Cool Courses: Sport Management Class Plans Annual Film Festival 

Posted Feb 22, 2024

The students of Sport Management 3920: Special Event Planning and Management recently announced the film lineup at a kick-off event for the seventh annual International Sports Film Festival of Ohio.  

The class has planned a festival with three films and a new trivia night from March 18-21. All events take place at 7 p.m. in Roush Hall, room 114.  

Follow the festival on Instagram @ISFFOhio and register to attend any of the events here

So what does it take to plan the International Sports Film Festival of Ohio? We asked Associate Professor Megan Chawansky, Department of Health and Sport Sciences, who leads the class through the planning process, to tell us about this Cool Course. 

About SMGT 3920: Special Event Planning and Management 

This course explores the principles and practices of managing small, medium, and large-scale events, including festivals, conventions, concerts, shows, sporting events, and ceremonies. Students are introduced to special event planning, processes, and management practices and are provided with actual, hands-on experience managing a sport, fitness, or recreational – related event. Emphasis is placed on the event purposes, types, organization, administration, evaluation and innovation. These relate to sport, fitness, and recreation domains, as well as facility and community environments. The course will meet for one credit hour in fall and two hours in spring semester.  

What inspired you to develop this course?  

I didn’t develop this course, but I was excited to teach it when I started as a faculty member at Otterbein. I thought the sport film festival I was organizing outside of Otterbein would work well here, and it has. This course gives students hands-on experience in event planning. In total, we plan three campus-wide events as part of our coursework, which includes our four-day film festival.  

Why do you love teaching this course?  

I love teaching this course because I love seeing our SMGT students succeed. Course planning and experiential learning is the preferred style for most of our students. They get to create, and they are good at it! I like seeing their creativity and excitement when they take ownership of the events. 

What is the most unexpected thing students learn in this course?  

The most unexpected thing that students learn in this course is that whether you are planning a one-day event on campus or a Super Bowl, the fundamentals of event planning are the same.  

How do the themes in your course prepare students to think critically? 

An early assignment we do in the class requires that students attend an event, and then think about what they experienced as both an attendee and an event planning. This simple ask (that they consider two distinct perspectives) allows them to appreciate event planning early on in the semester.  

What is some of your favorite student feedback you have received about this course?  

Students often say that this is one of their favorite classes because they learn through the process of planning an event. I like how alumni and those who have finished are eager to “give back” to those currently planning this year’s iterative of the film festival. That is a good sign!  

What is a dream course you would like to develop or teach?  

I would love to take this event into the Westerville community a bit more. We’re focused on campus as we lay the foundation, but come back in five years, and I’ll bet you’ll see us out in the community a bit more. This is a great course for town-gown relations!