Give Your Event’s ABOUT PAGE a Boost!

Is your event’s ABOUT PAGE getting enough attention?

Training for a race can be stressful enough, don’t let your participants feel overwhelmed or left in the dark by not knowing all the race day details.  When you set up your event on ITS YOUR RACE, we give you the tools to carefully spell out the when, where, why and how.  It’s up to you as an event director to give them as much information as possible so they can carefully plan out their race day and leave with a good experience. In addition to receiving positive feedback for a well-organized event, you will also free up some of your time as a race director.  The more information you provide on your event’s ABOUT PAGE, the less time you will spend responding to questions about your event’s logistics.

When you set up your ABOUT PAGE, we ask you for a “short description” of your event.  This will be used as the opening line on your event, and will often include the distance and location of your event, any major highlights and any causes that your event supports.  For example, “A fun, Fall 5K run through beautiful downtown Berlin!  All proceeds benefit Atlantic General Hospital of Berlin.”

 

What’s included in an effective ABOUT PAGE?

An effective full description will include all the details that are pertinent to your event.  Remember to keep your ABOUT PAGE concise and easy to read.

  • Optional images or header – We allow you to copy and paste images from your website, or you can upload an image from your local computer to the FILE MANAGER in your ITS YOUR RACE admin tool.  Images should not exceed 800 pixels wide.
  • Location – Highlight the event location.  Briefly describe the course and any fun or challenging aspects to the event (live music along the course, Halloween costume attire, obstacles, etc)
  • Fundraising – If your event is for a cause, be sure to highlight this as well as any fundraising opportunities that coincide with the event.
  • Race Day Details – Prior to your event, people will want to know where they need to go and what time they need to be there.  It’s important to include:
    • Race Registration Fees – While IYR will display the date and time a registration type will go up in price, it’s a good idea to let people know when prices will increase on the ABOUT PAGE as well.
    • Parking –  Tell people the exact location for race-day parking, the suggested time of arrival and any fees for parking.  It’s also very important to include how early surrounding roads will be closed.
    • Race-Day Registration – Let them know if this will be available or not, the price and what time race day reg will open.
    • Packet Pickup Information – If your event has packet pickup on days leading up to the event, make this a separate section on your ABOUT PAGE.  Otherwise, you can include it in the “Race Day Details”, and be sure to tell people exactly where to go to pick up their race packet and what time packet pickup will be available.
    • Pacers – If volunteer pacers are going to be available, you can highlight the paces that will be available.
    • Aid stations, water and food stops (typically for marathons or longer-distances)
    • Start line and course information – The location, any wave information (if you have a large event) and a description of the course.  ITS YOUR RACE also provides you with the ability to map your run using our tool.  This creates an interactive map for athletes to see exactly where they will be running or riding on Google Maps. Go to the COURSE MAPS menu item in your event manager and add separate maps of each distance included in your event.
    • Awards Ceremony and Post-Race Entertainment – Highlight awards and the breakdown for age groups for awards.  Let participants know about any post-race festivities and any amenities that will be available after the event.
  • Results information – If your event results are going to be available on ITS YOUR RACE, we place a “RESULTS” menu item on the ABOUT PAGE, but you can also include this in your event description to reiterate to athletes that they can find their results on IYR.  You can also let them know they can download the ITS YOUR RACE mobile app to look up their results immediately following the event.
  • Refund policy / inclement weather plan – Let athletes know what the refund policy is upfront so there’s no confusion.  A clearly stated refund policy also helps defend a credit card dispute if it comes up.

 

Additional thoughts and best practices:

In addition to ensuring that you have conveyed all the pertinent event details, here are a few more things you can do to make sure your ABOUT PAGE is useful and valuable.

Facebook feed:

ITS YOUR RACE also allows you to embed the feed from your Facebook PAGE on the ABOUT PAGE.  Please note that this must be a Facebook PAGE and not a Facebook EVENT.  You can create both, but the feed on ITS YOUR RACE will come from the Facebook PAGE. (Here’s a link to Facebook’s explanation on PAGES).

