LAST UPDATED: 22 November 2021
GiveSignup | RunSignup mid-year trends data shows normal registration patterns and a decline of young participants
Registration data also seem to support a return to pre-pandemic entry fee prices with a strong comeback of in-person races.
GiveSignup | RunSignup, the leading technology provider for endurance and fundraising events, released preliminary registration data from the first half of 2021 to provide key metrics on the recovery of the events industry. The report includes some expected findings, (such as the rapid increase in in-person events) and some surprising trends (like a small decrease in race week registrations).
Like the annual GiveSignup | RunSignup RaceTrends report, conclusions are drawn by mining registration data on the platform, including 3 million+ participants in the first half of 2021 and 5 million+ participants in 2020. This data is estimated to represent at least 25-30% of the pre-pandemic market share.
Key takeaways from the report included:
- In-Person events are BACK but virtual options are here to stay. In Q2, in-person events made up 72% of all registrations on RunSignup, a significant increase compared to 50% in January of 2021. However, virtual events are still hanging on, with no signs of falling all the way back to their pre-pandemic level of just 3% of registrations.
- People aren’t procrastinating as much as you think they are. Chatter around the industry suggests that registration hesitancy is creating last-minute registration spikes, but that does not appear to hold true in aggregate. In the first half of 2021, 25% of registrations took place on race week, compared to 28% in 2019.
- Event prices appear to be getting back to normal. While virtual races, with their lower overhead cost, are still impacting overall race prices (especially for longer events), there are signs of a return to normal pricing. Half marathon prices are only down 6.9% compared to 2019, and price increases are starting to become the norm again.
- Young runners are scarce. While increases in participation by women and 50+ participants demonstrate growing inclusivity at races, demographic data also includes reason for concern. Just 11.8% of participants in 2021 have been aged 18-29 compared to 16.3% in 2019. While that age group is less likely to join virtual events, the rapid acceleration of the trend away from race participation by younger runner athletes suggests that races are not innovating to keep up with the demands of new generations.
- The RaceJoy experience is booming.RaceJoy, the runner-tracking app that exploded in 2020 with new features to support virtual as well as in-person events, is continuing to see surging usage. Compared to this point in 2019, the app has been used by 81% more races in 2021.
GiveSignup | RunSignup Founder and CEO Bob Bickel said, “News stories in the endurance and fundraising events industry are often focused on the largest events. But we know that the vast majority of races are small, local operations and looking only at premier events can create a false understanding of what’s happening in the market. Because our platform hosts a full range of events, from Top 100 races to 50-person 5K’s, our data provides a realistic picture of the whole industry that we hope races can learn from. Race formats, registration patterns, and pricing trends will continue to change throughout the second half of the year, so we’ll check back on these numbers in a few months to see what’s changed.”
For more information listen to the discussion on the Head Start podcast or visit: https://runsignup.blog/2021/07/12/q2-racetrends-update/.