Market Update: Are We There Yet?

In a world where everything is getting more expensive, is it time race directors bite the bullet and increased prices? Race Directors Hub just hosted an episode of the #HeadStart podcast where guests covered this very topic. 

Watch the podcast for a look at the latest industry data on events and participation, and discuss price hikes, participant re-engagement, the loss of operational know-how, and the long COVID industry hangover with our very own RunSignup Founder, Bob Bickel, and Mass Participation World CEO, Chris Robb

Stay in the Loop!

Want to stay in the loop on industry trends such as these? Join the Race Directors Hub Facebook page, follow its founder, Panos Gonos, on LinkedIn or find out more about becoming an official member.

Show Notes

It is May 2022 and whatever hopes and expectations we’ve all had of 2022 at the end of last year have started to materialize – or have they? It’s difficult to say how strongly our industry’s recovery towards pre-pandemic levels has fared so far this year, particularly when we all individually get to see only parts of the bigger picture. 

Well, today I’m delighted to be joined by two industry insiders who get to see as much of the bigger picture as any in our industry – Bob Bickel, Founder of US registrations market-leader RunSignup and Chris Robb, CEO of Mass Participation World and a passionate advocate for the endurance events industry.

Chris and Bob come armed with data and a deep understanding of our industry and where it’s currently at, and they’ll be discussing with me the latest data on event numbers and registration trends, as well as more profound questions, like “Is it time for race directors to be raising prices?” – a question I’m sure many of you are asking yourselves.

In this episode:

  • Market recovery continues, but lagging prior expectations for 2022
  • The effect of Omicron and erosion of trust on race participation
  • Have people fallen out of love with racing?
  • The knock-on effect of losing early sign-ups on overall registrations
  • Race director sentiment: from optimism to survival mode
  • The risk of operational know-how loss for the industry
  • Why are runners not getting back to start lines? 
  • Update on participant no-show rates
  • The effect of local authority staff turnover on race permitting and event support provision
  • Is local business and local community support for races waning?
  • Industry lobbying efforts throughout the pandemic
  • Non-returning race rates before and during the pandemic
  • Financial stresses for mid-tier organizers and the tough 6 months ahead
  • Is it time for race directors to raise prices?
  • Bridging the disconnect between events and participants through year-round participant engagement
  • Sponsor sentiment and the shift towards performance-based sponsorships
  • Market forecasts for the next two years

Many thanks to our podcast sponsors, RunSignup and Racecheck, for supporting our efforts to provide great, free content to the race director community:

RunSignup are the leading all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events. More than 26,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup’s free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Find out more at

Racecheck can help you collect and showcase your participant reviews on your race website, helping you more easily convert website visitors into paying participants, with the help of their Racecheck Review Box. Download yours for free today at

You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website

You can also share your questions about marketing or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply