COVID-19 and the Endurance Industry
Like everything about March 2020, this month’s newsletter is a little different from our standard roundup of technology updates. We’ve sent a lot of emails recently, but with more and more races modifying their events, we wanted to use this newsletter as a central resource for your path forward. First up: we’re continually updating our Coronavirus Resource Site with all our best practices, community tips, and business resources.
Sooo…what are my options?
Trying to decide what to do with your upcoming event? Most commonly, we see some combination of these options provided to runners:
- Postponement(with or without a confirmed new date – increasingly, date TBD)
- Go Virtual (transitioning your event to a virtual event)
- Deferred Registration (move runners to next year’s event)
- Keep/Donate Registration Fee (runners decline a refund to support the race organization of nonprofit)
- Transfer to Another Race (race organizations with multiple races offer entry into a future race)
- Race Cancelled with Refunds (race cancelled entirely; refunds issued)
Postponement Pop-Up Tool
We’re calling it the Postponement Tool, but it’s really more flexible than that. This Pop-Up tool can be added to your race website (and sent out once as an email notification) and customized to let runners know the status of your event and provide any options for them moving forward. This tool does not make any participant management changes on the backend, but provides you with a report to help you move participants accordingly.
- Postponement Tool How-To
- Postponement Tool Webinar (links to start of Postponement Tool Section)
- Participant Management How-To’s (links at bottom of page)
A virtual race is one that you can participate in on your own time and at a safe distance from other runners. Virtual races have existed for years, but with social distancing guidelines, many races are using virtual events to allow participants to complete their race and stay active.
Get Started with a Virtual Run:
- Totally new to Virtual Races? Start with the instructions for a Simple Virtual Race
- Want to dive in deeper? Move onto the Advanced Virtual Race and watch the webinar on Transitioning to a Virtual Race
- Interested in more about Virtual Results? This webinar is all about results, and this one gives an update on some new ways to submit results
- Ready to take the Virtual RaceDay Experience Further? Check out this webinar on RaceJoy for Virtual Races, and talk to a Certified Timer.
- Hoping to set your Virtual Race apart? If you have a little more time, a virtual race can be a sought-after event, not just a consolation. Check out this guide and to create an exciting virtual race – and effectively promote it to your existing participants and new runners!
Community Roundup: Creativity and Expertise
One of the most impressive things we’ve seen over the last few weeks is just how creative and resourceful our customers can be in challenging times. We’ve been gathering a few of our favorites to share with you.
Unique uses for the Postponement Tool and a Community Knowledge Base. See how races are using the postponement tool, sans postponement, adding instructions for participant self-management to the pop-up, and using their site to offer posptponement without the tool. Keep scrolling for a roundup of community advice and best practices!
Virtual Challenges, Re-Imagined. Learn about a running store that’s building a robust virtual community and a race organization with a long-running virtual challenge. Bonus: ideas for race directors to help their communities.
Virtual Options to Fit Your Community. Check out a super-accessible home fitness challenge with a fundraising component, a virtual race with a training program and a sense of humor, and a free virtual run offerend to support the community.
Are you doing something cool? Email us and let us know!
Resources for Businesses and Nonprofits
Small Business Financial Resources: We have added a section to our coronavirus site with links to information about national SBA loans, private financial programs, and local initiatives.
COVID-19 Stimulus Plan and Nonprofits: The $2 trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Plan has been signed into law, and contains several measures that apply directly to nonprofits. We highlight a few things to take a look at.
Letter to Congress: Contact Congress and let them know what they can do to help our industry! We have a letter to start with.
How do you explain your changes to your participants? We have a few things to help.
Your hub for participant questions, with How-to’s, explanation of changes, and responses to common participant questions.
Quick Participant Videos
A few quick (and funny!) videos to help you and your participants manage their registrations.
Now that you know your plan for moving forward, how (and where) do you communicate with participants?
Struggling to explain the impact of the virus on your race? These industry experts have some words for you.
Payment Policy Updates
As we have detailed in several emails this month, we have updated our payment policies to ensure that both RunSignup and your race organizations are meeting their fiduciary obligations to the credit card network. To get caught up:
- Read this explainer on Chargebacks and the Coronavirus
- Watch this Coronavirus Policy Updates Webinar with Bob
- Read through the updated Pre and Post Race Policy Updates
- See the new Chargeback Notification email
- We’ve removed processing fees for refunds, and reduced them for adding to the reserve
More Covid-19 Updates
Donations and Fundraising COVID-19 Webinar
This is and will continue to be a difficult time for nonprofits. It’s time to go back to the basics: engage your communities. We have a webinar with some suggestions for engaging around COVID-19 and creating platforms for donations that benefit your mission while addressing the moment.
RunSignup Cancels 2020 Summer Symposium
With the endurance industry facing uncertainty due to COVID-19 and related restrictions on gatherings, we have decided not to hold a 2020 Summer Symposium. This year, we will focus our attention on providing virtual tools and resources to help the endurance industry navigate the coronavirus.
We started putting out weekly updates looking at the impact of the coronavirus on the industry at the end of February. The available metrics have shifted, but you can still track the progress from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5.