Online Race Registration

Online Registration How to Grow Your Race While Making Life Simpler… Bob Bickel – [email protected] 1


These slides were presented by Bob Bickel at Race Director University in May, 2012. They are an overview of the types of ways race directors can use online registration. More information at

Transcript of Online Race Registration

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Online RegistrationHow to Grow Your RaceWhile Making Life Simpler…

Bob Bickel – [email protected]


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Online Registration – Some Facts

• 13 Million + people used online registration to signup for races in 2011.

• Large races (>2-5,000) have gone to online registration exclusively• Many are bundling processing cost into race fee

• There are about 100 different options for race directors to do online registration with. • was the first in 1999 and continues to dominate in

terms of volume• Processing fees• - $3.25 minimum or $1.25 + 6.75%


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Agenda• Benefits of Online Registration• Basic Features of Online Registration• Advanced Features of Online Registration• Promotional Tools• Reporting• Emerging Technology and Trends of Online Registration• Mobile• Your Web Presence• Social Networking

• Online Registration Options


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Online Registration - Benefits• Data Entry is higher quality and lower

cost for the race• Collections is simpler• More powerful Reporting• Marketing• Google Search• Race Calendars (,

etc.)• Facebook & Social Networking• Collecting emails for next year

• Donations• Communicating with Runners

• Easier for Runners


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Basic Online Registration• Race Information WebPage• Race Name• Location (map)• Date & Time• Events• Costs• Registration open & close times• Link to Paper Registration• Description• Other Important information –

prizes, sponsors, training programs, fundraising

• Social Media Links5

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Sign Up Page• Runner Information• Do you really need things like

phone number, address? Is date of birth required?

• Multiple Registrants in the same transaction

• Waiver• Right to agree to Waiver


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Sign Up - Checkout• Confirm Runner Information• Processing Fees• Which Credit Cards are accepted• Simple data input


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Sign Up Confirmation


• Confirmation Page• Runner Information• Directions

• Clear Transaction• Saves time – about 7 in 1,000

transactions have mistakes and the runner clears and re-signs up.

• Email confirmation including all information about race, runner and directions.

• Re-Confirmation

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Donations• Ask all runners on checkout for

donations• Create separate Donation Page• Set Goals• Thank Donors• Allow Anonymous!• Multiple Charities


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FundRaisers• Individual FundRaisers• Team FundRaisers• Fundraiser pages• Allow donors to specify a



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Give Aways• What kind of Give Away• Multiple Sizes• Additional price


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Age Based Pricing• Attract new age groups to

your race• Set specific dates for special



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Group Pricing• Set Date Range for Sign up• For groups signing up

together• Minimum and maximum

number of registrants• Discount per runner or fixed

price, or single group price

• Useful for “Family Price”


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Discounts• USATF is most common

discount – They have a standard $2 discount for members signing up for USATF certified races.

• Other use cases – Fire, Police, EMS discount. Military discount.

• Visible to all runners.


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Coupons• Coupons refer to a “secret”

code that a runner enters on the Checkout Page.

• % and/or $• Start and end dates• Options like minimum cart

value, limit # of uses, new customers only.

• Useful for Elite athletes, sponsors, running clubs, etc. 16

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Sign Up – Custom Questions• Give Away Items & Size• Emergency Contact info• How you heard about the race• Expected finish time• etc…

• You want easy data input – option menus, multi-select, etc. Avoid free text answers since it is hard to correlate the data.

• The more questions you ask, the more annoying it is to runners. They will provide less and less accurate answers.


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Custom Questions• Formatting your Questions


• What users see

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Race Info Page Custom Info• Include all the information

your runners will need:• Place (make sure Google

Maps recognizes this!)• Time• Prizes• Age Groups• Amenities on race day• Parking suggestions• Sponsors• Useful links• Email contact• Beneficiaries• Race Course• Course Records• Etc.


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Participant Display• Who can see what

Participant Information• Other Participants• Public• Timer

• How much info to share?• Race results contain name

and city and age.


