Custom question reporting is possibly the holy grail of reporting.
In an age where data reigns supreme, the ability to ask very specific, targeted questions to your athletes lets you build the best possible experience for them. Giving athletes things they love = happy athletes = growing your event.
Want to know if your athletes prefer beer, wine, or wheatgrass shots at your epic post-race party? No problem.
Wondering which running shoe companies should make an appearance on expo day? Just pop a little “Who makes your favorite running shoe?” onto your registration form and now you know!
Ask your athletes any question you want during their online race registration, and boom, it’s compiled neatly into a downloadable report for you.
As long as you’re using imATHLETE for your race management software, you’re all set. Every event organizer on our platform has access to this powerful feature.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your custom question reporting.
Begin with the End in Mind
Set a goal, and then build your custom questions around that goal. Which questions are going to give you the data you need to help you reach your end goal?
Asking a bunch of questions you don’t really have a use for just in case is not going to make the registration experience for your event a pleasant one.
For instance, let’s say you want 1,000 people to use your race’s custom hashtag on social media on race day, and you think that setting up a selfie station with a celebrity athlete at your post-race party is going to get you to that number. You might need to know: a) which social networks your athletes are most active on, b) if your athletes would actually be up for a sweaty, post-race selfie, c) which celebrity athletes are most popular with your crowd. So you set up your questions and wait for the answers to start rolling in.
Monitor the Data
Since you know why you’re asking the questions and what you plan to do with them, you can make preliminary plans based on the answers to your questions as registrations start coming in.
Maybe you find that most of your crowd skews toward one or two social networks in particular and you should be increasing your presence in those channels, or that some of your questions could be worded and refined a bit further, or that you might need to add some additional answer choices you hadn’t considered before.
Do Something With Your New Data
Once you’ve started nearing your registration goal or limit, it’s time to start making solid plans using the data you’ve been collecting. Since you have a specific goal in mind and have been monitoring and refining your questions along the way, you now have the data to back up the decisions you’re making.
If you find that most of your athletes are actually living under a rock and don’t use social media, never pose for sweaty photos, and aren’t familiar with any celebrity athletes, you’ve just saved yourself from an embarrassingly empty post-race selfie station. On the other hand, if you find out that most folks use Instagram and Facebook, are totally on board with sharing sweaty post-race photos of themselves, and love Meb more than anyone, you have exactly the right data to start arranging a Meb and Me selfie station at your post-race party and blasting that all over your Facebook and Instagram feeds.
Not Sure What Kinds of Questions to Ask?
Here are some ideas:
Collect opt-ins for race text messaging
Offer paid upgrades (check this box to upgrade to the tech shirt for an additional $5)
Require athletes to acknowledge a particular event policy (I understand this event has a NO REFUND policy)
Offer bib personalization
Collect emergency contact and medical information
Allow athletes to provide announcer finish line statements
Ask your 5k athletes for a cotton t-shirt size, but ask your 10k athletes for a tech-shirt size
Ask a question to team captains only (what is your team's estimated finish time?)
Collect feedback (If you participated last year, what was your favorite thing about the post-race party?)
Ask about race day transportation (Do you plan to drive yourself to the event and park? or Will you be cycling to and from the event?)
Tell Me How To Set These Things Up!
Now that your wheels are spinning and you've got some ideas, you can check out our help center article to learn more about setting up custom questions for your event registration.