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Head Start

Author: Race Directors HQ

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Head Start is a podcast for race directors and anyone involved in the business of putting on races.

It doesn't matter where you're based or how many years experience you have or whether you're putting on a running race, a triathlon, an obstacle race or whatever. If you’ve got an interest in planning, organizing and growing endurance events, this is the podcast for you.

The focus of the podcast is twofold:

1) we bring you the latest and coolest innovations hitting the mass-participation endurance events industry, and

2) we bring you tips and actionable advice from industry experts to help you improve your race - one episode at a time.

Head Start is produced by RaceDirectorsHQ.com, an online resource platform and community network for race directors and race management professionals.

55 Episodes
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Scaling Up

Scaling Up

2023-01-2301:08:11

When races grow from scratch, particularly as passion projects, there often comes a time where growth grinds to a halt. Participation seems to gradually plateau around a few hundred participants and any progress beyond that seems impossible. So, how do you break through this resistance point to grow a race from the hundreds to the thousands? What changes should you make to your team and event to take your growth to the next level? And how do you manage this next stage of growth while avoiding the pitfalls that come with growing too fast?That’s what we’ll be discussing today with my guest, Glass City Marathon race director, Clint McCormick. When it comes to systematically scaling up races, Clint has been there, done that and got the T-shirt, having grown the Glass City Marathon from a club race of a few hundred runners to a nationally recognised event of almost 10,000 runners, while increasing revenues for the race by over 20 times in the process. In our discussion today we are going to be touching on all the key elements for success in scaling up a race, including race branding and rebranding, building processes and systems for the long run, analyzing and reinventing your product offering to make it more appealing to sponsors, and using sponsorship to fuel your future growth. All this while putting safeguards in place to make sure you don’t grow too fast and get yourself into trouble.In this episode:Moving a race from volunteer staff to professional/paid staffUnderstanding your brand and rebranding your raceNurturing local runners from 5K through to longer-distance events Examining your race distance offering and culling/adding events accordinglyFueling growth through sponsorships, and building a product that sponsors wantTips on scaling up your teamThe pitfalls of growing too fastManaging growth sustainably by capping participant numbersInvesting in race ambassadors and other grassroots marketing programsIn-house marketing vs employing a marketing agencyThanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about public relations, earned media or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Cracking Gen Z Runners

