A few weeks ago, a few of us on the AKHIA team participated in the Akron Marathon. Having worked on events in the past and this being my first time at this race, I was impressed by the structure and organization that the marathon and the city of Akron had in place that day, which led me to think about a few necessary factors in events:

  • Send reminders, but don’t overdo it: Leading up to the race, the Akron Marathon sent reminders, tips on training, route changes, weather advisories, etc. However, I never felt like my inbox was being overcrowded with the same information over and over, which I think is a key element in sending out eBlasts.
  • Great volunteers are key: At certain points the routes could get confusing—such as three different races splitting off into different directions of the course or trying to find your partner if you ran the relay—and the volunteers were a great help. They were knowledgeable, on their toes and most importantly, LOUD. Some stood in the center of the course with megaphones directing traffic, which can be a hard feat with thousands of runners heading toward you with determination and headphones!
  • Keep it convenient: For those running the race, there were many factors that were taken into account to make sure we didn’t have to worry about anything but running. Among those were shuttle busses that were available for those running later legs of the relay to keep their legs fresh and vans to hold clothing items and ship them throughout the course. This way, we could focus knowing we were in good hands.
  • Post-event follow-up: It’s always great to know how those who attended your event felt about it, or if they have any additional questions. Two days after the race, I received a post-race survey from the Akron Marathon, asking me questions about my time spent in Akron, my training schedule for the race and my thoughts on the course. Upon completion, I received a coupon for the 2014 marathon and half marathon races. I was happy to supply my thoughts, but the extra incentive was the cherry on top of my overall experience. Ensure happy and satisfied attendees by following the lead of those at the Akron Marathon.

What do you think is essential to a successful event day?