Additional Custom HTML for your Event Page:

Use this feature to display engaging content like past images, course maps, sponsor links, hotel & parking information.

This feature works best if set to the right margin.  Be sure to resize the photos to 275px wide (any height) to allow them to fit properly in the right margin.

right_margin_sample

 

Example ABOUT PAGE:

Click here to view the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon and Hospice 5K Dash for an example of an event that has done an awesome job with laying out their ABOUT PAGE. 

Creating a template:

After you’ve dialed in your ABOUT PAGE content with all the necessary event details, you can copy and paste the information for future events and edit as needed. This will not only save you time for any upcoming events but will also give your events a consistent look and feel.

As your event approaches, if you have important information to convey to your athletes, such as parking, road changes or weather updates, we suggest posting these to the top of your ABOUT PAGE.

Remember the more information you can provide, the better.  A descriptive ABOUT PAGE that’s laid out well can be used as a great marketing tool to get more participants!

Introducing the IYR CheckIn Mobile App!

ITS YOUR RACE is  excited to announce a new product that is going to make your events’ packet pickup, dynamic bib assignment and participant changes on race-day easier for you and your volunteers!  The IYR CheckIn App is now available on the Apple store and Google Play store.

The app is a simple race day tool that allows your packet pickup volunteers to check participants in and assign bib numbers using their own mobile device.  This eliminates the need for multiple laptops at your check-in table, and makes race morning run smoothly for your participants and volunteers.  The data in the app is automatically synced with your participant database in ITS YOUR RACE, which means that your timer can download the data after packet pickup has ended, put it into his timing system and start the race.

updated IYR App.png

 

 

The process to use the app is simple:

  1. Enable the IYR CheckIn app in your event’s admin tool on itsyourrace.com. This will provide you with a unique event pin number for the app.
  2. Ask your packet pickup volunteers to download the IYR CheckIn app and give them the pin number
  3. Volunteers then begin searching for participants in the app by last name (or scanning the QR code on a participant’s registration receipt), tap the “Check In” button, assign a bib number and save the record.
  4. The participant’s race packet and bib is handed over, and they’re ready to race!

 

 

We’ve created this page with documentation and videos to help event managers and volunteers learn to use the app.

The bib assignment and check-in status is automatically synced with the IYR participant database.  If your event is using a Jaguar timer, your timer will be able to offer race-day registration along with immediate packet pickup using the IYR CheckIn mobile app.  This means more revenue for your event, and less headaches for your volunteers!

Users can alter the app’s settings prior to beginning packet pickup.  For example, if bib assignment and packet pickup (or shirt pickup) are at separate locations, the app includes a setting to automatically have the “packet picked up” checkbox on the athlete check-in screen UNCHECKED so that your event can have two separate stations for bib assignment and race packet/swag pickup.

If you’re using ITS YOUR RACE for registration, we now include a QR code on all registration receipts. When an athlete approaches the packet pickup table, they can show the volunteer using the IYR CheckIn app their email receipt (paper or on a mobile device) and the volunteer can easily scan their QR code to pull up that athlete for bib assignment and check-in.

The app also works wirelessly with the Brother QL-820NWB label printer.  This allows volunteers using the app to easily print a small label at check-in that includes the athlete’s information and a QR code that will instantly take them to their results.  More information on the equipment and setup can be found in our IYR CheckIn app documentation.

See a sample label here.

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We’re excited about bringing this new technology to your events.  Be sure to download the IYR CheckIn app today, read through the documentation, watch the videos and try it out on one of your test events.  If you have any questions or feedback about this new feature, contact support and let us know!

Handling Charge-backs and Credit Card Disputes

An unfortunate part of doing business, especially taking orders online, is dealing with charge-backs from customers and their credit card companies.

ITS YOUR RACE allows our customers to set up payments via direct-deposit, which allows them to receive their money faster, however, it also means that they are open for disputed payments.

