Get practical & actionable advice on how to create a successful event pricing strategy, meet Nathan Barnhart & Elaine Lau of Hell Run, check out a schedule of the top upcoming industry events, and more. | Not Subscribed Yet? Subscribe to The Edge Now!

Edge Newsletter
OCTOBER 2013   Facebook   Twitter   RSS Feed
Learn about event pricing strategies: Small changes, big results!

Not sure how to price your event in a way that makes a profit, but is also fair to participants? This edition contains our updated (and very popular) Event Pricing Strategies article, which will tell you exactly how to strike that balance. We also give you a list of the best upcoming industry events that we’d love to meet you at and shine a spotlight on Nathan Barnhart and Elaine Lau, two event directors who are doing some big things. Read below!

In this issue:

I hope you enjoy these articles. Feel free to share your feedback and ideas for future newsletters with us.


Lisa Martin

P.S.Find out the fastest, best way to set up your next Instant Ads campaign! Receive a $50 Instant Ads coupon when you attend one of our upcoming how-to webinars: October 24th, or October 30th.

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Race Director Blog
Event Pricing Strategies Article – UPDATED!


Coming up with a profitable pricing strategy that has minimal impact on participants may seem almost impossible. But it can be done and sometimes the best way to learn is to see real-life examples. That’s why we updated our Event Pricing Strategies article to include more case studies… Read the full article.

This article was posted on our blog on October 8th. 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 & Tricks
Changing Answer Options for Custom Questions

Tips and Tricks

If you need to change the type of answer option on an existing custom question while registration is open, you can do so easily in just 10 quick steps. Click here to find out how.

NOTE: Never change the type of answer option after a custom question has been answered, or the data previously collected will be removed!

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 FREE live product training.

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Event Director of the Month
Meet Nathan Barnhart & Elaine Lau of Hell Run

Nathan Barnhart & Elaine Lau

Nathan Barnhart and Elaine Lau are the founders of Cerulean Sports Group, a sports marketing agency specializing in the creation, brand development, and production of running and Mob-style events. With a strong focus on branding and creating unique participant experiences, this team has built a thriving business in just a few short years. They manage the Hell Run event series, the Chicago 10K, the New York City 10K, the Crosstown Classic 10K, and the new Ditka Dash 5K. Plus, they’ve got more on the horizon for 2014.

How did Cerulean Sports Group get its start?
Before founding Cerulean, I was a vice president at a commercial real estate branding firm. Essentially, it was in the start-up stages, so I was fortunate to see firsthand what it takes to start a company. One day out of the blue, I received an email from Muddy Buddy and it reminded me of when I ran that event ten years ago. That was sort of the “a-ha” moment. I remember going home that very day and pitching Elaine on the idea.

How did you make the transition from commercial real estate to sports?
I went in blind. Creating events was something that really interested me but I needed to do some research. I knew Fleet Feet Sports put on great events, so I volunteered for them regularly. Mark Colpoys, the vice president of marketing, was a great mentor to me and helped me learn as much as possible. As time goes by, our blueprint continually gets stronger and our events get better and better.

How big is your team at Cerulean?
By design, our staff is small. Full time it’s me, Elaine, and our Labrador, Brooks. Our business model is focused on outsourcing to trusted third party companies to keep overhead low.

How are you able to manage so many events with just the two of you?
We bring in key personnel for each event, and many of our events are powered on volunteers. For example, we get help from non-profit volunteer groups like sports and club teams and in exchange we donate to their cause. This works really well for both parties.

And we rely on ACTIVE’s race software. It’s easy to use and terribly efficient. Online registration runs itself and we use the reports every day to see where our numbers are. We’ve been with ACTIVE since the beginning and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

How do you differentiate your events?
We enjoy creating the branding for our events. For us, it’s all about design and creating an emotional experience.