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Teams• Adds a fun element to your


• Runner-managed or Race Director managed

• Corporate Challenge• Relays

• Parameters• Min & Max # per team• Male/Female/Co-ed• Age Groups• Single event or across events


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Runner Team View• Teams should be runner-

managed• Join existing teams• Checked by the system to

meet requirements of age and/or sex.

• Create a Team• First person becomes the

Captain• Captain can edit members• Race Director can assign

Captains 22

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Store• Add-on sales• Pasta Dinner• Logo Gear – Jackets, Hats,

Socks, etc.• Set Ordering Dates• Only fulfill firm orders?• Estimate volume and pre-

order• Let’s you sell closer to the

event and at the event• Put a Date on or not?


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Your Own Website• Options for Creating• Design firms• Content Management Tools from Web Hosters like GoDaddy• Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla• – in Beta

• Embedding your Registration on your Website


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Promotional Tools - Search• Previously Discussed

• Coupons, Discounts, Age-Group Pricing, Teams, etc.• Web Searches

• #1 source of web traffic• Make sure your webpage gets indexed by Google

• Race Name appears in URL• Town appears in URL• Page Title – What appears in the Browser Tab

• Advice – Keep the same name year to year.• Do Not do “27th Annual Scott Coffee Moorestown Rotary 8K”

• Find places to link to your race – links matter•••••••••• Local calendards like


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Email Marketing• Drive registration with your previous participants• 3 Month, 6 Week, 2 Week, Final Days Emails• Encourage bringing friends & family

• Use a real Email Marketing System• Constant Contact or iContact as examples• Some Online Registration has connections for real email

marketing• Buying Lists• (, Rodale (Runners

World, Running Times -

• Trading lists with other Race Directors• Timers and Race Management companies


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Reporting• Participant Information to

Timers• CSV• RunScore, Race Director,

Chronotrack API’s• Analysis• Giveaways• Age• State, City• Registration Period• Time of Day• Day of Week• Etc.


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New Areas of OnLine Registration

• Facebook• Mobile• Kiosks on Race Day• Timer & Race Director

Access to Participants• Result Integration• Results Notification• Bib Exchange


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Participant Management• Switching Runners from one event to another

• Allowing Runners to exchange bibs• Ensuring new runner agrees to waiver and inputs data correctly• Free Exchange – “gift” from first to second runner• Paid Exchange

• New runner signs up as normal• Old runner receives Refund when New Runner signs up

• Refunds• Refund Fees• Minimizing risk of loss

• X spots, Cut-off date• Insurance – 365 Competitors

• Race Director only or opening up to runners to self-serve refunds


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Waiting List• Enables a Refund Policy – as runners get refunds, they are replaced by

people on the Waiting List.• Open up Additional Slots

• Configuration Choices• First Come, First Served vs. Lottery• Date for Open Waiting List registration

• As soon as race cap is met• After Opening day

• Date for Additional Slot Notifications – eg. Add 1,000 runners form the Waiting List

• Deadline for Runners to accept Waiting List Spots (1 Day? 1 Week?)• Maximum number of spots a runner can sign up for• Number of spots to open

• Reserved Entries – inviting specific runners even if race is at or above cap.


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Cloud - Scalability


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OnLine Registration Options••••• - Race Events

and Club Membership•••••• And many, many more…


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Common FeaturesFor Runners

Simple Registration No distractions - quick and simple signup

Facebook Login No extra login information to remember, and reduces the amount of data input.No need to create account Simplifies the registration processSignup Multiple people in a single transaction Drastically lowers cost of processign fees for runners and saves on data entry and time.If enabled, can create or join teamsIf enabled, can create their own fundraising pagePost to Facebook Wall or Twitter Makes it easy to share and invite friends.

15 minutes to Cancel Registration

Gives runners the ability to cancel their registration if they made a mistake and get a refund and then try again. This greatly reduces errors that race directors usually have to get involved in resolving.

Email Confirmation with Directions!

We send a full confirmation email that includes all of the runner information, the rce information as well as a nice google map with directions from their home to the rce location.

