Marketing 'What Makes YOU Different?'

30 Jul, 2018 03:00 By: Matt Trevett


Marketing: ‘What Makes YOU different?’

There is no doubt that Race Organisers, Directors & Event Managers are having to be a lot smarter in the way they reach out to new entrants whilst retaining the ones they already have. In this growing sports event space, more and more companies are joining the party, and it is becoming increasingly harder to make your race stand out from the bunch.

You may have found in the past that your race sold itself. However, in the world of social media - driven by a one glance view culture, it is becoming even more important than ever that you “market” your event ie focus on the unique selling points (USPs) of your product offering. Marketing you event doesn’t take big budgets, it’s simply a case of making your event look appealing! Highlighting “What makes you different” will help you get spotted. Don’t devalue your race by saying too little…  other organisers will only target your entrants and entice them elsewhere– so stay ahead.


What do your entrants love and why do they come back?

Perhaps when your race is over you already have some feedback, (most likely it’s positive and constructive) but remember you cannot have enough feedback good or bad - all critique is valuable. Take everything on board. This is such a critical time for you as the organiser. Investing some time to find out what entrants loved the most about your race will do you a whole lot of good. The best elements of that they enjoyed and the bits where things could improve, is a goldmine of information. Feedback will help you to learn or reinforce what you know now, what your entrants look for and what might attract new ones. For example, if your feedback from a participant is short and a bit vague ie ‘Great atmosphere today in the nice weather!’ then reply and ask why they enjoyed it so much – start a two-way dialogue - you will be surprised what else is forthcoming.  People generally like to think their opinion is valued. Always acknowledge the negative too – it helps to hear about areas where you may need to improve and when this is the case, always respond politely and gratefully and with some empathy! 


Here are some good ways you can optimise the feedback you receive and make the most of it!


On the day: 

  • Meet and greet at the finish line: the most effective way you can get the most honest and direct feedback is by you, yourself, greeting your runners at the finish line. Get to know them and ask them how they found it. They have just completed your race, so all their thoughts will be fresh in their mind!


Immediately after the event:

  • Send out a post-race review email:- this is something the eventrac platform already automates (we get response rates up to 40% and sometimes higher) so definitely worth a go. Whether you just read these reviews or approve them to show on your event page it is worth setting some time on this. Identify the positives that you can shout about next time you do this event.
  • Check your Facebook reviews:-  did you know you can turn on/off Facebook reviews? These will be publicly visible if you chose to show them without any way of removing or moderating them so check your settings. If your race is as good as you believe it to be then you should allow participants to leave Facebook reviews on your page. In fact, encourage them to write as much as possible! Comments and reviews on your page will help you find out what participants thought of your route, medal or even your finish line snacks!  (You may be surprised of some of the extra positives you didn’t think made that much of a difference – even subtle things like “we liked your snacks because they were vegan friendly” may well appeal to a health-conscious audience.


Whilst you are collating all your feedback you should be stripping back information to incorporate in your future marketing material, ie highlight what entrants enjoyed the most and why. It could be as simple as ‘What an awesome medal!’ or something more unique to the location of the event ie ‘The boats on the river as we ran past were a lovely sight!’ Try and get across what makes your race different and sets yours apart from others.


Use what you have found to market your next race

So you’ve taken my advice to this point and now you know what makes your race special and what your entrants really enjoy. It is time to introduce this to your marketing strategy for your next event. Whereas before you were relying on repeat business and your previous reputation to get people to enter, you now have some additional things to shout about to peak some new interest! Here are some examples of how you can highlight and word the USPs and features of your race.

 “We can confidently say this because our entrants tell us:-

  • Ours is the best 10k medals around! (Well, we think so and so do our runners!)
  • It’s a Marathon Size medal for all our 10k runners because we know you deserve the best!”
  • “You will run past the town monument.  We are the only race that takes you right by the famous town statue (So close you can even touch it) whilst you grab a bottle from our water stop”
  • “Our finish line takes you right into the Stadium, run a closed road 5k route and loop back to a grandstand finish in this iconic football stadium”

Your USP statements don’t even have to be as extravagant as that, just find something unique that works for your race and personalise it to relate to your potential new entrants. If you need some advice, we are happy to help here at eventrac - whether this is an email campaign, Facebook Ad or Instagram post – just ask!


Introduce something new

One of the biggest challenges for a race organiser is retaining entrant’s year on year. You must realise that not everyone will return but a lot of them will, if you give them enough reason to do so. Simply being told its ‘their local race’ isn’t a good enough reason and you shouldn’t expect that to be. That’s what I mean when I say you are devaluing your event if you are complacent and not being bold enough. Be adventurous and creative to keep things fresh! Have lots of visuals and testimonials in your marketing channels. A new feature added to your race every year doesn’t have to cost you much, but it may just be the incentive for previous entrants to return. Differentiation is a way of highlighting to entrants that have been thinking about entering that they have a new reason to do so. Here are some suggestions: -

  • Why not upgrade your medal or revamp the design completely?
  • Add a new finish line snack
  • Provide a finishers photo for your entrants
  • Run some competitions where entrants can win food vouchers for your race village, choose their race number or pick your race day playlist
  • Allow fancy dress and pick a new charity cause
  • Upgrade your start/finish gantry with some new rebranding to show off your races prestige
  • Involve a local charity


We’re here to help

If you have any questions or would like some help marketing your race or introducing smarter campaigns you can contact Aaron at

On Hand To Help

The team at eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of eventrac. We are here to help.