When was the last time you analyzed your no-show rate?
It may not be something you want to think about, but just for a baseline: Sell-out events can expect a no-show rate of 10-20%. That means for a race of 1,000 registrants, 200 people may not show up to the starting line. Surprisingly, this can work in your favor.
Borrow the Overbooking Tactic from the Airlines
You’ve probably heard of how airlines overbook flights. While the process has earned a bad reputation in recent years, it’s based on solid statistics and maximizing profits. If a certain percentage of flyers are bound not to show up, most of whom will be accommodated on another flight, it’s a good idea for the airline’s bottom line to try and sell that inevitable empty seat to another passenger who will use it in order to keep prices down for all.
Applying this kind of thinking to races can be profitable for race organizers.
How it Could Work for Your Event
Even for a sellout event, you can confidently sell as many as 15% more registrations and still reserve a cushion of 5% to account for any statistical variance.
It will require these 3 factors:
- Keep registration open until race start time
- Know in real-time how many registered participants have checked in
- Leverage dynamic bib assignment
Using Your No-Show Rate to Your Advantage
Tracking your no-show rate can give you the confidence — even if your event is a sell-out or close to a sell-out — to make a last-minute push for registrations on social media and capitalize on your no-shows.
Even regaining just 5% of your no-show registrations can have a positive effect on your bottom line – with none of the pushback the airlines receive.