Try to Avoid Disputed Payments

1) When you set up your direct deposit account on ITS YOUR RACE, we ask you to enter a CREDIT CARD DESCRIPTOR.  This is the small string of words that will appear on a person’s credit card statement, so it’s vital that a person will be able to tie this to your event.  The easiest thing to do is simply enter your event name in this field.  So, for example “Mom and Pop 5K” is the name of my event, that’s exactly what I would enter in the credit card descriptor.  If you want the charge to come from your business or charity, be sure that that is also included in your event title so that registrants will recognize the name when it appears on their statement.

2) Be responsive to people that reach out to you questioning their payment.  Some people will see a business name on their statement, do some research and call or email to ask the company, “What was this charge for?”  A quick response to those types of questions will avoid a dispute.

3) Be flexible with refunds or allowing injured participants to defer to an alternate race or year.  Whatever your refund policy is, make sure you put that in your waiver.  It does not happen often, but if a person is “demanding” a refund and your policy is no-refunds, you must put this in your waiver.  The credit card processor will need the electronically-signed waiver as “proof” if a person believes they are entitled to a refund.

A Dispute has been opened.  What do I do?

If a charge-back is initiated, the person that set up the direct deposit payment will receive an email from Stripe, our credit card processing vendor.  Most times we find that when a payment is disputed as “fraud” the person simply did not recognize the charge. The sooner you get in touch with the person who initiated the dispute the better.

  1. Login to your Stripe account on stripe.com
  2. Select the PAYMENTS menu item and click on DISPUTES
  3. Click on the dispute that’s been opened up.
  4. COPY the number under DESCRIPTION.  This is the ORDER ID in ITS YOUR RACE.  Open a new tab, login to ITS YOUR RACE and MANAGE your event.  Go to REGISTRATION and ORDERS and PASTE the description number in to look up the order of the disputed payment.
  5. EDIT the order and you will be able to see the name and contact information for the person that has disputed the payment.  We typically send an email so that there is a “paper-trail” to submit to Stripe as evidence.  Here is a template of the email that we typically send:

    We’ve recently been made aware that you’ve opened a credit card dispute for order #1234567 that was placed on itsyourrace.com.  Your order was for $XX.00, and you registered yourself as an individual participant in the Mom and Pop 5K.  This event will be held on March 25, 2018.

    If this dispute was made in error, please reply to this email and confirm this.  Also, it’s very important that you please contact your credit card company to cancel the dispute.  If the dispute was intentional, please let us know the reason.   In the event the dispute is processed by your card or bank, our event will lose your registration fees and incur an additional $15 dispute fee.

    We appreciate your timely response, and thank you for your cooperation!

  6. Once the person responds, you will have to submit evidence to Stripe.  Again, in most cases with disputes, the person simply did not recognize the charge and will admit fault and contact their bank.  It’s very important to still submit evidence to Stripe against the dispute and providing a copy of the email correspondence.
  7.   Print a PDF copy of the email correspondence that you have with the participant and go back to your account on Stripe.com.  Go to your PAYMENTS and DISPUTES and click the button to SUBMIT EVIDENCE to the bank.
  8. The option for OFFLINE SERVICES should be selected as your product.  In the description, write “Online event registration for the “XYZ Event that will be held on EVENT DATE in LOCATION NAME.
  9. Provide all of the details from the order (registrants name, billing address, etc), upload the email correspondence and under “Additional Information” reiterate the fact that the customer stated that they would contact their bank to drop the dispute

What if the Dispute was intentional and the person just wanted a way to get their money back?

The only way to “fight” this type of dispute is to provide hard evidence that your event has an “absolutely no-refund” policy.  IYR provides a report that breaks down the person’s order, the initials signed on the waiver and the date that the waiver was signed.  You can submit this information along with a copy of your waiver to Stripe and the person’s bank, HOWEVER, ultimately it will be up to the bank to decide if the dispute will go through or now.

If you need any assistance in submitting evidence for a dispute, we can help!  Contact us to let us know about the situation and we’ll help you work through submitting your evidence to Stripe or getting in touch with the participant that opened the dispute.

Fundraising Features on IYR

Since we launched our fundraising platform in late 2015, we’ve been gathering feedback from users, timers and race directors on how to improve the new functionality.  As 2016 comes to a close, we’re excited to release our updated feature list with our fundraising platform.

