Hermanövarvet gets top ratings from participants
Hermanövarvet gets top ratings from participants
“Every year we do an evaluation survey with participants and in the question of how the registration was perceived, we have always received high ratings from the race participants, only 4s or 5s out of 5.
I can’t remember that we had any problems at all with participants who complained that the registration was complicated or similar.”
Hermanövarvet, run on the beautiful Swedish west coast, is the cutest summer race and offers participants a lovely summer day with ice cream, pleasant running with a stunning view and activities before and after the race.
We interview the organizers Max and Linus who have been organizing the race together since 2018, when they did a major modernization and refurbishment of the event after they took over from the previous organizer. They have also managed to come back phenomenally after the pandemic and break attendance records this year. Read about how they market the race and get inspiration and tips from these two professionals.
Tell us a little about yourselves and how you started organizing Hermanövarvet.
Max and I were both involved in organizing another race, Sandsjöbacka Trail, where we got to know each other. Later there was an opportunity to take over the Hermanövarvet from the previous organizer, which we jumped at immediately because we wanted to organize a wonderful summer race and had several ideas about how we wanted to develop and improve that race.
We started by adding a trail race to the 10-km race that was already established. We made it more than a race, and marketed it as the most glorious summer day with great atmosphere and activities before and after the race. It went very well from the first year onwards, we basically always filled our starting spots to the maximum.
You have managed to grow the race quickly in recent years. How did you do it?
From the beginning we thought we didn’t want a super big race, and decided we’d put a cap of 250 spots for each distance. We thought this would be a smart strategy as well, to have a limited number of places to market. It went well, and we managed to fill the spots.
We also worked with the brand, created a logo and some nice branding designs, as well as building an attractive website. We also created social media accounts and started being active there to attract participants to the race. We made sure, right from the first edition, to take professional photos and to make a nice video to secure marketing materials for the future.
How did you handle the pandemic?
We canceled 2020, and made a variation of the race as an open lap that you could run on your own. We gave the participants the choice to either postpone the start until next year or get the money back. In 2021, we initially thought of canceling again, but waited until teh last moment and timed the restrictions so that we could carry out the race safely in the end. We kept thinking that this is temporary and that we had every intention of coming back after the pandemic.
There are many races that have struggled getting their participants back. But you have succeeded, what do you think is the reason?
Very hard to say… but we have both kept in good contact with local running clubs and training groups and told them about the race and informed locally about when we would start up again. I think that we had good flow and lived on old merits and the good reputation we created around the race has created a strong trust among the participants so they want to come back, even though it has been a long wait with the pandemic.
However, we were concerned that the entries came in much later than normal this year. But luckily they did eventually get in, mostly not until 2 months before the race. We actually managed to break a record number of participants this year, which was fun to see.
I also think that the children’s race that we added this year contributed to the increase in the number of participants. Many families came out and all participated and had a nice and active summer day with ice cream, running and good weather.
What was your problem or challenge before you started using RaceID?
The people we took over the race from had no organized registration for the race, nothing online at all. We realized that we needed some kind of registration portal. We needed something relatively simple, a neat registration for participants with payment, where we could also sell an extra after-run as an option.
Why did you choose RaceID and how has the platform helped you solve the problem?
We searched for and considered different options. What made us choose RaceID was that it looked nicer and more modern and was something more than a regular entry form. We saw it as an extra asset to, for example, be seen in the race calendar.
Back then, in 2018, however, RaceID was nowhere near what it is today. It has definitely been improved and new smart features have been added. There are some things we’ve given feedback on that can still be improved, which we’re looking forward to!
Every year we do an evaluation survey with participants and in the question of how the registration was perceived, we have always received high ratings from the race participants, only 4s or 5s out of 5. I can’t remember that we had any problems at all with participants who complained that the registration was complicated or similar.
What are your future ambitions for the race?
We still want it to be a great and friendly race day and have no ambition to make a lot of money. We do this because it’s fun, and want to give participants a nice experience.
However, it is fun to develop the race more and we are thinking of also adding a SUP distance next year around Gullholmen. We’re going to talk it over and see how to move forward!