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Running Symposium – Mapping the Course of Endurance

At the Running Symposium – Mapping the Course of Endurance, that took place in London on the 19th April, event organisers and other running professionals from around the globe got together to discuss the latest trends affecting the industry.

An open discussion led by Keith Williams (Senior Manager, Emerging Markets EMEA) and Sam Renouf (VP, Emerging Markets & GM, APAC) covered 3 main areas:
  • The effect of mobile usage and social media.
  • The surge in adventure and MOB TM /adventure racing.
  • How altering pricing strategies can be beneficial for running events.

Amongst the topics of discussion one key conclusion came out - event organisers must stop and think before putting on their next event! Organisers should not just switch the event live and react on a daily/monthly basis. Instead, they should plan in advance for the audience's reaction. Optimising demand generation can be leveraged through channels' event organisers already have at their disposal.

Sam Renouf commented on ACTIVE Network’s data gathered over recent years, saying that those participants who register from a social media network and from a mobile device have risen significantly in the past couple of years. So much that ACTIVE.com predicts the number of participants registering to events from their mobile device will surpass desktop by early 2014. By mobilising event sites, organisers can improve participant's usability and convenience.

To help understand how social media interactions actually translate into offline actions ACTIVE revealed the results of a research conducted to 500 consumers that demystifies what exactly happens "beyond the click”. Follow this link to access the results Infographic- http://ow.ly/kzeBc.

Symposium participants also discussed the accelerated growth of adventure racing, or the so called mud and obstacle races (MOB TM) and how they are likely to influence traditional running events. “Over 80% participate in a MOB with at least 1 friend and 29% of them heard about the event through social media as seen from a 2012 ACTIVE.com survey1. Considering this, event organisers should consider this social athlete when strategising their race planning.” said Keith Williams.

Running Symposium participants concluded that event directors need to utilise better strategic event planning when considering pricing. Setting up 4-5 pricing tiers through the event's registration page can help drive demand, while early event sell-out will not only improve relations with the event but also allow charities involved, with an extended window to fulfil their entries. Endurance event organisers can grow their revenue by around 18% by making a shift in their pricing strategy, according to ACTIVE Network’s client case studies presented at the Running Symposium.

With these channels and trends still being recent to the market, it is down to the proactive event organiser to take advantage from these trends and combine them into their strategic fit. The symposium proved to be a big success, with great feedback received from delegates who considered it “a very useful initiative, which provided valuable information, relevant to the industry”. If you are an endurance event organiser of any race type and would like to attend one of ACTIVE’s future Endurance Symposiums, you can request to be included in our invitation list here.


1 ACTIVE Network survey to 1000 ACTIVE Lifestyle participants. Profile of a MOBTM-Ster. The ACTIVE Network (August 2012)

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Running Symposium – Mapping the Course of Endurance