How to Set up and Optimize a Facebook Event for Your Race

Facebook logoThis one’s for the race director who is looking to promote an event without taking a big chunk out of the budget. That formula takes us to Facebook. Setting up a Facebook event is a great way to spread the word about your race – you just have to make sure it’s done right. Follow these steps to set up a Facebook event and make it effective:

5 steps and it’s live:

1. Log in to Facebook

2. Visit the Facebook events page

Facebook event for races3. Fill in the details
4. Add a photo
5. Click “create event”


10 steps and it’s effective:

1. Add a link to your registration page in the info section
2. Invite all of your Facebook friends
3. Add a message describing your event and cause
4. Check the box that reads: “Anyone can view and RSVP (public event)”
This will ensure that your event is not private. That way, people will be able to invite other guests outside of your network of friends.
5. Post the event on your personal Facebook wall
6. Post the event on your Facebook business page
7. Add interesting stuff to the wall

When people see the event invitation and click to check it out, you should have some eye-catching pictures, videos, and short messages on the wall. Post photos and videos from last year’s race or maybe some maps of the course if this is your first race. Get creative!

Facebook post

8. Encourage people to invite their friends

Make a post on the event wall that encourages people to invite their other endurance friends. This is the value of Facebook – everyone is connected. If even a few people help you spread the word, the message will exponentially spread to others that were previously beyond your reach.

9. Message the guests periodically

In the top right corner of your Facebook Event page, you’ll see a button called “Message Guests”.  You can choose to message guests depending on their status (attending, not attending, maybe attending). We recommend sending out targeted messages that remind people to sign up for the event. Be sure to add your registration page link!

10. Don’t over post

People are swamped with information through social media so event directors need to find a good balance between getting the word out and annoying people. Basically, do not post on your event wall with a daily countdown. That’s annoying. A better way to get attention is to start some interesting discussions on the wall to get people talking. If people are bouncing comments around, your Facebook Event is doing its job and engaging participants. That makes you less spammy and displays the genuine interest in your race.

6 thoughts on “How to Set up and Optimize a Facebook Event for Your Race

  1. I’m curious how you are doing this. now creates a Faceook page for your event, whether you want one or not!

    That means that when people go on Facebook and search for my event they find TWO events with the same name — one page created by; one created by me.

    The big difference is that when people join MY page I can send them messages (“Check out our other cool events,”) post photos, send the latest news… The page created by Active I have absolutely no control over.

    When I asked the crew at Active what THEY’RE doing with all that data the answer is, “Nothing.” Yikes! This is like having people leave a message on an answering machine that is never returned. Any advice from other event directors on how to solve this problem?

    • Glen, thanks for the comment. The automatic Facebook event creation is a feature for our event director clients in order to help them spread the word and recruit friends to participate in the event. For the more social media savvy event directors who create their own Facebook events, you can choose to turn off the automatically created one by contacting the account manager.

      I hope this helps. Also, please share some social media tips for other event directors who read the blog – it sounds like you’re on top of it!

  2. I’v e gone from using the EVENTS to to using the GROUP category because after the event GROUP remains active, No need to rebuild your Friends for the following year,

    Do you think that’s a bad idea?

    • Pat, that’s a good idea. Events should be used for one time events whereas groups or business pages should be used to build a community, year after year. Use your group to interact with your community and create events to announce an upcoming race. Does that make sense?

  3. Why can’t Active create a simple box the race director can check or uncheck that tells Active whether or not they want Active to set up their event? And give the person setting up the event the option to kill the Active created event if it’s not what they want or expected? This would simplify the process for the race director.

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