Cracking Gen Z Runners

2023-01-1001:27:28

In RunSignup’s latest RaceTrends report, registration data showed that less than 13% of race participants in 2021 races fell within the 18-30 age group - a number that used to be almost 18% as recently as 2017, and keeps on falling. So why is it that races fail to attract younger audiences? That’s what we’ll be exploring today with the help of my guest Pacers Running Marketing Director, Ryan Callahan. Ryan and the Pacers Running team recently pulled off the remarkable feat of getting more than 40% of their DC Half start line made up of 18-30 runners, and we’ll be going over a number of deliberate strategic and tactical decisions the team took to encourage participation within that younger demographic. Among other things, we’ll look at intentional branding and website design as a means of appealing to younger runners, and initiatives undertaken by the team in offline as well as online marketing to reach that target demographic. Today’s discussion probably doesn’t hold all the answers to this very complex challenge facing the industry, but there’s some very big clues in there about what races can do to improve their appeal among younger audiences.In this episode:Participation trends in the 18-30 age groupWhy the Gen Z problem is fixable, and some races are doing better than othersHow DC Half managed to attract 3 times more 18-30 runners than the US race averageThe making of the DC Half brandBeing intentional with your event choices: race name, logo, swag, website, course designWhy it's important to keep your race website clear of information clutterBeyond cliches: building a DC race from the perspective of a DC localChecking boxes vs being thoughtful about your race swag choicesOffline marketing strategies for reaching 18-30 runnersBuilding an engaging race brand on InstagramLeveraging community and grassroots efforts to reach your target audienceThanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about public relations, earned media or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Today, we are going to be taking a trip down memory lane, looking at some of my favourite podcast highlights from the past year. It’s been an amazing year for Head Start - our second year on the air - and, as we head into 2023, I wanted to say how grateful we all are at Race Directors HQ for your support of the podcast and everything else we do. So thank you guys for continuing to tune in and for your kind words about the work we do here at Head Start.Of course, there’s a special thanks due to our awesome podcast sponsor RunSignup, so a big big festive year-end thank you to the amazing folks at Moorestown, NJ, helping us bring great content to the entire race directors community. This really wouldn’t have been possible with RunSignup’s support, and we’re very grateful to have such a great company on our side. If you are looking to make a fresh start with your event technology partner in 2023, there’s no better place to look than RunSignup, so make sure to check out all their awesome technology platform has to offer your race by visiting runsignup.com. You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about public relations, earned media or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
If you’ve been following the podcast for a while, you’ll know that what we try to do at Head Start is bring you actionable, expert advice you can learn from to grow and improve your race - hopefully, with a bit of entertainment on the side.Today marks the first episode in a new way of helping you on your race director journey. Spotlight is a new type of episode where we go inside some of the most innovative, best run races and race concepts to learn how the things we touch on in other episodes, like building a sponsorship portfolio, developing a grassroots marketing strategy or elevating the race experience, actually work in practice when executed by some of the brightest leaders in the industry. And in our first Spotlight episode, we travel to Charlotte, NC to see how race director Brian Mister has been re-imagining the urban 10K with his hugely successful Around the Crown 10K. In the short history of that event, Brian and his team have managed to build an event that is a masterclass in community engagement, practical inclusivity, sponsorship development and grassroots marketing. And I hope you’ll be as inspired by some of the initiatives undertaken by this amazing race as I have been getting to know more about it.In this episode:Putting on a race on the Charlotte inner beltwayDefining your mission statement - and staying true to it for the long runPractical inclusivity: making your start line look like your community ATC's First Timers Club, Pay What You Can, Stroller DivisionRunning a large paper-cupless road raceRethinking offline marketingEngaging a specialist marketing agency that understands runningThe importance of Public Relations (PR)Growing a diverse sponsorship portfolio Valuing in-kind sponsorshipsAuction-based marketing (made the term up, but it's an interesting concept)The future of ATC10KThanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about public relations, earned media or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
[Bonus] Going Solar