  • Fundraising is front and center.
    Fundraising on IYR is fully integrated with the registration process.  When your participants sign up for your event on ITS YOUR RACE, they will automatically review a description of your charity and they will be asked, “Would you like to become a fundraiser or donate?”This means 100% exposure for your cause and more participants signing up to become a fundraiser.
  • All event registration revenue and donations together in one admin dashboard.
    Race directors are busy people.  There’s a lot of logistics outside of the computer that need to be taken care of.  ITS YOUR RACE allows you to have 1 admin dashboard to view all of your financial reports.  We separate registration revenue from donations so you can view exactly what you’ve raised for your event’s charity.  Event admins can also create custom export formats to get the exact data that they need in a spreadsheet.
  • Custom Fundraising Page.
    Admins can add photos, images and custom text to the main fundraising page telling participants and race supporters why they are collecting funds and encouraging them to join the fundraising campaign.
  • Team and Individual Fundraising.
    Strength can come in numbers, especially when it comes to fundraising!  Allow your registrants to create not only individual fundraising pages, but also encourage them to create a team.  A person can create a team page AND create an individual page to send donors to.  This allows each individual to tell their own story and explain why they are participating in your event and/or raising funds for the cause.
  • Fully Custom Individual and Team Fundraising Pages.
    IYR allows fundraisers to enhance their page with photos, images and text explaining why they are participating in the event and raising money for the cause.
    fund_page2
  • Overall, Individual and Team Goals
    When an admin sets up fundraising, we ask what the overall goal of the campaign is. That goal is represented by a meter on the main fundraising page.  When an individual or team joins the fundraising effort, we ask them to fill in a goal as well.  We have a graphic meter on each page that shows what the goal is, and how close the funds raised are to achieving that goal.
    meter
  • Individuals and Teams can access and download donor their data.   Sending a “thank-you” note to everyone that supports you and your fundraising efforts is important.  We allow admins to access all information on the main backend admin tool, but we also give individual and team fundraisers the ability to export their donations and the information from each donor.
  • Transaction fees can be passed on or included in the donation.  Admins have the ability to set whether a donor will automatically pay the transaction fees, whether they want to include the fees in any donations or whether they want to allow donors to choose to “enhance their donation” and pay the fees.  Fees are 6% plus $0.30 for stand-alone donations, or 6% for donations made with a race registration.
  • Multiple charities can be included. ITS YOUR RACE allows admins to set up multiple charities within each event, and fundraisers or donors can select which charity they’d like to support.
  • Stand-alone reports for admins.  Any person who has admin access to an event on IYR can download all donor or fundraiser data.  There are also full donation reports providing an admin with the exact amount to be paid out to each charity.
  • Custom emails for registered fundraisers.  When someone signs up to be a fundraiser, ITS YOUR RACE allows admins to fully customize the confirmation email that’s sent out.
  • Invitations. It’s easy for fundraisers to send invites/notifications to let people know that they’re raising money.  When invitations are sent out via email, fundraisers can track if their email was received/read and if the recipient donated.
    fundraising_emails

 

Ready to launch your campaign? Get started with fundraising today.

 

 

Happy Holidays from ITS YOUR RACE

It’s December, and you know what that means….Santa Strolls, Reindeer Runs and Jingle Jogs are in full effect!

The entire IYR staff would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy new year!

To celebrate the holiday season, we’ve installed a new holiday finisher certificate for all of our customers to use in their December events.  Here is a sample of the new template:

christmas

In order to make sure your finisher certificates are turned on, go to your event admin tool and click on RESULTS then click on FINISHER CERTIFICATES.

Select the new “HOLIDAYS” template and apply to all of your divisions that you will have results for.  SAVE the change.

In order for finisher certificates to appear to your participants when they view their results, you must go to RESULTS then RACES and set “RESULTS ARE OFFICIAL” to YES for each of your divisions.  You can do this before or after your event, as some timers wish to make changes to their results before they mark them as “official”.

results_official

Have a happy holiday season, and good luck with all of your December events!