One of our Year End Wrap-up Blogs. Others include 2022 Year in Review, 2022 Availability Report, Company Strategy, TicketSignup 2022 Product Recap, RunSignup 2023 Product Plan, and TicketSignup Product Roadmap. Also, here is our 2023 Roadmap Webinar.
One of the things we pride ourselves on is the concept of Continuous Improvement. Since the fundamental thing we offer our customers is technology for their events (here is a quick sampling, and another set of quick tips), that means continuing to improve our offering. So when a customer decides to use us, they know they will be getting better and better software over the years. We do about 2,000 releases per year (1,867 on the platform side Jan. 1 – Dec. 28, 2022) – some small, and some parts of large, strategic areas of improvement.
In 2022, we had many improvements. There were three primary areas of focus for our energies:
- RaceDay Technology
- Next Gen Email
- Next Gen Websites
What is interesting about each of these is that we are rewriting software to make it better, without disturbing how our customers operate. RaceDay Scoring is new software that is meant to gradually supersede The Race Director. About 25-30% of timers on our platform are now using the new software. It is now to the point where it is superior to The Race Director. The same is true with our next gen Website and Email Systems. For all of the platform offerings, we are writing the next gen software so it can be easily shared between our market leading endurance registration, fundraising, ticketing and the upcoming next gen of clubs/memberships.
Next Gen Websites
One of the things that has brought our customers the most value is having a full fledged website capability. Thousands of races use us as their main website for their organization and events. It is powerful, flexible, and has both information as well as the dynamic data like results, find a participant, photos, donation goal meters, personalized fundraising pages, etc. all in one place with built-in analytics.
We have been working on a next generation website to bring to races. We introduced the new website capability for organizations in 2022, and will have it as an option for races in 2023 (read our 2023 plans for more details). We also introduced new event listings that will automatically handle all of your events without extra work – automatically listing new events when they are created or renewed, and moving events to the Past list once they are held.
So customers using Partner websites should migrate to Organization Websites since it provides a much improved set of capabilities to build your website, and the result is much more modern. It also has the benefit of all the new features we will put into our Next Gen Websites over the coming years.
In 2023, we will be bringing this next gen website capability to races and other events on our registration product, as well as a new club/membership system. Just like with email over the past year, this will be incremental and both will run side-by-side and allow for a measured migration.
Next Gen Email
Another example of our next generation of technology that we can use across all of our products is our Next Gen Email System. We brought this to our registration platform and RunSignup customers this year. We made a number of additions to the email system to make things easy for our race customers, like this participant report export, deduplication options, Race Insights integration, lots of auto-header options, lots of email replacement tags like fundraiser tags, and a number of components like Image Groups (to use for things like Sponsor image grids). We also brought the new email system to larger customers like timers and race organizations who work with multiple events with our Organization Email.
We did a huge amount of work to release an upgrade to handle non-binary options for races and clubs in 2022. it is great to see thousands of races supporting non-binary options for their participants now.
Quick Text and QR Codes
Quick Text and QR Codes was a major hit with our customers this year. We made it super easy to give your participants ways to interact with your event directing them to any page on your website – Main page, Donation page, Registration page, Results page, Photos page, or Volunteer page. They can enter a simple txt code like “R1013” or scan a QR code to bring Results up on their phone quickly. We have countless customers telling us how they made up posters for their event and made participants happier, and decreased the amount of work they needed to do.
Event Tile Display Options
We have added very flexible options to our popular Tile Displays:
We also added better support for Age-based Pricing.
We introduced Vouchers in 2021 as a powerful alternative to coupons with features like keeping a balance of money leftover and the ability to use them across multiple races (for example a $100 voucher could be used to sign up for a $40 race, a $50 race and still have $10 off the third race). We introduced more features for vouchers that made things even easier for deferred participants in 2022. While this was a big issue coming out of the pandemic, it is still a great set of features for many races, and probably underutilized by customers.
US Masters Swimming Membership Support
We have added US Masters Swimming Membership Support to the other memberships we support like USATF, USATriathlon, USA Cycling, US Ski and Snowboard Association, LifeTime, and AARP.
