EVENT DIRECTOR CHECKLIST
Choose a race date and an alternate date. Determine when you want to put the race on and what kind of race you want to promote. You should also look for an alternate date if possible. The alternate date is helpful in managing the event calendar and minimizing conflicts. NEBRA hosts an open call for event dates in the fall for use in creating the following years event calendar. If it is possible to submit your potential dates at that time that will give you the maximum lead time for permit s and race promotion. Before you apply for a race date, check with the venue and or town & city and make sure that you will be able to use the venue on that date.
Consult with the town or city. Are there any roads on the course that require closure? If so, many cities and towns require approval of the town or city legislative body to close the roads. Be sure to allow yourself sufficient time if road closures are required. Determine what permits the city or town requires for the bike race. If you plan to have a food vendor at the race, you may need additional permits from the city or town. Do not wait until the last minute to find out what permits are required. Identify a suitable location for parking and develop a parking plan. Do not underestimate the parking needs for the race. Find out if the city or town have any specific concerns about parking. Use this information to estimate how many volunteers you will need to help with parking. Make arrangements with the local police department for assistance. Most communities require police presence at races that are held on public roads. Check with your city or town to find out what you will need. Make sure you budget for this expense.
Obtain or develop a map of the course. The map is essential to identify all intersections on the course where marshaling may be required. This will give you an idea as to how many volunteers will be required to marshal the course. Do not underestimate the number of volunteers required or overestimate the time that a single individual will be available to marshal a specific location on the course. Also, use the map to identify other types of buildings or uses on the course that may pose traffic problems on race day. For example, if there is a church on the course, you may want to find out if a wedding or other event is scheduled for race day.
Develop a race schedule and event timeline. Your race schedule is the actual competition portion of your event day. In putting the schedule together, be realistic about how long each field will take to complete the race. Do not try to overload the schedule. Time is needed in between starts for staging and organizing fields. For cyclocross events course inspection time is important to riders, so make sure you account for that. Your event timeline is the schedule for the entire event, from the start of set up to the last of break down. Having a full accounting of the event is critical to volunteer allocation. You do not want to base all of your volunteers around the competition portion of the event and be left alone in the dark breaking down by yourself.
Estimate the number of volunteers required. When you put the schedule together, be realistic. The more fields you have, the more volunteers will be required. If you are putting a road race on, you will need a lead and possibly a follow vehicle for each field. For a criterium, you will need course marshals for the entire race day, as well as volunteers to set up and take down the course, and register racers. Cyclocross events require a significant amount of volunteer labor for both building the course and taking it down. In addition, you should plan for volunteers needed for the miscellaneous tasks that arise during the day.
Secure Professional Services. Arrange for a results service and if necessary, a race announcer. There are a number of race timing services and race announcers. Make arrangements for these services at the earliest possible date. Additional professional services such as neutral support, medical support and moto marshals can greatly increase the quality of your event.
Develop a budget for the event. Having as complete an event budget as possible is critical for a successful event. Your event budget should include all costs such as permitting, insurance, race staff expenses, race official expenses, results service, neutral support, prize list, police/medical costs, portapotties, volunteer foods etc.
When setting the purse for the fields, consider the anticipated expenses that you will incur in promoting the race and the potential for sponsorship contributions.
Develop sponsorship material. If you plan on securing sponsors for your race, you will need to develop a sponsorship package. This package should be distributed to potential sponsors at least several months before the race. Many sponsors expect to have their logos or business names on the flyer and on race t-shirts. This requires at least several months of lead-time to secure the sponsorship before printing the flyers and having the t-shirts manufactured.
Make a list of infrastructure and items you will need for race day. This list should go along with the event timeline and event budget. You may need substantial lead-time for some items such as bib numbers or awards. That should be noted in your event timeline. And some of these items incur significant costs such as portapotties. That should be accounted for in the event budget.
Items to consider- If your race venue does not have toilet facilities, you will need portapotties. You should make arrangements for these well in advance of the race date. Also, you will need a generator if you want music at the race or plan on having a race announcer. For criteriums and some road courses, you may need hay bales. Local farmers are usually willing to rent hay for the day.
For registration, you will need signage, registration forms, numbers, pens, paper, tape, and safety pins. Allow plenty of time for ordering numbers. Do not underestimate the number of safety pins or numbers that will be required. If multiple fields are on the course at the same time, the last two digits of the numbers assigned to those fields should be different. This is more important in a criterium than it is in road or circuit race. Also make sure that you have seating available for the officials at the start/finish line. You should also make sure that there is a table available at the start/finish line for the officials.
Thought should be given to what event signage will be required. Generally, you will need signs to get people to the race venue, to guide racers to registration, and along the course to ensure rider safety. In a road race, you may also want signs to let riders know how far it is to the finish. For a criterium, you will need lap cards or a lap counter.
Make arrangements for inclement weather. You should make sure that you have access to a tent or other type of facility to conduct registration and monitor the start/finish line in case of inclement weather.
Take out an event permit with USA Cycling and submit a draft race announcement to the NEBRA administrator. The requirements for submitting a permit are set forth in detail in the promoters’ section of the NEBRA site. You should review those requirements carefully before submitting a permit. The rules prohibit you from opening registration until you have been granted a permit for the race.
Post your race on www.bikereg.com and open registration for the race. Electronic registration has greatly simplified the task of running a bike race. Nonetheless, you still need to download the registration information from BikeReg and assign numbers to all riders. This takes time. Allow yourself sufficient time between the time you set for closing registration and race day to prepare the registration material.
Provide food for volunteers and officials. Volunteers and officials need to eat. Make sure you have a plan for obtaining and distributing food to the volunteers and officials.
Put together a spreadsheet for volunteer assignments. It is not possible to put on a race without volunteers. At least a month before the event, you should start lining up volunteers and obtaining commitments from volunteers for race day tasks. The spreadsheet should include assignments for course set-up and break-down, registration, course marshaling, car driving, and running errands. You should decide what method of communication will be used on race day. Some promoters rely on radios, while others use cell phones. If you plan on using cell-phone numbers, collect those at the same time as you put the volunteer list together. For registration, make sure that the volunteers are properly trained and understand licensing and registration requirements. You may also want to consider ordering flags and vests for volunteers who will be marshaling and directing traffic.
Put a first aid plan together. Minor injuries are a common occurrence in bike racing. You should have some supplies available to clean and cover injuries.
Notify the local fire department several days before the race date. It is important to notify the fire department about your race and the roads that will be used in your event. Don’t assume that because you have obtained local permits, the fire department knows about your race. Notice is essential to ensure that emergency vehicles can be routed correctly.
Notify all residents and businesses along the course. Several days before the race you should distribute an informational notice to all residents and businesses along the racecourse advising them of the race. The notice should request specifically that all animals be restrained on race day.
On race day, you must bring all the required permits to the race for the officials to inspect; you will also be expected to pay your the officials, results service, and announcer on the day of the event. Your post event paperwork and insurance payment can be done online with the assistance of your chief referee. Any applicable NEBRA rider surcharges are also required to be paid on event day and can be paid by check or credit card.