A message from our CEO
“Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you enjoyed your well-deserved break. Our internal Slack channels were quieter than usual over the holidays, which hopefully meant everyone was genuinely taking time to recharge their batteries. I’ve already seen renewed bursts of energy in my meetings today and am sensing 2021 will be a massive rebound year for everyone in the running event industry.
Like most companies in 2020, our original roadmap had to be entirely rethought. With haste, we turned to our clients, listened to their needs, and worked tirelessly to provide practical solutions for a new runner experience. We are incredibly proud of all we did together and are excited to take on the new normal of hybrid events, physically distanced start-lines, and reinvented sponsorship activations with you in 2021.
As a refresher, below are Race Roster’s top 20 most note-worthy updates, releases, and accomplishments from 2020.”
– Alex Vander Hoeven, CEO, Race Roster
1. Virtual event tools
2020 may now be known as the “year of virtual events”. When event organizers across the globe were faced with the decision of how to best proceed given the restrictions of COVID-19, virtual events were one of the most popular solutions. We dedicated ourselves to building a virtual event toolkit to help organizers provide their participants with the absolute best experience possible. While these solutions were built to help our customers through the difficult times, virtual events might be here to stay, and now event organizers can select from a variety of different event types to engage their participants throughout the year.
- Standard distance – Have participants cover a specified distance in one go (5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, etc.)
- Virtual challenges – A virtual competition that your participants can individually take part in to work towards completing an objective over a specified date range (e.g., run 60 km in six weeks)
- Multi-sport events / triathlons – Participants can compete individually or as a team in a multi-sport event (e.g., run, swim, bike)
- Team relays – Participants can join together to take on various leg distances in order to reach the goal distance as a team.
2. Inventory management tool
We introduced the inventory management tool to our results platform in early 2020. This tool is perfect for timers, production companies, and people who host multiple events or have event inventory to manage. You can log exactly where your event equipment is going, when you’ll need it, where you’ve stored it, and its condition. We are confident this tool will also come in handy when planning out COVID-safe event setups.
Learn more about the inventory management tool.
3. Monthly metrics summary email
Our optional monthly metrics summary email was created to help you keep tabs on the progress of your events. By opting in to this email, you will receive registration numbers, important dates, and other valuable metrics straight to your inbox.
Learn more about the monthly metrics summary email.
4. Products added to fundraiser list
We added products to the fundraiser list to help your fundraising partners create team shirts, see donors sizes, and more!
5. ASICS Runkeeper™ app collaborations
Offer your participants an end-to-end virtual event experience by allowing them to connect their registration to the ASICS Runkeeper™ app. Help participants train, learn, and keep track of their progress from before, during, and after your event. The Runkeeper™ app will automatically post participant’s results to your event leaderboard after completing their official event activity — no action required. Additionally, you can record custom audio cues and have them play through the app as participants track their event activities.
6. Awards tool
We’ve introduced the awards tool to help you seamlessly create and assign a variety of awards, acknowledging the efforts of your participants – even if they are participating virtually! Get creative and provide recognition to the ‘top finishing person in San Francisco’ or award the ‘fastest Jennifer’. Whatever your goal, the awards tool offers the flexibility you need to achieve it.
7. Event playlists
Create a playlist for your event on Apple Music or Spotify, and display it on your event details page.
Learn more about putting together a great playlist for your event.
8. Mandatory donations
We introduced the ability to activate mandatory donations on your event. Enabling this feature will prevent registrants from continuing on in the registration process if they do not make a donation and if their donation does not meet the required minimum amount that you set.
You have the choice to decide if the donation amount is per registrant or is set on the registration total. For example, if someone is registering multiple participants for your event, you can decide whether each person must donate $50 or if the group registering is required to donate $50 in total.
9. SMS Messages
Using text messages to communicate is becoming more and more popular for business-to-consumer communications. Brands and other companies have been utilizing text messages to ensure their customers receive important and timely information.
According to research completed by Rebrandly, SMS open rates are nearly 5x higher than email. Now you can take advantage of this effective communication channel to directly connect with your participants.
Learn more about the SMS message tool.
