There was a time when customer service was a necessity to succeed in business. Doctors made house calls, when you dialed a 1-800 number you spoke to an actual person (perhaps even the owner of the business), and when there was a problem or idea, the issue was addressed or the idea was implemented instead of creating yet another excuse. On a similar note, there was not a huge wedge between business and personal relationships. Perhaps we should bring back “hand-shake agreements”.
A contract is an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified. With the ever changing running market, it is critical for race directors to maintain the flexibility to switch providers from shirts to medals, and everything in between.
Most race directors are being suckered into 3 year contracts for online registration. Race Directors should also be aware of what happens if a contract is broken. For example, some registration providers will charge an absurd tech fee. In short, READ THE FINE PRINT!
Race Director A Signs a 3-Year Contract (5,000 participant race)
Year 1 = $5.00 per runner (processing fee)
Year 2 = $5.00 per runner
Year 3 = $5.00 per runner
Race Director B Is Not Under Contract (5,000 participant race) and Chooses to Release a Request for Proposal
Year 1 = $5.00 per runner
Year 2 = $4.50 per runner
Year 3 = $4.00 per runner
= $67, 500
*Assuming Race Director A and B both absorbed their participant’s $5.00 processing fees, Race Director B would have save $7,500 which he could choose to spend on marketing. Marketing drives his or her participation numbers and inadvertently generates even more revenue. With several races taking place on any given weekend, competition is fierce, thus it is important for Race Directors to be weary of long-term contracts.
Below are 3 reasons why Why Race Directors Should Not Sign Contracts:
1. Online Race Registration Companies Should be Expected to Work Hard During the Off Season
By signing a contract with the likes of Active.com or Events Online you are giving them the off-season off! They have you locked in and therefore have no reason to evolve with the industry to make sure they are meeting your every single need.
2. Don’t Get Stuck with an Outdated or Sub-Par Provider
By signing a contract you might miss out on working with the best in the industry!
3. You are the boss!
Remember that without race directors, registration providers are fancy technology with no purpose.