Make it Personal!

Welcome back everyone for another week of A Race Directors Guide: Taking Strides Towards Your Best Race! Last week we covered the importance of registration and ways you as the race director can take a load off your shoulders and streamline your participant registration process. This week, we want to go over how much of an impact event personalization can have not only on your race numbers, but also in the hearts and minds of your athletes.

No one can argue that simply having your name printed on something can add a level of attachment to whatever it is that has your name on it. Why not apply this to your next event? There are many customization options that you as a race director can provide to your athletes, quite possibly the best, your race bibs! Luckily there are many great ways for you to spice up your race bibs which will not only benefit you and your race but will also provide your participants with a sense of personalization which will keep your race on their minds even after they cross the finish line and leave with their race timing results!

“Why personalize you racing bibs” you may ask? Well let’s look at some of the benefits that customized bib number can provide that generic ones cannot.

Sponsor Exposure

Customized race bibs give potential sponsors the perfect incentive to want to be involved in your event. With the ability to display not only your own organization on your new bibs, you have the ability to display sponsors right on your runner’s chests as well! This added value and exposure for your sponsors may increase the amount of sponsorship dollars they are willing to provide to your event and organization.

Coupons and Special Offers

You can provide incentives to your athletes by adding coupons or special offers which can be found directly on their bib numbers. Your participants will love that little added bonus to reward themselves for competing in your race! Not to mention, it will keep your race and organization on the top of their minds as they go to use their coupons even after they have finished running the course.

Give Your Athletes Something to Remember

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All of these benefits for you are and your organization, but these personalized racing bibs also give your athletes something to cherish after leaving the course and returning home. By giving your runners the chance to add their name or a quirky quote they enjoy can really add some personal fun to the race. Many runners are sentimental when it comes to racing. Whether it be a 5K, a marathon, or a triathlon, they have worked hard in preparation to run their very best times, and what better gift than a memento like a customized race bib to take home with them to display and brag about their achievement. Not only will they love having it, but they will always remember the race they received it from, your race!

Save Money on Finisher Medals

While there really is no beating a tangible congratulatory medal for completing a race, in most cases, handing out a finisher medal to every single athlete that crosses the finish line simply doesn’t fit most budgets. But fret not! Sending your athletes home with a personalized race bib with their names, colorful displays, and the race name is a perfect “thank you for racing with us” gift that won’t break your bank!

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All of these customizable options can be available to you. You as the race director will benefit, your athletes will love it, and your race numbers will skyrocket by simply adding a personal factor to your race number bibs. Everyone who participates in your event will see that you care about them and want them to feel special as they compete in your race.

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Here are just a few examples of some of the custom race bibs that Crossroads Events and Timing has created for some of our race directors! You can use them as inspiration for your next race or feel free to ask us for some help! Either way, you will love all of the benefits and payoffs that come with you new running bibs and your athletes will remember your events even after the last finishers crosses the line!

Happy Running!

Ethan Page,

President

Crossroads Events and Timing

Planning the Best Race with Crossroads

As a current or aspiring race director, you know all too well that many factors come into play while planning the perfect event before the starting horn even sounds. Luckily for you, Crossroads Events and Timing is here for you to provide you with the best and most effective race planning, management, and timing services available! In the posts to follow, we will walk you through step by step how to plan and execute the most memorable event as well as all of the race day services Crossroads can offer you!

The first and possibly the most important step in the early stages of any race is registration and visibility. Setting up your race on a well known registration site where it is simple and fun for registrants to sign up is crucial in a successful event! If no one can find your race or figure out how to register for your race, then your race day number may be less than desired. Here at Crossroads, we will take this process into our own hands and create an easy to find registration page for you so you can focus more on your actual race and less about obtaining registrations!

