St. Louis BizDash Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This BizDash Case Study creating a Corporate Team event. 

View the PDF Version of the St. Louis BizDash Case Study

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bizdash-logoAbout the St. Louis Biz Dash and RunSignUp:

The St. Louis Biz Dash was created in 2016 by the St. Louis Sports Commission. Race Director Kyle Stegeman shared some of the goals of the new event:

 

  • Create an annual event that supports the local community and highlights downtown St. Louis
  • Encourage corporate wellness
  • Engage the business community and celebrate each of the industries

In their inaugural year, the Biz Dash used the RunSignUp Corporate Team System.


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The Setup: Corporate Teams on RunSignUp

The Biz Dash took full advantage of the flexibility of the RunSignUp Corporate Team System.

Registration Types

A) Employees can register as scored members of their company’s team

B) Friends and family can register as non-scored members of a company’s team

C) An individual without a company can register on the “St. Louis Sports Commission” team

Company Payment Options

A) Pay for the registrations for their runners

B) Pay some of the registration cost for their runners

C) Create a team, but require runners to pay for their own registration fee

Teams had the ability to set (and change) limits on what their company was willing to cover. This flexibility allowed the Biz Dash to appeal to companies regardless of their budget for Corporate Wellness: subsidizing registration is obviously a good way to get out runners, about a company can participate even if they have little to no budget for this type of event.


Team Type Customization for Sponsors

The St. Louis Sports Commission worked closely with each of their sponsors to put together the package that best met their individual needs. Customization was important here, too: Kyle could create a separate Team Type for each sponsor, or even edit and update the parameters of the package at a later date.


Keep it Simple: Using RunSignUp widgets, ALL race info was found on sltbizdash.com


Going the Extra Mile: Getting Teams and Captains on Board

A successful corporate event doesn’t exist without strong buy-in from the business community. The St. Louis Sports Commission was able to use their relationships with current Board Members and Supporters to kick-start the process of raising awareness and getting companies involved. They had success meeting with HR representatives and Wellness Professionals at each business.

The Biz Dash team built a comprehensive set of resources for team captains on their
website. In addition to extensive instructions for creating and managing teams and detailed information about the event, they provided a virtual promotional kit to help Captains get their employees involved. This included printable posters, flyers and graphics, as well as content to share on social media. Kyle took it a step further: he personally sent each captain an email with a link to registration, their company password, and a customized paragraph to recruit employees to “Join our Team”.

picture6By using an intuitive registration system, providing ample resources, offering flexible payment options, and giving personal attention to the captains, the biz dash was able to engage more companies without making them feel like their workload was increasing.


Miscellaneous Notes on RunSignUp for Corporate Teams

  • Logos: Because sponsors and teams uploaded their logos into RunSignUp, the Biz Dash had easy access to these logos for use on their website and throughout the event. Teams feel included when they see their logo.
  • Other Visual Components: In addition to logos, runners could also see exactly what to expect from their giveaway via images uploaded on the Giveaway page.
  • Import Feature: As a first year event, the Biz Dash tried to be as accommodating as possible, including a few last minute updates to teams just after team registration closed. To do this, they were able to either re-open only the teams that needed updates, use the import tool, and apply the cost to team invoices.

“I don’t know why every city doesn’t have a Corporate Event like this. The [RunSignUp] software is so customizeable; it’s awesome. To me, it’s a no brainer to use software that we only have to pay for off of processing fees. Matt, Bryan, and all the customer service was so accessible.” – Kyle Stegeman, Race Director

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Negative Split Productions Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Case Study focuses on RunSignUp Race Websites, the Referral Program, and the RaceDay CheckIn Mobile App. 

Download PDF Version of the Case Study

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About Negative Split Productions and RunSignUp

Tony Sapp is the owner of Negative Split Productions, and 50% owner of Houston Race Series, LLC, a collaboration with Aaron Palaian’s Onurmark Productions. Houston Race Series, LLC owns and operates the Run Houston! Race Series and the Bayou City Half Marathon Series.

The Houston Race Series Races were moved over to RunSignUp from another registration platform in June of 2016. In their short time on RunSignUp, they have taken advantage of a number of opportunities afforded by RunSignUp’s comprehensive suite of tools.


