2.62 Miles to Boston – United, We Are ACTIVE

Hundreds of ACTIVE employees in San Diego, Shanghai, Saratoga Springs, Bothell, Burnaby, Philadelphia and a half-dozen other ACTIVE offices around the world stepped out today to show their support for Boston, our race directors and the entire running community.

We ran, we walked, we cheered on our colleagues as we completed 2.62 miles for the runners that didn’t have the chance.

Our own Mike Rouse, director of strategic events, completed his 254th marathon when he crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon earlier this week. We chatted with him this morning around how this week’s events have affected the running community and his plans for 2014.

“We are runners and we are strong,” Rouse told us. “As the oldest, most prestigious running event in the world, the Boston Marathon is on every seasoned marathoner’s bucket list. The running community feels like this is OUR event, OUR heritage and we won’t be defeated. ACTIVE employees completed 2.62 miles today to show the world that no one can stop us from being active. I bet that Boston will have four times as many entries next year. I just ran 3:39 at Boston and have qualified for next year. Like many runners, I can’t wait to register in September. 2014 Boston will be the best yet.”

All of us at ACTIVE are proud to be part of this strong, resilient endurance community. United, we are ACTIVE.

24 Activities That Will Get Young Professionals Through Your Doors

Yuppies. Say what you want about them, but they have incomes and a general affinity for the hottest fitness trend, class, and activity. They also take to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram before, during and after participating in a cool activity. Doesn’t that sound like an ideal customer? Depending on the demographics of your community, you could tap into the young professional market with some new and trendy offerings.

To help you understand what young professionals are looking for, here is a list of activities that are currently trendy in the 20 – 30 year old range:  Continue reading

Boston, Our Thoughts Are With You

In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon, we wanted to send a message of solidarity and support to the running community and all Bostonians.

We are proud to be part of the endurance community; and are humbled by the strength of spirit shown by the organizers of the marathon, the runners participating in it, the first responders, and the thousands of spectators involved. They are our inspiration.

Boston, our thoughts are with you.

Let’s Connect at HSMAI MEET Mid-America!

ACTIVE Network Business Solutions will be at Chicago’s Navy Pier this month for the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) 2013 MEET Mid-America conference next week.

This is the meeting and event planning industry’s premier show, connecting planners with the right resources and suppliers to move their meetings and events forward.

Participating as a diamond sponsor, ACTIVE will be showing their full suite of SMART EVENTTM technology at booth #419, including ACTIVE RegOnline™ and ACTIVE Conference™ event management software solutions. ACTIVE’s latest, complimentary buyer’s guide, Top 10 Questions Smart Companies Need to Ask, will be available at the booth or you can download your free copy.

To learn more and see the software in action, sign up for a one-on-one meeting with ACTIVE Network on Tuesday, April 23 or Wednesday, April 24.

There will be several great speakers covering a wide scope of topics such as social media, digitalization, strategic negotiations, and stretching your budget.

ACTIVE Network Business Solutions will also be participating in an educational session on April 23rd with our long-time customer, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), on how event management technology is transforming the way PCMA runs their events.

We look forward to seeing you at HSMAI!

My ACTIVE World Takeaway? Our Customers Are Superheroes!

To wrap up our amazing week at ACTIVE World, we put our customer superheroes in the spotlight. I was honored to moderate a panel with leaders who power incredible activities.

Dana Zilinski from the Chicago Park District walked us through how they left paper-based registration and an unstable ACCESS database behind in favor of ACTIVE Net™, a fully hosted online solution for park registrations.

It was no small feat for the the largest municipal park manager in the U.S. Seriously, can you imagine using spreadsheets to manage participation at 280 staffed park recreation centers, over 500 baseball fields, 26 indoor and 51 outdoor pools, 71 fitness centers, 22 artificial turf fields, 8 gymnastic centers and 2 conservatories? Thankfully, this is a thing of the past.

Liesien Benet of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, emphasized the importance of cross-functional relationships to selling in and implementing technology on a broad scale.