[Bonus] Going Solar

2022-12-0543:37

It’s another bonus episode for you today, and as we were discussing reducing your race’s carbon footprint last week, this week’s episode falls quite neatly in the same area of sustainability and decarbonization. Today, I’m joined by race director, race timer and solar power enthusiast Lowell Ladd, of 2L Race Services, to talk about how you can switch your race day headquarters over to solar power, so that your entire race day operation runs on sun juice instead of diesel. We’re going to be looking at the stepping stones to building out a solar power setup, from getting started on a single solar generator to gradually building out a full-fledged mobile solar power station. And we’re going to be answering your questions on the feasibility, reliability and cost of such a setup when it comes to powering race day. In this episode:The benefits of switching to solar powerEnergy consumption by hardware, and what a solar-powered system could support, depending on sizeThe anatomy of a solar-powered setup: components, connectivity, outletsThe cost of building your DIY solar-based systemPanels: what to buy and how to scale upLi-based vs acid-based batteries: pros and consTaking care of, maintaining and upgrading your setupAdditional resources:Off-grid solar power resources: https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/DIY solar power forum: https://diysolarforum.com/Mobile Solar Power Made Easy (Book): https://www.amazon.com/Mobile-Solar-Power-Made-yourself/dp/1546567119/Thanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about setting up your race day mobile solar power system or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
In a previous episode of the podcast with guest Brian Schmidt of P3R, we saw how it is possible for even a very large race like the Pittsburgh Marathon to achieve zero waste status - that is, the goal of diverting more than 90% of total race waste away from landfill. But what about carbon emissions? Is it equally feasible to aspire towards carbon neutrality, that is to say, putting on an event with net zero (or perhaps even negative) carbon footprint. Well, that’s what we’ll be discussing today with my guest Porter Bratten, owner of Washington-based Blackfish Ventures and a passionate practitioner of sustainability in all the races he puts on. We’re going to be looking at what makes up a race’s carbon footprint, how to formulate a practically achievable carbon mitigation strategy, and how carbon offsetting can help bridge the gap to carbon neutrality where further improvements in lowering carbon emissions may not always be possible. In this episode:What contributes to your race's carbon footprintDirect emissions, indirect emissions and purchased energyUnderstanding which emissions you can measure and controlEstimating your race's carbon footprintMaking participant carpooling workOffering a no-medal/no-shirt optionGreen electricity: what it is, how much it costs and how to get itInvolving your participants in your sustainability strategyHow carbon offsetting worksDoing due diligence on and selecting carbon offset projectsUsing carbon offsetting to offset participant travel and shipping emissionsAre participants wiling to pay a "sustainability premium" for greener races?Making the most of sustainability sponsorsThanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about public relations, earned media or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Most races only come around once a year. So when you’re working to improve a race for your participants, you’ve got precious few opportunities to receive feedback from them. How do you use those opportunities right? And what feedback should you look to gather from them?Well, my guest today, Laurel Park, has the unique privilege of being both a race director and a PhD in survey design, and has helped countless organizations develop effective surveys that leverage customer feedback to inform strategic decisions. As the President of the Ann Arbor Track Club, Laurel knows running and races inside out, and today she’ll help us understand how to craft an actionable race survey, how to maximize survey response rates, and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls of survey design, like asking things you shouldn’t care to know about or asking things you do care to know about in a way that delivers poor quality or unusable results.If you do send out a race survey after your event, or have thought of doing so, this is an excellent crash course in getting the most of the one shot you get each year to gather productive feedback from your participants.In this episode:The purpose of a race surveyWorking backwards from what you need to know to what you're going to askCollecting demographic information from respondentsDo people respond truthfully to surveys?Reducing survey friction and question bloatAvoiding distractions/cognitive load with clean survey stylingTypes of questions to ask and areas to explore with your race surveyAvoiding leading respondents with biased question phrasingUsing open-ended vs close-ended questionsBest practices for sharing your race surveyIncreasing survey response rates with incentivesSurvey software options for designing your race surveyAnalyzing and presenting survey resultsMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about designing race surveys or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Looking into the business of putting on races from the outside, as a passionate runner and racer, you might be mistaken in thinking that putting on races is a fairly straightforward, relaxing, comfortably profitable thing to do. I can hear some of you chuckling there…Well, my guests today, brothers Jeremy and William Fermo, are exactly the type of passionate runner that would try to make a business out of directing races. Which is why in late 2021, they put aside their medical degrees and took the plunge into planning their first race, Shannon’s Run in Orange, Texas. Coming into race directing with few preconceptions, they tried everything to make their inaugural race a success - including an early round of crowdfunding for their business, 3 Bros Running, and a go at securing local business grants to support their revenue. The result? Not half bad - 366 signups from more than 40 cities across the state, and with that, a growing appetite for directing more and larger races.If you’re just starting out as a race director, there’s valuable lessons here for you on the challenges and the joys you’ve got ahead of you, and the importance of focusing your planning on the things that matter. And, if you’re well into your long-term career as a race director, there’s a couple of interesting gold nuggets here for you as well - and perhaps a little nostalgia about why you went into this really special business in the first place.In this episode:Taking the plunge into race directingThe importance of focusing on the race experienceLaunching a crowdfunding campaign to get the race off the groundGoing after local business grants Putting yourself front and center of your race brandTelling your race story through video on social mediaPromoting your race like it's a Hollywood movieReaching out and pitching to local sponsorsBig learnings from the guys' first year in race directingMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about starting out in race directing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
TikTok Marketing

TikTok Marketing

2022-10-1701:23:03

“A game changer”, “TV on steroids”, “the future of content” and “ridiculously addictive”. That’s just a few ways to describe TikTok, according to my guest today, but, chances are, if you have teenagers in the house, you already knew that.So what is so special about this app that has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years? Is TikTok really just a place for 12 year olds? And, very crucially, is it worth your time trying to market your race on the platform, and how do you go about it? Well, we are going to be going through all that and much much more with my guest today, Oli Hills. As the CEO of a dedicated TikTok marketing agency, Nonsensical, Oli is here to tell you why short-form video is the future of content, and why TikTok is the place where it’s all going to be happening. We’re going to be talking about how to produce content on TikTok, what kind of content works best, and how to scrap your preconceptions about TikTok demographics and video editing, and just take the plunge into a brave new world of marketing.In this episode:TV on steroids: how TikTok changed the social media gameTikTok's fastest growing demographics (hint: it's not teenagers!)Nailing your niche and training TikTok to recognize your target audienceHow to produce and publish videos using the TikTok appGrabbing your audience's attention with snappy video hooksWhy short form video is the future (and why TikTok is the place to do it)Boosting your video reach with Spark AdsCross-posting TikTok content to YouTube, Facebook, InstagramWhat types of content to post on TikTokPaid marketing on TikTok: creating ads, audience targeting, retargetingThe importance of getting in on TikTok earlyMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about race marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Managing Stress