Low Transaction Fee Save moneyNo Advertising Keeps the runner focused on what they came to do - signup for your race.

No SpamWe send one email when the runner registers, and will never send another email to them, or share their information with any third party.

Secure Transaction

We use a very secure method with a combination of SSL and redirect technology so that only our processing company sees the credit card number (it actually never passes thru our systems). This gives us full PCI compliance.

Any Credit Card VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover. Let the runners signup with the card they want.36

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Common FeaturesFree Web Page

Custom SectionsThis allows you to add content to your race information page. It can be anything - perhaps Awards, listing sponsors, Background information on the race, etc.

Display Participants

You publish runner information in the results. Some races are starting to display who has signed up for a race. Chose who can see this information (everyone, only others who have registered), and chose how much information to display.

Link ButtonsSignUp Buttons that you can cut and paste into other websites or emails to direct them to your race webpage, donation page or online store.

WidgetEmbed Race Information, Registration, Donation, and Online Store right into your own website. See for an example.

DonationsDonations Accept donations. This will ask each runner who registers if they want to make a donation.

Donation webpageA donation webpage (and widget that you can insert into your race website) is created that anyone can be directed to.

Donation Levels Set your own donation levels. For example Gold is $100 and Silver is $25.

Donation Goals Set goals for your donations - display a thermometer to show progress toward your goal.Donor Scrolling List Displays a scrolling list of donorsAnonymous Donations Donors can make their gift anonymous, or can specify who their donation is in honor of.

Runner Fundraising

Allows Runners to set up their own fundraising page. Other runners can then chose to donate to their friends and family. Runners can set their own donation goals and display a thermometer and scolling list of donors.

Team FundraisingGroups of runners can form teams and fundraise as a group and get their own custom webpage. Teams can set their own donation goals and display a thermometer and scolling list of donors.


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Common FeaturesEasy SetupPhone Number Option

Chose whether to require runners to give their phone number (will you ever use it, and leaving it out makes the signup process easier!)

PDF Registration Form You can upload a PDF form to allow runners to register by mail.

Registration Email to RunnersAutomatic email with full confirmation of runner information, race information and a Google Map with directions from the runners home address to the race address is sent

Customize Email to RunnersIn addition to the standard information from RunSignUp that gets emailed to runners signing up, you can also customize and add your own message to each email.

Same URL year after year When you renew a race, we use the same exact URL

Multiple PDF forms for each event

If you have different paper registration forms for each event, we support you uploading them all. We want to make things easy for you and the runners, and if their preference is paper rather than online, that is fine with us. Whatever makes them happy!

Facebook Login

Runners can register with their Facebook login. This makes it simple for runners since they do not have to remember another login and it reduces the amount of informaiton they need to type in.

Facebook RegistrationWe allow runners to register right inside Facebook - no coming to a different website. This increases the

Date of Birth Option Chose whether to require Date of Birth or not.

AdministrationEdit participant Information

This is convenient for when a runner enters wrong informationa nd sends a follow-up email asking to have their age corrected for example.

Remove ParticipantHelps you manage registration for those who have cancelled. Note race directors are responsible for refunds, not RunSignUp.

Track Multiple RacesEasily manage multiple races and see quickview reports that show participants this year compared to last year.

Add Paper Entries Free Upload or input of paper entries into a single database.


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Common FeaturesPricingMultiple Registration Periods

Set different pricing for each period. For example $20 before April 1, $25 before June 1 and $30 before race day

Age-based PricingSet pricing for specific age ranges. For example runners under 18 or over 65 might get a different price.

Allow custom pricing for give-aways

This allows for charging for "upgraded" give-aways. For example an XXL shirt, or perhaps a Tech T-Shirt rather than a cotton T-Shirt.

Processing Fee Flexibility Set the runner, ther ace or the runner and race split the processing fee 50-50.

TeamsTeams Fully supports teams for races.Runners create Teams

Runners can create their own teams. Other runners can then join the team. Allows for full runner management. Each runner can pay their own fee for participation.