Geoff Buchheister of Park City Mountain Resort painted a vision for the ski mountain of the future. Geoff told us how his organization uses technology to get people seamlessly from the parking lot, through the rental process and onto the ski slope.

And, last but not least, Kent McIntosh from TEDxSanDiego shared a keen insight that really made me think. Experience-focused brands like Nordstrom and Starbucks have raised people’s expectations so much that participants demand a new level of service and experience from every organization – including their local YMCA or an entirely volunteer run organization like TEDxSanDiego. This experience brand is a completely new paradigm for most community-based organizations. Kent argued that only with technology that makes an activity organizer’s job easier will the experiences activity organizers create meet the expectations of the market.

Continue reading

Why You Need Benefit-Based Marketing (Guest Post)

This is a guest post by Greg Bruggeman. He is a recreation professional and blogs at Professional Recreation. Check out his blog or follow him on Twitter.

Have you ever had to buy an item foreign to you? Not something huge like a car or house but something inconsequential and of little cost, like a cleaning solution. As you sit in the aisle weighing the pros and cons of two similarly priced items, something catches your eye: Scrubbing Bubbles! You think to yourself “How could I have been so stupid! All these years, I’ve been doing the scrubbing when these bubbles can scrub for me!” I had to get this product! While I was walking out of the store with my Scrubbing Bubbles, I realized I had become the victim of great benefit-based marketing.  Continue reading

ACTIVE to Power IRONMAN Athletes Globally

We announced this morning that ACTIVE will continue to power IRONMAN athletes around the world from registration to finish line!

By offering race registration solutions through a single, global technology platform for IRONMAN’s nearly 190 events worldwide, athletes can go through a simple, fast registration process so that their focus can remain on their training journey and breaking that PR.

We spoke with Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of World Triathlon Corporation, i.e. IRONMAN, who said that their goal is to provide their world-class athletes with the best participant experience possible.

“We believe ACTIVE is the only technology partner sophisticated enough to do this for us on a global scale,” Messick said. “For 35 years, IRONMAN has taken pride by offering world-class events, and by continuing our relationship with ACTIVE, our athletes will have access to outstanding technology that enables a simple registration process so that the focus remains on their training journey and race day experience.”

Check out more, here!

ACTIVE World 2013 Kicks Off

Day one of ACTIVE World, our biggest and most comprehensive educational experience for our customers, is winding down. Here’s the recap: it was awesome!

ACTIVE’s CEO, Matt Landa, kicked it off by sharing his personal passion for helping our customers create great experiences, events and activities for their participants. He spoke about a commitment to developing great technology by working closely with our customers to find solutions to their everyday problems.

We then heard from business relationship guru and ex-Yahoo! exec, Tim Sanders, who shared stories on IBM’s transformation, the Starbucks customer experience and the intersection of people and technology. The energy in the room was palpable as we divided into our comprehensive learning sessions.

I sat in on a talk by City of Manhattan Beach who migrated three years ago from Class® to our cloud-based solution, ACTIVE Net™. It was a unique opportunity to hear right from the customer on their experience and how the technology has enabled them to communicate better with not only their City Council, but more importantly, their residents.

I think the most exciting part of this conference so far for me is hearing our customers exclaim, “Wow, I had no idea you guys did that!” I look forward to meeting more customers this week.

Make sure to follow all the conference buzz right here, as well as on Twitter with the hashtag #ACTIVEWORLD and @ACTIVENetwork. More to come this week as the conference rolls on, so stay tuned!

Welcome to the ACTIVE World Live Stream

ACTIVE World is officially underway and we’re happy to be hanging out with over 300 customers from our Communities market. It’s a beautiful day on San Diego harbor, Juke Box and DJ Recipe are jamming out on stage, and Keynote speakers Tim Sanders (Author and People-centric Business Expert) and Matt Landa (CEO of ACTIVE Network) are about to take the stage.

To keep up with the latest at #ACTIVEWORLD, follow the live stream right here:

Check back for tips from sessions and other conversations at ACTIVE World. And if you’re here, be sure to join the conversation on Twitter by using #ACTIVEWORLD!