Google Analytics for Partner Websites

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 9.10.32 AMWe have added the ability to tie your Google Analytics account to Partner Websites. Like Race Websites, this enables tracking for the entire website, including e-commerce data and registrations.

For example, this is the type of report you can produce in Google Analytics if you tie your RunSignUp data to it (showing real data from the Scott Coffee race by event and donation (pretty cool!)). What is cooler is that this will become all automatic with the coming release of RunSignUp Analytics and even more insightful.
pastedImage0

RunSignUp Symposium Expands Timer Day

Moorestown, NJ – The fourth annual RunSignUp Race Director/Timer Symposium is expanding its Timer Day to include timing software and hardware representatives from throughout the endurance community. The Symposium opens with a Reception on July 17th, and includes two days of educational programming: a set of broad ranging sessions for race directors, race management companies, and timers on Tuesday July 18th, and a day dedicated specifically to timers on Wednesday, July 19th.

Timer Day will consist of 3 components: an introduction to the framework of RaceDay Scoring, the cloud-based next generation scoring solution to The Race Director, timing software breakouts, and timing hardware breakouts. Each breakout session will be led by representatives of the software or hardware company; attendees will be able to pick and choose the sessions they wish to attend.

RunSignUp founder Bob Bickel said about the changes, “We’re looking forward to opening our doors more this year. We work to keep our Symposium focused on peer education and technology, and a wide range of timing professionals provides significant value to our attendees without the sales atmosphere of an expo.” The current list of represented software and hardware companies will include:

The 2017 Timer Day will provide an opportunity for timers to meet face-to-face with the purveyors of their timing components to learn about updates and best practices. ChronoTrack, a subsidiary of Life Time Fitness, announced a partnership with RunSignUp earlier this year and will be one of the leaders of a hardware session. ChronoTrack Sales Director Michael Milici said,  “We are excited that RunSignUp is expanding their Annual Symposium to include more of the timing industry, and are looking forward to the opportunity to meet with customers in person to share some of the progress that we have made on our partnership.”

Registration and more information on the Symposium can be found here: https://runsignup.com/symposium

 

About RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, fundraising, and race promotion, RunSignUp Go for RaceDay, RD Go for Timers, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for mobile experiences. More than 10,000 race directors, timers, running club officers and running stores use these services today, including leading organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., Fifth Third River Bank Run, Komen Race for the Cure Philadelphia, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more. In 2016, over 14,000 races used the system to register more than 4.2 million participants. Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions such as race registration or club membership renewal. RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community. For more information, visit http://www.RunSignUp.com.

User Experience Manifesto

Our Commitment: RunSignUp will not only have the most feature rich race management platform, we will also have the leading user experience for participants, race directors, race management companies and timers by the end of 2017, and will continually improve the user experience into the future. Our goal is to create easy to use technology that makes a difference to our customer’s business and participant experiences, and make that pleasurable.

It has been over 3 years since we refreshed our Race Director Dashboard and 2 years since we refreshed our free Race Website user interface. During that time, we have been focused on building out the complete Race Management Platform from a functional perspective from Promotion (free tightly integrated email marketing, Referral Rewards, Social Sharing, etc.), to Registration innovations (1-Click Registration, Participant Management, Reporting, Daily Payment, PCI Compliance, free Sponsor Platform, free Volunteer Platform, etc.), to Fundraising (with fully integrated fundraising, multiple charity management and payment, outside fundraiser integration, etc.) to Race Day (acquisitions and integration of The Race Director and RaceJoy, Kiosk apps from SignUp and CheckIn and Results, a free Photo Platform and more).  And of course our normal 2,000 “little” changes each year.

This was a strategic decision where we saw so many opportunities to improve the status quo and have an impact we needed to put our resources there. With the recent hiring of Jeff Kiesel, our UI Lead, and additional developers joining us next month we are expanding our resources and our focus and expertise to improve the User Experience.

We are now turning our attention to a major push over the next 6-12 months to do major updates to the User Experience. With all of the functionality we have released, we now want to put that in context to make it simpler for races to absorb and give participants a better race experience.

