Most road races use registration price increases as an incentive to sign-up early. This approach is industry standard and proven to work, but for capped events like mine, it makes budgeting difficult. Instead, Maritime Race Weekend sets one price for each event, but offers lots of early bird perks. This year, we are giving away $10,000 in bonus swag and prizes.
We regularly have registration draws on our facebook page, but with generous sponsorships and strong event partnerships – the early bird incentives get bigger every year. Earlier this month, Spartan Fitness Equipment donated a Zero Runner (retail $3,699) as an early bird draw. On New Year’s Day, we’ll draw for a trip for two to Toronto Waterfront 10K. For this prize, I partnered with Canada Running Series to split the costs and offer race registration, hotel and airfare to their premier event in June. With early bird registration ending on New Year’s Eve, I’ll see a dramatic spike in registration right up to midnight.
U-pick race shirt continues to be our most popular early bird incentive. Offering shirt style options of long sleeve, short sleeve or singlet does add extra work ordering and during race-kit pick-up, but it’s totally worth it and definitely drives early registration.
We’ll continue to reveal more incentives to register over the winter, but the earlier a runner signs up, the more opportunities they have to win.