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ACTIVE Insights

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Welcome to ACTIVE Insights, sponsored by ACTIVE Network, a resource for data, insights, interviews and articles relevant to the endurance sports industry.

Athlete-Approved Email Marketing Tips

You’ve searched the web, you’ve read all the articles, you’ve even gotten advice from other organizations. But who knows what athletes want to see in email correspondence more than the athletes themselves? Active Network talked to IRONMAN World Championship qualifiers to learn what they prefer in their emails. And while these athletes all compete in triathlon, these tips can easily be used for any sort of athletic competition. MORE

ACTIVE Network Announces November Race Director of the Month: Courtney Rayburn

Having always wanted to work in the nonprofit space, Courtney Rayburn is now in her in her second year as race director for the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, the largest paid fundraising event for any YMCA, anywhere in the world. With almost 25,000 participants attending the 8-mile, 5K or 1K Junior Trot on Thanksgiving morning, it’s one of the largest multi-event races in the country. MORE

ACTIVE Network Announces October Race Director of the Month: Brennan Lindner

As Co-founder and President of Generic Events, Brennan Lindner manages a large list of endurance events that span the globe, reaching as far as Bali, Indonesia, where he organizes the annual Bali International Triathlon—known as the “Triathlon for the Soul”—now in its 12th year. We recently spoke with Brennan to get the inside scoop on how he manages his world-wide race portfolio. MORE

How to Manage Your Running Volunteers

As much as participants may think races run themselves, they don’t. It often takes an army of volunteers to make sure these events go smoothly with minimal setbacks. And the real key to a successful race are those perennial volunteers who come back year after year. But often, those volunteers are also racers. How do you allow them to keep their volunteer obligations while also participating in the race? Try one of the following ideas.  MORE

How to Increase Volunteer Sign Up at Your Next Event

It can be easy as a race organizer to spend all your time focusing on attracting participants to your event. But having enough registrants is just half the equation. Finding volunteers to help your event run smoothly is its own obstacle. As event organizers strive to build a winning team, here are some ideas to help boost volunteer numbers. MORE

ACTIVE Network Names Race Director of the Month: Paula Harkin

Event creator Paula Harkin hasn’t missed a run since January 1, 2009. But running isn’t just her passion; it’s her business, too. Along with her husband Dave, she owns the Portland Running Company, regularly voted the best running store in the city. She is also the founder of Runwithpaula Events. Read how Harkin puts together some of the most scenic races in the Pacific Northwest. MORE

ACTIVE Network Announces Race Director of the Month: Jorge Carmona

As the head of TnT Cycling, Jorge Carmona plans a number of events each year where his focus is always the same: wowing his participants so they come back for more. His signature event, the Spellbound Century, sells out every year and takes riders past horse farms and historic towns, plus unique stops at local farmers markets. His other main event, the Giro del Vino, introduces riders to local wineries. Find out how Carmona continues to raise the bar. MORE

ACTIVE Network Announces Race Director of the Month: Tyler Wren

Tyler Wren was a professional cyclist for 13 years before he discovered a new passion—producing events with an important message behind them. Learn the number one thing Wren believes has made his events successful, and how his “Ready, Shoot, Aim” attitude has served him well. MORE

10 Questions Event Directors Need to Ask to Get the Most Out of a Marketing Services Provider

Marketing has quickly become the lifeblood of organizations, and vital for driving business. With dashboards and marketing software, we can watch in real time as people interact with our collateral and change what isn’t working on the fly. Most small businesses and small teams don’t have the time or expertise to manage that process. That’s why many consider partnering with someone who does. There are 10 things to keep in mind as you search for a marketing service provider. MORE

Is Mass Participation Dead?

In late April, ACTIVE Network hosted its third annual Race Director’s Lunch in London. One of the highlights of the event was Rick Jenner of Limelight Sports who gave an insightful presentation titled, “Is Mass Participation Dead?” The answer to that question, in short, is a resounding no. Mass participation is alive and well, but in the ever-changing events industry, having the willingness to adapt is key. MORE

ACTIVE Network Race Director of the Month: Doug Thurston

Doug Thurston has spent the past 35 years in the event-planning business and now leads the Big Sur International Marathon, one of the most well-known races in the world. ACTIVE Network takes a look behind the Race/Executive Director of one of the most visually stunning marathons. MORE

Race Directors of the Month: Bill and Valerie Spata

Bill and Valeria Spata, Co-Founders of Cool Events, talk about their personal connection to event-planning as they tackle their biggest year yet. In 2019 alone, Cool Events will run 160 diversified events across the country, each centered on giving back to children and families, with a focus on children’s cancer and terminal illness. MORE

A Look Back at the Endurance Connect Conference

ACTIVE Network, many of our partners and members of the Endurance industry took a trip down to Puerto Rico in February, for the first-ever Endurance Connect conference. With multiple sessions run by leaders from incredible organizations such as Tough Mudder, Wicked Wine Run, Cool Events and Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises (DMSE), attendees heard about a variety of topics from the experts. MORE

