The Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting and Trade Exhibit brings together many of the sport’s most prominent event directors, sponsors and media members to network and discuss ways to improve and grow the endurance industry.
Each year the event features a series of speakers who share innovative ideas and discuss trending topics in the industry. This year’s topics ranged from discussions on technology and vendor relationships to the growing role social media is playing in the industry.
Here are three takeaways that I’m bringing back to the RacePartner team:
Social media continues to play a key role in engaging with new participants
Jan Seeley presented a thorough “Event Anatomy” of her Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. She cited the growth of the race over the past nine years and discussed the successes and areas for improvement. One of her key takeaways was to embrace social media and use it as a tool to communicate with your race participants. This takeaway is consistent with what we’ve found at RacePartner.
Through the Millennial Running Study we found that millennial runners use digital and social media above all other types of communication to learn about events, in fact 95 percent of respondents utilize Facebook. With millennial influence growing in the endurance industry event directors cannot afford to ignore their digital marketing strategy. Many races hesitate to spend the time and resources needed to wow their event participants, but investing in tools like social media strategy and management can quickly improve their connection to their audience.
Technology continues to influence the endurance industry
Sean Ryan, director of Fall 50, presented SketchUp, a tool that allows users to build 3D models that will scale their race to real-world site models. Ryan uses the tool to build out models of finish lines, vendor areas and transportation services for his races. When the virtual model is built, it can be imported into Google Earth to show how tents, buses, and various set ups will look in real-world scenarios. The ability to visualize and provide a more accurate pre-event planning process is a huge advantage for Ryan and his team.
Keeping up with ever-changing participant demands sometimes requires individualized software configurations or customizations, made just for your events. From responsive registration to integrated fundraising tools, RacePartner is always developing new solutions that help transform the way your event does business.
Relationships with vendors remain more important than pricing
The endurance industry is a tight-knit community where quality relationships are paramount. Executive Director of the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic, Susan Harmeling, explored vendor relationships throughout her presentation and discussed how the industry breeds a competitive environment amongst vendors. However, Harmeling cautioned that quality long-term relationships with existing vendors trump competitive pricing of “the other guy.”
We appreciate the emphasis of quality relationships because we value our clients and strive to provide superior customer service and innovative solutions for every event. From the very beginning of our relationship we take time to learn everything we can about you, your needs and your goals. We immediately connect you with a Project Manager to answer any initial questions you may have and discuss your overall goals so we can create a customized solution that aligns with your brand and meets the specific needs of your event. Through an ongoing conversation we develop a true partnership because your success is our success.
Interested in learning more about how a custom digital marketing or technology solution can improve your event?
Let’s review where you’ve been, where you want to go and see how we can work together to accomplish your goals.