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 expos are an amazing way to elevate your participant’s event experience, a good way to add an additional revenue stream to your race, and just about the best way to activate sponsorships and expand the roster of your commercial partnerships.
My guest today, industry veteran Craig Mintzlaff, has been working on races and race expos for more than 20 years. Through his company, Endurance Sports Marketing Group, he’s been managing expos for some of the best-known events and event series in the industry, and he’s with us today to share some of the many things he’s learned from setting up, promoting and selling out hundreds of race expos on both sides of the Atlantic.
In this episode:
How all events - not only larger races - can put on a successful race expoWhat vendors are looking for from attending a race expo Figuring out how many vendors your expo can supportTypes of vendors to invite to your race expoThe benefits of expo booth-swapping with other events in your regionPutting a price on your race expo booths/spaceBalancing in-kind vs cash contributions from expo partnersNegotiating partnerships with local vs national brandsUnlocking the right contact to reach out to in vendor organizationsThe importance of securing a retail partner before going after the big brands (e.g. Brooks, Nike, Asics etc)Selling your race expo to vendors: understanding your event demographics, CPMs, focusing on race experienceMaking your expo partners' lives easier: offering to staff their booths on their behalf!How to lay out your expo for maximum lingering time (hint: put all the freebies, drinks at the back)Raffles, stamps, competitions and other tips for increasing participant engagement with vendor boothsTaking your expo to the next level with music and an announcerThanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|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 race expos, sponsorships or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.
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