MOD 025: How Not to Suffer Registration Woes

Merchants of Dirt Episode #25

With a little practice and some discipline, you can use these strategies you can use to improve your next events registration numbers.

In This Episode

  • 0:01 – How to sell out your race
  • 0:01 – Pre-Registration Tactics
  • 0:01 – Final Thoughts
  • 0:01 – Coming Up Next
  • 0:01 – Call to Action

Key Take Away #1: How to sell out your race

How Pre-Registration Works: Getting an event set up on an event registration site gets your event on their front page, in their search engine, and out on the Internet for your racers to hopefully find. This allows you to generate a cash flow long before your event’s race day.

The Pre-Registration Sellout Myth: Popular events have created a huge mythos around the success of online pre-registration. This has created a false impression for most new race directors that think that pre-registration is the end-all and be all of getting folks to their races. Unfortunately, what registration websites do not provide you with is a guarantee that racers will actually register early.

Low Pre-Registration Fallout: Additionally, professional timing companies (especially the ones with those nice radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips) don’t come to races that cannot attract more than 100 pre-registered racers. But to make matters worse, venues like State and Regional parks also have issues with low pre-registration turnouts.

Key Take Away #2: Pre-Registration Tactics

#1 – Create a Brand Identity: Create an event name that is memorable, not boring. A customer that can remember the name of your event will most likely remember it nine months later when it comes time to sign up and race it again.

#2 – Create Collateral: Develop your own trail maps, event flyers, and branded materials that you can give to racers and businesses. Having handouts — both printed and digital — is a quick way to share your event without having to explain it over and over again.

#3 – Have a Real Website: A real event website not only states that you are serious about producing your event but also creates a home for building a branded product.

#4 – Create Advertisements: Now it’s time to get the word out to your audience and inform everyone that one of your event dates is approaching (within three months). This is when you open your pre-registration site or page on your website, advertise how early registration can save them money, and add any new info (videos, blog posts, sponsors) to your website.

#5 – Open Pre-Registration: If you’ve primed the engine of anticipation with your customer base and determined your graduated pricing levels and change dates, you can now finalize and open pre-registration at least two months before your event.

Key Take Away #3

The Early Promoter Catches the Racer. Proper planning and early management of your event are critical to giving you enough time to effectively change tactics if things start to go wrong.

Without the luxury of a time cushion, attempting any of these steps within only a few weeks of your race will most likely end in low turnout or worse, having to cancel your event.

If you follow the above five tactics as part of your event management process, your pre-registration numbers should improve.

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Thank You for Listening

Thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter, by Email, or my Contact Form.

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Kyle Bondo
Kyle Bondo is a thinker, podcaster, author, and creative strategy dragon seeking to make a small dent in the universe. He is the founder of Reckoneer, host of the Merchants of Dirt and Get Lost Racing podcasts, and an avid adventure racer.
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