Episodes
Published 05/16/22
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...
Published 05/16/22
When it comes to marketing events, text marketing - or SMS marketing, as it’s often known - is just about as controversial as it gets. Some people have used it and absolutely love the high engagement rate and ROI SMS marketing campaigns provide, others don’t want anything to do with it and positively cringe at the idea of marketing their event over so personal a channel. Well, over the next hour and a half we are going to be going deep into the technology, the arguments and the facts around...
Published 05/02/22
Does your race employ a race announcer? Chances are probably not. You may think that your race is not big enough to have one or that the money spent on a race announcer could be better spent elsewhere - or not spent at all, if you run a for-profit race or raising money for a charity or cause close to your heart. Well, today we’re going to try and give you some reasons to reconsider with the help of my guests, professional announcers Fitz Koehler and Steve Fleck. We’re going to be looking at...
Published 04/18/22
What do the Marine Corps Marathon, Air Force Marathon and Army Ten Miler all have in common? They are, of course, amazing races put on to celebrate branches of the US Military that attract tens of thousands of participants every year. Well, there’s a new race in town for 2022, set to celebrate the youngest of all military branches: the Space Force. The aptly named Space Force T-Minus 10-Miler is set to take place this December 10th at historic Cape Canaveral, and we’re going to be hearing...
Published 04/12/22
It is by now abundantly clear that some of the ways we have all been used to doing things, including organizing races, are just not sustainable for the planet in the long term. And it is increasingly obvious to race directors and participants alike that traveling long distances to and from events, going through scores of single-use plastic bottles, and sending tons of waste to landfill is taking its toll on the environment and the communities we all strive to support. For over a decade, the...
Published 04/04/22
It’s probably not an overstatement to say that volunteers are the backbone of every successful race. They are the people that make much of race day happen and, yet, recruiting and managing volunteers, training them properly and retaining them for the long run remains a constant headache for race directors of all levels of experience. Well, today we’re going to try and make everyone’s life a little bit easier by going over some great tips and strategies for streamlining your volunteer...
Published 03/21/22
On February 17, former president of the Portland Marathon, Lester Smith, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of wire fraud and tax evasion. In the indictment, Smith, who has led the Portland Marathon as both president and race director since 1982, is accused of embezzling more than $1 million dollars from the race’s coffers to fund his personal luxury lifestyle. Today, we’ll be looking back at the story of Lester Smith and his time at the Portland Marathon, the legal cases brought...
Published 03/10/22
What’s in a brand? Is it the sleek logo with the matching color palette and catchy tagline? Is it your organization’s mission statement and your event’s core values? Or is it every single thing that makes your event a memorable experience for your participants on race day? Well, according to my guest today, event branding expert Peter Abraham, your brand is all of the above and a whole lot more. It is the heart and soul of your event, and what it aspires to be for your team, your...
Published 03/07/22
Why do some of your marketing campaigns work and others don’t? Why do you yourself as a consumer respond a lot more favorably to some types of messages and not others? At the end of the day, what makes us all take our wallets out and pull the trigger on that next purchase? The answer to all those questions more often than not comes down to psychology. We are programmed to respond to certain queues - what our peers say about a product, how scarce that product feels, or how likeable the brand...
Published 02/21/22
When you want to know what’s happening and trending in the endurance events industry by the numbers, where do you turn to? Well, for me and many people I know, the definitive source of event data for the industry is, and has been for some time, GiveSignup|RunSignup’s annual RaceTrends report. The report leverages GiveSignup|RunSignup’s extensive registration data from almost 60,000 events to point to trends in event participation, event pricing, participant demographics, marketing...
Published 02/07/22
When you think of race expos, what kind of thing comes to mind? Well, if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking huge pre-race expos like New York or London, where you go to pick up your bib and race packet, and where you get to stroll around hundreds of booths from high-profile running brands showcasing their latest thing. Race expos are actually a lot more common than you think, and, according to my guest today, absolutely every event can and should have one. And why wouldn’t yours? Race...
Published 01/24/22
Public relations (PR) is an integral part of running a successful brand and business. It is the art of communication and storytelling. It’s about appealing to communities and stakeholders, forging relationships with media and playing the marketing long game. Yet, as my guest today - PR pro, Meg Treat, of Treat Public Relations - rushes to acknowledge, it often gets a bit of a bad rap.  Well, hopefully we’re going to be challenging those perceptions for you today, with a really insightful...
