The Stampede is Australia’s leading home-grown obstacle course event series, offering participants the chance to run wild through 5km or 10km obstacle courses filled with mud, cargo nets, mega slip slides and live wires. This event series commenced in Sydney, in 2011, and has since expanded into a countrywide Australian event series with events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The Stampede is a uniquely inclusive event that aims to bring participants of all fitness levels and ages together for a challenging, yet entertaining experience.
When Active Event Entertainment organised the organisation’s first Stampede obstacle event, it was met with huge success and sold out within the first year. Given the hyper-social nature of the Stampede, team participation far outweighed individual registration, with up to 81% team participation at some events. With increasing numbers and a huge demand for teams, Active Event Entertainment needed an online registration solution that could meet its specific needs to deliver a seamless solution for team and group management.
Seeing a clear need, Active Event Entertainment reached out to ACTIVE Network and became one of the first event companies in Australia to upgrade to ACTIVE Works Endurance (AWE). The organisation was able to use the robust team functionality in AWE to both power their growing event series and offer team participants a superior team registration experience.
INTERVIEW WITH KAREN PAPADATOS, REGISTRATION AND FINANCE MANAGER, ACTIVE EVENT ENTERTAINMENT
Q: HOW DID THE STAMPEDE GET STARTED?
A: Our Team had already been designing mud-run-style obstacle races for several years for large cadet and corporate groups. These programs grew extremely popular, so our team decided to launch an event for the general public and Valley Stampede was born. Our first event was held at Glenworth Valley in 2011. After the success of our first event we decided to travel interstate. We changed the name to The Stampede and now hold events in SA, WA, QLD, VIC and NSW, and are Australia’s leading obstacle course event series.
Q: HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT PARTICIPANTS HAVE THE BEST EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE?
A: We cater to all fitness levels by offering 5km and 10km events. We also have a Junior Stampede for the families with younger children. We focus on fun and teamwork with our obstacles, but offer different levels of challenge in our event for those that want it. For the super-fit, they can choose to do unlimited laps. Our Team focus is on the whole experience, from the time participants walk into our buzzing hub to the time they leave with their muddy clothes. We take on board and listen to our participants’ feedback, both good and bad, so we can continue to be Australia’s leading obstacle course event series.
Q: THE STAMPEDE EXPERIENCED MASSIVE GROWTH IN ITS FIRST FEW YEARS FOLLOWING ITS FIRST EVENT IN 2011. HOW DID ACTIVE NETWORK’S ONLINE REGISTARTION TECHNOLOGY HELP YOU MANAGE REGISTRATIONS?
A: We did a lot of research into a lot of different registration programs and we found that ACTIVE was best suited for the way we ran our events. It really helped us with our team management, because a lot of people want to be part of a team. It had the flexibility for teams, for transferring people into teams and out of teams, and also if someone can’t make it, transferring another person is quite easily.
It also has the facilities to be able to sell merchandise if we wanted to do any of that, which we did. We were able to collect shirt sizes and it was easy to collect details about people. It was also easy to set up and easy to use.
Basically, I think the main thing was the whole team set-up.
Q: HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE UPGRADING FROM REGONLINE TO ACTIVE WORKS ENDURANCE?
A: That feels like a long time ago now. I remember our event was so team- orientated, that while RegOnline fit really well, it didn’t have the proper team tool and that was the driving force behind upgrading to ACTIVE Works Endurance, because ACTIVE Works had the team functionality to really fit our needs.
The transition was very easy to do. There were some learning points, like when we started running multi-day events, but the ACTIVE team was always a great support.
Q: WHAT FEATURES OF ACTIVE WORKS ENDURANCE HAVE HELPED YOU IMPROVE YOUR REGISTRATION PROCESS?
A: The participant self-edit is a good one. Our marketing lady works a lot on the social sharing.
We use team registration, the transfer participants’ functionality and participant self- edits quite heavily. Team management is definitely a big one for us.
Q: WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DID ACTIVE NETWORK’S ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT TEAM PROVIDE TO YOU BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER YOUR EVENTS?
A: Lots of different types of support, it depends what’s happening at the time. We had five events this year and have about thirty to thirty five thousand participants in total on a yearly basis. Support is always a great help and our account manager communicates with us regularly to check up on things.
Q: WHAT BENEFIT DO YOU SEE BY PARTNERING WITH ACTIVE NETWORK?
A: We have received a lot of marketing support from ACTIVE. We have had spots in 2-4 local events newsletters and we will get featured event spots in two more events this year. We are also sending out a special offer email later this year to the ACTIVE Network database.
Q: OVERALL, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE USING ACTIVE NETWORK?
A: Our overall experience has been quite smooth. With The Stampede being one of the first adopters of ACTIVE Works Endurance in Australia we have really seen how the system has grown, and progressed, and gotten better with enhancements. Now, we’ve gotten to the place where we’re very confident using the system and have a great relationship with ACTIVE Network.