The influence of technology and the impact of sponsorships
As the 2017 Running USA Industry Conference approaches, we want to introduce attendees and the industry at-large to our incredible speakers and panelists.
In our latest Speaker Series interview we chat with Janet Raugust of Chicago Event Management (CEM). Leading a Race Camp at the Industry Conference titled Expo Management/Post Event Experience, Raugust brings a wealth of experience on creating memorable event experiences for runners, as well as working with exhibitors, sponsors and designers.
Running USA (RUSA): What's your current role in the industry? What does your day-to-day work look like?
Janet Raugust (JR): I am the Creative Director at Chicago Event Management. We produce the Bank of America Chicago Marathon among other races and events in Chicago. My day to day life changes every day. I oversee the marketing, communications and design teams and collaborate with all the other teams in the office. I could be setting up a booth one day, taking pictures somewhere the next and designing an ad on the following day. My job is never boring and changes every day!
RUSA: How did you first get into the running industry?
JR: I started running after college and ran a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon, then a marathon… I was hooked! I have completed 10 marathons and several triathlons of all distances. When I moved to Chicago (11 years ago) I was a freelance designer and CEM was looking for a designer – someone referred me to the job and the rest is history.
RUSA: You'll be moderating the 'Expo Management / Post Event Experience' Race Camp. What's one trend you're seeing in event experience right now, good or bad?
JR: I feel I see a lot of new technology trends in the industry – using chip/RIFD data etc. to enhance the experience of the runners…it would be great to see more of that.
RUSA: Where do you believe the biggest opportunity in expo management lies in 2017 for those in the running industry?
JR: I think the new technology trends are always interesting and having expo management focus more on technology to make the expos a streamlined and also fun experience would be a good direction to go in.
RUSA: At Chicago Event Management, you are constantly evaluating how best to connect runners with sponsors. What's one area race directors should really start educating themselves on when it comes to building those relationships between runners and sponsors, who ultimately are both of your customers?
JR: I would say the field of health is very important to sponsors the idea of “corporate wellness” is popular right now and I don’t see it going away. I feel race directors should think of ways the sponsors can connect with their own employees and they will get a lot out of the sponsorship.
RUSA: What's your favorite part about attending the Running USA Industry Conference?
JR: I like hearing about new trends and seeing friends/vendors in the industry from around the country.
To learn more about the 2017 Running USA Industry Conference and see Janet Raugust speak, please visit: https://www.runningusa.org/running-usa-annual-conference