Race Director of the Month: Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, the president of Why Racing Events  in Vancouver, Washington, has been organizing races for over a decade, and the business is close to her heart. Thirteen years later, the Girlfriends Run for a Cure  is still going strong, but it’s now just one of many events that McMillan runs each year. McMillan gives her take on how to run high-value, small-scale races in communities. MORE

Endurance Sportswire Executive Interview Series – Active Network’s Byron Carroll

Endurance Sportswire interviews Byron Carroll, Senior Director of Product Management at Active Network, about why the company changed its approach to product development, its acquisition strategy, how new technologies are going to impact race organizations and more. MORE

Spreading Holiday Cheer Through Charity

It’s common practice to incorporate some form of charitable giving into race events, and during the winter holiday season, this is an easy way to make your event go deeper than just a race. Here are a few charity ideas to set your race apart. MORE

Press Coverage for Event: PR Essentials to Make Your Race a Success

Any mention of your event or race in print or digital media, including social media – that you haven’t paid for – is a critical part of any communications or marketing strategy. However, securing media coverage for your event can seem like a momentous task for the unfamiliar, so try the following tips to help earn press coverage for your event for free. MORE

Spectrum Timing Services to Score the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon with ACTIVE IPICO

Spectrum Timing Services, Inc.1, is set to time all Conqur Endurance Group events, including the 2019 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon3. Thanks to a recent partnership with ACTIVE IPICO, all Conqur events for the next three years will feature ACTIVE IPICO timing equipment. MORE

Elements to Building an Award-Winning Race Event

With the growing number of endurance events in the world, producing award-winning race events is more than just a vanity metric; it’s evidence of smart marketing and a way to set yourself apart from the competition. Let’s take a look at some past Association of International Marathons and Distance Races standouts for takeaways that will help you make your next road race an award winner. MORE

Building a Volunteer Leadership Team for Race Events: Operational Essentials

Good volunteers are an important part of any successful endurance event, whether they’re helping with timing, crowd control, or any other essential element of the event. However, volunteers also require organization, direction, clear communication, and as a race director, you may not have time to do it all yourself. By building a volunteer leadership team, you can trust proper management of your event volunteers and logistics. MORE

Five Lessons Race Directors Can Learn from Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is chairman and CEO of Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., a holding company with a stake in some of the most successful and recognizable brands. Think Coca-Cola, GEICO and Apple. Though his legendary no-nonsense advice is often doled out to investors and brokers, race directors can all take a page from Mr. Buffet’s book. Read on for a selection of his nuggets of wisdom that can help you create exceptional endurance events. MORE

Expert Endurance Event Advice from Legendary Race Director Dave McGillivray

Dave McGillivray, founder of DMSE Sports, manages more than 30 major road races and charitable events per year including the Boston Marathon. In this interview, McGillivray discusses essential subjects, including driving year-over-year event growth, cultivating board member relationships, industry trends and more. MORE

Gear Up for Success: How Connecting Athletes to Affordable Gear Builds Relationships

It’s no mystery why many events count gear manufacturers and retailers among their major supporters; events connect them with their target audience and they’re likely offering race participants discounts and incentives to purchase products before the event or at the expo. But what about the rest of the year? MORE

The Complete Race Director’s Guide to Portable Restrooms

From concerts to conferences, festivals to football games, one common question will always arise: Where are the restrooms? The placement, number, access and cleanliness of restroom facilities is hugely important to the success (or failure) of any event, and this goes double for races. Do you follow these rules? MORE

When Every Second Counts: Tips for Race Timers

In the world of endurance events, every second counts, and nobody knows the need for speed like a race timer. Check out ACTIVE Network’s race timing pro tips, case studies and solutions for race timers and event organizers. MORE

We Love What You Love

Founded in 1999, ACTIVE Network is a community of athletes, timers, race directors, account managers and support specialists, all on a mission to make the world a more active place. Check out the Active Insights page – and video – for fascinating stories, industry trends and insider tips to power outstanding endurance events. MORE

Beyond Gamification: Creating Rewarding Race Experiences

To gamify is to transform an action into a game by adding points, badges and other engaging elements. From soda companies to airlines, brands of all kinds are using gamification as a way to boost participation and build loyalty. Gamification is becoming increasingly common in the endurance industry via point tracking systems, multi-race incentives and other programs managed throughout the race and beyond. Here, we’ll provide a four-step plan to incorporate gamification into your event. MORE

2016’s Ten Most Popular US Cities for Extremely Active Millennials

Millennials, now the largest living demographic group in history (surpassing the Boomers) according to US Census data, could potentially also scale to become the most active living population. New data* from ACTIVE Network shows the ten most popular cities for extremely active Millennials per capita. MORE

Want More Women Participation in Triathlon Events? Start Focusing On the Right Things

What drove the growth of great women-focused events, and how do we reinvigorate that growth of women pursuing triathlon as a sport? An overwhelming number of women make it very clear:  If we want to encourage more women to participate in triathlon, the focus of our efforts shouldn’t be the race itself. MORE

David McGillivray Running Incognito

Perhaps one of the best ways Race Directors can get an honest perspective on the many operational and logistical areas of race management is to run together with the other participants. Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray learns just how racers feel about his races by running incognito, hearing their feedback candidly, honestly and immediately in the moment. MORE

Which states are truly the most popular for endurance event participation?

