Participant Management: Admin vs. Self-Serve

Admin Participant Management

All participant management options allow you, as the race director, to manage your participants (and you never need RunSignup to do it for you). You can manage everything from refunds and event transfers to deferrals and add-on’s with the click of a button. Have a lot of participant management to do? We offer bulk participant management tools to make it simple to transfer, refund, or defer large amounts of participants.

Self-Serve Participant Management

Make participant management even easier by empowering your participants to manage their own registration. Once you opt to enable self-serve participant management, you control all the parameters (like cutoff dates) and participants can make changes to their event, defer their race, or transfer their bib – no customer support needed. You can enable some or all self-serve options, and allow participants to access them for free or for a fee.

Common Participant Management Options

Want to know what you (or your participants) can control? This is a basic rundown of the most common participant management options available for you to use or enable.

1. Event Transfers

Offering multiple distance options for your race? Give people the confidence to sign up with the ability to transfer to a shorter (or longer) distance later. If they switch to a more expensive distance, they’ll pay the difference (and any fee you add), but there are no refunds if they switch to a cheaper event.

2. Participant Transfer

Allow participants who can no longer run the race to transfer their bib to another participant. You can opt for a “gift transfer” where any financial arrangement between the runners is offline, or a “transfer for refund” where the initial participant is refunded once a new one completes their registration.

3. Deferrals

Give participants the option to defer their registration to a later year instead of missing out altogether. Deferrals can be enabled for participants to access for free, or for a fee.

4. Refunds

Provide full or partial refunds to participants who cannot attend. You can enable refund requests directly from the participant, or keep it as an admin-only feature.

Bulk Participant Management

No matter how carefully you plan, it’s always possible that your race could be cancelled, postponed, or significantly interrupted by an event outside your control. When that happens, you need the ability to manage large amounts of registrations quickly and effectively. RunSignup offers a number of bulk participant management tools that you can rely on to make the updates to your registrations efficiently.

Bulk Refunds

Most commonly used when an event is cancelled, bulk refunds allow you to refund some or all of the registration costs to your participants.

Bulk Event Transfer

Often used to transfer participants from an in-person event to a virtual, but it’s available to move registrants between any events within the same race.

Bulk Deferrals

A quick and simple method for you to move large numbers of participants from one year of your race to another year.

Bulk Race Transfer

Your easy option to move participants from one race to an entirely different race. Caveat: you must be listed as a race director on both events.

5. Question Management

Asking important custom questions like what beverage they want at the post-race party or if they want an early start? For more accuracy, let a deadline and let participants update their own answers.

6. Giveaway and Add-On Management

Keep your swag counts accurate with the ability for participants to update their giveaway and add-on options up until your order date.

7. Group/Team Management

Offering teams to enhance the experience of your event? Keep the fun going by allowing participants to create or join teams after registration.

More Participant Management Options…

Participant Info

Allow participants to update (some) basic information like name and address after they have registered.


Races using the RunSignup Corrals tool can let participants to update their anticipated times or corrals after registration.

Shipping Address

Shipping out packages? Enable shipping address management to ensure participants can update addresses that change.


Empower your fundraisers by providing the opportunity to do self-management of multiple options.

Pro Tip:
Help Participants Manage Their Own Registration

Self-serve participant management only reduces customer service if participants know how to use it. RunSignup’s library of How To’s includes an entire section designed for your participants. Link to the how-to (or copy the content to your own site) in your race FAQ and within participant emails to give participants the answers before they even ask.

All the Latest Blogs on Participant Management

Unlocking Fundraising Success: DONNA Marathon’s Executive Director on RunSignup’s Platform and More

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Amanda Napolitano, the Executive Director of the DONNA Foundation, responsible for overseeing the DONNA Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida. During our conversation, Amanda shared valuable insights into best practices for fundraising events and maximizing the potential of RunSignup’s comprehensive products and features.

In our discussion, Amanda covered a range of topics, including registration, fundraising, RaceDay Checkin app, RaceJoy, and Ticket Signup, to name just a few. She emphasized how these tools can be effectively utilized to enhance the overall experience for participants and race staff. Amanda highlighted that the primary reason they transitioned to RunSignup this year was the seamless integration between registration technology and fundraising features, which proved to be remarkably user-friendly both during setup and for participants.

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How to Streamline Packet Pickup

The packet pickup process sets the tone for the entire race experience for participants, volunteers, and staff. Creating a streamlined and hassle-free experience during packet pickup is essential for delivering a positive and memorable event. Below is a summary of the ways race organizers can streamline the process by looking at the basic components of packet pickup, using RunSignup’s technology, and the exploring how different sized events require different approaches.

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Insurance – A New Revenue Source for Races

As we announced a few weeks ago, we now make it easy and profitable for races to offer the convenience of insurance for participants if they get injured, ill or have other obstacles to attending your race. It is a great offering…

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Repeat Participants on RunSignup

We have built a lot of features to make RunSignup easy to use for people who sign up more than once on our platform. We make our forms easy to fill out. We are very mobile friendly. People enter just their zipcode…

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Participant Report Advanced Event Select

There is a new Advanced Select option on the Participant Report to view your participant data across multiple events. Previously, it was simple to view participants across all events or in one event. Now it’s also easy to view participant data across…

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Webinar Recap: Event Renewal and Participant Management

Start 2022 off right. Join us to review the renewal process (and any cleanup that may be needed from the last two years), then get a refresh on participant management options and best practices. This webinar with Larry and Herman covers: Renewing…

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Permanent Removal of Refund Processing Fees

We are pleased to announce the permanent removal of the $1.00 refund processing fee we used to charge. RunSignup incurs costs for processing refunds, but we waived those early in the pandemic to encourage races to do refunds to their participants. We…

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RunSignup Technology During a Pandemic

It has been a full month since we shifted into Full Coronavirus Mode on March 9. At our core, we are a technology company. We have been in hyperdrive mode this past month on a bunch of different fronts and wanted to…

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Quick Participant Videos

With the flood of races offering deferrals and transfers to virtual events, participants are also flooding our inbox (and yours, I’m sure) looking for guidance. Luckily, Andrew Sigwart both monitors the info@runsignup email inbox, and creates all our video content. We have a few…

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Coronavirus Tools: Where are we Today?

It’s been a crazy few weeks since Bob first posted some suggestions for races that may be impacted by the Coronavirus. Now, with races across the country getting creative, we wanted to take a moment to collect all the updates in one place. Postponement Tool The…

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No processing fees to issue refunds

We have removed the $1 per refund fee to issue refunds. Additionally, we reduced the processing fee to add money to your refund reserve via credit card to help make this process easier for race directors. We have reduced the fee to…

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Tools for Coronavirus Planning

NOTE: We updated our policies for reserves and post race payments on March 27 and April 15. We are likely to continue to update the policy as conditions change. RunSignup will be releasing two tools this week to help races if they are affected by…

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