Managing Stress

2022-10-0401:29:38

If you have been putting on races for a while, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that organizing events is one of the most stressful jobs out there. How stressful? According to a 2019 survey by job searching site Careercast, it is in fact the 6th most stressful job you can do, less stressful only to careers like the military and firefighting. So what makes putting on events so stressful? What toll is it taking on people like you, working every day to make amazing races happen? And what can you do to manage your stress levels long-term and avoid mental health decline?Today we’re going to be going over all that in a really candid discussion on stress and mental health in our industry with the help of my guest, EventWell’s, Helen Moon. Helen has been working in the event industry in different capacities for decades, and as the Founder and Chief Executive of non-profit EventWell has most recently been focusing her energy on providing mental health support to event management professionals. In this episode:Why organizing events is an inherently stressful jobThe sympathetic/parasympathetic system balance The three stages of the stress response and how stress leads to burnoutThe social stigma around talking openly about stress and mental health strugglesGood stress (eustress), bad stress (distress) and mental declineStriving for excellence vs striving for perfectionStress resilience through the lens of your "stress bucket" The importance of sleep, nutrition and exercise in sustaining good long-term mental healthBreathing (really, it works wonders)Many thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about stress management, mental health or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Securing sponsorship is undoubtedly one of the toughest jobs on any race director’s plate. And finding and approaching sponsors, in particular, is probably the toughest bit of it. Where do you even begin looking for good sponsor prospects? How do you know which person to contact? What do sponsors really want? And how do you make that first approach to maximize your chances of success?We’ve got some awesome tips for you on all those burning questions and more from today’s guest, Teresa Stas. Teresa is the CEO of event sponsorship consultancy Green Cactus, she is also the author of “Sell Your Event!: The Easy To Follow Practical Guide To Getting Sponsors”, and she has spent her entire career helping events of all shapes and sizes land long-term sponsorship relationships, including Hood to Coast, the world’s largest relay race - now also a growing international relay race franchise. In this episode:Selling sponsorship = selling an audienceFiguring out your event's audience How your audience's interests can guide your sponsor prospecting Understanding your audience through surveys, Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, marketing personasPutting together an introduction deck (not a sponsorship proposal!) for your eventWhere to look and what to look out for when prospecting sponsorsIn-kind sponsors, sustainability sponsors, media sponsorsFinding the right contact person inside each sponsor organizationCold-calling vs cold-emailing sponsor prospectsHow to cold-call and cold-email sponsorsFollowing up on your initial cold/email to sponsorsMaking the most of sponsor rejectionsResources:Make sure to visit https://www.greencactusca.com/resources for additional free resources from Green Cactus to help you with your sponsor prospecting.Many thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about sponsor prospecting or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Getting to Zero Waste