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In Depth: Using Race Websites to Relay Information Seamlessly

Negative Split Productions takes full advantage of the customization options for RunSignUp’s free websites, with 3 key results: (1) keeping runners informed, (2) reducing customer service, (3) maintaining brand integrity. They achieve this is a few ways:

  • Extensive custom pages with logical menu-order: The pages cover virtually picture4every question that a runner would have, including Packet Pickup Info, VIP All Access Details, Spectator Instructions, Award Breakdowns, and more. Additionally, sub-menus organize information while keeping a clean interface.
  • Integration with Series Websites: To connect the races within each series, there is a series website with information that is relevant to all races; each individual race also has it’s own website on RunSignUp. To ensure that runners can find series information on the individual websites, as well, specific tabs (like the Series Charity info) simply link back to the series website.
  • Page Branding: Each page has its own logo and theme for the specific event; series branding is maintained with a common page header.
  • Participant Management Access: Each event page includes tabs to find a participant, review the refund policy, and manage registration (i.e., errors in entering participant info, changes in t-shirt size, etc) directly from the website. This consistent, easy access to participant data reduces customer support over time as runners become accustomed to managing their own data.

“Managing your registration has worked out really well for us – it’s an education process, but getting people to do it on their own is a really big time saver. It reduced the amount of work I had to do to answer emails, etc.” – Tony Sapp


Run Houston! For Free: The Referral Program

The Run Houston! Race Series is using the RunSignUp Referral Program in a creative way by branding it as a “Run Houston! For Free” Program. In their pilot test of the program, they are offering a $10 refund every time a runner gets 5 runners to register with their referral link. The results from their first try:

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In spite of a late start to the program (registration was not opened on RunSignUp until June, and marketing for the Run Houston! For Free program kicked off shortly before the race),

Referrals brought in 122 registrations with only $60 of refunds given. Each registration acquisition cost the race only 49 cents.

Over time, they will watch the ROI and if the program seems to stagnate, may try increasing the amount of refund given.


Speedy CheckIn with RaceDay CheckIn Mobile App

Previously, check-in for races was done by downloading a participant list, assigning bib numbers, and using a picture6google sheet for check-in. Runners would need to know their bib number to check in quickly.

With the RunSignUp Mobile App, the race sent out QR codes for each registrant to speed
check-in. With 60-70% of runners bringing their code and a simple search option for the remaining runners, a single volunteer was able to check-in almost 500 runners in the first 90 minutes of packet pickup.

In addition to speed, the check-in reports made it quick and easy to predict the number of runners who still needed to pick up bibs on race morning, and helped the race to staff volunteers accordingly.

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Case Study: DG Racing and 100% Paperless Registration

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This DG Racing Case Study focuses on a paperless registration process. 

View the PDF Version of the DG Racing Case Study

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DG Racing and RunSignUp Streamline Race Day with 100% Paperless Registration.


About DG Racing

DG Racing Logo With URL Transparent Background (1).pngDG Racing, owned by David Gottlieb, began as a favor for a friend and has evolved into a full-blown event management company with its own timing division.

DG’s goal is to take any event and grow it to a potential that the event owner never imagined. This being the case, a good timing solution simply is not enough to do that. Constant innovation: by listening to race participants and event owners they are able to maximize their potential by offering a whole suite of options that allow them to be a one stop shop for event management, timing, finish line management, registration, and and all equipment needed to put on a stellar event.


Going Paperless: The Motivation

There are several motivations for taking a race to 100% Paperless status:Picture1

  • Data Integrity: Registrations from paper are notoriously inaccurate – email addresses are illegible, gender is accidentally skipped, and names are confused. When email addresses are incorrect, the Race Director loses the ability to market to them in the future; when demographic information is incorrect, the accuracy of age group results are at risk. A participant entering their own information via keyboard, with fields required, significantly improves the accuracy of participant data.
  • Ability to analyze data: With an online  system like RunSignUp, there is a way for you to quickly view where you are from year to year and find statistics on the peaks and valleys of registration over years. To do a similar analysis with paper registrations would be impossibly time-prohibitive for volunteers.
  • Filing: Races are required to keep their waivers for seven years for protection. Online registrations allow for online waiver signatures (and storage) and eliminate the need for storing boxes of physical waivers.
  • Capture the maximum number of registrations: Because all race data feeds directly into their timing software (DG has their own software built from the ground up), registration never closes. They actually leave registration open well after the race has started in cases where stragglers roll in late.
  • Streamlined Check-In: A faster, more efficient race day process makes for happier, more enthusiastic runners!

    Paperless Registration: The Process

DG sends all their runners to a single place on race morning, whether they have pre-registered or still need to register.

