One of the first decisions we made at RunSignUp was to have a non-exclusive contract. This meant we were not locking customers into using just RunSignUp, and gave them the right to use any platform(s) they wanted to help their race. We did this for two reasons:
- We do not want the burden of an unhappy customer.
- Modern cloud services change fast, and customers demand the right to move to serve their best interests.
Seven years later, we are surprised to see the number of races who still enter into exclusive contracts for the long term for several reasons:
- The norm for contracts today is non-exclusive and by the month
- Races have a lot of power to require contract terms with so many vendors (hint – just suggest that your race is looking at RunSignUp and see what the registration provider will offer! Seriously, we are not offended if you use our name to get some great discounts or contract modifications.)
- The cost of registration software is actually pretty low, and the savings are a small part of an overall race budget, especially compared with how much good technology can impact the Promotion -> Registration -> Fundraising -> Race Day Experience lifecycle of your race.
- The pace of technology change can render a vendor obsolete if they are not investing in their infrastructure and new features.
As a race, you may want to consider our first reason for not wanting exclusive contracts. Life is too short to be stuck with underpowered technology, poor support, or a bad relationship.
P.S. And make sure you look out for those auto-renewal terms 🙂