Getting to Zero Waste

2022-09-0501:05:58

90% - keep that number in mind -  that’s how much of your event waste you should be diverting away from landfill to be able to claim that your event is a zero waste event. Sounds tough? Easy? For most races that’s a pretty high bar to clear - particularly as, when you start adding everything up, it quickly becomes apparent that a race can generate waste in many more ways than may seem obvious at first. To see how a race might get to that zero waste goal, I’m joined today by P3R’s Director of Operations, Brain Schmidt. Brian and the P3R team have really been at the sharp end of event sustainability, having achieved a zero waste status for the very popular DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon since before “event sustainability” was even a term!With Brian’s help we’re going to be looking at a race’s more obvious - and less obvious - sources of waste, waste segmentation, recycling, composting and reusing waste materials, as well as the importance of joining forces with local agencies and businesses that share your sustainability goal.And since making sustainability sustainable in the long term has to come with a dose of financial pragmatism, and a careful balancing act between respecting the environment and delivering a fun race experience, we’ll also look at things like sustainability sponsors and other ways to take some of the burden of achieving zero waste off your shoulders.In this episode:The biggest sources of race wasteHow much waste does a typical race produce per participantWhat zero waste means and what sources of waste go into the calculation of race wasteRecoverable vs reusable vs recyclable vs compostable race wasteWaste materials you may think is recyclable but isn'tReducing cardboard packaging waste Donating leftover swag and discarded clothing Working with local sustainability organizationsManaging race purchases to reduce material leftoversPremium giveaways vs tons of giveawaysFewer water stations = less water station wasteManaging the cost of sustainability efforts through sustainability sponsorshipsMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about event sustainability, zero waste or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
2022 Global Runner Survey

