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10 ways to improve your race registration

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Keep your race participants smiling all the way from the start to the finish line with a smooth easy registration process. In this whitepaper, you will find 10 smart and simple tips to create a seamless race experience for participants.Learn how to impress your race audience, build good press for your event, save yourself a lot of time and headaches and to make life easier for you and your participants

Published in: Sports, Business, Technology
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10 ways to improve your race registration

  1. 1. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration Word of mouth marketing is regarded as the mostpowerful form, and when it comes to building and growing your sporting event or race brand, it’s important to keep this in mind. Whetheryou’re organising a 5k fun run, a walking event or a long distance charity cycle, event participants will always have something to say about the event registration process. Make those comments positive by following a few simple steps to streamline your race registration and keep your audience happy.
  2. 2. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration The days of paper-based race registrations are well and truly numbered. Online registration is convenient and fast for both you and your registrants, and athletes have now come to expect it when signing up for sporting events. With online race registration, entrants can sign up to your event 24/7 with just a few clicks and can even do it on-the-go from their mobile phone or tablet. Not only will online registration keep your entrants happy but it can save you hours of time and a lot of headaches by processing and storing all your event, payment and participant data in one easy location. As races grow in size and popularity, they can sell out in a matter of hours or even minutes. For those athletes who have been competing in a race for years, it can be frustrating when the event grows in popularity and spaces fill up earlier than before, limiting entry numbers. Pre-reg or early bird registration is one way to avoid this by releasing a limited number of entries to repeat entrants ahead of general registration. This also allows race organisers to get more people signed up for the event earlier and builds loyalty among your race community.
  3. 3. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration Event attendance in groups is the preferred option for many race participants, charities and organisations, so it is good to offer group registration if possible. This makes your life a lot easier and will undoubtedly lead to more satisfied group leaders. Two things you can do to encourage group registrations are to:  Provide discounts for people who register as part of a group  Make group registration as easy as possible by handling it within your standard registration process.
  4. 4. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration Usability studies show that participants struggle with long registration forms, particularly when those forms contain information that isn’t relevant to the athlete. Pre-filled registration forms (auto recall) and conditional logic in the registration process can avoid these pitfalls. Auto recall: If you have many repeat entrants for your race or multiple events, a system that can recall a competitor’s personal information from previous race entries will speed up the registration process significantly. This practice can also decrease the number of people who abandon the registration process and reduce errors in your reporting. Conditional Logic: This tailors questions in the registration form to dynamically display based on information previously entered. So, for example, if I am organising an obstacle adventure race, I may ask an attendee if they would like to include food and drink tokens or merchandise in the registration.
  5. 5. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration If they answer “no,” they will not be required to fill out information on t-shirt sizes or food preferences. On the other hand, if that person chooses “yes” he will automatically see the appropriate questions. Large complex sporting events are using conditional logic to dramatically streamline the registration process, but even small events such as 5ks or charity fun runs can use this feature to greatly reduce registration headaches for participants while reducing the workload for race organisers. People are busy and read less and less these days so don’t assume that participants will read all of the event information that you send out. Send regular communications, updates and reminders to race participants, with clear directions on when, where and how to register for your event. Make it clear what time they need to turn up on race day, where they should go to pick up their bibs and race packs, and how on-site registration will work. Make sure you include a clear and direct link to your registration page in all communications and on your website.
  6. 6. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration Let’s face it, no matter how much marketing you do, some people will still show up the morning of your race looking to register. On race day, competitors are focused on competing and don’t want to worry about paperwork, so it’s important to make the race day process as simple as possible. You need a good system in place for this, whether it’s a simple one-pager or a laptop connected to online registration.  A well designed entry form will help to streamline the registration process. Design a simple one-page entry form for race day entries. Use large blocks instead of straight lines. Even the most hurried participant is forced to print, thus saving valuable time during data entry and reducing the need for name spelling corrections after the race is over.  Instruct entrants to "Please Print Clearly."It is also a good idea to add, "Age and gender must be supplied to be eligible for age group awards". Print the race day applications on white paper as coloured paper can be difficult to read.  Instruct your registration staff or volunteers to read back the entrants information to them. This is quick to do and reduces errors in data entry and race results.
  7. 7. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration Organise your race day registration similar to how a bank handles their customers. Use one organised line with multiple registration staff or volunteers serving the next available race entrant. Put up clear signage instructing athletes where to go and this will help eliminate confusion associated with multiple lines. When it comes to ordering race bibs, safety pins and other race items, it is always better to err on the side of too many than not enough. This may seem like basic common sense but how many times have you been at an event where the organisers are handing out make shift numbers because not enough bibs were ordered? Also make sure to order enough safety pins to put the numbers on.
  8. 8. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration Believe it or not this is a common problem. It sometimes occurs when two different people handle pre and post registration. Typically what happens is the person handling pre-registration does not instruct the person handling post- registration where to begin assigning bib numbers for race day applicants. If, for example pre-registration had assigned bib numbers that ended at 1000 then post-registration begins at 990 there is an overlap of about 10 numbers. On the surface this may not seem like such a big deal, however in the mad rush of race day registration the problem is amplified. Another pointer which is again, very simple is to have staff instruct competitors to put their race number on the front so that all entrants can be easily tracked. It is not uncommon for an entire family to sign up for an event. A problem that often occurs is one family member will pick up the numbers and hand them to the other family members. If the correct number is not handed to the right person this can cause problems. The next thing you know mum is being announced as the overall women's winner because dad was wearing her number. Putting individual names on the race numbers can help prevent this from happening. A poorly run race registration can lead to negative feedback and bad press for your event. However, with a little forward planning, experience and following these simple tips you can avoid many of the most common pitfalls associated with race registration.
  9. 9. 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Race Registration Sometimes when we’re talking to event directors they say ‘You guys provide online registration software, don’t you?’ That’s true, but we really are so much more than that. We are your marketing magicians, your pricing advisers, your best practices buddies, and more. We are your partner and we are as dedicated as you are to growing your event and the industry. And we are also participants, which gives us a special insight into your world.       +44 (0) 207 554 0949 +65 6692 6072 +61 1-800 737 632 +64 0800 440 877 Connect.EMEA@ACTIVEnetwork.com Connect.APAC@ACTIVEnetwork.com

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