Active recently evaluated registration data from 125,000 endurance industry events across more than 16,000 organizations managed by ACTIVE software in 2015 to better understand endurance event popularity within each state in the US. Whether its health initiatives or fun events, the top markets for endurance event participation may surprise you, ranked from highest to lowest per capita. MORE

How the Evolution of Endurance Racing Changes Your Business Strategy

Race organizers – What evolutionary technology phase are you operating in? Are you just focused on satisfying your online registration needs, or have you progressed to fully take advantage of optimizing operations while maximizing market reach? Or have you advanced enough to utilize real data insights and implement a full consumer lifecycle experience? MORE

Insider Marketing Budget Secrets that Win More Registrants

Few people have unlimited marketing dollars to spend, so managing your marketing budget is a high priority for most organizations. You need to know where to invest your time and money to create the most effective campaigns. You also need to know when a tactic is working and when you need to reroute the course. Before you finalize your 2017 budget, here are some tips to get you started. MORE

From Medal to Multimedia: Rising Race Day Expectations

While the fundamentals of a successful event remain organization and safety, the participants’ expectations have grown exponentially. The event has become an extension of friends and family. And corralling all of those people into it requires the athlete to become the marketer. What is the roadmap for the future? MORE

The Most Popular Month to Race in Triathlon, Running, and Walking Events

Race directors the world over have long abided by some general rules of planning events. One of the most popular rules is that you must hold your event during the warmer months, or it will not be successful. Insights from ACTIVE Network Activity Cloud® comprised of millions of event registrations last year tells a similar, but much more nuanced narrative. MORE

How One Race Grew to Over 20,000 Registrations and Became an Influencer

Take a look at the races and brands that inspire you, whether on social media, blogs, forums or simply industry chatter. What is it about these races and brands that has you paying such close attention? They are influencers. MORE

Data-Driven Marketing 101

More than ever, the majority of your marketing efforts as a race director are occurring online. What digital marketing lacks in the ability to see your ads in print, it more than makes up for in the ability to instantly gauge performance. That’s why you have to embrace data in order to be as successful as possible in marketing your event.  MORE

How to Improve Your Events with Data

If you feel like everywhere you turn, all you hear about is, “data, data, data,” it’s for very good reason. More relevant data absolutely could be the difference between a “meh” event and one that knocks it out of the park, meeting your revenue targets and delighting customers. Look for these four data sets to really revolutionize your next event. MORE

The One Crucial Data Point You Need Before You Plan Your Next Event

Being a successful race director used to mean embracing a certain amount of uncertainty and being very comfortable with estimates—about how many t-shirts to purchase; a guestimation of how many water bottles, etc. Your most successful race will be the one where you have the most useful information, specifically knowing where your participants are coming from. MORE

Four Things that Keep Race Directors Up at Night

The fall race season is rapidly approaching and you have challenges you must overcome to meet your goals.  We recently asked over 1,000 race directors to tell us what their biggest concerns were as they approached race day and here’s what they said. MORE

Where Are America’s Laziest States? Hint: It’s Not Where You Think

It seems the entire nation has been swept up into a collective fitness craze, with 5K selfies, FitBit stats and mud run check-ins peppering Facebook newsfeeds from Milwaukee to Miami. But, where do the most active racers in America live?  MORE

The Devil’s In the Details

When you survey the entire nation of runners and ask them their demographic and preference information, you’ll learn interesting facts that may be common sense, but for the most part, national data is too general for many race directors to make actionable. MORE

The Gender Divide:  Who Registers First?

Generally, most people register one month preceding and the month of a particular event.  There’s no surprise there, especially for short to medium distances.  But who registers sooner?  Men or Women? Ah, that’s an interesting one. MORE

When Should You Plan Your Race, Saturday or Sunday? Hint – It’s Not What You Think

At Running USA’s Innovation Showcase, I challenged the audience to imagine a future where they could defy conventional wisdom using data insights. During the speech, I asked the attendees which was the better date to run an event, Saturday or Sunday? MORE

Why Mobile Matters in 2015

We live in a “now” world. We need access to information faster, anywhere, anytime, and that access needs to work every time. Over the past year at ACTIVE.com, we’ve found that access to the site via mobile device, tablet or smartphone, now exceeds laptop and desktop traffic by nearly 20 percent. People are searching for activities while they’re on the go, and they are making purchase decisions. MORE

Blast Fishing: Maximize Your Marketing in 2015

The analogy between fishing and marketing isn’t new. As a race director, you need to fill an event as quickly as possible. With everything you’ve got to do to put on a successful event, participants need to jump in the boat. So how do you improve your chances to catch participants as quickly as possible? MORE

How Data Can Improve Your 2015 Marketing Plans

In sales, it’s been said that “if you wait for your customer to find you, you may already too late.” But what if you knew when your customer was likely to start their search? How would that affect your marketing efforts? Would you change when you opened registration? MORE

For more information and insights from Active Network, contact us at 888-549-7223 or by email at [email protected]

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