Crossroads partners with Itsyourrace.com, a fantastic race registry website where you can have total freedom in how your official race website looks, the information that is given, and better visibility and marketing materials as you prepare for the big day! The reason we use this registration service as well as why you should consider it as well is because it provides you with one central location that every athlete can easily find to not only register, but ask you questions, look at an interactive course map, donate to your organization, and even find their timing results following the race. This takes the hassle out of obtaining information about the race and provides an easy and enjoyable experience for you as well as your runners!

Along with set up and management of your registration page, Crossroads will handle all of the complicated registration data that comes through the website and we will process all of that information and put it into a simple and easy to understand list with everything you need for the day of the race. All of this great service comes included in our race timing services, so not only do you get the flawless and accurate timing service, but you also get a free website and registration page out of the deal! No more is the day of stressful number crunching and registration gathering, Crossroads Events and Timing will handle it all for you!

Stay tuned for more ways to take your event from 1 to 100 and all of the ways Crossroads can support you every step of the way! Next time we will talk about how to create the most memorable finish line that runners will be talking about after they cross the finish and will keep them coming back to your event for years to come!

Cheers!

Ethan Page

President

Crossroads Events and Timing

The Power of Promo Codes

Howdy Readers!

I hope all of you are having a great end to the week and are looking forward to a weekend of racing or relaxing! For this article in our race resources blog I wanted to speak to the power of promo codes and how race directors can use them to encourage early registration to help grow your race numbers!

All race directors should know that more early registrations means higher race day numbers. 1 + 1 = 2 math right? And if you can make the equation 2 + 1 you now have 3 right? However in our experience at Crossroads Events the equation looks more like this: (X * 2) + 1 =  ? Meaning the amount of early registrations looks more like a multiplier than a traditional add to your final number. In other terms if you can grow early registrations even by a small amount you can greatly increase your overall numbers!

Why is this you ask?

1. You help set goals for customers/participants. Once a participant has paid for an event even if that event is many months or weeks away they obviously are much more likely to attend even if race day weather or conditions are less than ideal which may possibly scare away last minute registrants.

2. People like to do events together. If you can draw 1 person in with an early promo code you can pretty much guarantee you actually drew in 2. Most people who sign up for events will share this promo code with friends and family or will encourage them to do the race with them as the event draws closer.

3. Participants like to attend well attended events. We all know people normally go with the trend or what is currently popular. If an event is popular it must be popular for a reason right? Yeah because you have an awesome race! By increasing early race numbers others who are interested in doing a race with a great experience will see that you have a popular event and are more likely to sign up!

Ok I Get It So How Can I Use Promo Codes To Increase My Race Numbers?

1. Provide an enticing promo code! - The possibilities are truly endless here! You can either do a certain percentage or dollar amount off for each registration or a newer promo type we like and will be trying ourselves over the next season is a rolling discount. For example the first 20 to use the promo code get 30% off, the next 20 get 20% off, the next 20 get 10% off etc.

2. Set a short amount of time to use the promo code. Usually we do 1 - 2 weeks. You must use the code within that amount of time to receive the discount which will encourage participants to quickly sign up.

3. Be prepared to advertise your promotion well! No one will use it if no once knows about it! Push this promo code through as many outlets as possible to reach your audience: email newsletters, social media, race partners/affiliates, etc.

4. Build your push dates around holidays and times of giving! We like to offer races and discounts to our customers to use as gifts or little surprises for their friends, family, and loved ones. So we generally push promo codes around Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, 4th of July, etc.

Sweet! How Can Crossroads Events Help Me Do This!

1. If you are using us for online registration and timing we will create as many unique codes for you as you would like!

2. If we are timing your event we are always happy to push your promo codes for you through our social media pages which have a strong following of athletes.

3. If we are managing your event we will not only push your promo code through social media but will also do several email newsletters advertising your code and will also consult with you to build a marketing plan on how you can push these codes to your own local audience.

I hope you have found this blog post informative and helpful! We know if you use these tips it will definately help you increase those race numbers! If you would like further information, help, or would like to work with Crossroads Events please just shoot us an email at: crossroadseventsandtiming@gmail.com

Cheers!

