Educate your participants with how they should interact with your event

Raise your hand if you receive hundreds of emails as you near race day. Keep your hand up if many of those emails have questions that could have easily been found on the website. the FAQ. Still up? Of course, thought so! Why do we think that is? And more importantly, how can we change it? Better yet, should we change it? I don't know, I guess it's subjective. In my opinion, yes, it should change, but it depends on how you like to work. For the sake of this post, let's assume you're like me and you'd rather not receive the email.

Now, I'd prefer the participant to have as much of the information ahead of time so they don't need to contact me. I mean, let the record state, I love connecting with my participants, but we're all busy and there's a time and place to connect. This ain't the time, but how do we break this change? It's a tall order. 

1. Do we install a chat bot that addresses these questions? Will it work? Still in it's infancy

2. Do we build inbox rules that label different emails containing certain words? Sure, I guess, but that's probably overkill. You'll still need to address the questions.

3. Do we add a searchable knowledge base to our websites? It's kind of like an FAQ. People just don't want to go do the work.

4. Do we ignore the emails with questions easily answered on the website? Probably not a good idea

5. Do we create a vacation response as an autoresponder with the most popular questions answered? This actually works well if turned on one to two weeks before the event.

6. Do we post more about the FAQ on Social media to hopefully mitigate emails being added to our inbox? I would agree.

7. Do we inform our participants of where to go for what as part of their registration checkout process? Maybe in their confirmation email they receive? I would agree

8. Do we do nothing? Nah, that's not good for anyone.

All of these are strategies taken by one race director or another. Most of them are band-aids to help combat the issue, but what if I suggested to you that we need to educate our participants with how we like to work? I think it's important that we let them know there is a person behind this facade of a race they're running and that we like to work a certain way. This might be optimized through the registration process in a confirmation email and then reinforced via scheduled social media posts.

What has worked for you to limit the number of emails you receive? Ever try any of the strategies above? Leave a comment below...

~ Happy Trails, BG

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