December 11-13, 2023| Hollywood Beach Marriott | Hollywood Beach, FL
Note: The Meeting will be Monday - Wednesday in 2023.
The Schedule for 2023 is still being finalized and will be posted here in late May 2023. Below appears the 2022 Schedule, which gives an idea of the types of sessions and activities you can expect in 2023.
THURSDAY, December 8
2:30 P.M. - 5:45 P.M. Packet Pickup
2:30 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. Trade Exhibit
4:00 P.M. - 4:30 P.M. First Timers' Session
Two veteran attendees, Michelle Juehring (Director, Bix 7) and Craig Ottinger (Director of Operations, Hightech Signs) will give you some tips on how to get the most out of the meeting.
6:00 P.M. - 7:15 P.M.MarathonGuide.com/Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Welcome Reception - (includes MarathonFoto/Road Race Management “Race Director of the Year” Award, presented by MYLAPS)
FRIDAY, December 9
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. - 9:55 A.M. Race Mistakes Hall of Fame
In this session we will recap major snafus that prominent directors have made or encountered and how they recovered. We will also talk about some close calls, as well as cases where a mistake was made or almost made but disaster was avoided at the last minute. Any of us can foul up, but how we handle it and what we do to avert a repeat is indicative of how good we are or aren’t.
Faculty: Sean Ryan
Moderator: Phil Stewart
9:55 A.M. - 10:20 A.M. Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Coffee Break
10:20 A.M. - 11:25 A.M. Event Anatomy: The Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon
This session is designed to dissect an event, in this case, the Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon. The Director will discuss the planning involved in creating a new event. How did he recruit the sponsors and volunteers? How did he manage his team, and how did he handle everything from registration to awards? What unexpected and expected challenges did he need to overcome and how did he do it? What will he do differently in 2023?
Faculty: Steve Lastoe
Moderator: Jeff Darman
11:25 A.M. - 11:45 P.M. Gatorade Endurance Break
11:45 A.M. - 12:45 P.M. Innovative Ideas for Under $1,000
Not every good idea to improve your event has to cost a fortune. Some innovative and creative ideas can be implemented on a small budget. We will discuss some actual ideas and also ask the audience for input. Many events develop unique or creative ideas which, while inexpensive, enhance the event.
Faculty: Dave McGillivray
Moderators: Phil Stewart
12:45 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. Lunch Break and Trade Exhibit Visits
2:15 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. Creating and Utilizing Event Evaluation Surveys
In this session we will learn to create valid and useful evaluation surveys. What are the features and formats that contribute to a high response rate? What are the keys to writing a good survey question? How do you write an effective invitation message and what is the best way to distribute it? How do you present the results for maximum use by staff, volunteers and sponsors? We will walk through the step-by-step development of a post-event survey, with an emphasis on style and format designed to generate a strong response rate. The session will include tips on selecting survey software.
Faculty: Laurel Park
Moderator: Phil Stewart
3:15 P.M. - 3:35 P.M. Break
3:35 P.M. - 4:35 P.M. Building, Revitalizing and Restructuring Boards
Are your race committee and Board structured properly, or are they just something you inherited? Is your decision-making body too small, too large or just right, and what criteria are you using to determine that? How are members of the decision-making body chosen? How long should or do people serve? How do for profit and non-profits differ and what can be learned from each? Is your decision-making structure transparent? Are any committee members paid either directly or indirectly through their employer/sponsor? Does having some paid committee members cause tension? How are personnel issues handled? How do you select and vet new Board or committee members?
4:35 P.M. - 5:30 P.M. Trade Exhibit Break
5:30 P.M. -6:30 P.M. Ashworth Awards Race Directors’ Reception in Conjunction with the Trade Exhibit
Talk with exhibitors of awards, competitor numbers, banners, timing products, apparel, running organizations, online registration, apps, other web services, and more. It’s a relaxed opportunity to meet fellow race directors, the faculty and exhibitors in an informal atmosphere.
6:30 P.M. - 8:30 P.M. MarathonGuide.com Keynote Dinner - Doug Thurston
Doug Thurston is the former director of the Big Sur International Marathon. His 40 years in the sport, including directing the 1992 Men’s Olympic Trials Marathon and publishing a regional running magazine, have given him a unique vantage point to assess how our sport has evolved. He will discuss how he knew it was the right time to step down after nine years at the helm at Big Sur. Doug will look back on his career, the high and some low points, how he dealt with them and his strategy for guiding and improving events. He will also talk about current challenges (inflation, supply chain, etc.) that events and their leadership face today.
The dinner includes the announcement and presentation of the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award. And this year, after the keynote, we are pleased to have running comedian Tommy McClellan-Willard performing. Tommy has made several appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and has a best-selling standup comedy album on Amazon.
SATURDAY, December 10
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. Technical Solutions That Can Improve a Race Director's Life
There are a range of specialty software offerings, apps and other programs geared to race directors. You may be knowledgeable about some, but there may be others you have overlooked. We can’t address them all in this session, but we will endeavor to make you aware of some innovative ideas.
Faculty: Ryan Morris
Moderator: Jeff Darman
10:00 A.M. - 10:30 A.M. Gatorade / Trade Exhibit Break
10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Open Forum
A chance to talk about what we have learned and heard with attendees and faculty.
Moderators: Jeff Darman and Phil Stewart
11:30 A.M. Trade Exhibit Closes