Road Race Management Announces New Weekday Format for Annual Meeting

July 13, 2020

November 9-11 Meeting Planned as Post-COVID-19 Jumpstart for Running Industry

The annual Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting and Trade Exhibit will take place in Hollywood, FL Monday, November 9 through Wednesday, November 11 (on a new weekday schedule).  While the meeting has been an annual fixture since 1982, the last few months have been the most tumultuous time ever in the sport as events and industry suppliers have battled the impact of COVID-19.  The bulk of the meeting will address topics confronted by the industry since the first events fell to the virus in late March, along with providing networking opportunities and a chance for event directors to shop for equipment and service needs at the Trade Exhibit. This year’s meeting is limited to 175 attendees. Phil Stewart, Road Race Management President, notes:

“What a year! As we look ahead to emerging fall events and hopefully a normal 2021, we know that our sport has been tested. Some of our peers, their companies and events may never recover. However, through adversity, much has been learned, and now is the time to gather together to discuss those lessons.

“Our topics, including a special COVID-19 panel, will allow us to share useful and vital knowledge as we move ahead. We will not dwell on the damage done but rather seek to empower event staff with tools for the future.  We encourage you to come to Hollywood to share ‘war stories’ and to celebrate the resilience of our sport and those who make it possible. This November, more than ever, it is critical for the sport’s leaders to gather. We are pleased to offer that opportunity and hope the sport will respond.”

Topics and faculty for this year include:

  • COVID-19 Revisited: An All-Star group of panelists including Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray; RRCA Executive Director Jean Knaack; Bank of America Chicago Marathon Medical Director Dr. George Chiampas; Lilac Bloomsday Director Jon Neill,  former RRCA President, USATF Board Member and World Athletics Road Running Commission member Jeff Darman; and RRM Editor and Credit Union Cherry Blossom Director Phil Stewart will look at the catastrophic impact on the world and our sport that has resulted in business upheavals, event cancellations, job losses, a fear factor for the future and various “new models” going forward. Our panel of experts will discuss COVID 19’s impacts in medical, legal, organizational, psychological, and financial areas and where the sport goes from here.
  • Analyzing Insurance Needs and Coverages with a special emphasis on how COVID-19 has caused events to look at new types of coverage (Jon Neill, Bloomsday)
  • Virtual Runs with a look at the future for these events in the post-COVID-19 era (Heidi Swartz, Cowtown Races)
  • Volunteers – The Lifeblood of Your Event: How will races lure them back (Becky Lambros, Credit Union Cherry Blossom)
  • The Future of Road Racing Media Coverage (Chris Chavez, Sports Illustrated and Citius Podcast)

The weekend will be capped off with a special “Open Forum” designed to provide everyone with the opportunity to share thoughts and questions with the faculty and attendees and discuss best practices and the path forward.

The keynote address will be given by Liz Dolan.

Liz is the host of the long-running, award-winning podcast Satellite Sisters and runs a marketing communication strategy business called Mixed Zone Media.  She is also a founding member of Oregon Sports Angels; a diverse group of sports professionals and investors looking to create and grow the next generation of sports companies.

Previously,  Dolan worked for a decade as the Vice President of Global Marketing at Nike. She has twice been named Woman of the Year in sports business. Liz also served as Chief Marketing Officer at world-class brands such as The Oprah Winfrey Network, Fox Sports and National Geographic.

Liz will discuss how running can better position itself for cultural impact and all of the elements that contribute to that impact including events, athlete marketing, effectively using media platforms and appealing to new audiences.

Two prestigious running industry awards will be awarded at the meeting. The annual MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year Award (Presented by MYLAPS) will be presented at the MarathonGuide.com/Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Welcome Reception on November 9. The MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced at the Keynote Dinner on November 10.

The full program and schedule for the meeting are available at www.rrm.com.

Exhibitors and vendors at the meeting will include companies offering awards, competitor numbers, signs, banners, registration and timing services, apps, web services, apparel, social media services, and event photography, along with representatives of running organizations and more.

The Road Race Management meeting is sponsored by Ashworth Awards, Gatorade Endurance, Hightech Signs, Leslie Jordan, Inc., MarathonFoto, MarathonGuide.com, Marathon Printing, MYLAPS, National Event Services, and the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic.

The meeting will be at the Hollywood Beach Marriott offering an affordable room rate of $185. Rest assured we and the hotel will observe any and all applicable COVID-19 best practices in effect in November for gatherings. This is in addition to limiting the event’s size.

Meeting organizer Road Race Management is a member-based organization which publishes Road Race Management newsletter, a trade and educational running industry newsletter, and Organizing Running Events (http://www.rrm.com/act/ore/ore.asp), a complete manual covering running event organization. The company also provides other race director and industry resources on the web.