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In this edition of The Edge, we're all about speed and adventure. We'll introduce you to a product feature called Mobile Express Checkout that optimizes conversion when participants have the impulse to register from their smartphone. You'll also meet a boredom-fighting event director who organizes events for the bold and daring around the world. If you're the play-it-safe type, RACEHQ has a webinar focused on safety and security at your event with President of Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises and Race Director of the Boston Marathon, Dave McGillvray. Regardless if you're risk-taker or risk-averse, “Keep Reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.” –Lloyd Alexander, American Author.

In this issue:

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

Sincerely,
Lisa Martin


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Mobile Express Checkout - Have you tried it yet?

Race Director Blog
3 Reasons To Try Mobile Express Checkout

Nowadays, we have no patience. It’s not our fault. Everything around us has picked up speed. Gone are the days of the dial-up modem. We want our information and we want it fast. In fact, we are bombarded with so much information that we now selectively pick and choose how and when we consume it.

The Future is Mobile, and the Future is Here

Our information is literally in the palm of our hand – and that’s how most people prefer to get it. Mobile usage ranks higher than tablets, home computers and TV as the medium of choice across North America.

That’s why we created a new feature for ACTIVE Works Endurance called Mobile Express Checkout. How many people have you lost during the registration process who have difficulty, get distracted, or get simply bored in the middle of registration on their mobile device? Those orphaned users represent lost dollars, and Mobile Express Checkout is a great way to reel them back in.

Read More Here

To activate Mobile Express Checkout, log in to ACTIVE Works, enter your Event Set Up and select the Event Restrictions option on the right-hand side. Then simply check the box to enable the Mobile Express Checkout feature.

Download the Mobile Express How-To Guide to See How it Works for Yourself!


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Dan Wedgwood photo
Dan Wedgwood

November Event Director of the Month
Dan Wedgwood, The Adventurists

Dan Wedgwood, Director at The Adventurists, has helped launch the adventure and charity organization for 8 years. The Adventurists founder Tom Morgan asked Dan to join him, and since then he has directed adventures worldwide, raising money for charity. From the Mongol Rally to the Mototaxi Junket to the World Cycle Race, Dan is fighting to make the world less boring. Here is Dan’s story on his journey from being jobless and homeless to planning the very first long distance paramotor race.

How did you become an event director?

Completely by accident, I studied English Literature at University, then picked up a one-year contract as an in-house reporter for the world yacht race. After that I was jobless and homeless, so I entered the second edition of the now world famous Mongol Rally. There were 6 teams on the first rally in 2004. I competed with 42 other teams in 2005. We drove 7,500 miles to the capital of Mongolia in an un-modified 988cc 1995 Nissan Micra that had 130,000 miles on the clock before we'd left London. Less than half of the teams made it to the finish line that year, so we were pretty happy.

About a year later, founder Tom Morgan turned the Mongol Rally into The Adventurists and needed some help launching more adventures. So I gave up my thoroughly sensible job doing marketing stuff at BBC Bristol to help with his fight to make the world less boring. I've been at The Adventurists for about 8 years now.

What was the craziest event you ever took part in?

Driving to Mongolia in a tiny Nissan Micra is quite stupid on paper, although it's easier than it sounds when you actually give it a crack. Cross the English Channel, turn left, don't give up. We had some dodgy moments in Kazakhstan but our most stupid episode was self-inflicted. In Western Mongolia, I drove into a rock on a dirt track and tore the fuel tank apart. A guy we were with rigged up a temporary fuel tank with a 20-liter gas can called a jerry can, and garden hoses. The tank was strapped to the inside of the passenger door and the hoses went out of the window and into the engine via a hole we cut in the corner of the bonnet (hood). It sounds like it shouldn't work but we drove 800km across Mongolia with our jerry can fuel tank.

A few years ago, I also went on our Mototaxi Junket adventure and drove a really crap three-wheeled motorbike over a big chunk of the Andes and through the Peruvian Amazon. The most hectic bit about that was the massive sheer drops-off at the edge of the mountain tracks. Some of them were above the cloud line, which can get a touch worrying at times.

What has helped you become successful in managing your events?

Working with the right people. Some people just aren't cut out for events; anyone who has run events already knows what I'm talking about. We've been most successful when we've worked with smart people who can make stuff happen in random and challenging parts of the world.

Also, ignoring the boring types who have repeatedly told us our plans were terrible has been quite important for us. Every time we've announced a new adventure, at least one person has told us it's not possible. Knowing when to ignore the boring-brigade is just as important as identifying and heeding decent solid advice when it comes your way.

Why did you decide to use ACTIVE Network and how long have you been with them?

ACTIVE rescued us from a creaky old system we'd built ourselves over a few years. It worked, but our customers hated it and it had no flexibility. To get anything changed we had to get a developer on the case. We switched to ACTIVE because it put us in control of the whole process. We've been using the system for all our adventures for well over a year now and it's made a massive difference. We've gone from a system best described as 'a bit rubbish' to a proper professional system with shedloads of flexibility that also gives customers' confidence when they use it.

How do you keep your participants coming back to take part in more adventures?

We specialize in adventures that will make your Mum cry and your mates laugh. For us, it's about coming up with more old-school adventures and extreme adventure races that have the right blend of chaos, pain, mayhem and adventurism. It doesn't get much more complicated than that, really.

How do you differentiate yourselves from other challenge type organizations?

Our adventures and races are, generally speaking, bigger, longer, more dangerous, riskier or more stupid than (most) other similar challenges out there.

