The Gift of Promo Codes

November 6, 2017 § Leave a comment

Don’t let the weather fool you—the holiday season is here. You have a great opportunity to increase registrations for your event by giving the gift of promo codes to participants.

Promo codes are a great marketing tool that help gain exposure to your event and bump up registration numbers. Create holiday-themed promo codes, and share your codes through email, social media, or on your website to let participants know about your upcoming deals.

Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate promo codes in your event marketing this holiday season:

No Processing Fee Promotion
For a limited time, offer to waive the processing fees for your participant’s online registrations.

Example:  Register by November 30th and use the promo code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout to waive all processing fees.

Appreciation Promotion
Promo codes are the perfect gift for your loyal participants and members. Say thank you for their support by giving them a discount on their registration for an upcoming event.

Example: We are so grateful for your support over the years. To say thank you, register for this year’s [Event Name] during the month of December to receive 50% off your order total. To receive this discount, use promo code HappyHolidays at checkout.

Early Bird Discount Promotion
Promo codes are another way to promote online pre-registration. Provide incentive to drive participant registration by offering a discount through a certain date.

Example: SNOW (EARLY!) BIRDS DISCOUNT! Register by January 1st for $5 off! To receive this discount, use promo code CHEERS at checkout.

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The 6 Top Tips to Create Effective Event Sponsorship Levels

October 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

Reaching out to sponsors can be a nerve-wracking experience. To be persuasive, it’s crucial to have a complete and effective proposal document to give to your potential sponsors. Here are the 6 top ideas to consider as you decide your sponsorship levels and dollar amounts:

1. Determine the funds you will need in order to produce the event.
That is usually the best total to shoot for when creating different buy-in amounts for your sponsors, particularly if it’s a charity event. A charity 5k that anticipates spending $5,000 to produce the event should aim to get a Presenting Sponsor to cover the full amount. That way, all additional sponsorships and registration revenue will go back to the charity cause.

2. Create a list of sponsor benefits and deliverables that you can provide.
These are things like: « Read the rest of this entry »

SignMeUp Offers RaceIT Migration Assistance

September 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

SignMeUp is pleased to offer assistance to race organizers who have been displaced by the shutdown of the RaceIT race registration platform, which is scheduled for November 15, 2017. We invite you to join the SignMeUp community to take advantage of our industry-leading support and online race registration. « Read the rest of this entry »

Part 1: What Event Planners Should Know About Social Media Marketing

August 30, 2017 § Leave a comment

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Everyone will tell you that social media is important, but few will address how overwhelming it feels to start using it with all the social platforms available—especially in the context of event promotion.

We won’t hesitate to break the pressure you may feel: You, the event planner, don’t need to use every single social platform on the internet. In fact, it may be the worst decision that you could make without considering the needs of your organization. You may risk spreading your time too thin with minimal returns on your efforts.

We’re going to help you break down the basics of a social media marketing strategy for the events that you’re planning—whether it’s a charity race, corporate conference, running, triathlon, or any other event happening in the future. « Read the rest of this entry »

Got Sponsors?

January 17, 2013 § 4 Comments

One common question asked by almost all event organizers is this:  how do I attract and retain sponsors for my event?  Not sponsors that will give me a flyer for a goodie bag, but quality sponsors that will help me make the event a better experience for its participants and the community?

As a recovering race director and former Texas Field Marketing Manager for Clif Bar, I have been on both sides of the sponsorship aisle.  Here are 5 ideas that can help.

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  • Ask, don’t assume.  Ask your sponsors about their marketing objectives so you can help achieve them.
  • Create sponsorship levels, and make it clear on your marketing materials which sponsors are at the top level.  Not all sponsors need to be mentioned in every marketing piece.
  • Introduce sponsors to each other and encourage them to create cross promotions around the event.  For example, if you have a beer sponsor and a restaurant sponsor, suggest that they host a pre-event party at the restaurant and feature the beer.
  • Create a post-event marketing report that details how you helped fulfill their objectives.  It always impressed me when the 3M Half Marathon would send out a binder that listed all the media on which they had placed the Clif Bar logo.
  • Host a post-event party and invite your sponsors (as well as volunteers and others who helped on your event).  Tell them how important they are to you.