10. Enhancements to result page customizations
In 2020, we introduced new customization tools for your results page. This is a high traffic area that your participants will visit to submit and view their results and share their finisher certificates. Using these tools, you can customize a variety of assets to reflect your brand or highlight your sponsors. The following can be customized:
- Main results page & individual results page – Add a background image and custom banner ads (can be used to highlight sponsors, drive traffic to your event store, advertise your next event, or other applicable uses).
- Finisher certificates – add a background image and sponsor logos to our provided template or completely customize your own certificate
Learn more about great ways to customize your results page.
11. Resource kits
We put together a variety of resource kits to support our customers, help them get the most out of our tools, and offer access to our brand assets.
- Virtual event toolkit – Everything you need to execute a great virtual event
- COVID-19 resource kit – Resources, tools, and key information to support you during this challenging time
- Inventory management tool kit – Quick access to knowledge base articles, videos, and a deep-dive into the inventory management tool.
- Press kit – Need to use the Race Roster logo? We have you covered. Our press kit page allows you to download our official logo assets and brand guidelines.
12. Chargeback & disputes dashboard
We introduced the ability to track your chargeback disputes, their status, and the details of the participant who initiated the dispute. We built this feature to provide you with more insight and transparency on credit card chargebacks initiated by your participants.
Learn more about the disputes & chargebacks dashboard.
13. Custom pages tool
Our custom pages tool is a great option for events who have a lot of information to share with their participants, or who prefer to use their event details page as an event website. With Race Roster’s custom pages tool, you can organize your event information into different pages, making it easier for your participants to find what they are looking for.
Learn more about what you can accomplish with the custom pages tool:
14. New waiver functionality
We made a few noteworthy additions to our event waiver functionality, helping to meet the specific needs of your event. You can collect written signatures per waiver, add merge tags to custom waivers, and more with our new waiver functionality.
Learn more about the enhancements added to our waiver functionality
15. Participant photo uploader tool
Your virtual event may not have an official race photographer to capture the experience, but great photos are still being taken! With the participant photo uploader tool, your participants can upload their own event photos directly to your event gallery and share them with you and other participants!
Learn more about what you can accomplish with the participant photo uploader tool.
16. International expansion: New language & currency options
In 2020, we introduced new language and currency options to the Race Roster platform. These new additions will allow you to expand your event globally and market to a much larger audience. You can offer your participants the choice to use Race Roster in the following 10 languages:
- Spanish (European)
- Spanish (Mexico)
- French (European)
- French (Canada)
- English (United States)
On top of that, we added the ability to accept registrations in Yen and GBP*.
*Only 1 currency can be accepted per event.
17. Audio cues
Set up pre-recorded audio cues to connect with your participants as they track their event using the ASICS Runkeeper™ app! Audio cues can be configured to play at a specific duration, distance, or geolocation, ensuring your cues are heard at exactly the right moment.
Learn 5 ways you can engage your participants with pre-recorded audio cues.
18. Participant dashboard enhancements
- Participant dashboard redesign – To enhance the user experience for your participants and reduce the number of support requests you receive, we redesigned the participant dashboard and introduced the ability for participants to switch teams on their own!
Learn more about the participant dashboard redesign.
- Participant dashboard messages – We added participant dashboard messages to help you deliver the right message to the right audience. The participant dashboard message tool allows you to display a customized message to specific participants on their participant dashboard. Your opportunities to customize extend far beyond changing the words that are displayed. You can change fonts and colors, add images, and even include your own HTML code.
Learn more about participant dashboard messages.
19. Digital medals
Digital medals allow you to provide your participants with a commemorative keepsake they can hold onto for a lifetime. Simply upload your custom medal design and award it to your participants upon completed segments or a finished race. The choice is yours. Either way, digital medals are a great addition to any participant’s trophy case.
Learn more about digital medals.
20. Fun facts & accomplishments
Despite 2020 being a challenging year, many of our customers found success. Here are just a couple of them:
We look forward to supporting you all in 2021!
Not currently using Race Roster?
We’d love to learn more about your event and what goals we can help you achieve in 2021. Book a demo with us for a deep dive into our platform and what you can accomplish with it!