Managing Race Reviews and Feedback

Image result for reviews

After an event has finished – whether it was a huge success or a little bit disappointing – it’s often tempting to just ‘get on with it’ and look ahead to your next event, without giving the proper time and attention to evaluating the event just gone.

So how do you approach a post-race evaluation? Here are the key things you’ll need to do to pull it off: 

  1. Collecting feedback after your race
  2. Monitor what people say about your race
  3. Review raw data
  4. Analyse success with staff and stakeholders

Collecting feedback after your race

There are several ways you can do this. Here are some options for collection methods or review platforms: 

  1. Custom made feedback forms. You can make these on Survey Monkey or Google Forms, to help you get answers for individual questions you make. This can be useful if you have specific feedback you want to collect about particular aspects of your event. For example, if you tried something new and want to know how it went down, this is a good place to ask.
  2. Facebook Reviews are great if you want everyone to have visibility of them to promote your race through your reviews. You can direct people here through a post-race email. Bear in mind this will publicise all good and bad reviews, creating an overall star rating out of 5. This can help give your race transparency, a feature that everyone likes to see.
  3. Google Reviews can similarly help you promote your race online. Good and bad reviews will be visible here like Facebook.
  4. Racecheck is a great platform to hold your reviews, as they have a list of questions ready-made for your participants. They focus on several different aspects of your race organisation and allow participants to rate each one, then creating an overall score to make it as fair as possible. This can help people judge your race for its organisation and uniqueness, rather than the weather you had on the day for example.
  5. Eventrac has a race reviews section that you can take advantage of. This can help your race platform be the one stop shop for people looking to find out more about your event, by having your info pages, race video, pricing information and reviews all in one place. 

Give an Incentive 

Not everyone has the time or will put in the effort to review your race once its finished. So it's up to you to get these reviews one way or another! A good way of doing this is by giving people an incentive to review your event. Putting 2 free tickets to your next event up for grabs to those who review your race, for example, is a good way of getting a sure number of reviews from people who want to take part again. Or having another type of prize up for grabs, such as a gift from one of your sponsors. 

Timing is Key

Make sure you send out feedback forms straight after the event. The more you delay it the less reviews you’ll get, as it will no longer be fresh in peoples minds and the race energy will have worn off. Send out an email with a link or form the evening of, or day after your race. 

You can also hand out hard copies during the event, if you have the time and resources to sift through them later. A better option if you want to collect reviews on site is to have staff with tablets at the ready for people to fill in as they’re leaving. These would have to be short and sweet to make sure they don’t hold people up too long, to avoid them getting frustrated and not filling them out properly, or dampening their mood/review! 

Event feedback form example questions

Here’s an example of the questions you may wish to ask on your event feedback form and the order in which to set it out:

  1. Introduction and thanks – it’s important to share gratitude for the attendee coming along to your event. You may also want to mention here why you’re collecting feedback, how and why the data will be stored and if the answers will be used publicly.
  2. Overall rating – this is where you can ask a series of questions that will determine how the attendee found your event overall. Most event feedback forms will use a rating or scoring system (1-10) to make this as easy as possible for the visitor to fill in.
  3. Value for money or time – this is a good indicator of how valuable the attendee found your event and can be measured by time, money or another variable.
  4. Aid station satisfaction - were your participants happy with the aid stations management? Was there enough of them? Enough people at each one? Enough water/cups/nutrition available?
  5. Route evaluation - was this what participants expected? Was it well signposted with enough staff and marshalls?
  6. Support - was the medical team attentive? Was staff helpful and knowledgeable? 
  7. Registration and entry -  was it easy to collect your race number? Were there queues,  could people find their starting pen easily?
  8. Results - was it easy for people to get their times? Was everyone happy with the system being used, did they have to wait long? 
  9. Thoughts and feedback – leave some space here for qualitative answers where your attendees can write any thoughts they have for improvement.

Monitoring what people say 

Monitoring what people are saying about your race online can be extremely useful to understand different perspectives on your event. But how do you manage a bad review? Especially if its on a public platform, such as facebook or google, the best thing to do is to reply publicly to it. This way you can let the participant, person in the local area or business owner, know that you’re sorry that they had a bad experience and that you’ve taken on board their review. If possible, try to explain what you’re doing to improve in the future to minimise the chances of a similar expereince, or what caused the issue if it was out of your control. Try and make them feel heard, and this way you can show others that come across the review that you’re proactive and can manage situations effectively. 

Review any raw data

You can get a lot from asking people questions, but you should also take a look at the raw data for your event. By using your Eventrac dashboard, if you asked people questions in their sign up form like ‘where did you hear about our event?’, make sure to look at your results. Your racer demographics will also give you great insight to understanding what kind of audience your event attracts, and how you can use that to market to the same kinds of people.

Analyse success with staff and stakeholders

Finally, you should aim to schedule some dedicated time with your core team 1-2 weeks after the event has ended. It shouldn’t be too much later than this or memories will start to fade and valuable insights will be lost, but it also shouldn’t be the day after the event ends, as you need to let the dust settle, giving everyone time to reflect and prepare.

Here are a couple of things to bear in mind for your post event debrief:

  1. Ensure all post-event data (such as survey answers) is available so the team can make informed contributions.
  2. It makes sense to start with the nitty-gritty and look at the details of your most recent event, including what went well, what can be improved and how you can focus more time and resources on the activities that delivered the most value to you and your attendees.
  3. Start the meeting on a positive note. It’s tempting to dive right into the parts that can be improved, but it’s just as important to recognise and celebrate the good aspects too. Celebrate your achievements! 
  4. Has one of your actions produced good results, but taken an inordinate amount of effort to achieve? Is it really worth doing again? This is where looking at Return on Investment can really help you prioritise better than only looking at absolute results.
  5. Reconnect to your core strategy. Overall did this event live up to your ideals? Do you feel you have met the needs of the athletes you have created the event for?

If you’re really going to break the mould and put on exceptional races and attract the most ambitious and capable staff, then your goals should be big, ambitious and exciting to motivate everyone.

Having these aspirational goals will go hand in hand with having a motivating mission, making the team’s work tangible.

These kinds of goals might be to double the size of your event year on year; get mainstream press coverage of it next year, or get a major athlete endorsement. So keep on top of your reviews and act upon them to give you and your team the best possible chance at achieving this. 



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.

Subscribe to our newsletter