We're also not overly righteous about the charity fundraising side of things. It's important, and we do genuinely want to save a bit of the world by funding Cool Earth's work in protecting and preserving rainforests and the communities that want to carry on living in them. But the adventure comes first for most people and we're always up front about that.

What set of marketing tactics have been the most effective for you?

By a long shot it's been word of mouth. The majority of people who come on our adventures are already planning the next one by the time they reach the finish line. They tell their friends, colleagues and family all about it both during the adventure via social media and when they get home.

Personally, when I drove that broken-down Nissan Micra to Mongolia, I felt about 4 inches taller and was pretty keen to tell my mates what I'd managed to pull off. It helped with my short-man complex and, let's face it, everyone's got a bit of an ego to varying degrees. If you've nailed the World's Longest Horse Race or driven a tiny rickshaw thousands of miles across India, you're pretty likely to tell your mates about it. Whatever the race or event, I'd say you need to give your participants a reason to shout about it and tell people. If there's no obvious talking point, then you need to create one and promote it.

Apart from that, we've got pretty good media coverage over the years and a few bits of TV. I'd say the most effective thing for convincing people to sign up for adventures is the promo videos we've made. They're cut from footage of previous teams and do a good job of conveying the sort of mayhem we encourage.

Do you have any advice for race directors who might just be getting started?

Don't expand an event or race too quickly, you'll get caught with your professional pants down, as it were. When you've got something kicking off and going really well, I'd recommend resisting the temptation to make it too big, too quickly. Grow in line with the resources you've got and don't get cocky about your ability to rapidly expand.

And always ignore the advice of the boring-brigade. Exciting stuff always comes with a bit of risk.

What does the future hold for the Adventurists?

Launching new adventures and trying to make the world less boring. The next one is the Icarus Trophy, a long distance para-motoring air race. Our Founder and Chief Tom made this video about our product research and development, which highlights the rigorous process we go through to formulate our ideas via the Institute of Adventure Research. We're announcing a new adventure in Africa too, in a couple of months' time.

We also want to encourage enough fundraising to help our official charity, Cool Earth, save a massive chunk of rainforest from destruction. We figure if you're privileged enough to thunder off into the mountains on a big old adventure, then you should try and save a bit of the planet at the same time. Plus, without rainforests there'd be less places to go and get lost, which is important.


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Webinars

webinars
Get ahead with your New Year marketing plans by tuning into ACTIVE’s Event Marketing Made Easy Webinar

On Wednesday, November 26 at 8:30am PST, 11:30am EST and 4:30pm GMT, Experts Alistair Gammell, Managing Director of Earnest Agency, and ACTIVE’s Ryan Smith, Senior Product Marketing Manager, will share insights into consumer habits around the holiday season and breakdown the major elements of effective marketing all-year round. Their shared insights will show how effective digital marketing increases conversion, in addition to the channels to consider to best maximize your return on advertising spend. We’ll also highlight the golden rules of PR and best practice on creative design.

Get ready for 2015 by visiting: Event Marketing Made Easy

RaceHQ Managing the Millions of Details Webinar Series: Ensuring the Safety and Security of Your Event

In light of the tragedy that struck the 2013 Boston Marathon, event organizers must rethink how they ensure the safety and security of their events. On Wednesday, December 3 at 4:00 PM EST, RaceHQ President and Co-Founder, Anton Villatoro will welcome Dave McGillivray, President of Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises and Race Director of the Boston Marathon to discuss key considerations every Race Director must attend to when they plan their next race.

Join this interactive webinar with expert panelists on important insights to help keep your event safe: Ensuring the Safety and Security of Your Event

Marketing Must Haves for the Holiday Season

Is your race or event prepared to leverage the upcoming holiday season? If not, we’ve got some great ideas for how you can take advantage of the approaching spike in consumer spending.

The holiday season a great time to engage your participants and drive registration while shopping is on their minds. We have the must-know trends and insights to help you put a plan in place to benefit from the upcoming holiday buying season.

Watch the “Marketing Must Haves for the Holiday Season” webinar to learn how to apply effective holiday marketing tips for your social media, email marketing, and website.


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Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks
Empowering Your Participants

Allow participants to update certain personal info, change categories, and even transfer a registration to someone else without any involvement from you. By setting up self-editing, you enable participants to edit their own registration information, transfer to another category, and transfer their registration to another participant, all using ACTIVE.com (and without needing to call you). Learn how to enable your participants to edit their registration information here. We even included links to the ACTIVE.com Support Help Center, so that your participants have instructions to accomplish these tasks.

To find more helpful tips and tricks, check out our Help Center. It’s also a great way to keep up to date with the latest product announcements and register for free live trainings.


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AWE has a new look!





Running USA

What’s new
ACTIVE Works Endurance (AWE) has a new look!

Our designers have been hard at work delivering a new, cleaner style to freshen up your experience. Behind the scenes, you’ll find that our website will load faster and respond better to fit your screen across your laptop, tablet or mobile devices. The functionality hasn’t changed and nothing has been moved. AWE is the same application you’ve come to trust for online registration and participant and activity management but with a new fresh look!

We’re excited about this update to AWE, and we will continue to look for ways to improve your experience in the future. Log into your AWE account to see the new look!

Running USA 2015: The 12th Industry Conference

Join us at Running USA 2015: The 12th Industry Conference, in New Orleans on February 8-10, 2015. Last year's conference sold out and registrations are going fast, so we encourage you to register now!

This year, the running industry's leaders and innovators will gather to discuss future trends, share stories and get insights. To view a complete schedule of events, please visit http://www.runningusa.org/program-schedule. The 2015 conference is simply one you don't want to miss.


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