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Three Ways to Get Your New Event Noticed

So you’re a freshly-minted race director. You’ve organized your own event, you’ve made the necessary accommodations, you’ve secured permits, and you’ve worked out the logistics. Yet despite it all, people just aren’t registering. Low registration numbers can be unnerving, but don’t give up; there are ways to turn it around and draw attention to your event.

  1. Rack Cards: We’ve covered rack cards on this blog before, and the same points we made in our prior post hold true now. Rack cards with an eye-catching design placed in local running stores are a great way to draw the “passive” crowd—as in those who are not actively looking for an event to participate in but might should they become aware of one.
  2. Internet Presence: The active crowd consists of those who are already searching for an event to participate in. These individuals find events via the internet—and for this reason, it is paramount that your event has a web presence. Simply posting a registration page is often not enough. There are a number of ways to do this—one method is to scour the web for running calendars to add your event to. Running a dedicated Facebook page also exposes a large number of individuals to the event—and keeps prior registrants in the loop when the next event rolls along. Another method is email promotions—various registration services, including Databar Events, offer far-reaching email exposure. Finally, sponsorships by established brands or businesses are very good for web presence—if you can negotiate having your event advertised on their own webpage, you can benefit from their site traffic. Other than the aforementioned methods, web presence is a complicated topic—and if you’re serious about growing your event and seem to have reached a plateau, we recommend looking into search engine optimization (also known as SEO).
  3. Discounts: Even small coupons go a long way. People love to feel like they’re saving money—and so, distributing coupon codes or other discounts to local running clubs or running stores tends to be very effective. Make sure you advertise these coupons in some way—they don’t work if others don’t know they exist to begin with. Posting coupon codes to an event Facebook page is a very effective method of proliferation. Creating family or group discounts is another good strategy when it comes to bolstering registrations, as it encourages a number of people to register at the same time.

If you feel like you’ve exhausted these three suggestions, don’t give up—chances are there’s something you overlooked or there’s a different approach unique to your situation to pursue. Take a step back and compare your event with others. What do they have that your event doesn’t? Often, asking that question will bring you to the missing piece.

For race directors, starting out is the most challenging period. As you host more and more events, you’ll attract larger numbers of registrants by word of mouth—but at the beginning, you don’t have that benefit. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your event hosting service for ideas—professional agencies naturally have insight into the industry and can help point you in the right direction. If you don’t see success at first, don’t quit! Once you get over the toughest hurdle—the very start—your events will grow at a much more steady pace.