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Working with Races From Concept to Finish Line

Hear how customers have worked with RunSignup to make their Race Day easier (and better).

Challenge:

Race Day Events’ previous online registration provider made reporting difficult. Participant and financial reports at the race level were limited, difficult to pull, and race directors had trouble understanding the data and where the numbers came from. This became increasingly challenging across a large portfolio of races, and made business expansion unfeasible.

Solution:

Race Day Events switched to RunSignup at the end of 2014, because it has an easy user interface for participants to register for races, and a more complete back-end with extensive reporting, promotion, and participant management features that seamlessly tie into timing software.

Results:

Today, Race Day Events has expanded to working with over 350 races. RunSignup is easy for their clients to understand and automates many formerly manual processes. This leaves more time for Race Day Events to explore and implement marketing campaigns to grow its clients’ races.

It’s not easy to put on a good event. Planning, managing, and executing a successful race day experience can be complicated and overwhelming for any race director. That’s where Race Day Events comes in. From concept to finish line, Race Day Events simplifies a race director’s responsibilities by producing and providing services to running and multisport events nationwide. Race Day Events offers a promotion - registration - operations - timing - results bundle that outpaces the competition. Race Day Events bundles are flexible: events can select services that they need, from full race management to simple equipment assistance. They work with all types of events from small runs, to large, multi-day bike rides, triathlons, mud runs, and full marathons.

Race Day Events: Philosophy

Hear how customers have worked with RunSignup to make their Race Day easier (and better).

People are what sets Race Day Events apart from its competitors. Their team of experts works directly alongside race directors to handle everything from timing and equipment rental to full race management.

The superior level of organization, event management and professionalism of Race Day Events is reflected in the wonderful job they do with MFI’s events: the Madison Marathon and Half, Twilight 10/5k and Taste of Madison. They are “hands on”, extremely knowledgeable and always look to improve the events. RDE’s staff, both full and part-time are smart, hard working and make every event look its best!

Rita Kelliher, President of Madison Festivals, Inc.

By 2014, Race Day Events was working with around 80 races and expanding quickly. Existing customers wanted to grow their race and more races wanted to work with them. Their online registration platform made this expansion challenging. Participant and financial reports at the individual race level were limited, difficult to pull, and race directors had trouble understanding the data and where the numbers came from.

With a large portfolio of independent races, these problems became increasingly challenging. Race Day Events had to rely on the registration provider to export data and pull reports; the lack of customer service slowed this process and exacerbated reporting difficulties. The contract with the registration provider was ending in 2014, and it was time for Race Day Events to find a new platform to improve efficiency, grow their portfolio, and provide the best service to their customers.

Finding the Right Registration Platform

Hear how customers have worked with RunSignup to make their Race Day easier (and better).

Race Day Events was initially interested in RunSignup because it has an easy user interface for participants to register for races, and a more complete back-end with extensive reporting, promotion, and participant management features that seamlessly tie into timing software.

Race Day Events moved to RunSignup at the end of 2014 and took advantage of RunSignup’s Partner Program, which is designed for race management companies, timers, race series, and running stores that want to provide their races a higher level of service. As a Partner, Race Day Events can easily set up registration for their clients and share access with race directors, thus ensuring that their races have the best set up while allowing race directors to make changes and access information anytime.

Race Day Events knows that people are the key to a successful business, and RunSignup shares the same philosophy. The Race Day Events team worked closely with their RunSignup sales rep and account manager to set up their races on RunSignup.

Natallie [our account manager] always has a fast answer to any question. Not only does she help us solve problems, but she also teaches us how to use the system. The manual work that I used to do to create reports is all automated, and RaceInsights enables race directors to not only understand their data but actually get insights to improve their promotion efforts and race day planning.

Erin Schleicher, Director of Event Marketing at Race Day Events
RunSignup Dashboard Chart

Seeing Results with RunSignup

Hear how customers have worked with RunSignup to make their Race Day easier (and better).

Since moving to RunSignup, Race Day Events has grown their portfolio of full production events to more than 20. They provide specific services, such as timing, registration management, and equipment rental, 350+ other races.

Because RunSignup saves significant time on reporting and participant management across the races that Race Day Events works with, their team has more time to focus on promotion throughout the race lifecycle.

Race Day Events uses 3 key participant reports to roll out email marketing campaigns and create Facebook Custom Audiences: All Participants, Current Participants, and Non-Registered Previous Participants. Marketing messages and special offers can be targeted to each group and sent via email. The reports are pre-formatted for easy upload to Facebook and enable targeted Facebook ad campaigns, leading to an increased return on investment (ROI) as compared to simple demographic targeting.

Race Day Events has begun to explore a new promotion tool: Referral Rewards, which RunSignup recommends as the most effective, lowest cost promotion. Their initial usage has seen impressive returns across their races: 2,365 referrals led to 43,831 page views, 851 registrations (725 transactions) for a total of $31,953 in registration and only 43 refunds ($1,021 refunded) within the last year.

The Madison Shamrock Shuffle implemented a Referral Refunds program that offers participants a full refund of their registration if they refer 5 participants who register for the event. This high-threshold, high-reward set up has seen an impressive ROI:

Referral Rewards Table

The Madison Shamrock Shuffle has worked with Race Day Events from the moment that we realized that we wanted to expand our race. We had a vision to expand the race in large leaps and bounds. From 2003, our race has expanded from 400 to 5,000 and it wouldn’t have been possible without so many contributions including those from Race Day Events. They’ve always given us personal attention and help where/when we needed it.

Steve Donovan, Former Madison Shamrock Shuffle Race Director

Races tend to think that their promotional efforts end when registration closes, but Race Day Events understands that there is no better marketing for your event than the word of mouth brought by a memorable RaceDay experience - and they utilize the best technology to ensure that participants walk away excited to share their experience with friends and family.

Ryan Griessmeyer, the Founder and CEO of Race Day Events says, “RunSignup’s RaceDay CheckIn technology and dynamic bib assignment works for triathlons, speeds up packet pick up, and eliminates lines. It makes Race Day Events look a lot better!” For sell-out races like Horribly Hilly Hundreds, a smooth and accurate check in process is critical.

RunSignup integrates with RunScore and MyLaps timing. This makes participant data management, scoring, awards, and results easy to handle on race day.

Instant gratification is no longer a luxury: at races, participants expect to know how they did the second they cross the finish line. In 2017, the Lake Monona 20K offered text and email notifications to deliver results directly to runners and saw a significant percentage of their 2,000+ runners take advantage.

Lake Monona didn’t rely solely on numbers to share their results. Race Day Events set up video results with a camera at the finish line, synced by time, so that runners can see themselves finish when they view the results data.

SMS Notifications Table

A Business and Learning Partnership

Hear how customers have worked with RunSignup to make their Race Day easier (and better).

Ryan Greissmeyer, Founder and CEO of Race Day Events

We have the same business model - Race Day Events and RunSignup want to make sure our customers are getting the best deal with the best technology and the best service. I’m always in contact with Jordan, our sales rep from RunSignup. We recommend RunSignup to all of our race directors, and Jordan sends race directors looking for race management services to us.

Ryan Griessmeyer, Founder and CEO of Race Day Events

The partnership extends beyond business. Race Day Events sits on RunSignup’s Customer Advisory Board, and provides advice on RunSignup products and technology.

Races are complex. Anytime a race director is outsourcing some or all of the management of their event, they deserve to know the race management company they’re working with is also utilizing the best technology partners. With RunSignup, Race Day Events has been able to simplify their reporting, step up their race promotion, and provide streamlined technology for RaceDay.

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