Two Overlooked Ways to Boost Per Participant Revenue

There are a lot of costs associated with putting on an event. You have to pull permits, pay fees to municipalities, hire vendors for different things like food or timers for a race. All those costs add up. 

Some rely solely on registrations to cover those costs. However as overhead costs and inflation grow, and margins continually shrink, ticket sales might not be enough to keep up with the costs associated with putting on an event. 

Instead of, or along with, simply trying to sell more tickets there’s another route you can take. You can try to sell more to people who are attending your event and increase your per participant revenue. 

What is per participant revenue?

Per participant revenue refers to the average amount of money each participant at an event spends. Raising the average amount someone spends is a great way to boost revenue because you don’t have the cost of trying to find new participants. People already interested in your event are also generally more likely to be open to additional offers. 

Two overlooked ways to boost per participant revenue

There are a number of ways you can increase per participant revenue. You could add additional experiences for attendees. Both of which are valid approaches to take. However, additional experiences generally introduce more overhead costs. 

That said, there are two things we think many may overlook that could help boost per participant revenue: fees and merchandise


Fees may not seem like the most exciting way to increase per participant revenue, but it is an effective one. In 2023 93% of all processing fees were paid by participants, showing they’re willing to do so. And that percentage has steadily grown in the past few years. 

With RunSignup you’re able to adjust the fees, as well as choose whether or not the registrant pays it. We charge a rate of 6% + $1 per transaction – that 6% includes credit card processing fees, so you don’t pay anything additional for that. Anything you choose to do above that is pure profit for your race. 

Updating fees for your race is simple. Just go to your race dashboard and select Financial > Pricing > More options > Extra fees.

Once there you can add the fees you’d like and select whether it’s added per registration, registrant, or event.


It’s somewhat commonplace to see merchandise for an event, but not many are embracing it as an additional revenue stream. In 2023 14% of registrants purchased merchandise from a race when available. And the average amount of revenue from merchandise for an event has grown steadily over the past few years. The average in 2023 was just under $1900. 

Similar to fees, you have control over how much margin you have on a merchandise item. Things like t-shirts and water bottles seem to be popular options. RunSignup gives you the option to add store items. You can choose to have them show as part of the registration flow, as well as offer them through a standalone shop on your event page. Both are useful for getting sales, and increasing your per participant revenue. 

To add store items, scroll to the bottom the the side menu and select Show More > Store > Setup.

From there you can add in store items and list quantities for each item. You can also upload photos so people can see the merchandise, as well as set options like where the items are shown.

If you want to learn even more about setting up a store and all the options available, check out our help knowledge base article on the topic.

Setting up for future success 

As the cost to put on an event keeps rising, finding new revenue sources is paramount to long term success. Fees and merchandise both offer great options for races to bring in additional dollars and only add little, to no, additional overhead costs. 

With tools like RunSignup you’re able to make the most of these potential revenue opportunities. If you’re ready to create your next race, you can do so here for free. 

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