Runners signup for teams

Runners can see which teams are available to signup for and join those teams. Captains are notified each time a new member joins the team and has the ability to accpet or not accept that person on the team.

Team Requirements

Set up team requirements. For example all Male or all female teams or co-ed teams. Or age based teams like 10 and under. Also set up the minimum and maximum number of people on a team - so a relay might require a minimum of 4 or 12, while a corporate challenge might limit the number to 5 or 7 or 25 runners per team.

VolunteersFree Volunteer SignUp Allow multiple Volunteer categories and free signup with no processing fee


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Common FeaturesReportingRegistration Email to Race Director Chose whether you want an email each time someone registers.

Timing Service Access to Participants

Set specific people to have access to participant information. This is very useful for timing services so they can have real-time access to participant information and can download the data themselves rather than the race director having to download and email. It can also be useful when there are multiple race directors.

Import runners for free

You can enter other runners either on a special web page, or upload a CSV (Excel) file. This allows race directors to input their paper registrations so all information is in one place and eases reporting. There is no charge for this.

Participant Search Full search capability for participants.

Participant ReportsChose which fields to show. Do sorting by just clicking on a column in the table showing participants.

Registration Period Report

See how many runners signed up during early bird, pre-registration and post-registration in graphical and table format.

Day of Week, Time of Day Reporting See when runners are signing up for your race.Participant City and State Report See where your runners are coming from to run your race.

Gender and Age ReportsSee who is coming to your race by age group as well as male/female. Graphical and table formats.

Giveaway ReportsSee how many of each size shirt has been selected. This can help tremendously with figuring out what quantities to order.

Financial Reports Track registration, donation and store revenue. Track payments. Table and graphical reporting.


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Common FeaturesMarketing Your Race

Email Marketing Integration with leading Email marketing software to easily mail participants.

Facebook Race EventWhen you create your race, we can automatically create a Facebook Event. This makes it easy to connect with younger runners and take advantage of social networking.

Facebook Like Simple Facebook Like button on your race webpage.

Facebook NewsstreamComments on your Facebook Event will also display on the Race Info page as well. This helps get the message about your race out as widely as possible.

Coupons Set up coupons for special discounts.

Set $ and/or % Coupons Set any combination of % off and/or $ off. For example, it could be $5 off plus 20% off.Set date range for Coupons

Enable coupons over any date range. Set one coupon for early birds and one for later that is not as large for example.

Set Coupon Limits on use or user type

Limit the use of coupons to a quanity (for example first 10 runners, or limit a sponsor to 20 free passes), to # of times a customer can use it, etc.


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Common FeaturesAdvanced Features

Set specific time for registration to end

Allows you to keep registration open right up until the last minute. For example, leave registration open until 7:00PM the night before the race to minimize the number of race day registrations.

Multi-Events per RaceAllows for as many events as you want for your race. For example a 5K, a 10K and a Fun Run. Set pricing for each.

Give Away Pricing Options Charge extra just for XXL shirts, or for any premium optionsGive Away - Unlimited options You can set anything to specify the options. S - M - L, or Red - Green, etc.Customize Give Away T-Shirts, Hats, Water bottles, whatever you want to specify to your runners.Default Waiver Used by many races, or you can customize and edit your own waiver.Upload Logo You can upload your own logo to appear on the race webpages

Race Series - Copy Races

Easily create a race series with the "Copy Race" button. This creates a complete copy of all of the information in a race, then just go in and set a new date. For example a summer series with weekly races every Wednesday night.

Renew RaceSimplifies listing the race next year. Just click a button and modify the date and your race is ready to register runners for the following year..

Maximum # of Participants Set the maximum number of participants for your race.

Custom Questions

Want to ask your runners custom questions? We have seen races use this for a variety of things. For example, "How many years have you run in this race?", or "How many miles per week do you train?", or "Emergency Contact", etc. Create as many questions as you like. Also you can set whetehr each runner is required to answer or not.

Multiple Race DirectorsMultiple race directors can have access to setting up the information for the race webpages as well as all reports and participant information.