Even More Affiliate Website Promotion
Our affiliate program continues to grow. We have had this for over a decade, with well established partners like RunningintheUSA.com calling our API and listing every race on their website (this one affiliate partner accounts for the source of over 1% of all race registration as a place runners look for races). We added Evvnt, which lists races in hundreds of websites like local newspapers automatically (with upgrade options available). UltraSignup Magazine also added automated Results posting – so if your Ultra is on RunSignup, they will automatically pick up those results and put them on the UltraSignup website for further visibility for your ultra.
Lightbox Customer Migration
We announced the acquisition of the Lightbox Registration system from Colin Peddie of Marathon Sports fame and Steve Delahunty in the spring of 2022, as well as migration assistance. We are open to looking at other acquisitions in the endurance space as it becomes increasing difficult for smaller vendors to cover the full range of needs of endurance events. Get in contact with bob.bickel at runsignup.com if you are interested in joining us.
Participant File Upload Saving and Reporting Improvements
Some races need to have participants upload files like photos, pdf documents, or videos. We support this, and now we have better ways to store those files for you and report on them with simple URL links in your reports.
The products below are a strategic investment for our company. We want to make the race experience great, because that is the core of having a successful event. Our ambition from day one is to allow a 50 person 5K to have access to similar capabilities that the NYC Marathon uses – and we have largely succeeded. This is due to writing great software, and having a large network of timing partners who know how to make race day special. We gave stats to our platform size in our Availability blog, but here are the RaceDay product stats:
Tables, Stored Procedures & Views: 310
Lines of Code: 309,746
Apple Lines of Code: 101,768
Android Lines of Code: 54,312
Lines of Code: 191,211
Lines of Code: 25,639
RaceDay Mobile Timing:
Lines of Code: 8,030
Lines of Code: 30,045
RaceDay – CheckIn App
Under the covers, we actually did some major rewrites of the software to make it even faster, more reliable and have better syncing, as well as created an automation test suite to help us have a better platform and release faster (we had 18 releases of RaceDay CheckIn in 2022). It has become a fan favorite with many timers and races moving to it to reduce checkin lines and lower costs with race day bib assignment. We added tons of features like Volunteer checkin, including fundraising info and membership info, multi-race bundle support, improved preset setup, improved camera support, better custom question support, and printer support (including bib label printing)
RaceDay Scoring and The Race Director
RaceDay Scoring keeps getting better and better. It closed the last couple of features that The Race Director had better support for – XC races, Data Actions (like auto-switching events based on checkpoints) and Lap Races. The other strategic new feature we added is Automated Backup to Cloud. This makes it easy for a master central timer to monitor and update multiple timers in the field in real time.
We have also had 57 releases of this software in 2022 with many smaller features like improved automated posting of Results to RunSignup, Scrolling HTML Export, vastly improved reporting, and integrations with USAT, FinishLynx, Milesplit and Race Result. There is simply no other scoring product for timers in the market that is getting so much love, care and feeding…
We also “announced” Announcer support. This was actually a big release since some of the internals were improved to support real time messaging. This capability will be further taken advantage of in the coming year for the largest races.
Backup to Cloud is the largest feature we added to the Timer Dashboard in 2022. This makes it easy for a master central timer to monitor and update multiple timers in the field in real time.
New Mobile Timing App
We introduced an entirely new app for manual timing of races that runs on iPhones and Android phones. We are seeing this new app get wide adoption pretty quickly. Some timers use it as a backup like Time Machine (some more features coming in 2023 to make this even better). We also see this being used for smaller events, where it provides a nice, simple all-in-one solution for events like Ultras.
RaceJoy also saw a number of improvements (9 releases), and we have begun a set of major redesign efforts to improve usability and modernize the app. We also introduced new capabilities for route replays as well as split exports.
Our corral functionality is very good, but we did add a feature for pre-approved corrals this past year. This is yet another option that can be used for elite participants, or special groups you may want to support with dedicated corrals.
RaceDay Next Gen Photos
We introduced the next gen Photo platform in 2021, but we saw tremendous adoption of it for thousands of races uploading millions of photos. Races love it as a way to engage their participants and bring them and their sponsors more connection points (and website views!).
Congratulations if you got to the end of this blog! To bring it back to the start, we strive to keep improving our software for our customers. 2022 was another strong year for our development team, but also our great sales, support and marketing (really more education than marketing with all of our webinars and Symposium and upcoming RoadShow) teams who help customers drink from this firehose of capabilities.
We thank all of our customers for a great year, and we look forward to even more progress in 2023!