We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users. This DG Racing Case Study focuses on a paperless registration process.
DG Racing and RunSignUp Streamline Race Day with 100% Paperless Registration.
About DG Racing
DG Racing, owned by David Gottlieb, began as a favor for a friend and has evolved into a full-blown event management company with its own timing division.
DG’s goal is to take any event and grow it to a potential that the event owner never imagined. This being the case, a good timing solution simply is not enough to do that. Constant innovation: by listening to race participants and event owners they are able to maximize their potential by offering a whole suite of options that allow them to be a one stop shop for event management, timing, finish line management, registration, and and all equipment needed to put on a stellar event.
Going Paperless: The Motivation
There are several motivations for taking a race to 100% Paperless status:
- Data Integrity: Registrations from paper are notoriously inaccurate – email addresses are illegible, gender is accidentally skipped, and names are confused. When email addresses are incorrect, the Race Director loses the ability to market to them in the future; when demographic information is incorrect, the accuracy of age group results are at risk. A participant entering their own information via keyboard, with fields required, significantly improves the accuracy of participant data.
- Ability to analyze data: With an online system like RunSignUp, there is a way for you to quickly view where you are from year to year and find statistics on the peaks and valleys of registration over years. To do a similar analysis with paper registrations would be impossibly time-prohibitive for volunteers.
- Filing: Races are required to keep their waivers for seven years for protection. Online registrations allow for online waiver signatures (and storage) and eliminate the need for storing boxes of physical waivers.
- Capture the maximum number of registrations: Because all race data feeds directly into their timing software (DG has their own software built from the ground up), registration never closes. They actually leave registration open well after the race has started in cases where stragglers roll in late.
- Streamlined Check-In: A faster, more efficient race day process makes for happier, more enthusiastic runners!
Paperless Registration: The Process
DG sends all their runners to a single place on race morning, whether they have pre-registered or still need to register.
- Hotspots: To ensure internet access. DG brings their own. They have 2 hotspots that they bring; they also suggest to volunteers that anyone who has a phone hotspot, etc., also plan to use their own.
- Check-In Devices: Similarly, volunteers often bring their own devices for check-in. This eliminates issues with passwords locking people out, or errors because of unfamiliar design.
- Registration Kiosks: DG invested in iPads for race day registration kiosks because there is no other brand out there that does touch screen better than Apple and most people have a good understanding of how to operate them.
- Alternate Registration option: While the kiosks are there mostly for convenience, if a line ever builds up, they post a QR code offering runners as an option to skip the registration line and register on their phone.
Since efficiency is the whole goal of paperless race morning, it is crucial that everyone involved in the process know the system and understand RunSignUp. To this end, DG hosts a mandatory (free) training session a couple of days before the event. Volunteers get trained on every aspect of kiosk and how to problem-solve any issues. By the conclusion of the one-hour session, the volunteers can explain every step of the kiosk process.
DG’s typical recommendation for races with no early packet pickup is to assign volunteers to the check-in/registration areas as follows:
- 4 Check-In Volunteers: These volunteers are glued to their chairs and computers, and are responsible for getting names from participants, checking them in on their devices, and relaying any bibs or giveaways that need to be picked up.
- 4 Shadows: These volunteers are assigned to the Check-In Volunteers, and are in charge of grabbing bibs and giveaways for runners that need to be picked up. That’s it.
- 2 Kiosk Volunteers: These volunteers stay by the race day registration kiosks to monitor the process, ensure that runners are able to move through the process smoothly, and answer any questions or concerns that people have.
While DG encourages all their races to take registrations on RunSignUp, occasionally they run into an organization with a national office infrastructure that requires them to use a different registration company. In these instances, DG is still able to keep paperless race days by cutting off registration on the other system on Thursday, and using an export of data into RunSignUp to allow for race day registrations on the RSU Kiosks.
“Our paperless registration process has revolutionized event management and timing in Alabama. Everything we have invested in to improve the race day experience has worked, and it’s because we care about people, we listen, and we move forward. There are races everywhere, and you’ve got to give people a reason to come to yours and bring their friends. The event must be more than a simple piece of tape across the road for people to cross. They can do that at home. It must be an experience they will never forget. That is growth. We will always be ‘that company’ that constantly strives to improve that experience and create the event that everyone talks about.”
– David Gottlieb, DG Racing
While technology is what DG uses to revolutionize the race experience, they encourage race owners to bring a stack of paper registrations for backup.
If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small, email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!