As has been the case for the past 2 years, Q1 was impacted by Covid.
We saw drops in the number of new and renewed event creation in December and January, with recoveries in February and March as case counts dropped. We also saw some hesitancy by participants and attendees to sign up too early for many events. Many of the signups that happen in Q1 are for events that actually take place in Q2, and it will be interesting to see if there is a “catch up” that happens.
We are predicting that numbers will continue to lag a bit in Q2 because of a couple of factors:
- Early signups help to create a network effect of convincing friends and family to join them at events, and since there are fewer people signed up, there will be a lower network effect.
- Many events took much of the past two years off. This has created a bit of a gap in enthusiasm and connection for both the volunteer event organizers and the attendees.
Continued Growth at RunSignup
In spite of these headwinds, our Q1 numbers were very strong. We continue to measure against 2019 since that was the last normal year.
The 22% growth in events is actually more because of the churn of events over 500 that have not returned from 2019 of about 20% (normal is 5-6%. The growth is coming from several positive trends for our company.
Event Focus – Registration and Ticket Platform
This quarter, we began the process of aligning our efforts onto our two main products – Registration and Tickets. They share the same platform, database and set of shared services, as this diagram shows:
To highlight this focus on our products, we introduced TicketSignup.io, along with new logos:
We will focus the Registration product with both the RunSignup and GiveSignup brands on these two markets:
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising events like runs, walks and rides
We obviously have a very robust platform that has achieved major product differentiation in these markets.
We will focus our newer Ticket product on several markets, and lean toward the TicketSignup brand to be more explicit about the purpose of that platform. For nonprofits, they can of course still use the GiveSignup brand the URL since it is all one platform (and goes to the same place :-)):
- Nonprofit Events like Golf, Gala and Festival fundraisers
- Agri-tourism Events, particularly Outdoor, multi-day events like Corn Mazes, Halloween Haunts, and Holiday Light Shows
- We are also finding a number of our existing customers also do non-endurance events and they are finding TicketSignup to be a much better platform for them than Eventbrite.
- Of course our self serve platform is attracting an increasing number of every type of event because of the ease of use, the free email and free websites capabilities providing a lower cost solution to event producers.
Our leadership in the endurance market continues to build as we reviewed in the bi-annual Market Analysis a couple of weeks ago. There continues to be market consolidation with our acquisition of the Lightbox Registration platform. We also continue to separate ourselves from the remaining vendors with technology advancements, including:
- New, free, unlimited use Email for Races
- New version of the RaceDay CheckIn App
- New Voucher advancement to help customers migrate to RunSignup
- US Masters Swimming Integration
- RaceJoy UI Improvements and Route Replay
- QR Code and TXT to Signup, Get Results, Volunteer, etc. Service
Our investment in tools for timers continues to be a key focus, with a dedicated team building the emerging #1 scoring platform with RaceDay Scoring, and major offerings for every phase of Race Day.
We also continue to lead the endurance community with major efforts to help others:
- Non-binary Support
- 2021 Race Trends Report
- Alan Jones Timer of the Year Award – Congrats Mary Anderson!
Sadly for our competitors, who say we are getting distracted by tickets, the opposite is happening with the platform getting stronger and stronger. We estimate that we have grown from 25-30% market share pre-pandemic to 35-40% market share now, with continued positive trends, such as the new races created growing from 3,641 in 2019 to 4,396 in 2022 and race renewals growing from 4,442 to 5,801. And the additional transaction volume allows us to invest in common services like email and websites beyond what a narrow race registration only vendor can do.
The other market we are increasing focus on with our registration product is Peer-to-Peer fundraising. As can be seen by the large increase in donations above (135% growth!), we are doing very well in this relatively new market for us. While we have had fundraising capabilities for years, we have doubled-down on this area from a product focus, and are now approaching these types of customers more directly.
We came out with several nice releases in Q1, including several releases for Fundraiser Milestones and Badges (as well as for Teams), as well as the ability to import past fundraisers (which helps customers migrating from other platforms).
Tickets for Nonprofits
We made an interesting discovery this quarter. Our nonprofit customers and prospects understand the TicketSignup brand name better than GiveSignup. It is the exact same product, but the clarity that it is for ticket events has helped people understand that this is just a better ticket platform than Eventbrite for nonprofits.
This quarter, we made huge progress on our free Website and Email offerings for ticket events. Many nonprofits are strapped, and looking for ways to cut costs. The fact we give them a free platform to promote their events and nonprofit rather than pay for Mailchimp and Constant Contact is very attractive. And the ability to self-manage their own website (for free) is making nonprofits happy.
We are seeing repeat nonprofit customers like YMCA’s, Rotary’s, Kiwanis clubs, and animal shelters adopting the platform as word spreads. We are also seeing common types of events. For example there are about 50 golf fundraisers already set up on our ticket platform this year compared with only a dozen last year.
Our overall ticket volume is minuscule compared with our registration platform, but we are seeing very rapid growth. New ticket events created in March were only 10% of the number of new registration events, but that is up from 5% in January and less last year. Transaction volume and tickets sold is still less than 1%.
We have gotten some nice agri-tourism events that plan on using our platform later this summer and fall that should start contribute measurably to our results. We have specific features in our product which make it very nice for multi-time slot events, especially ones that are outdoors. We offer excellent options for display (with more on the way) for multiple days and times, along with powerful cap mechanisms. Perhaps more importantly, we offer a number of ticket self-management options that are very useful if there is a cancellation of a day for rain. Event directors can easily use our free email system to notify their customers, and include a link that allows them to reschedule their tickets to another day and time.
These, along with the increased volume of nonprofit events will grow over time. We expect that it will take about 5 years for transaction volume on the ticket side to match the registration side of our business.
Our company continues to delivery great, reliable, secure technology to our event customers to allow them to grow their events and minimize their costs. This winning combination allows us to continue to grow and make even better technology for our customers.
We appreciate the amazing support of our customers, and their continued willingness to recommend us to their friends and colleagues to help keep this virtuous cycle going!