Equipment Setup:

  • Hotspots: To ensure internet access. DG brings their own. They have 2 hotspots that they bring; they also suggest to volunteers that anyone who has a phone hotspot, etc., also plan to use their own.
  • Check-In Devices: Similarly, volunteers often bring their own devices for check-in. This eliminates issues with passwords locking people out, or errors because of unfamiliar design.
  • Registration Kiosks: DG invested in iPads for race day registration kiosks because there is no other brand out there that does touch screen better than Apple and most people have a good understanding of how to operate them.
  • Alternate Registration option: While the kiosks are there mostly for convenience, if a line ever builds up, they post a QR code offering runners as an option to skip the registration line and register on their phone.

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    The Preparation

Since efficiency is the whole goal of paperless race morning, it is crucial that everyone involved in the process know the system and understand RunSignUp. To this end, DG hosts a mandatory (free) training session a couple of days before the event. Volunteers get trained on every aspect of kiosk and how to problem-solve any issues. By the conclusion of the one-hour session, the volunteers can explain every step of the kiosk process.


Volunteer Recommendations:

DG’s typical recommendation for races with no early packet pickup is to assign volunteers10885281_935274809817285_6867770395389870189_n to the check-in/registration areas as follows:

  • 4 Check-In Volunteers: These volunteers are glued to their chairs and computers, and are responsible for getting names from participants, checking them in on their devices, and relaying any bibs or giveaways that need to be picked up.
  • 4 Shadows: These volunteers are assigned to the Check-In Volunteers, and are in charge of grabbing bibs and giveaways for runners that need to be picked up. That’s it.
  • 2 Kiosk Volunteers: These volunteers stay by the race day registration kiosks to monitor the process, ensure that runners are able to move through the process smoothly, and answer any questions or concerns that people have.

    The Alternative

While DG encourages all their races to take registrations on RunSignUp, occasionally they run into an organization with a national office infrastructure that requires them to use a different registration company. In these instances, DG is still able to keep paperless race days by cutting off registration on the other system on Thursday, and using an export of data into RunSignUp to allow for race day registrations on the RSU Kiosks.


The Impact

“Our paperless registration process has revolutionized event management and timing in Alabama. Everything we have invested in to improve the race day experience has worked, and it’s because we care about people, we listen, and we move forward. There are races everywhere, and you’ve got to give people a reason to come to yours and bring their friends. The event must be more than a simple piece of tape across the road for people to cross. They can do that at home. It must be an experience they will never forget. That is growth. We will always be ‘that company’ that constantly strives to improve that experience and create the event that everyone talks about.” 
– David Gottlieb, DG Racing

While technology is what DG uses to revolutionize the race experience, they encourage race owners to bring a stack of paper registrations for backup.


If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Case Study: Erie Runners Club, Big White Trailer, and RunSignUp

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Case Study focuses on a commitment to Race Day technology. 

View the PDF Version of the Case Study

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Erie Runners Club, RunSignUp, and Race DayPicture3

The Erie Runners Club invested in equipment and technology to make race day registration and check-in easier and more efficient.


About the Erie Runners Club and Big White Trailer

ERC was founded in 1976 to serve the running/racing needs of Northwestern PA, Western NY, and Northeastern OH offering their nearly 800 members at least one race each month. Club member Jim Lang is also the owner of the timing company Big White Trailer, timing and/or directing several of the club events, including the ERC St. Patrick’s Day Distance Festival.


Committing to Technology

Initially, the St Patrick’s Day Race only offered registration via paper; online registration was introduced as a compliment to the event. Since then, the Erie Runners Club has fully committed to technology to enhance the race experience. They purchased laptops, receipt printers, and barcode scanners to use as kiosks and operate the race day Check-In App.Picture4


Registration Kiosk

When someone forgot to print paper applications to take to packet pickup, Jim grabbed a laptop and set up a registration kiosk. After a quick test proved easy, they did all registrations at Packet Pickup via kiosk.

In total, they had 11 mailed-in paper applications, and ~50 Race Day paper entries.


A More Efficient Check-In Process

Picture1With their full suite of race day technology, ERC was able to offer a smooth race day. To
expedite the process:

  • They emailed all registrants with their barcode and a suggestion to print – about 1/3 of participants did bring their printed barcodes.
  • All runners got a printed receipt with their shirt information from the check-in desk; they were then moved to a separate shirt line to speed things up.

The club’s full commitment to technology allowed them to create a truly seamless check-in process. The settings they used for their Check-In App are below:

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“Believe it – every problem I had with Saturday’s race was from a paper app on race day. NOTHING went wrong with check-in, receipt printing, or giveaways.” 

– Jim Lang, Big White Trailer

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Race to Robie Creek Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Race to Robie Creek Case Study focuses on a smooth sellout process. 

