RunSignup, the technology provider for endurance and fundraising events, released preliminary registration data from the first half of 2021 providing key metrics on the recovery of the events industry. The data includes expected findings, such as the rapid increase in in-person events and unexpectedly, a small decrease in race week registrations.

Similar to its annual GiveSignup|RunSignup Race Trends Report, conclusions are drawn through registration data on its 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 percent to 30 percent of the pre-pandemic market share.

Key findings in the report include:

  1. In Q2, in-person events made up 72 percent of all registrations on RunSignup, an increase compared to 50 percent in January of 2021; however, virtual events are still working, with no signs of falling back to a pre-pandemic level of 3 percent of registrations.
  2. 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 percent of registrations took place on race week, compared to 28 percent in 2019.
  3. While virtual races, with lower overhead costs, are still impacting overall race prices—especially for longer events—there are signs of a return to normal pricing. Half marathon prices are down just 6.9 percent compared to 2019, and price increases are starting to returning to normal.
  4. While increases in participation by women and 50+ participants show growing inclusivity at races, demographic data also indicates concern. Just 11.8 percent of participants in 2021 have been ages 18-to-29 compared to 16.3 percent 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 meet the demand of new generations.
  5. RaceJoy, the runner-tracking app that became popular in 2020 with features supporting virtual and in-person events, is continuing to see a surge in usage. Compared to this time period in 2019, the app has been used in 81 percent 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.”

To view the report, go here.

Illustration courtesy RunSignup