One of our race users just ended their open bib transfer and refund period, and we thought the experience might be interesting to other races considering this option. The race opened in June and sold out (4,250 runners) in early September. They enabled a Wait List, which had 540 entries reserving 651 spots (a runner can sign up to reserve more than one spot). They set the end of the Refund and Bib Transfer capability for 4 weeks before the race.
There were 26 people who took advantage of the free event transfer – all moving from the 10K to the 2 Mile. They had 116 people who requested and received refunds. They were charged a $5 fee for this service. When refunds were granted, runners on the waiting list were automatically notified and given two days to register, otherwise they were disqualified and the next person on the wait list was invited to register.
The one thing that was learned is that there were a number of last minute refunds. Since a person on the wait list was notified only when refunds were issued, not all spots were filled on the same day that registration ended – only 71 of those 116 refund spots were filled. If Refunds had ended perhaps a week earlier those remaining spots would have been filled.
On the bib transfer side, there were 57 bib transfers. Of those 36 were “gifted” from one runner to another, meaning the first runner paid the race fee. In this case there was no additional fee. The other 21 transferred the bib to the new runner and the new runner paid the race fee and the original runner was given a partial refund as above (less a $5 fee set by the race plus a $2.50 processing fee from RunSignUp).
The race has gotten great reviews for being runner friendly. They shut down transfers about 4 weeks before the race so they have plenty of time to prepare bibs. With the automation that systems like RunSignUp bring, perhaps it is time to evaluate your refund and bib transfer policies. You can see how RunSignUp handles these functions in our videos:
You have probaby seen how some of the big races let friends and family sign up to get notifications about a runner’s progress. With the recent addition of Result Notification, this is now available to any race – for free! Notifications are sent via email or TXT to anyone who wishes to get a notification. We do limit the number of TXT notifications to 10 per runner. If your race wants to do splits notifications or expects more than 60 notifications per minute, please contact us to properly configure this.
You can also see the webinar replay with Bob talking about RunSignUp Payment Processing on the Bill.com website.
May all your races run well!
– Bob Bickel, Jordan Desilets & the RunSignUp Team