View the PDF Version of the Race to Robie Creek Case Study

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2The Race to Robie Creek and RunSignUp

The Race to Robie Creek moved to RunSignUp to handle the fast sellout of their unique event, and saw a drastic improvement in their runners’ registration process.


About the Race to Robie Creek

The Race to Robie Creek began as a tradition in the 1970’s. The organizers set a challenging 13.1 mile course that attracted a steadily increasing flow of runners. The event field has long been limited in size by logistics, and over the years has adopted a unique structure for dealing with the high demand for race registration.


Moving to RunSignUp

After several years of compounding issues on another registration site. The Race to Robie Creek felt it was time to move to a new platform. They did some research and demos on various options, but ultimately took the guidance of their Timer, Matt Pasley from Authentic Sports Timing, and elected to switch to RunSignUp.

We spoke to Brian Rencher, a former Race Director for the event who has been involved with the race for 25 years and currently handles all runner communications.


1Drawing Runners with a Unique – and Especially Difficult – Course

In contrast to many races that market themselves as PR material the Race to Robie Creek prides itself on its reputation as the toughest half-marathon in the northwestThe course ascends from 2,725 feet to a peak of 4,797 feet in the first 8.5 miles before descending back to 3,065 feet.

The nature of the course and the finish area make it necessary to limit the course field. The field has been selling out since back when all the entries were paper! Eventually, they developed a system of accepting the bulk of registrants first-come, first-serve, and then doing a 2nd-Chance Drawing to give those who missed out an opportunity to get in. The 2nd-Chance Drawing accepts entrants for an additional 5 days at $5 an entry and then uses a random drawing to select participants.


Picture1A Seamless Sellout

“Once we learned to drive the software, it’s been easy. It’s easier to guarantee spots and easier to activate Sponsor coupons; the site looks good, it’s user-friendly, and we can send VIP invites. One of the biggest things is that participant search is so much easier, and then updating their info is easier. Some thought has gone into the site setup.” – Brian R.

In 2016, the 2,100 race cap was filled in the first 10 minutes of registration, to race reviews from runners who noticed the smooth, easy process.

“I counted my emails from noon Monday (when registration opened) through Tuesday evening, and I had 24 runner emails. Last year, I had 600 in that same time.”


3Transfers and Runner Satisfaction

Transfers are another way that the race is able to maintain runner goodwill despite shutting participants out due to size limitations. This race allows people who are unable to run to sell their spot and transfer their bib to another runner; generally, around 300-400 people will take advantage of this policy. This flexibility, in addition to the 2nd-Chance Drawing, cuts down on frustration for runners who miss out on initial registration because they know that there will be other opportunities to get into the race.

 

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Bluegrass Runners Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Bluegrass Runners Case Study focuses on automated club management tools and membership discounts. 

View the PDF Version of the Bluegrass Runners Case Study

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Bluegrass Runners and RunSignUp

The Bluegrass Runners moved to RunSignUp to make club management and renewals easier and more automated, and benefited from the visibility that Membership Discount and Suggestion gave to the club.


 

Picture4About Bluegrass Runners

The Bluegrass Runners, Kentucky’s original running club, is a Lexington, KY based running club that was founded in 1972 to promote fitness, fellowship, and fun for runners of all ages and abilities. As a club, they also organize the 2,500 participant Thoroughbred Classic on Thanksgiving morning.Picture3


Automated Member Management

Picture2Prior to RunSignUp, the Bluegrass Runners managed their club memberships via Google doc, with manual Paypal payments. That process was highly manual – for their 12-month membership, they needed to regularly determine whose memberships were expiring, send an email through Mail Chip, and manually add or remove people based on their payment status.

The RunSignUp membership management has helped with renewals – alerts are a really easy way to renew memberships, and increases the percentage who renew on time.


Thoroughbred Classic and Bluegrass Runners Membership

The Thanksgiving Day Thoroughbred Classic draws ~2,500 runners. This year, they were able to turn on the automatic Club Membership discount. With this turned on:

  • Club Members are automatically detected by RunSignUp, and are given a $5 discount on race registration.
  • Non-Club Members automatically receive a suggestion to join the Bluegrass Runners to gain access to the discount.

“We gave a $5 discount to all club members, even if you joined during registration, and we were shocked by how many people did join. In November (Race month), we had 61 new members – that’s more than double the previous month. For years, our membership has hovered around 175-180, and we are now at 256.” – Matt Reno, Bluegrass Runners PresidentPicture1


Simple Donations

The Thoroughbred Classic raises money for seven charities. In 2015, they were able to donate more to their charities than any previous year. Included in that was the $2,124 donated through RunSignUp with a simple donation mechanism in the registration process. One additional benefit of collecting donations in Registration? The Thoroughbred Classic is able to get a sense of what charities are of particular interest to their running community based on the donations received for each option.