We will be pursing improvements across our platform that will roll out incrementally.  In the beginning they will be smaller improvements, such as our planned roll out for a new Results table. Here is a wireframe of the first version of it:

unnamed.png

This first version cleans up the interface, and improves usability. The second release we have planned incorporates fun elements like photos and profile pictures while also providing further clean-up like minimizing the race website menu, repositioning sponsor logos and other elements:

unnamed (1).png

We will be rolling out the following major improvements over the course of this year:

Promotion Dashboard and Analytics. New graphics to show you not only how your race is doing in terms of registrations, but also where those registrations are coming from so you can focus your promotional efforts and know what is paying off and what is not.

New Race Website Template. We will be giving you a second choice to the existing race website template. While the current version has served well and has demonstrated great conversions and broad appeal because of the Facebook-like style, the new template will introduce a number of modern elements to keep your race on the cutting edge.

Results Table, Individual Results Page and Profile Page. In addition to the new overall results look and feel, we will also be providing a new look when a runner drills down on their own performance. The design will be like a custom website for the runner at that race, with fully integrated chip and GPS results, photos, videos, and historical performance. Returning participants will not only be able to see past year performances, you will be able to reward them with badges for multi-year participation. And of course perfect for sharing on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This concept will also be migrated over into the Profile page, where it will be a much richer experience for runners, with simpler access to participant management features.

Participant Relationship Management (PRM). With the improvement in Profile information to the participant, we will also be upgrading our great Participant Management features to a fuller Participant Relationship Management (PRM) approach. CRM systems like Salesforce do not meet the needs of races and participants – PRM provides not only repeat participation types of reports but also integrates tightly with our new Analytics engine, Email Marketing Engine and leverages assets like result data and race photos. This will allow races to use PRM to market their unique Experiences.

Race Director Dashboard Phase 1. We will be enhancing the existing dashboard incrementally by redesigning the header to provide more value and “at a glance” information. We will also be improving the functionality and visibility of My Race List, in addition to the new Promotional Dashboard being elevated to the new race dashboard “homepage”.

Race Director Dashboard Phase 2. A complete redesign and rationalization of the race dashboard. It will center around two elements.  First, that we are a platform with solutions in Promotion, Registration, Fundraising and Race Day.  Second, we will be centering more around common task areas – for example PRM or Reporting or Financial or Promotional. We will also be creating a Simple version, where the basics are shown. Race Directors will be able to discover more, and we will detect which features have been added so those show up on the Simple version incrementally.

Partner Dashboard. This will receive many of the improvements mentioned in the Race Director Dashboard Phase 1 as well as the Promotion Dashboard. This will provide race management companies with the tools and visibility they need to maximize their businesses.

Timer Dashboard. We will be introducing a new Timer Dashboard that will be working with the Race Day Scoring and The Race Director offerings. In addition, it will give the timer calendar management tools similar to what we offer with Sponsors – enabling them to keep track of customers, do automated renewals, mark commitment level, mark paid, send and collect invoices, etc.

In summary, we are shifting more of our resources to giving users of all kinds an experience that can make a difference.

Adroll Advertising and Tracking Updated

adroll-logo-cmykYour RunSignUp Race Website can now do Adroll remarketing by simply adding your Adroll Advertiser ID and Pixel ID in the RunSignUp dashboard. We are running a quick experiment on the Scott Coffee race over the next couple of weeks and will provide a fuller report on the benefits of Adroll in June.

You can activate your Adroll remarketing for your RunSignUp Race Website by simply adding your Addroll Advertiser ID and Pixel ID. You can find this information in your Adroll Dashboard (click here for more information). The two important parameters have been bolded in this example above – adroll_adv_id and adroll_pix_id. The exact values need to be copied from your Adroll Dashboard (do NOT use the parameters above).

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 8.05.05 AM

Explore the Sea at the 2017 RunSignUp Symposium Reception!

This year’s RunSignUp Race Director/Timer Symposium will kick off with a seaworthy event: our opening reception will be hosted at the Independence Seaport Museum. The reception is included in all Symposium packages, or as a stand-alone option for friends and family of attendees, or local race directors who have a conflict during the remainder of the Symposium.

