Saturday, September 15, 2007

Running to other associations ...

Met the exec for Association of Running Event Directors during a session at ASAE2007. Originally thought name meant it's membership ran events -- but no, it's for those who direct running events, like competitive marathons and charity races. Indicated many don't seek legal, marketing, fundraising and other professional advice (ethics, award ceremonies, recruiting volunteers, walkers, kids, results, etc.) for these type events -- and it's why they exist. Many races are volunteer-run, and organizers don't think to get important info prior to planning. I wonder how many professional associations, which run charitable events (such as fun runs), think to check with and join the association with that expertise.

These tips from their site about planning a successful charity race, including
: 1. don't build budget around entry fees; 2. exploit publicity value; 4. devote care to race course logistics - many runners not there to support cause; 7. build as few turns and bridge crossings as possible; 9. don't run out of small/medium t-shirts; 12. place aid stations 1/8 mile away from mile marker; 13. always use paper cups with pre-poured water - never plastic or styrofoam. Site's blog has notable remarks too, e.g., if know in advance someone doing something unusual at race, let media know; and using flour to mark course could have you investigated for bio-terrorism.

Tomorrow I'm participating in a "first annual" charitable running event in memory of the athletics director of my daughter's high school. Next year will likely donate a membership to their event director so has info that can further assist. Dues only $98/year. If my association ever plans a running event, seems like a logical place to start.

As association executives, do we ensure we're checking with - and when applicable joining - other professional associations that can assist us?

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