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Dear Event Doctor: Organizing events has always called for a balance between both the athlete and spectator experience. Sometimes we focus so much on the spectators that the athletes may not be having the best experience they can. What are some ways to ensure we’re doing right by the participants in our event? —Active Participant

Dear Active: I find it worth remembering this: If we had a game, race or tournament and nobody attended as a spectator, we would still be able to hold our competition. But if we had a game and nobody played, it wouldn’t matter how many people came to watch. There’s no sports event without the sport. And, there’s no sport without the athletes. Your competitors are the core reason that you are able to stage your event, and making them feel like they are the center of attention is essential. Showing them that you care about their experience is at least as important as investing in the fan experience—maybe even more so.

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The Event Doctor is sports-event veteran Frank Supovitz, president and chief experience officer of Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment, an event management and consulting firm. From 1992 to 2014, Supovitz served as the senior event executive for the National Football League and National Hockey League. He is also the author of “The Sports Event Management and Marketing Playbook.” Questions for The Event Doctor can be emailed to Frank Supovitz at eventdoctor@schneiderpublishing.com.