Share what has worked for you in a comment below.

Heart at the Back of the Pack

January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of those in the “back of the pack” isn’t hard to do, and it’s well worth the effort.

One of the favorite parts of my job as the IT director of the Chicago Marathon was being at the finish line. I had a prime post, as timing and scoring fell under my role, along with the honor of facilitating certification for three world marathon records during the time I worked on the event (1997–2003). I also was there as the last finishers crossed the line.

Which is more memorable? The world records are something I’ll always be proud to have a small part in, but the joy on the faces of those final runners as they reach the 26.2-mile goal is unforgettable. While the crowds in the grandstands may have gone home, the energy was just as abundant as when Khalid Khannouchi or Paula Radcliffe finished first.

Harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of those in the “back of the pack” isn’t hard to do, and it’s well worth the effort. Many of these runners and walkers are new to the sport and have a circle of supportive friends and family who could be inspired to join in and become your future participants or volunteers.

Of course, every event organizer wants to create a fantastic race experience for all participants. Here are a few things to consider when focusing on the back of the pack.

  • If your event has a strict finish time due to the course and arrangements with the town or city, make sure you deliver that message up front and include it on the first page of the online registration form. This will help manage expectations and avoid the disappointment of registered participants who may not make the cut-off.
  • Have enough water, post-event refreshments, and giveaways for everyone. No event organizer wants the added expense or hassle of leftover items, but place importance on providing the perks to all registered participants.
  • Deliver on-course support to everyone. Talk with the leader at the hydration or aid station ahead of time. It might make sense to start breaking down a station once the majority of participants have gone by, but pre-arrange to have a few volunteers dedicated to handing out water or fluids and cheering until the last participant has passed.
  • Keep the music at the finish line going strong until the last participant has crossed the finish line. Encourage everyone to stay and cheer fellow participants.
  • Ask your event photographer(s) to stay until the end. It seems the smiles on finishers’ faces get brighter as the finish line clock ticks on. Your favorite race photo could very well come from one of the last shots of the day.

So don’t forget about the back-of-the-pack. I’m not saying that just because that’s where you’ll find me these days. Embrace the emotion and energy you feel at the finish line long after your top finishers have gone for their cool-down, and you’ll find yourself with an event that has more heart.

Do you do anything particular to support the last finishers?  Tell us about it.


Registration Resolutions

January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

New Year's Resolutions

Now that it’s January, I thought it appropriate to suggest some New Year’s “online registration” resolutions.  I promise these aren’t nearly as difficult as losing 20 pounds.  Plus, implementing them just might get more registrations for your event.

  1. Promote your event on social media, and motivate registrants to do the same.  You can post your listing to Facebook when you publish a form directly from the FormBuilder or copy tool.  If you miss that link or aren’t ready at the time, go back to the first page of the online registration form and click the “share” button at the top.

    Registrants can post to Facebook from their screen and email confirmations.  If you need suggestions for other social strategies, take a look at Ryan Heisler’s recent guest blog article, Feed the Beast:  Social Media for Events.

  2. Check out the SignMeUp tools that you haven’t used, especially in the Form Menu->More Tools section.  There you’ll find Friend Get Friend, our easy-to-use viral marketing program; a tool to create and upload Coupon/Promotion Codes; the Snapshot Widget, a quick summary of your form’s most important statistics; and more.
  3. Maintain a consistent brand image by customizing your online form with a logo and colors that match your website.  You can find customization tools in the Form Menu->Edit Form.  For more help, see SignMeUp Support Guru Katie Petralia’s article, 5 Tips for Building Better Online Registration Forms.
  4. Publish your online registration form well in advance of your event, and, if appropriate, encourage early registration with “early bird” pricing.
  5. Lose 20 pounds (just kidding).

As always, if you need assistance or want further suggestions, feel free to contact our support department or me directly at  We’re here to help you succeed.