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The Edge ACTIVE Network

We’re kicking off the new year by offering up a chance for your event to be promoted on…for free! Check out the info about it below. This month we’ve also got a product tip on a very popular question about additional purchases, and we’d like to introduce you to a great race director named John Spriggs. Read on for those articles and more!

In this issue:

I hope you enjoy these articles. Feel free to share your feedback and ideas for our newsletters!

Lisa Martin

P.S. Interested in advertising your event online? Our name-your-price Instant Ads tool is your best bet! Receive a $50 Instant Ads coupon when you attend one of our upcoming how-to webinars: February 5th, February 13th, or February 20th


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Race Director Blog
Free Customer Event Promotions for Winter Categories

Our next free promotional opportunity is here! If you’re an ACTIVE customer, you can nominate your event for a chance to be featured on in one of these categories:

  • Scenic Spring Half Marathons: Deadline to submit your event is 1/31/2014
  • Running Races in Wine Country:  Deadline to submit your event is 2/1/2014
  • Races with the Best Post-Race Parties: Deadline to submit your event is 2/5/2014

Read the full article with details on how to nominate your event.

This article was posted on our blog on January 21st. If you want to know as soon as an article is posted, subscribe to our blog and you’ll get an email alert.  Click here to subscribe

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Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks
How to Edit the Availability Dates for an Additional Purchase Question

Need to make changes to when a registrant can make additional purchases within the registration path?
Here’s how to do that

Watch instructional videos and get more tips and tricks in the Help Center.

To ensure you’re getting the most out of ACTIVE Works, register here for live product training (it’s free!).

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John Spriggs headshot
John Spriggs

Event Director of the Month
John Spriggs, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K Fun Run

Presented by the Pamakids Runners Club and guided by the vision of the board of directors of the Club, the San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run is executed by the race management company RhodyCo. John Spriggs, co–chair and race director of the event, acts as the emissary of both the Club and RhodyCo. The event is ranked as one of the most scenic in the country by Runner's World and has successfully attracted runners to its beautiful course for the past 31 years. John has been involved with the event in one way or another for many years, but 2014 will mark his first year in the race director role. Here’s what he had to tell us about the event itself and his path to become race director.

How did you get involved in the event? What’s your background?
I’ve been running for about 35 years. I ran in cross country and track in high school and college, so running has been a big part of my life. George Rehmet, the other co-race director of this event, brought me into the Pamakids Runners Club in mid-90s and got me on a racing team. From there I started volunteering at this event and moved from course monitor to course captain and now race director.

What’s it like transitioning from participant to race director?
Switching into a race director role has given me a real appreciation of what it takes to put on an event like this. In particular, I have a much greater appreciation of having talented and dedicated volunteers.
It’s just critical. I’d see the volunteers when I was running in events, but didn’t realize how much of a time commitment it was on their part. For our event, we have 1 volunteer for every 10 runners, so our volunteer coordinator is responsible for recruiting 1000 volunteers. It’s just so important to have great volunteers.

How have you been able to create such successful relationships with your sponsors?
Kaiser Permanente came on board as our title sponsor in 2005 and I can’t say enough about the amazing support they’ve provided.  I think our relationship is strong because of good communication. Even though they’ve been with us for several years, we still begin working with Kaiser’s PR department months in advance of the event. We ask them what they want to see out of the event and align it with our goals.  They encourage employees and plan members to participate and we provide training programs for them.  Kaiser really believes in and supports exercise as illness prevention.  It’s a great fit for both our organization and theirs.

Plus, adding the 5k in addition to the half marathon has been key in getting support. Sponsors like events that can accommodate a variety of athletes, not just the folks who have the time and ability to train for longer races. This was important to Kaiser Permanente, for example, because we provide an event that all their members and staff can participate in.

What are some of the things you think set your event apart and help it be successful year after year?
One of the reasons our event consistently attracts runners is that we have a really great course. It’s scenic, fast, and the time of year is perfect. (We always hold the event on Super Bowl Sunday, so people like to get a great run in before they relax and enjoy the game.)

