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Road Race Management 


Race Directors' Meeting

November 7-9, 2019 | Vinoy Renaissance  | St. Petersburg, FL

Schedule of Events for the 2019 RRM Race Directors' Meeting and Trade Exhibit

THURSDAY, November 7

Special Note: RRCA Race Director Certification course
8:00 A.M.– 5:00 P.M. – requires pre-registration

2:30 P.M. - 5:45 P.M. Packet Pickup

2:30 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. Trade Exhibit

6:00 P.M. - 7:15 Gasparilla Distance Classic Welcome Reception - (includes MarathonFoto/Road Race Management “Race Director of the Year” Award, presented by MYLAPS)

FRIDAY, November 8

7:45 A.M. - 8:45 A.M. Continental Breakfast

8:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. Trade Exhibit

8:00 A.M. - 8:45 A.M. Packet Pickup

8:45 A.M. - 8:55 A.M. Welcome - Phil Stewart

8:55 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. Event Anatomy
This session will compare and contrast a large successful event in Denmark with events in the United States. What can events learn from their approach? Larsen will discuss the race philosophy, talk about sponsor relationships, elite athletes, volunteers, staffing and focus on some unique things he does to make his race special.

Faculty: Jakob Larsen
Moderator: Phil Stewart

10:00 A.M. - 10:20 A.M. Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Coffee Break

10:20 A.M. - 11:20 A.M. Building and Sustaining Relationships – Keeping Volunteers, Sponsors and Municipal Officials Happy
Executing a successful race is all about relationships – the relationships you have with race staff, organizing committee members, volunteers, sponsors, runners and vendors. How do you optimize your relationships, continue the relationships year after year and actually grow the relationships into a strong foundation for your events? A few basic skills, attention to details, and a commitment to the people you work with will help you build and sustain relationships and ensure the success of your event.

Faculty: Becky Lambros
Moderator: Jeff Darman

11:20 A.M. - 11:40 P.M. Gatorade Endurance Break

11:40 A.M. - 12:40 P.M. Earning a (Good) Living as an Event Director or Staff Member – What You Need to Know
Thinking of “making a go of it” as a race director, but afraid to take the plunge? Is it a good career choice? How do race directors piece it together? Some are full time with a single event; some simply direct more events; while others keep their “day job” (often for health insurance and retirement benefits) and do events on the side. Others wear multiple hats in the industry.

We will look at upward mobility, opportunities for advancement as compared to other occupations, benefits, how to scope out opportunities, and how the future looks.

Faculty: Sean Ryan
Moderators: Phil Stewart

12:40 P.M. - 2:10 P.M. Lunch Break and Trade Exhibit Visits

2:10 P.M. - 3:20 P.M. From Instincts to Intelligence
You’ve got the data. You need insights. Thanks to social media, apps and countless third-party sources, we have access to too much data for strategies to be based on hunches. But sifting through the data to find the actionable insights takes time, resources and (often) a fresh perspective. In this presentation, Heather Whaling, CEO of Geben Communications, will show how insights can be used to shape everything from strategic planning to the race-day experience. She will also reveal some interesting findings based on social media conversations between athletes sharing their running experiences online. After Heather’s presentation, attorney Heidi Abegg will cover legal ramifications related to data, particularly around privacy concerns.

Faculty: Heidi Abegg and Heather Whaling
Moderator: Jeff Darman and Phil Stewart

3:20 P.M. - 3:50 P.M. Trade Exhibit Break

3:50 P.M. - 4:50 P.M. Event Leadership Transitions
Race directors from the running boom years of the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s are retiring in greater numbers with each passing year, forcing race committees to focus on leadership transitions. Jon Neill, who is succeeding Lilac Bloomsday founder and director Don Kardong, will discuss the Bloomsday Board’s selection process, what he would recommend be done differently, and how having a transition committee helped. Other events will benefit greatly from this inside look at a major event’s selection of a new race director
Faculty: Jon Neill
Moderators: Phil Stewart

5:15 P.M. -6:15 P.M. Ashworth Awards Race Directors’ Reception in Conjunction with the Trade Exhibit
Talk with and see the latest innovations from our exhibitors of awards, competitor numbers, signs and banners, computer and timing products, apparel, running organizations, online registration services, app developers, other web services, and more. It’s a relaxed opportunity to meet fellow race directors, the faculty and exhibitors in an informal atmosphere.

6:15 P.M. - 8:30 P.M. Keynote Dinner - Willie Banks
With the IAAF assuming a larger role on the worldwide road running scene, its relationship with USATF is increasingly critical. Willie Banks is USATF’s highest ranking delegate to the IAAF. Banks is a former world and American record holder in the triple jump, captain of the U.S. 1988 Olympic Team, a USATF Hall of Fame Member, and the 1986 US Olympic Athlete of the Year. As an administrator, he is a World Olympic Executive Committee Member, US Olympians and Paralympians past president, and president and CEO of ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) World Beach Games. He served as a consultant in the development of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. Banks will talk about why he ran for IAAF post and what he hopes to accomplish both at the IAAF and USATF.

The dinner includes the announcement and presentation of the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award

SATURDAY, November 9

8:30 A.M. - 9:00 A.M. Breakfast Snacks and Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Coffee Break

8:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Trade Exhibit

9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. Event Budgeting
Far too often event budgeting is a solitary undertaking with very little shared detailed information among races about both the income and the expense sides. This session will provide a review of common event line items in order to provide guidance about the percentages of the total budget being allocated for everything from entry fees income through post-race awards for events of various sizes. Learn what your colleagues are spending on shirts, food, police, awards, or volunteer activities, etc.

Faculty: Rob Wolfe
Moderators: Jeff Darman

10:00 A.M. - 10:30 A.M. Gatorade / Trade Exhibit Break

10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Politics of Sponsorship

  • In an era where “everything is politicized,” sponsorship is no exception. How do you handle sponsors across the political spectrum without being overly politically correct? How can events “protect” sponsors and assess a bad fit or potentially controversial match before problems occur? The rules of sponsorship are changing and events need to adapt.
  • Our legal resource will offer some legal cautions having to do with contractual obligations, PR, etc.

Faculty: Heidi Abegg and Keith Peters
Moderator: Jeff Darman and Phil Stewart 

11:30 A.M. Trade Exhibit Closes