Guest Blog: Alexandros Tanti, CEO & Co-founder of Racecheck
My first-ever triathlon was a life-transforming experience. From a logistical and organisational perspective, everything worked like clockwork, allowing me to enjoy the race and embrace the experience fully. Crossing the finish line filled me with self-confidence and empowered me in a way I had never felt before. Arguably it was the first important step in building the confidence required to eventually leave my job, start my own company and live a life that is more true to who I am.
My second-ever triathlon was an absolute disaster. At the finish line, I got handed a bag of rice instead of a medal. No t-shirt, the roads full of potholes, and the aid stations had run out of water. If this had been my first triathlon, I probably would have never bothered participating in another event again in my life. What a tragedy that would have been, and the myriads of adventures and friendships I would have missed out on… But, if it weren’t for this second experience, I would not have started Racecheck. For some reason, the contrast between those two events ignited a bizarre sense of responsibility in me. An urgent need to create a space that facilitates genuine and constructive feedback sharing, with participants helping each other find brilliantly organised events and avoiding terribly organised events.
45,000+ reviews later, Racecheck is the world’s leading reviews platform for the mass participation sports industry, with over 1200 sports organisations using Racecheck to collect and manage feedback. Over the years, our core offering and focus have expanded to not just how reviews can help participants uncover amazing experiences but how reviews can also help you, the supplier of these events, improve, connect more closely with your participants and, at the same time, experience a significant increase in sales.
Reviews have always been a determining factor for products, hotels, and restaurants. Just consider the following stats as researched by Trustpilot, a leading Reviews as a Service company for e-commerce:
- 92–97% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase
- 81% trust those reviews as much as recommendations from friends & family
- 92% of consumers have difficulties or hesitations purchasing an item with no review
Still, bizarrely, until recently, reviews have not been at the forefront of people’s minds when registering for a race. Perhaps because when you do see reviews about events, they’re the usual single-star rating kind, which does little to provide a comprehensive picture of what one can expect at the event. Experiences are not dishwashers, yet most review platforms treat them as such.
Businesses in hospitality and e-commerce are now more proactively harnessing the power of their feedback as a way to drive direct sales and increase on-site conversions. Traditionally, marketplaces have employed this tactic to attract traffic away from the supplier and to their own channels. But reviews should be used to directly benefit you as the supplier of your events and use your participant feedback as the potent sales generator they are. In a nutshell, reviews, used in a certain way, are a product that can revolutionise your registration rates.
There is a 2-step winning recipe for harnessing your participant feedback and using it intentionally to attract more traffic and increase direct sales. It sounds simple, but it’s tricky to execute. This is how it goes:
- Ask your past participants to review your event on an independent platform. Consumers are highly sceptical when seeing cherry-picked quotes and testimonials selected by the supplier themselves or reviews displayed by affiliated companies whose well-being depends on the supplier doing well.
- Display these reviews, via an independent platform, on your sales channels, such as your website and checkout cart. Then see the magic happen.
Racecheck was built and designed specifically to offer this service for the mass participation sports industry. In a nutshell:
- We collect reviews on your behalf, prompting the participant to rate many aspects of your event. Not only will the reviews be genuinely helpful and informative to future participants, but they are also valuable to you as a way to reflect and improve.
- We display these reviews on your sales channels via our flagship product, the Racecheck Review Box, optimised to increase registrations, particularly from first-time participants. In addition, our analytics tools give you full transparency for how reviews drive sales, so you know exactly what your return on investment is for using Racecheck. No guesswork.
- SEO enhancement. The Review Box can convert your review ratings into rich snippets and see your star ratings appear next to your Google search listings, increasing your click-through rates by over 10%. This attracts more organic traffic and gives your search listing more authority.
In addition to our core services above, we provide a full suite of tools and features to enhance further the power of your participant feedback, such as converting reviews into dynamic social content, replying to reviews, customising your Review Box, receiving a Racecheck award, verifying reviews, and insightful event analytics.
How can RunSignup customers use Racecheck?
A Racecheck account is 100% complementary to your RunSignup account, as Racecheck takes zero commission on sales for premium subscriptions. This creates a win-win scenario for everyone, with incentives fully aligned.
There are two ways that RunSignup customers can use Racecheck. The two ways differ depending on whether you host your own website or use RunSignup as the host for your website URL:
- If you host your own website: There is a growing number of RunSignup customers using Racecheck on their websites, such as Junction311, Sheetz2sheetz, Charlotte Marathon and others, as seen in the attached screenshots. To use Racecheck to collect and display your participant reviews, sign up here and enjoy a free trial for a whole month as a risk-free way to test us out.
- If you are using a RunSignup-hosted website: You can still display your Racecheck reviews on an RSU-hosted website by adding a link and redirecting website visitors to your Racecheck event page, such as this one. Get started by creating a free Racecheck account here, and we will guide you through the process step-by-step.
Your participant feedback is one of the most powerful marketing tools if utilised in a certain way. As a race organiser, your ability to create unforgettable memories and life-transforming experiences for your participants should not be underestimated. I say this because I personally experienced it. This is why people will return to your event, and how successfully you can convey this experience to first-time participants will dictate how fast your race will grow. Of course, no one can do this better than your past participants themselves. Genuine, unbiased, independent reviews are the closest thing to word-of-mouth and the ultimate advertising tool you could ever employ. Start benefiting from the power of race reviews in 2023. And if you’d like to learn more about Racecheck, you can visit us here.