We work to keep our Symposium focused on Education: a space for endurance industry professionals to share experiences and best practices, and time to learn the latest in advances in technology. But we believe that the best learning comes from peers, and there is no better way to expand your network than to have a beer and a laugh with a room full of like-minded professionals. Whether you’re starting your first event or celebrating 30 years in the business, we all have something to learn from each other!

The museum, which was founded in 1961, is the region’s primary repository of art, artifacts, and archival materials exploring the maritime history of the Greater Philadelphia Valley, the Port of Philadelphia, and the other major urban ports of the Delaware Valley. Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and wander through the exhibits with your new (and old) industry friends!

Registration for the full symposium, or just the Opening Reception is open: https://runsignup.com/symposium

 

Racepass

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 3.05.53 PM.pngRacepass recently launched. They received some initial press (although Competitor.com took down their article) and that has elicited some concerns from some of the race directors who use RunSignUp. This blog will hopefully clear up any confusion and let you know your options.

UPDATE (5/13/2017): We have requested Racepass to take off any races that they have copied from our API off of their website and to seek permission directly from races until they have cleaned up a number of their operational issues. We are suggesting an opt-in process for races until they incorporate technology to have the participant sign waivers directly, but we will see how they respond.

UPDATE (5/12/2017): This from Chase Rigby of Racepass:

-The coverage has been overwhelming, we have had hundreds of runners signing up every day and more and more outlets are covering it. Runner’s World hasn’t pulled the article, we just did another interview with them today because it’s been so noisy so they are publishing another soon.
-We are working hard on building out race director tools so that you can have access to runners data, emails, make bib transfers, special questions, donations, photos, etc. Those will roll out over the next months.
-We’re constantly fixing the data (one of the messiest and hardest pieces) so that we won’t have duplicate listings (the Scott Coffee Run came directly from RunSignUp API, we just parsed it wrong, our bad) and eventually race directors will be able to own, edit and update their content because after all it is theirs and we only want to present it to the runner in the best way possible.

What is Racepass?

Racepass allows a runner to buy a yearly pass that then allows them to sign up for some number of races:

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 3.06.14 PM.png

How does it work?

A runner registers for a Racepass and enters details like their date of birth, shirt size and emergency contact info. They see a list of races around where they are located, pick a race and signup with one click. Today Racepass manually takes that and goes to the registration provider and uses their own credit card to sign up for the race, entering the information of the runner. I (Bob) tried this yesterday, registering on Racepass around 8:30 AM and getting my confirmation (from RunSignUp) around 3:00PM.

Why this might be good

Making signup simple is good.  If a race has multiple places where people can find them, they might get more participants.

Concerns for Race Directors Today

I have talked with Racepass and they assure me they are working on a tighter connection with the RunSignUp API for a more integrated experience. Until that happens, there are a number of concerns.

One primary concern for races is the fact the participant does not sign the waiver, and there is no smooth way to find the participants who have been entered by Racepass. If there is data required beyond shirt and emergency contact, that is not collected – think custom questions or USAT membership number, etc.

Races also miss out on getting to interact directly with participants. This takes the form of not being able to ask for a donation, or join a fundraiser, buy an add-on, the inability to create or join a team, inability to collect phone numbers for results txt notifications, missing page views for Sponsor logos, and so forth.

Participants also are not creating an account, so there is no ability to have self-serve participant management like transferring events or exchanging bibs.

Another concern that I saw for the race I help with, Scott Coffee Run, is they had it listed 4 times. I think this is because we have 4 Events, yet there is no differentiation between those 4 events on the Racepass website – so I have no idea if I am signing up for the 8K or the 1Mile.

Do you want Racepass for your race?

Racepass has gone to a couple of registration sites, like RunSignUp, and duplicated the race info on their site. RunSignUp has no way to control this, and some races may want to have the potential of extra registrations.

Therefore, if you want your race taken off of RacePass, please contact them directly at support@racepass.com.