2022 Global Runner Survey

2022-08-2201:02:14

In all walks of life, people love to stress the importance of data - knowing the hard facts and using evidence to make better, more informed decisions. So, how well do you know your participants? How well do we all in this industry understand who runners are, what they really want out of our events, and what motivates them to choose one event over another? Well, we’re going to be shedding some light into all that today as we go through the latest findings from Running USA’s 2022 Global Runner Survey with the help of my guest, Running USA COO Christine Bowen. It’s a great pleasure to have Christine join me for this discussion, as we touch on a number of very interesting data points, including how runners choose to enter events, how they perceive the value they receive from events, and how much price and other factors affect which and how many races they’ll be entering in the near future.In this episode:Runners' expected event participation in the next 12 monthsRunners' favourite racing distancesTop reasons why runners choose a raceRunners' attitudes on swag, travel to events, VIP race experiencesRunners' attitudes towards race fees and price increasesGen Z runner attitudes and what this means for the future of racingMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about race trends, event participation or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Last week, if you happened to join us for part one of our two-part Facebook Ads podcast special, we set the scene by looking at Facebook marketing strategy, understanding sales funnels, planning and structuring ad campaigns, and mastering audience targeting. This week, in part two of the discussion, it’s time to switch gears a bit and look at some more advanced topics around ad creatives, ad performance monitoring and optimization, and the very important, highly-converting area of ad retargeting.Joining me again this week to discuss Facebook Ads is EventGrow CEO, Andy Reilly - and what a great pleasure it is to have Andy back on the podcast. In this episode:Focusing on the desirable "after state" in your ad creativesPicking aspects of your race to highlight in your ad copyAligning your ad copy with your ad imagesCreating video adsIncorporating important race info in your adDeciding on, allocating and front-loading your ad budgetRunning price-increase ad campaignsUnderstanding your baseline target acquisition costThe perils of shutting down your campaigns too soon (in less than two weeks)Monitoring your ad KPIs: click rate, conversion rate, ROASRetargeting campaigns: spending little for high returnsExcluding registered participants from your custom audience campaignsLookalike audiences and why they often don't perform well for eventsCommon mistakes people make when running Facebook ads, and how to avoid themMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about paid marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
When it comes to spending money on marketing races, Facebook Ads remains the most popular choice for race directors and professional race marketers, regardless of race size or type. So how do you make the most of the opportunities Facebook Ads has to offer for marketing your race in 2022 and beyond?We’re going to be going over all that in a special two-part show on Facebook Ads with the help of my guest, EventGrow CEO, Andy Reilly. You may remember Andy from the very very popular marketing psychology episode - that was episode 25 back in February  - and he’s with us again today and for our next podcast episode to really break down every aspect of Facebook Ads as it pertains to race marketing. Today, for part one of the discussion, we’re going to set the scene by looking at Facebook marketing strategy, understanding sales funnels, planning and structuring ad campaigns, and mastering audience targeting. And in our next episode we’re going to delve into some more advanced topics around ad creatives, ad performance monitoring and optimisation, and the very important, highly-converting area of ad retargeting.In this episode:Why Facebook ads still offer the best bang for your marketing buck (even if the landscape has become more challenging for advertisers)Facebook ads vs Google ads vs Twitter ads vs Tik Tok adsUnderstanding ROAS (return on ad spend) and customer lifetime valueIntegrating Facebook ads into your sales funnelPicking the right landing page for your Facebook ad (website? registration page? Facebook event page?)Boosting posts vs using Facebook's Ad ManagerPicking a campaign objective for your ad: conversions vs traffic vs reach/awarenessStructuring and naming your campaigns, ad sets and adsChoosing between automatic and manual ad placementsPros and cons of using the dynamic creativesUsing demographics, location and interests to target the right audience for your raceAvoiding the pitfalls of over-targetingMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about paid marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Are you struggling to understand how you should approach and talk to sponsors? Is seeking sponsorship a task you dread or maybe have even given up on? We’ve got an awesome episode for you today that is going to boost your confidence and reset your entire thinking around sponsorship. It’s going to help you understand what sponsorship truly is about, what sponsors really look to get out of it, and how, through some simple, disciplined steps and a change of mindset, you can transform your chances of securing sponsors for your event.My guest in today’s episode is an industry leader I’ve personally followed for years. To call Kim Skildum-Reid a sponsorship expert would be something of an understatement. Through her Power Sponsorship consultancy Kim has helped countless blue-chip rightsholders and sponsors plan and execute effective sponsorship strategies, and through her best-selling books and online courses she’s probably done more than anyone to educate sponsorship practitioners on the fundamentals of sponsorship. So it is super-exciting to have Kim on the podcast today sharing her insights into the fundamentals of sponsorship, and the mindset you, as a sponsorship seeker, need to adopt to succeed in this challenging arena.In this episode:Leveraging your audience year-roundFraming your audience reach to sponsorsHelping sponsors "get" your vision through your sponsorship proposalThe importance of understanding the sponsor's point of viewPutting a value on in-kind sponsorshipWriting a winning sponsorship proposal that "sells" your deal internally in the sponsor organizationInventory audits: putting together a list of all the benefits you could offer to sponsorsDealing with sponsors as peersOverdelivering for sponsors (and getting recognized for it)Sharing sponsorship reports with sponsorsFiring your sponsors when they're underperforming Why you should stop using gold, silver bronze sponsorship packagesFurther reading:Kim's list of must-read follow-up materials: https://bit.ly/3AFMTx2Many thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about sponsorship or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Personalized participant video, where a participant receives an edited video of themselves in the race after they cross the finish line (often as soon as a few minutes after), has been a long time coming in mass-participation events. So how far has personalized video technology really come over the last few years? What does it add to the race experience? How much does it cost? And is the cost worth it, compared to, say, offering just race photos, as most races currently do?Today we’ll be looking at all these questions and more, through the lense of personalized video tech pioneer iRewind. iRewind has been providing personalized video services to races - either directly or indirectly - for years, including to such high profile events as the NYC Marathon, Paris Marathon and ASICS London 10K. So it’s a great pleasure to be able to hear from iRewind co-founder and COO, Salvador Garcia Zalduegui on how personalized video technology works and how it has rapidly evolved over the last few years to the point of now making it widely affordable for a large number of races.In this episode:A short history of iRewind: from skiing video capture to mass-participation personalized videoParticipant personalized video: what it is, how it's captured, and what it looks like to the end user (=participants)Personalized video compared to race photos, and how the two work alongside each other to expand reach and enhance the participant race experienceThe evolution of personalized video technology, and why it's time has comeBreakdown of a typical perzonalised video capture setupUploading, sorting, tagging and editing participant race videos, using image and motion recognition technologyHow you can set up personalized video in your race, and how much it costsGetting your personalized video costs covered by a sponsorEngagement statistics for personalized videoMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about email marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Trademarking Races

