Be it an inaugural 5k/10k run or a 20th anniversary half and full marathon, planning your event is only half the challenge. You’ve likely committed funds from either sponsorship dollars or an allocated budget in order to secure permits, contract vendors and rent equipment, and race day is fast approaching. Now what? You have to get sign-ups and plan for set-up for your run or all of that pre-work and dollars committed will be for nothing.
Get Runners Registered
You need to get the word out, but how? The local paper used to be a great outlet, and local run clubs do still exist, but what’s the best means of communicating event details? In the last near-decade event marketing has shifted to heavy reliance on digital platforms for mass communication. Of course, the initial contact for, say, an event sponsor or community manager (run club organizer, for example) is best handled in person, by phone, or email, but more and more organizations are relying on Facebook as a means of advertising and gauging event interest.
Plug Into An Event Registration Platform
There are so many platforms to facilitate event registration now, but you want to focus on one that can assist with event promotion as well as handle registrations. Some of the more popular national platforms with extensive userbases include: RunReg.com, AllCommunityEvents.com, RunSignup.com, and Active.com. Many of these platforms not only will list your event on their highly-trafficked sites, but also will tie into your Facebook event publishing, and have partners who can handle bibs and chip timers, checking several boxes on your set-up list.
Check In With Your Sponsors
As race day approaches, check in with your sponsors and make sure they’re still 100% invested and willing to help or supply products for your event. Post-race snacks (bagels, bananas, granola bars are very popular) and drinks are a must, and are often an easy sponsorship to secure, with a bit of brand signage and a logo on the race shirt as a nod to the donor.
Volunteers are a Must
It takes a lot of hands to pull off a large community event; much of which is volunteer help. Of course it’s helpful to know how many able bodies you’re going to have at your event, so use your event registration platform to add an option for volunteers to sign up fee-free, rather than breaking out a separate registration system.
What Will Participants Experience? You + Sponsors
Now that we’ve covered the run-up (pun intended) to the event, consider the day-of experience. How are you branding the event? Where is the signage? If you have a runner’s corral with barricades where all participants line up, consider Banners on a Roll® with your event logo and key sponsor logos on repeat wrapping the barricades. This clever customer-printed plastic banner is very cost effective, and can be cut to length and affixed with tape or zip-ties, making installation a breeze. With sizes ranging up to 36” tall, Banners on a Roll® makes an excellent all-purpose banner for everything from runner refueling stations to bordering the start/finish areas. Pair it with a step-and-repeat for photo opportunities to the side of the finish line, and your event will be memorable for attendees and in all their event photos flying around social media. You can request a free quote on Banners on a Roll® 24 hours per day on our Website.