Dear friends, colleagues, clients and competitors 🙂
Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful and energizing holiday. I’d like to first thank our amazing staff for a great 2015. At Race Roster, we experienced another year of intense growth and it wouldn’t have been possible without our dedicated team. I’m also very grateful for our wonderful clients. I had the opportunity to meet many of you personally in 2015, and I feel extremely fortunate to be working with such a friendly and caring group of people.
For Race Roster’s management team, the past year was about preparing the company for long-term success. The running industry is evolving quickly and I believe the registration business is going to change drastically in the coming years in order to keep up with customer demands.
From the outside looking in a registration company’s core purpose is obvious – host registration pages, make sure they stay up, answer customer questions promptly, and pay race directors on time. Easy right? Sort of, but we think there’s more to it.
Over the next year, I believe race registration will finally move away from the utilitarian ‘Craigslist’ experience we’ve all come to know and move towards an experience you would expect to find on AirBNB. This is a good thing – actually, it’s a great thing. It’s a shift from marketplace mentality (think Amazon, Ebay, etc.) to network mentality (think Pinterest or Houzz), where customers not only care about what they purchase, but also where they purchase it.
As runners build profiles on apps and social media platforms, decisions on which races to run, training routes, and brands to associate with are more deliberate than ever before. Photos of experiences are the new social currency, and online race results are viewed as virtual trophies. At Race Roster, our focus has always been on creating robust features to make Race Directors’ lives easier. However, to evolve with customer demands, a greater emphasis must be placed on creating tools for Race Directors that connect runners with events in more meaningful ways.
As Race Directors, I urge you to experiment with new ideas and technologies in 2016. There have never been more tools at your disposal for marketing and selling race entries. Bottom line; if we all focus on providing unbelievable customer experiences, I have no doubt they’ll come a runnin’.
Click here to download our Year in Review: [download id=”2712″]
Looking forward to a great 2016!
Alex Vander Hoeven