek to Salisbury is the Monday One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success seminar. Many of the speakers are either coming back from or getting ready to hit the links for the aforementioned golf tournament. This event takes most of the day, features multiple speakers, critique sessions, and more relationship building opportunities.
Lodging: Registration and a pair of the NSMA mixers take place at the Salisbury Courtyard by Marriot. You get a discount if you stay there, but it’s still not cheap. There are two more hotels within easy walking distance, the Comfort Inn and the Days Inn. I haven’t been to the Comfort Inn but it’s basically right across the street from the Courtyard, so the location is prime. I’ve stayed the last two years at the Days Inn, which is a great budget option. The location is good, about 1/4 mile away from the courtyard but the hotel smells of smoke and Indian food and the manager hovers in the lobby giving dirty looks to everyone. I don’t regret staying at the Days Inn, but I will not be doing so this year.
Transportation: It’s pretty easy to do everything without renting a car if you so choose. The NSMA provides free shuttle service to and from the airport. They also offer shuttle service to all events away from the hotel. The only way a car is really required is if you stay outside of walking distance from the Marriot.
Miscellaneous: Most of the dress code is business casual, so if you have khakis and a polo you’re in good shape. The exception to that rule is the Hall of Fame Banquet. If you’re planning on attending — and I don’t know why you wouldn’t — you should bring a suit and tie. I didn’t do this my first time and got a lot of long sideways looks.
Also, you’re an easy drive to Durham if you want to spring for a rental car. Last year, I was able to tour campuses of both Duke and North Carolina and was able to walk around inside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was pretty darn cool.
If you are considering attending for the first time and have questions, feel free to contact me via email on the contact page or tweet me @Radio_Logan. See you in Salisbury.