Alrighty folks. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, primarily because I write about and promote events here on Distressed Mullet. I also go to a fair number of events on my own dime, so I’m usually scouring websites for information so I know where to stay, what to do, how to register, etc.
If you’re a race director, please a) look at these tips and b) weigh in with your own tips!
This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. But hopefully it will help
Clear Call to Action
You want people to sign up for your race, right? Make sure they know how!
I see SO. MANY. WEBSITES. that hide the registration button or make the call to action something weird. Please make the button say what you want people to do. If you want them to register, make the button say Register Now >> or Sign Up Now >> or, like SUP Sarasota below, “Sign up for the 2014 race series.”
Do not make it say anything else. That is all. If I cite examples I’m going to be calling people out, so I’m not gonna.
Post Lots of Details about Logistics
When people are traveling from far away and arriving a a new place, it is nice for them to know how to get where they’re supposed to be. Parking is always a GIANT hassle with boards, and people want to get as close to the venue as possible without getting ticketed or towed.
Give the people a map! Coastal Urge has a great one for the Newport SUP Cup coming up this weekend:
Give Alternative Lodging Info
Some races are affiliated with hotels. If the hotel is not big enough to hold all of the racers at your event, or if it might be out of the price range of the participants, I STRONGLY URGE you to come up with some alternate lodging options and list those on your websites.
If you need to talk with your host hotel about that beforehand, do it. It’s worth it. Also, try to indicate on the website whether there will be board storage within the hotel. (That is something you’ll have to work out beforehand with the hotel.)
Clearly List Race Classes
Some people don’t care about this and others really do. You’ll save yourself some headaches during registration and awards if you clearly list the race classes and indicate how you’re going to award prizes. If you’re awarding only if there are 3 people in a class, make that be known on the website.
(This is from the SUP N Go website)
Provide FAQs and Answers
I may be *slightly* biased about the FAQ on the WBPC/ Carolina Cup Website because I wrote it, but you know. I’m not concerned about facts, love.
Basically, it is nice to have a FAQ section that answers questions about about these types of things:
- Board storage
- PFD requirements (even though everyone should KNOW THIS BY NOW)
- Same day or prior day registration (and whether people need cash)
- Leash requirements
Make a Downloadable Flyer
I’m also biased about this because I made it but so what.
Upon looking at this, Chris from SUP Racer said “The Carolina Cup is not a race, it’s an event on the level of Coachella!” Well, indeed.
If you make a flyer with the event schedule, course maps, tips, etc. and email it to people and put it on your website to download before the race, you won’t have to photocopy as many.
Get the Most out of Paddle Guru
Many people use Paddle Guru as their race website. I want to say that just because they are convenient doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some work. It is only as good as you make it, and they will only have the information on there that you send them (or upload). So, make course maps, FAQs, schedules, etc. Load it up like it’s your own website.
Followup: Help People Find Results and Photos
The Colonial SUP race does a good job of putting links up for photos and results. That will not only keep your participants excited, but it will help entice next year’s participants!
Ok, what else? Tell me what I forgot or what you like to see on event websites!
(PS, you can still comment with Facebook. Just write a comment and hit publish and you can log in with Facebook. It is SUUUUUUPER easy.)