What’s your New Year’s resolution? You know, the one that’s going to help make this your best race season yet. You haven’t made one? Well fear not, friend—we have plenty of ideas and we’d love to help you with your Race Director resolutions. Because here’s the deal. No matter how seasoned a professional you are, or how streamlined your business runs, there’s always a little room for improvement. That’s a fact for everyone, no matter who we are or what we do. No one’s perfect—and that’s a great thing. It means we always have room to learn, adapt, and grow.
For your race business, now’s a good time to take stock of seasons past and set your intentions for the year ahead. Determine what you can do to make 2018 even better. For you, your volunteers, staff, your race partners, your spectators, and most importantly, your athletes. Our seven suggestions below are resolutions that might resonate with you. Feel free to pick one and make it your focus for 2018, or add another of your own.
1) Try Something New
The number one rule for endurance Athletes is to avoid trying anything new at a race. But for you, the Race Director, the opposite may be true. Don’t do away with your tried-and-true tactics for success to the curb. But do be open to incorporating new ideas. Test a new pricing structure, or a different marketing strategy. Go after a different style of sponsor. Shake up your race swag from the same old cotton tee and offer something more appealing and on trend. You can find plenty of marketing ideas in our free guide, a Race Director’s Guide to Marketing & Public Relations.
2) Toe the Line
That’s right, get out there and race. Find a race that’s similar to yours (in distance and sporting discipline), and do it, if you can. Many Race Directors have a racing background. But many find themselves too busy with business responsibilities to compete. Make time to get back out there to rekindle your passion for your sport. Participating will give you a fresh, first-hand reminder of the little details that make a race stand out. If you can’t compete, find a family member or friend who can, and who will provide detailed feedback to help enhance your event.
3) Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
Find a race that’s different from yours; in fact, try a different sport. Don’t worry about being good, give it a try—ideally as a participant, but at least as a spectator or volunteer. Experiencing a new sport may inspire you to expand your race production roster in a new direction. Or it will reaffirm your commitment to your current events. Reminding you of the reasons your sport is special. Most of all, it will remind you what it’s like to be a nervous newbie participant. But also that the warmth and helpfulness of the race staff can make or break your experience.
4) Be Super Social
We’re talking social media. It’s an ever-evolving form of media and communication, and it’s by far the most prevalent. So no matter your starting point, you need to get on board in a big way. Need help navigating social platforms and working them to your advantage? You’ll learn all the basics in our Race Director’s Guide to Social Media. Then, use our Race Director’s Advanced Guide to Social Media to dive in deep. You can learn how to make free or low-cost social media promotions work for you. Or even learn tips to make a race go viral here.
5) Share More Love
You know better than most that volunteers are the lifeblood of your event. Simply put, your race wouldn’t run smoothly—if at all—without them. You already lavish praise on your volunteer force, which keeps them coming back, again and again. But why not add a new twist to the thanks you give them? Consider changing up how you show your appreciation. Whether its gift cards, home baked goodies, or simply taking time to thank each individual person. Find a fresh way to show your volunteers some love, and in turn refresh their excitement for your race.
6) Open Up
Find new avenues to engage within your industry and community. Reach out to local businesses, charities, or schools that you haven’t worked with before. Network with fellow Race Directors, other entrepreneurs, and event directors from other industries. Dedicate time each week or each month to grow your overlapping professional and social circles. Don’t worry if you don’t yet know where these interactions will lead. Some of the greatest opportunities and learning come from unlikely connections. So plan to be open and proactive in expanding what and who you know.
7) Upgrade Your Systems
The start of a new season is an ideal time to upgrade your registration and timing systems. If you’re working with Athlinks Services, let’s ensure you’re using all the updated tools at your disposal. If you haven’t yet partnered with us, we’re eager to work with you and welcome you aboard. Sure, this is a shameless promotion for Athlinks Services. But it’s an important resolution to make. Because we’re here for you, in ways that are unrivaled in this industry. And that’s been our ongoing resolution since we launched this business. We always go above and beyond in order to help you grow and streamline your business.
Give us a call at 855-709-4555 to get started today. Cheers to 2018!