Every member of your community is unique, but like most humans, they are drawn towards opportunities that are engaging, welcoming and free of any stress or obligation. Consider these factors in all your planning decisions this fall; your participants will take notice, and that alone will drive the behaviour you want–inviting, sharing, donating, smiling…all those good things.

  1. Make registration easy
  2. Rally around a great cause
  3. Promote team participation
  4. Be generous, offer creative discounts
  5. Give away something memorable

Make Registration Easy

Turkey trots celebrate participation over performance. In fact, more Americans run on Thanksgiving Day than any of the day of the year! For many participants this will be their first experience with this type of event and they are sure to be a little nervous. Keeping this in mind, make your registration process as simple as possible and be forthcoming with information.

  • Get to the point – keep additional questions brief with clearly defined choices
  • Offer an FAQ based on your inbox of participant queries from last year!
  • Be inclusive – avoid using running-specific lingo.

Key Example: if you need to collect pace information for corralling purposes we recommend including qualitative responses (slow & steady, speedy gonzalez etc.) over minutes/mile (7:30/mile)

Promote Team Participation

Many folks subscribe to the “wobble before you gobble” plan. Any guess who these folks are wobbling with? You got it–their wacky Aunt Wendy and crazy Cousin Cole! Since this tradition already exists why not [pumpkin] spice-it-up by allowing participants to create and join teams. The process of choosing a team name alone will get people into the holiday spirit. Here are some team generating tips:

Be Generous, Offer Creative Discounts

Capture the spirit of thanksgiving by pricing your event so it is accessible to everyone. The more turkeys toeing the line the better right? One way to do this is to offer creative discounts based on age, team participation and/or number of registrants per transaction. Below are some specific strategies worth trying:

  • Age-based – offer a youth price (10 & under) and senior citizen price (55+)
  • Team/Group – provide a $2.00-$3.00 discount for anyone who registers as part of a team
  • Volume – register 4 or more participants in one transactions and receive a 10% discount

Rally Around a Great Cause

Thanksgiving is the perfect season to gather together and support one another. Now is your opportunity to make a difference and raise some dough for what matters most to your community. Don’t be shy; shout your goal from the rooftops and communicate progress along the way. People inherently love achieving goals, make your goal their goal! To make the most of your online fundraising opportunity…

  • Allow for donations during the registration process
  • Empower participants with personal fundraising pages that are easy to share
  • Activate fundraisers with virtual achievements for their online trophy case
  • Welcome donations from people who are unable to participate in the event – Granny might not be able to run with your family but she may be able to pledge every team member

Give away Something Memorable

Make your event memorable by offering a special giveaway that your runner will cherish! If you’re going to go with the standard t-shirt or long sleeve tee, make it unique! Consider hosting a t-shirt design contest on your website and allowing your community to choose this year’s shirt. You may also consider offering the option for the runner to forego the giveaway and instead have those allocated funds go towards a donation. If you’re considering moving away from the standard tee, consider these event branded options:

  • Cozy Beanie
  • Beach towel
  • Water bottle
  • Coffee Tumbler
  • Tube Socks
  • Boxer shorts

Keep the spirit of Thanksgiving at the very center of every decision you make now until race day! Your community will take note, and your event metrics will reflect your efforts!

Team up with Race Roster for your next Turkey Trot!

Get started


Chantelle Wilder

Chantelle is a Mom, Sales Coach and Marketing Specialist for The Rock the Road 10K. Chantelle is tuned into the needs of Event Organizers and has instilled a culture of service at Race Roster. In 2003, Chantelle earned herself a scholarship at The University of Hawaii where she went on to captain the Cross Country and Track & Field Teams. A few months after graduating and getting married to her biggest fan, Chantelle qualified to compete for CANADA at the 2009 World Cross Country Championships. In the spring of 2010 she placed 5th at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in her debut race at this distance and in the spring of 2011 ran a time of 1:16 at The NYC Half Marathon.