The Horribly Hilly is an immensely popular ride in southern Wisconsin. Event demand is so strong organizers hold a lottery each year to determine who gets in. A few years back it cost $10 just to enter this lottery. Back then if you did not get into the race, that money was not refunded.
If 2000 people submitted $10 entry fees and were not admitted to the race that generated a quick $20K for the event. Talk about no obligation fund-raising! Most events would just call it a day at that. Thanks for the money, folks. See you next year.
They’ve changed their policies now. The Horrible Hilly still has a lottery, but they no longer charge for it. And it’s a great event by all accounts.
But hey, if a lottery works, there are probably a bunch of other ways to conduct race registration that are just as creative. Here are a few suggestions:
ONLINE SLOT MACHINES
People love to play games online! Instead of a lottery you can set up an web and mobile app in which entrants pull a digital lever and watch the slots whirr and ding. If it comes up three bikes for a cycling event or three running shoes for a marathon, you’re in!
CONTESTANT BEAUTY CONTESTS
Who says life or entry registration has to be fair? Races that only desire to have beautiful people enrolled should have web-based beauty contests. The model for voting already exists on sites such as Reddit/r/gonewild. Why not turn our races and rides into things of real beauty?
Rent out a big stadium. Invite tons of people from an area to get tickets and stand around for hours or even days waiting for their chance at fame. The people who give up and leave are the losers. Those willing to stand idle for that long deserve to get into the event. That’s how American Idol works, isn’t it?
THE “NOT REALLY AN EVENT” REGISTRATION SCAM
If you set up a really nifty website for a race that does not really exist, with all the perks, bells and whistles athletes love such as free performance tees and amazing goody bags, it’s not hard to get people to pay $150 just for the right to run 5K with a bunch of other fools. So you take all their registration fees and send them an “I’m sorry this event has been cancelled” and make it really hard to get their money back. Actually, there are people out there that really do this. And they suck.
Well, that sums up our creative look at ways to conduct event registration with something other than a faceless lottery. We hope you found these tips useful and fun. Except for the last one. That really does suck.