For Hell Run, we focus on creating the best medals and t-shirts. We also give out capes, which no one else is doing. We have a nickname generator on our website and our registration form asks if participants want that nickname on their bib.

Is merchandise a big revenue channel for your events?
With the Ditka Dash, we relied heavily on the model of selling merchandise within the registration path. At checkout, registrants can buy one of three shirts. This was a new way of operating for us (we didn’t sell merch within the reg path previously) and it has been awesome.

Do the social media integrations in ACTIVE’s software help you drive registrations for your events?
Yes, absolutely. No one runs a race alone. The social network buttons are super important and really help spread word of mouth.

Read more about:

Cerulean Sports Group
Hell Run
Chicago 10K
New York City 10K
Crosstown Classic 10K
Ditka Dash 5K

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What’s new
Get Some Face Time – Meet Us at these Industry Events

Get Some Face Time - Meet Us at these Industry Events

We’ve got the travel bug and are hitting the road to see some old friends and meet new ones. Our team will be at these industry events and we’d love to get some quality face time with you. Registration links are below—or if you’re already registered, be sure to stop by and say hi at our booth!

Bicycle Tourism Conference
November 6-9, 2013, Iowa City/Coralville, Iowa
Meet and network with other tour directors and bicycle tourism industry professionals for an array of workshops and topics. The conference will also boast a number of high-profile speakers, special guests and industry celebrities.
If you’re planning to attend, click to let us know.

Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting
November 7-9, 2013, Hollywood, FL
This meeting is billed as the “world’s foremost, oldest, and most prestigious race directors’ meeting and trade exhibit.” It’s a great opportunity to network with some of the most well-known industry sponsors, national running media reps, sports organizations, and your fellow race directors.
If you’re planning to attend, click to let us know.

The Running Event
December 3-6, 2013, Austin TX
Now in its 8th year, this conference and expo for running specialty retailers in North America provides a lively, interactive and educational environment to learn the latest on new shoes, apparel, accessories and nutrition for millions of runners. This year will include exhibits from an estimated 250 running industry manufacturers.
If you’re planning to attend, click to let us know.

Running USA 2013 Race Director Workshop
December 4, 2013, Austin TX
This is a great one-day workshop for event directors and staff of small to mid-sized events. The small, intimate setting makes it ideal to learn from industry veterans who will cover lots of “nuts & bolts” basics. Held in conjunction with The Running Event, attendees can maximize their week in Austin. ACTIVE is proud to sponsor this event and several of our staff will be attending to present best practices for promoting your event and growing participation.
If you’re planning to attend, click to let us know.

Running USA Annual Conference
February 9-11, 2014, San Diego, CA
Is it 2014 already? Even though it’s a ways off, we don’t want to miss a chance to recommend this conference which is always one of the highlights of the year for us. More details to come, but register soon and you’ll save!
If you’re planning to attend, click to let us know.

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Team Member Spotlight:
Spencer Dettman, Director of Sales

Spencer Dettman

When I first came to ACTIVE about a year ago, my role was to lead our senior account management team. That team includes six people who are in charge of handling the needs of the majority of our larger endurance customers. In May of this year, I was promoted to take over our director of sales position, which has broader responsibilities. It’s now my job to oversee all of our account managers for the entire Sports division (this includes both endurance events and team sports).

I am still actively involved in managing our senior account team, so taking on this new role may sound like a lot (and it definitely is at times), but I wouldn't change any of it! With great responsibility comes great rewards. I truly love what I do here at ACTIVE because I'm always in a position to make a difference.

I may not look like your typical Harley guy, but I love to ride any chance I get. I like golf and find it peaceful (even though I'm terrible) and enjoy being active in general. When it comes to accomplishments, my dad always said "if you have to tell people what you did great, it probably wasn't that great" so we'll leave it at that! I've also fallen on my face plenty of times, but I've learned from each situation and overall I consider myself a very fortunate man.

Family & Friends. Travel. ACTIVE. Ridin’ Harley.

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