Cheerleading competitions often take place in large convention centers that host  other groups and events simultaneously. While this is common and not an immediate deal breaker, you should ask a few questions before taking your team or children to a cheerleading event. Sharing a venue can present some problems.

Ask the following questions before attending a competition:

  1. What else is going on? Find out what other events or groups will be there. The venue will likely have plenty of space for as many events as are booked, but the other events might not be appropriate for young cheerleaders. Even though the cheerleaders won't be directly attending the other events, you never know when they could wander off into the wrong room or mingle with other attendees in the hallways.

  2. How busy will the convention center be? Make sure parking won't be a hassle for you or that you know ahead of time if you'll need to get there early to find parking. Also, make sure there will be hotel vacancies in the area if you need a room. If there's a huge convention going on at the same time, you might need to get reservations well in advance.

  3. What is the building's safety plan? Find out how far you'll be from entrances and exits. Will an emergency crew have easy access to you, or is the parking lot at the other end of the building? How many medical or emergency personnel will be on hand? Find out how close they will be to your event and make sure they have an appropriate amount of medical help for the number of other events that will be there.

  4. What safety plan does your coach have in place? Know how many chaperones will be there and who they are. Especially in large crowds, you want to make sure your cheerleaders are safe and accounted for. Coaches may need  to establish a buddy system and tell their cheerleaders beforehand not to go anywhere without their buddy.

Have you ever been to a cheer competition that overlapped with another convention? What advice do you have?