Ethan Page

President

Crossroads Events

Insuring There Are No Wrong Turns on Race Day

One of the greatest assets or downfalls of an event can be their course. Accurate and clearly marked routes will insure your participants travel the correct way and distance. In this blog we will go over what proper procedures to take to insure all athletes stay on route and happy!

One of the hardest aspects of events can be finding enough volunteers. Especially if you have a course that requires a lot of volunteers. When I started Crossroads Events I realized this became a constant issue for my events and my client's events so that is when I decided to begin what I call "directionally impaired proofing" your event. Meaning we mark our courses so incredibly clearly at every single possible turn or ambiguous section of the course that you would have to literally be blind to not go the correct way. We have seen that this helps to greatly reduce the amount of course volunteers needed on race day.

How do we do this? At every single turn or ambiguous pathway we clearly mark it 2 ways.

1. Ground Markings - Usually this means duct taped arrows since we can rip them up and leave no trace of our event being there. If it is a grass or dirt surface we will use spray paint or spray chalk.

2. Signs - To pair our ground markings we also place a chest level turn sign at every marked section so if the ground markings are not seen they would definitely see the sign. We have created a lot of chest level stands for our signs so they are clearly visible to participants.

It is also important to place these markings and signs in the direct middle of the path / route if possible and not off to the side to give your participants the greatest possible chance of viewing them. I personally like to say my participants will have to step on the markings and run over our signs before they could possibly go the wrong way.

As long as you've marked your course the proper way you will have vastly cut down on the amount of course volunteers needed. However it is always wise to have a couple volunteers placed at strategic locations on course for safety reasons, at aid stations, and at any area of the course that cannot be properly marked.

The last method you can put in place is to have a last minute course checker. This should be someone who knows your course in and out to run, bike, or drive your route right before the event begins to ensure there has not been any course vandalism to your signs, markings, or aid stations. Unfortunately on the rare occasion vandalism does happen and this is a last minute course check you can do to make sure you have set your route up for success!

If you follow these simple steps you should set your event up for an extremely well marked course which makes for happy athletes!

Ethan Page

President

Crossroads Events

 

Advertising My Event

The most frequent question we are asked is how can I better advertise and grow my race? Growing your race comes down to having a wonderfully executed event that leaves participant leaving with a fantastic experience. Afterwards and leading up to your race you need to tell the world about what an awesome event you've created!

In this post we will be giving you a general where and how to better advertise your race.

1. List your event on all and as many online race calendars as possible. The big ones are listed below.

  • Running in the USA (All races)
  • My Race Pal (All races)
  • Slow Twitch (triathlon specific)
  • Tri Find (triathlon specific)
  • Marathon Guide (Marathon / Half Marathons)
  • American Trail Running Association (Off Road Races)
  • USA Master Swimming (Swimming specific)

2. You should also list your race on as many community and local organization's websites as possible. Examples of where to find these are.

  • Your local t.v., newspaper, and radio station community calendars
  • Your local running club or triathlon club calendars
  • City or downtown specific calendars

3. You should also call all of your local radio and t.v. stations to see if you can come on for a local events segment to talk about your event approximately 1 - 2 weeks before your event. These are almost always free and a great way to advertise your event.

4. Get postcards and flyers made and drop them at similar locations in your community. You can order these and other race materials through Crossroads Events. We have created strong race partnerships so we can offer our clients fantastic products at unbeatable prices.

  • Local gyms
  • Running / workout stores
  • Local area business locations
  • Ask other local race directors if they would be willing to stuff your postcards in their race packets or display them at their race tables

5. Post heavily on your organization's social media pages about the event as soon as registration is live all the way up to the event.

6. Tap into our organization's email newsletter several times to send race information to all those who are already supporting your organization.

We hope this will be enough to get you started on better advertising your race and growing your race numbers!

Cheers!

Ethan Page