Why should I create a Race Booklet?
Marketing: This is another opportunity to market your event and your cause to participants and anyone else who might get their hands on it. This is not just a place to consolidate in book form all those random flyers. If you have a smaller event it might start out relatively simple, but establish a platform to grow as your event grows. Larger events may start with a more extensive race booklet and evolve into a full-blown race program. If you put on other events, you now have an additional medium to share that information as well.
Related: Race Swag: An Expense or Opportunity
Sponsorship: Where do all these random flyers come from anyway? Local businesses offering discounts, other races promoting their events, and your event sponsors. Are they getting a valuable return on their investment? Probably not. By creating a race booklet you may even be able to get MORE sponsorship dollars by offering premium placement on the back cover, full-page exposure, etc. By increasing your sponsor's visibility this will also positively impact your ability to retain valuable sponsors over the years. And those folks you were allowing to throw in random flyers just to fill up the bag; now you can convert some of these to sponsors who will pay to be in your Race Booklet.
Related: How to Attract Race Sponsors
Race Day Details: This is another opportunity to communicate import details about your event. Yes, all of this information is on your website, but now that the runners are here at your event, use the race booklet to remind them once again. One page can be a schedule of race day/weekend events. Do you have an expo or pre-race dinner? Another page might have a map of the course and talk about safety or rules for the race.
Community: Successful races are events that are supported widely throughout the community. Your event may even benefit the worthy cause of a local organization. Use the race booklet to trumpet their good deeds and let people know that your event makes an important contribution to that cause. Your race may even draw in a significant number of people from outside the community. Reach out to the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Bureau. They can give you maps of the area to include that show hotels, restaurants, and points of interest.
Related: Turn Your Event into a Runcation
Overall, a race booklet can help you put your best foot forward and show your runners, sponsors, and community that you put on well thought out events that add value to the community. Be sure to click through some of the additional links sprinkled throughout the article for more helpful tips from archives in the RaceDirector blog.