Trademarking Races

2022-06-1301:27:48

Have you ever thought about trademarking your race’s name or logo? Trademarking your race and brand could help protect your business against trademark infringement, and the risk of getting someone else’s event confused with yours, whether that is done through malice or ignorance. Today we’re going to be looking at all aspects of trademarks and the trademark registration process, with the help of no less than three distinguished guests - Brian Gallant of Sinister Sports, who had to defend his race trademark against a competing claim not too long ago, and intellectual property lawyers Suzanne Sjovold and Jon Deppe who will be bringing the legal expertise in today’s highly technical subject.We are going to be looking at the process of registering a new trademark, defending a registered trademark you own against infringement, as well as the many protections afforded to your brand by law even in the absence of a formal trademark registration, through the concept of common law trademarks. So stick with us to have all your trademark-related questions answered.In this episode:Trademarks as a consumer protection deviceWhat aspects of a race can (and can't) be trademarkedTrademark geographical limitations: federal vs state/regional protectionCommon law trademarks: what they are, and what protection they already provide for your race even without trademark registrationResolving conflicts between common law trademarks and registered trademarksDefending your common law trademark against a competing trademark registrationWhy using your trademark in trade is crucial for establishing trademark protectionRegistering a trademark, trademark registration classes, and trademark search best practicesEstablishing registration priority with intent-to-use trademarksThe cost of registering a trademarkDIY trademark registration: is it worth it?(R) vs TM: Understanding trademark symbols and when/where to use them Renewing and defending registered trademarksMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about email marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
Email Marketing

Email Marketing

2022-05-3001:36:36

When it comes to marketing your race, email marketing is the granddaddy of all marketing channels. Forget TikTok, and Instagram and Facebook Ads, if you don’t have a sound email marketing strategy, you could be passing on a huge opportunity to grow your race - and also falling short of delivering the highest quality experience you can for your participants.Today we are going to be taking a very close look at all aspects of email marketing strategy, from the types of emails you should be sending, and when and how often you should send them, to exactly what you should be saying to your participants and prospective participants through your email copy. And we’ll be doing all that with the help of my guest, marketing pro, and very passionate email marketing advocate, Hollie Light - or “Hollie from the emails”, as she’s come to be known.In this episode:Why email marketing is so important for marketing your raceAre you emailing your audience too often? Segmenting your audience into converted (signed-up participants) and unconverted (everyone else) subscribersNewsletters: whom to send them to, what to put in them, how often you should send themSticking to a regular emailing schedule: creating a content calendar, repurposing content The importance of rewarding your email subscribersSelling your race through your newsletterTips for engaging email subject lines (hint: it's not about you, it's about them!)Nurturing subscribers to signing up through staged email sequencesUsing email as a customer service/upselling channel for existing participantsMarketing your shorter races as training events for your longer racesGrowing your mailing list with freebie/giveaway funnelsEmail design for optimal open rates and reader friendlinessUsing testimonials and social proof in your emailsProductivity tools, email templates and other tips to help you optimize your email marketingMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about email marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
It is May 2022 and whatever hopes and expectations we’ve all had of 2022 at the end of last year have started to materialize - or have they? It’s difficult to say how strongly our industry’s recovery towards pre-pandemic levels has fared so far this year, particularly when we all individually get to see only parts of the bigger picture. Well, today I’m delighted to be joined by two industry insiders who get to see as much of the bigger picture as any in our industry - Bob Bickel, Founder of US registrations market-leader RunSignup and Chris Robb, CEO of Mass Participation World and a passionate advocate for the endurance events industry.Chris and Bob come armed with data and a deep understanding of our industry and where it’s currently at, and they’ll be discussing with me the latest data on event numbers and registration trends, as well as more profound questions, like “Is it time for race directors to be raising prices?” - a question I’m sure many of you are asking yourselves.In this episode:Market recovery continues, but lagging prior expectations for 2022The effect of Omicron and erosion of trust on race participationHave people fallen out of love with racing?The knock-on effect of losing early sign-ups on overall registrationsRace director sentiment: from optimism to survival modeThe risk of operational know-how loss for the industryWhy are runners not getting back to start lines? Update on participant no-show ratesThe effect of local authority staff turnover on race permitting and event support provisionIs local business and local community support for races waning?Industry lobbying efforts throughout the pandemicNon-returning race rates before and during the pandemicFinancial stresses for mid-tier organizers and the tough 6 months aheadIs it time for race directors to raise prices?Bridging the disconnect between events and participants through year-round participant engagementSponsor sentiment and the shift towards performance-based sponsorshipsMarket forecasts for the next two yearsMany thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at https://runsignup.com/.Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at https://organisers.racecheck.com/.You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.You can also share your questions about marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
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