What’s Next?

As the Bluegrass Runners learn more of the RunSignUp system, they are excited to start using the Email Marketing that is now integrated in the Club System. Additionally, they want to take another look at the functionality of the free Club Websites to reduce duplicating work by updating information on both their WordPress site and the RunSignUp site.


“Our experience with RunSignUp this year has been really positive. It’s really helped us to modernize and streamline.” – Matt Reno

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

Harrisburg YMCA Race Series Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users.  This Harrisburg YMCA Race Series Case Study focuses on reaching a broad cross-section of a community, coordinating with a Timer, and encouraging participation through Groups & Teams. 

View the PDF Version of the Harrisburg YMCA Race Series Case Study

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Harrisburg YMCA and RunSignUp

logoThe Harrisburg YMCA uses RunSignUp to manage their unique roster of events, including everything from a One Mile to a Mud Run and a Marathon.


About the Harrisburg YMCA Race Series

Race Director Tom Gifford manages an impressive roster of races for the Harrisburg YMCA. For the YMCA, the race series is an opportunity to promote physical activity, within their mission, and get out of their building to have more interaction with their community and build a stronger community presence. They moved their races to RunSignUp in 2014 as a part of a re-branding of the races to better tie them together as a professional series.


Reaching a Broad Audience Through Varied Events

The Harrisburg YMCA Race Series is an impressive collection of events, covering a wide range of distances and difficulties to allow them to bring in more people in their community and get them involved no matter what their fitness level. Their events include:

  • 4-Mile Vineyard Run
  • Mud Run
  • Mile Race
  • Half Marathon
  • Beer Run
    Marathon

Despite the range of events, the Harrisburg YMCA stays away from the traditional 5K, electing to steer clear of the highly competitive, saturated 5K market and focus on events that can draw through their unique distance or twist. In addition to offering unusual distances, they have built strong partnerships with the Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey and Troegs Brewing to create events with a fun, social aspect.


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Easy Coordination with Timing Service

The Timer function on RunSignUp makes it easy for the YMCA to work with their timer, PA Runners. They simply give Timer Access when they set up their race, and when registration closes, PA Runners is able to log in and grab the information they need directly from the Race…no downloading and sending data needed.

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Using Relay Teams to Reach More Runners

In keeping with their strategy of appealing to a broad segment of the Harrisburg community, the YMCA uses RunSignUp Groups and Teams to allow relay team participation.

For their longer distance races (Half Marathon & Marathon), they will offer a relay team option. This allows people to experience part of the course and the energy of race day even if they aren’t up for running the full distance. They setup their teams with the following parameters:

  • In the Half Marathon, all teams are 2 participants, either all female, all male, or coed. Runners creating teams are allowed to (but not required to) create a password for the second person to join the team.
  • In the Marathon, there are options for male, female, and coed teams in both Open and Masters categories. For Marathon relay teams, they can sign up to participate as a team of 2 or 3, but only teams of 4 are eligible for awards.

The cost of the teams are paid upfront, with the first registrant paying the full fee for the team and additional team members registering at no cost. This means the cost of the team is the same, regardless of how many people are on the team.pic3


The Mile: A True Community Day

“The Mile event has more diversity of age and ability than every other race that we do – and more people who have never run another race. It’s important as a Y to find ways for people of all ability levels to participate!” – Tom Gifford, Race Director

One event that really epitomizes the YMCA’s goal of making their races inclusive community events is the First National Bank of Harrisburg One Mile. It consists of a Half Pint Half Mile (for kids), and untimed “Just for Fun” Walk/Run (for casual participants), a competitive race broken into heats by age (for competitive runners) an Elite Mile (for REALLY competitive runners), and a Corporate Challenge (for team competition).

Because the shore nature of the race requires so many heats, it has a naturally exciting atmosphere that lasts for a full 2 hours, while still being friendly to runners (and non-runners of all levels).

Their Corporate Teams division is simple enough to be set up through basic Groups and Teams (as a 5-person team, where the first person signing up pays the full team registration fee), but serves as a great draw for the race: local companies can use the event as a healthy team-building opportunity.

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The YMCA is a 501(c)3, and relies on donations to operate. As such, it’s a nice benefit to have a donation system built in with Race Registration – by simply making donations an option, they raised nearly $1000 for their programs during registrations for the 2015 Aspire Harrisburg Marathon.

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!