Interview with Mark Harris, Adventure Enablers Founder & Race Director

Mark Harris, Founder and Race Director of Adventure Enablers, works alongside his wife and Communications Director, Margo Harris, and Sponsorship & Logistics Manager, Greg Pulliam, to create unique and social endurance events for vastly different participant groups.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Mark. You can view the full case study video to learn more about how Adventure Enablers uses RunSignup to grow their races:

Q: Tell us about your races and the customers you serve.

A: We have very two distinct audiences of participants. We have a half marathon crowd, and then we have what we call the ‘dirty, grungy’ side of our audience that comes out for our adventure races, bike races, and trail runs.

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Q: Why did Adventure Enablers choose RunSignup?

A: As we started to dig deeper into the platform – the integration with timing, the way that participants can update their information, the way that we could manage participants…It really has become the turnkey application that we use as the foundation for what we do with all our events.

The RunSignUp platform has really driven and streamlined a lot of the way that we run our events, all the way from collecting participant information; to race day registrations, packet pick up through to timing; and then back out to communicating with customers post-race, posting pictures, and results.

Q: What are the benefits of RunSignup’s Race CRM?

A: My background is in IT. One of the big things with data and data management is keeping it in a single platform, not importing, exporting, manipulating to do different things across different platforms. RunSignUp lets us do that… from the moment someone clicks SignUp to coming back post-event to look at results and photos. That data is kept in that single platform.

When we moved to RSU, we went and grabbed all our data from previous platforms [we had used], and sucked that into RSU. That is huge. That’s given us one single huge database to manage participants. And it’s intelligent. We can compare information from one year to the next, we can build out marketing lists for email campaigns and social campaigns. Having all that information in one location and having it be intelligently working with everything else that we do in the registration and timing process is huge.

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Q: How do you use RunSignup to promote your races?

A: We are able to reserve entries for past participants. We want to give them the VIP option to come in and sign up for our races before everyone else. That’s worked very well, we’re able to create a huge buzz about the event before registration even opens.

We have an Ambassador Program. Ambassadors get free entry to the race and a VIP experience in return for referring friends to our races.

Q: How do you use photography at your races?

A: We do a lot of photography at our events and we know that’s a really important part of creating the experience for our participants.

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If we work with a professional photographer, the turn-around on pictures can be up to a week. What we lose with that is the buzz and the immediate post race day, water-cooler, ‘Hey I did this awesome event’, social sharing… We actually see a lot more traction on social sharing, promotion of our events, and time with our results, if we take a volunteer who we’ve stood at the finish line and say ‘Anytime someone crosses the finish line, snap a picture’. We upload those photos directly to RaceDay Photos to sync with results and we see a lot more social interaction and sharing on that side, and that’s a sort of intangible gain.

Website: https://www.adventureenablers.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdventureEnablers/

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