Tips and Tricks | Estimated Read time – 7:44
What aspirations do you have for your events in 2024? There’s no better time than the start of a new year to reflect on the progress you made last year and begin setting new goals.
At Race Roster, we’re committed to helping event organizers achieve those goals. That means the support you need to organize events more effectively and efficiently so you can deliver unforgettable experiences for your participants.
With 2024 here, we’ve come up with three goals you can achieve for your events this year and a few different ways you can attain each of them. Let’s jump in.
Goal #1: Bring your participants closer together
When it comes down to it, you organize events because you want to bring people together. By leaning into that more in 2024, you can take your event to new heights.
As the impact of the pandemic on in-person events lessens, our team at Race Roster is seeing more organizers bringing back in-person group runs for participants in the lead-up to their events.
These pre-event activities are a great way for you to promote your event and increase registrations, as well as create a sense of community among your participants. Here’s how:
1. Build a loyal participant base
Fun in-person group runs help create loyalty and camaraderie among participants, volunteers, and sponsors or partners that encourages them to come back year after year and bring friends and family along next time.
2. Kick off registration season with a bang
Organizing an in-person group run to launch your event’s registration period goes a long way in boosting early sign-ups and generating buzz. You can give participants even more incentive to register by offering an event discount to anyone who joins your in-person group run. (We dive deeper into that below.)
3. Involve event sponsors and partners
Reaching out to your event sponsors or partners—like a local run specialty store or fundraising partner—about being part of your in-person group run gives them more involvement with your event and more exposure to your participants. They can join in on the fun and set up a kiosk or activation to interact with participants, or simply provide you with marketing materials that you can put up on-site.
If in-person group runs aren’t a viable option, virtual challenges are another opportunity to bring your participants together. Organizing virtual challenges can be simpler than in-person events and Race Roster offers four types of challenges on our platform.
Much like group runs, these challenges help you engage with your participants outside of your event and build excitement. For example, the Illinois Marathon’s “Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge” was such a big hit with participants in 2021 that the event brought the challenge back by popular demand.
Check out our list of great ideas you can use for your next virtual challenge for some inspiration.
Goal #2: Get more participants to register early
Put an emphasis on early registration in 2024 by giving your participants more reasons to sign up early.
As the event organizer, offering early registration has several benefits. It increases your chances of selling out your event, gives you the opportunity to connect with more registrants over a longer period, and allows you more time to plan and promote your event effectively so you can deliver the best possible experience.
The key to successful early registration is making it as beneficial to your potential participants as it is to you.
We’ve compiled a few ways you can do just that:
1. Set up a loyalty program
Show your most loyal customers some love. Reward the participants who keep coming back to your event year after year by offering a discount for early registration.
There are a couple of options for loyalty programs: you can offer all past participants the same discount or create a tiered discount program based on how many times a participant has taken part in your event; the more often they participate, the more they save.
A tiered loyalty program increases your chances of getting return registrants because it gives past participants even more incentive to return every year.
2. Offer specialty pricing or free merchandise
Early registration discounts shouldn’t be limited to return registrants. Give everyone the chance to benefit from registering early by offering incentives that are too good to pass up.
Specialty pricing will drive the largest number of early registrations. You can offer a discounted registration rate for a certain period (the first month of registration, for example) or you can offer block pricing to a set number of people (the first 300 people who register, for example). Either way, you’re likely to see a boost in your event’s early registrations.
If specialty pricing isn’t a practical option, offering free event merchandise to early registrants also produces great results because, well, everybody loves free swag.
Whether it’s specialty pricing or free merchandise, make sure you promote your event’s early registration offer wherever possible—email campaigns, social media posts, and on your registration page.
3. Capitalize on event day vibes
Your participants are crossing the finish line, the pride of the accomplishment and experience of a great event still fresh in their minds, and they’re getting ready to enjoy the post-event celebrations.
This is the best time to get your participants to sign up for your next event. Combined with an early registration discount, it’s a can’t-miss strategy.
Whether you set up a sign-up kiosk at your post-event party, include a QR code on banners around your event, or send out an early registration email, capitalizing on the good vibes from your latest event to drive early registration for your next event is a plan all organizers should consider.
Did you know?
On Race Roster, it’s easy to get ready for next year’s event by setting up your event page in advance—even before the current year’s event is over! With your new page set to go, you can invite participants to register for next year using Race Roster’s onsite registration feature at your current year’s event.
Goal #3: Use data and insights to guide your decisions
Growing your event effectively and efficiently means understanding what is working, what is not working, and where your biggest opportunities lie.
Are your emails or social posts driving engagement, registrations, and merchandise revenue? How are registrants finding out about your event? What do your participants think about your event and the overall experience?
In 2024, gain the insights you need to answer these questions and use those answers to take your event to the next level. Here are three ways you can gather useful event data using Race Roster.
1. Track your marketing efforts
Do you know if your digital marketing campaigns are working? Start measuring their success in 2024 with our tracking links feature to see how your emails, social posts, and other digital marketing strategies are performing.
Using this data, you can focus more on the strategies that are paying off, reach more potential participants, and grow your event. Read more about tracking links and how you can use them.
2. Ask questions at registration
The most valuable insights come from your participants. Our registration questions feature gives you insights that you can use this year to learn how to organize events that are more successful and deliver the best experience possible.
For instance, ask registrants how they found out about your event and analyze the results to channel your promotion more effectively. Ask whether registrants are local or from out of town and use the data to negotiate specialty hotel pricing. Or ask registrants about their preferred running gear and share that valuable data with a sponsor or partner. Read more about registration questions and how to set them up efficiently.
3. Get valuable post-event feedback
Every touchpoint with your participants is an opportunity to understand them better, which is why post-event surveys are so important. You’re not only giving your participants the chance to be a part of the event process, but you’re getting vital information that’s actionable and will help you deliver a better overall participant experience.
Use the Race Roster email campaign tool to get your post-race survey to your participants as soon as your event is over so you can get the best results. Read more about post-event surveys and how to get them to your participants.
What’s the common thread that binds each of these goals together? Putting your event’s participants first.
By taking the time to understand your participants better and connect with them more meaningfully and more often, you’ll know how to organize events that exceed expectations. That will help you reach your ultimate goal: to make 2024 your most successful as an event organizer.