Published 01/10/22
If you’re listening to this episode as it comes out, it’s the middle of the holiday season and, hopefully, you’re recovering from some excessive meal or other - so, Merry Christmas to you! Today, we have a very special end-of-year episode for you where we’re going to be looking back at a fairly challenging 2021 but also looking ahead to a - hopefully - much brighter, more optimistic 2022. We’re going to be talking about your expectations for the new year, and also touching a bit on the...
Published 12/27/21
Sports tourism - you’ve heard the phrase, people traveling to places to participate in sporting - that’s a whole thing these days. And a very fast-growing thing at that. So, how can your race capitalize on this trend and how can you position your event to attract more overseas or out-of-state participants? That’s exactly what we’ll be getting into today with my guest, George Kakourides, Marketing Director for the Logicom Cyprus Marathon. As you’ll hear, George has worked really hard on...
Published 12/13/21
If you have built a business putting on races, chances are you would have thought of maybe selling some or all of those races at some point in the future. You may also have toyed with the idea of buying races from others as a way to grow your event portfolio. Buying and selling races still remains a big mystery for most race directors - even very experienced ones. How do you go about it? How do you find events to buy, if you’re a buyer, and where do you turn to sell your event, if you’re a...
Published 11/29/21
The GiveSignup|RunSignup Symposium series has grown from modest beginnings of just a few dozen people to be the industry conference most race directors and timers will attend during the year. And this January 25-26, the Symposium series returns to Orlando Florida after a two-year hiatus for an awesome two days of education and networking, and all race directors, timers and nonprofit professionals are invited - not just GiveSignup|RunSignup customers. So, it’s great to have with me today,...
Published 11/18/21
If I told you “race marketing”, what kinds of things come to mind? Facebook ads maybe, maybe Google Ads. But what about your race website? Is that optimised for search engines? When people search Google for your race - or, even more importantly, for a race like your race to enter - is your race website the one they find at the top of Google search results? Today we’re going to be talking about SEO - a huge missed opportunity to get more qualified people to discover your race on Google. Why...
Published 11/15/21
It’s very fashionable these days to hear people speak of “influencers” - people who work with brands to promote their products and services to a niche audience in which they have a strong following. Well, our industry has had that for a while. They’re called race ambassadors and they can be your race’s special influencers, going out into the community and spreading the word for your event in their running club, weekly group run, or the next race or expo they attend. Today I have the...
Published 11/01/21
Today, we have a bonus episode for you. And it’s all about Tyvek. Yes, that wondrous paper-like, fabric-like material, that is actually neither paper nor fabric, that our industry uses to make race bibs. Well, that wondrous material is now in a bit of a supply freeze. That’s right - the owners and exclusive manufacturers of Tyvek, DuPont, have informed printers that no more printing-grade Tyvek shall be made available until the end of the year, in an effort to divert production to...
Published 10/29/21
At the tender age of 24, with no prior experience or any interest in running, Matt Trevett decided to take a gamble and launch a new 10K in his hometown of Weybridge in Surrey, UK. Matt promised local business groups and the local council he’ll bring 1,000 people to the race in its first year. As you can imagine, everyone was very supportive of the idea - in between thinking Matt was crazy. Fast-forward a few months, and Matt delivered his 1,000 people inaugural Weybridge 10K, as promised,...
Published 10/18/21
It’s probably fair to say that when it comes to a race director’s calendar, it doesn’t get much bigger than race day. It’s the day your race comes alive and a day you and your team have been working towards for months. Whether it’s your first race or your hundredth, everyone goes into race day a bit like a standup comedian walking on stage for their first gig - with a mix of excitement and, well, dread is probably a good word for it. A million things are going through your head. Does...
Published 10/04/21
Ask yourself this: when was the last time you bought something without checking out reviews for it online? Experiences, like races, are no different. When you have a dozen 10Ks to choose from, you’ll want to hear what others have to say about each race before making your decision. And that’s where race reviews come in. Whether they’re hosted on your website or a third-party site, reviews are the mirror of your race to the world. It’s the best social proof you have and the most effective...
Published 09/20/21
Have you ever thought about timing your races yourself? Building your own RFID timing system? Perhaps even building a small race timing business on the side as a way to diversify your income? Well, doing your own race timing is certainly not for everyone. For most race directors, managing their own race timing is the last thing they need on race day. Nevertheless, DIY race timing is exactly the route many race directors choose to go down, either to save money, try their hands at building a...
Published 09/06/21
Making races more sustainable is on more and more race directors’ radar these days - which is awesome. But when it comes to moving from theory to practice, working to affect actual change in your race that has a meaningful impact on your event’s environmental footprint, things sometimes get a little bit confusing. Where do you even start? How do you benchmark where you’re currently at with your event, so you can measure your progress going forward? What things should you focus on? And what...
Published 08/23/21