Registration platform RunSignup has released its third annual RaceTrends Report. The report was built by mining RunSignup registration and finisher data over a four-year period. More than 40,000 races and 6 million participants (online and imported registrations) are accounted for in the data set for 2018.
The report covers trends in race growth, race promotion, registration, fundraising and race day technology.
RunSignup notes that, as tracked by its dataset:
- Participation is essentially flat. Races that held events on RunSignup in 2017 and 2018 saw a 0.1% decrease in participation.
- Racing is getting more expensive. Registration prices increased across all race distances of a marathon or less.
- It’s a competitive market. 6% of 2017 races with over 500 participants did not return in 2018.
However, not all was gloomy: many events are growing, and the report evaluated some of the marketing strategies that were successful at driving participation:
- Referral rewards programs are seen as cost-effective. Races that turned on Referral Reward Refunds gave just 1 refund for every 13 participants referred to the event.
- Automated emails are efficient: for races that had them turned on, automated emails led to 14% of their registrations in 2018.
- Deadlines work: 27.1% of all registrations take place within the 3-day period prior to a price increase or registration closing date.
- SEO (search engine optimization) drives traffic. 28.3% of race website traffic is the result of an organic search.
- Beyond race growth, the report looks at event pricing, the adoption of technology by events and strategies to help charities raise more money.
RunSignup is an all-in-one platform for endurance and fundraising events. More than 17,000 races, supporting over 7,000 non-profits, use RunSignup’s free and integrated solution to ‘save time, grow their events, and raise more’. RunSignup delivers technology to power the entire race cycle, with promotional tools, registration, a full fundraising platform, and a suite of RaceDay products – including the runner-tracking app RaceJoy and race timing software, RaceDay Scoring.