The event is also meticulously organized–it’s always on time and every detail is accounted for. RhodyCo, our event management company, is amazing. People put on a lot of races like this, but our event is put on by runners. We give a lot of attention to the details runners care about, because we’re runners ourselves.  And we always incorporate runner feedback into the next year’s event.

Also, since the Pamakids are a non-profit organization, we donate around $75,000 per year from the race proceeds to a variety of charitable organizations. We like to support local non-profit community organizations that match our club's mission to "promote a healthy lifestyle." Doing this is really helpful in connecting with both the runners in our race and sponsors who like to participate in an event that benefits their community.

Plus, we get lots of help with promotion. Kaiser Permanente really helps us reach out to their clients and employees. For example, we organize training runs with certified coaches to get people motivated and in shape for the event.  And ACTIVE Network also helps promote and attract registrants on

What are some plans you have to improve the event?
Since this is our first year as race directors, George and I are sticking to the status quo for the most part. But one thing we’d like to do is send out more surveys. We really want feedback from participants on how we can tailor the race even more for them.  We’ll take a look at the responses for 2014 and try to make some changes for 2015.

Do you have any advice for race directors who might just be getting started?
I’d recommend that you visit other races in the area and see what they’re doing. Stop by and talk with them—it’s a great opportunity to trade stories and get some ideas.  Overall it’s a very friendly culture and we all want other events to succeed too because it only helps the industry grow.

Learn more about the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K Fun Run

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  What’s new
Triathlon Business International 2014 Annual Conference logo
Running USA Industry Conference 2014 logo
Portland Marathon logo

We’ll See You at These Industry Conferences

Triathlon Business International Conference
When:  January 26-28
Where:  The Marriott, Marina Del Rey, CA
Not registered yet? Click here

The panels will be full of hot topics such as “Drug Policies and Endurance Sports,” “Non-Traditional Events,”  “Charity Involvement and Corporate Wellness Initiatives,” and more.  And you won’t want to miss the awards banquet! Email us and we can schedule a time to meet up.

Running USA Conference
When:   February 9-11
Where:  Marriott Marquis & Marina, San Diego, CA
Not registered yet? Click here

This one will be a lot of fun. With panels like “What Can Running Learn from Triathlon,” round table sessions on activating social media, and idea labs, you’re guaranteed to walk away with new friends and better ways to manage your races.  We’d love you to stop by our booth or meet up to say hi. Let us know when you have some free time at the conference.

Portland Marathon Event Director College - East Coast
When: April 2 -3
Where: Charleston, SC
Not registered yet? Click here
Use the ACTIVE Network early bird discount ($50 off) through February 1: 2014CSCEDC

This is a 2-day serious workshop for event directors and committee members of running and walking events of all types. You’ll get very practical, hands-on tips and advice, learning from industry pros in an intimate setting. Space is limited! We’ll be there and we’d love to see you, so email us if you’d like to meet up in person.

New Design for our Event Director Blog!

Our Event Director Blog has a new look debuting this year! Not only is it easier on the eyes, but it’s now a lot more functional. We’ve added a search feature so you can easily find articles and topics that interest you, and we’ve added quick links to our free Event Director Guides so they’re handy whenever you need them. And there’s also a constantly updated list of our top blog posts so you can see what other event directors are reading most!

If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to subscribe to our blog so you’ll get notified of new posts as soon as they’re published. Click here to visit the blog, look for the ‘Subscribe’ section and simply enter your email address – it’s simple!

Look for the 'Subscribe' section and simply enter your email address - it's simple!

Top 5 Blogs Posts of 2013:
8 Ideas on How to Get Facebook Likes & Comments
Subject Lines: 6 Ways to Get Your Emails Opened
5 Scary Things You Don't Want to Happen with Registration
Event Pricing Strategies Article (Updated!)
7 Ways to Promote with Social Media

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