Bob was inspired to start RunSignup based on being one of the race directors at the Scott Coffee Run. Eight years later, it is useful to see how the race makes use of RunSignup technology today (this will be a long blog post).
Race Website – We used to have a website managed by a third party. It was difficult to update, did not get results posted instantly, have a “find a runner” feature, or update pricing automatically. We moved the whole website to the special URL RunSignup allows us to create – RunSignup.com/ScottCoffeeRun. We are looking forward to using our own URL for next year’s race when RunSignup adds that feature!
Email – We send about 8 emails per year for free. Our email list is about 4,000 people. If we use MailChimp, that would cost $600/year and Constant Contact would cost us $720.
Social Teams – We came up with the concept of the “Caffeine Challenge” a couple of years ago and it has been a hit! Any team that has over 20 members receives a free pair of socks. We work with the local running store and get a very good price on socks and look for a sponsor for that cost. Team members only get the socks if they pick up in the store before the race (so the store gets more traffic). This year our largest team in a 1,000 person race was over 100! And we had 4 teams to qualify and a total of 19 teams organize with over 300 participants. Their viral word of mouth has really helped our race.
Facebook – We have a Facebook page with over 800 followers. We use the social sharing features of RunSignup so when people sign up, their friends sign up as well. It is great to be able to upload a nice image that appears on Facebook posts automatically – it makes our race look good!
RaceInsights – The new set of reports allows us to track where our registrations are coming from. If we do a Facebook ad, we can track exactly how many registrations and $’s came from it.
Coupons – We use coupons for several different purposes. First is for promotional price discounts. Second is for sponsors we give some free registrations to. Third, we use them for deferrals. If a participant sends us an email saying they can’t make the race and asking for a refund, we send a friendly email back with a coupon code for next year’s race.
April Fool – We do one big discount promotion per year (that way we are not under-valuing our race fee with constant discounts or promotions). It is $5 off on April Fools Day, and we make it fun with a simple coupon code of “fool18”.
One of the most unique things about our registration is how many team types we have (yes, even on mobile!):
Relay Team Registration – We have 5 different relay types. 10 and under Male and Female, 14 and under Male and Female, and Open Relay. All of them require exactly 5 people. RunSignup makes this easy to set up and assure all teams are complete. We also use the team bib assignment to give all members on a team the same bib number. This way they have flexibility in who runs first, second and so forth (although RunSignup has a way to handle that too!) One of the reasons why RunSignUp has always been good at teams, is the Scott Coffee Run had a major impact on our early requirements.
Competitive Team Registration – We also have a competitive team, that scores the top 3 from each team. Companies typically vie for this award.
Social Team Registration – We talked about this above, but the registration process is simple as you can see by all the people who use it!
Corporate Paid Registration – We allow companies to set up to pay for their employees. They can set their own parameters – paying the full cost, setting a limit of $X per registration, and how many total people they will pay for. They can put a password on it if they want. We have not marketed this well, but still have several companies take advantage.
Find a Participant – Participants email us (from the convenient RunSignup Contact Us link on our website), and this allows us to find them quickly. We can see their entire history with the race and make our communications more personal – “Thanks for being a 7 time participants!”.
Self-Serve Transfers – We allow people to transfer from one event to another. Rather than drop out of the 8K, they can just do the 1 mile walk and still be a part of a fun day.
Refunds and Deferrals – We also allow people to self manage these as well, reducing the number of email queries we get. We have a very flexible refund policy up to 1 week before the race and find it is really not abused and makes our race very friendly.
Competitive Team Auto-Bib Assignment – Very simple and makes our timer’s life easy.
Relay Team Auto-Bib Assignment – Same! Except we use a different bib range.
Dynamic Bib Assignment – Most of the runners, including the Caffeine Challenge teams get assigned a bib number when they check-in.
Check-In – We used a combination of the Legacy Check-In on laptops and the Check-In app on Apple and Android phones and tablets.
Race Day SignUp – We used the signupapp.runsignup.com app on Chromebooks to let people sign up at the race, as well as recommended people sign up on their own phones. We did that at one station, and then they did check-in and bib assignment at a separate station.
Timer Results with Dropbox – Our timer, Compuscore, has their own scoring and results software. They also save the results to a Dropbox file that dynamically updates RunSignup Results. This means results were available on both the timer’s website and the race website simultaneously.
TXT Results – Participants got txt and email results as soon as the results were updated in the Dropbox folder and automatically synced with RunSignup Results.
It is amazing to see all of the technology our company has created based on feedback from thousands of races that make our little race run fast and well. Thanks to the whole RunSignup team and community!