The Magical San-San Tour

Dave Camire

Dave Camire

by Dave Camire

San Antonio, TX – One of the goals we have at Yankee Timing is to keep up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends in the timing and events industry.  January and February is a great time for us to attend industry conferences because this is our slow season.  There are very few road races in New England and other events like triathlons and MOB events (mud, obstacles, and beer) do not happen in the dead of winter.

The first stop for the Yankee Timing team was San Antonio, TX for the annual Chronotrack User’s Conference.  Normally you would think that San Antonio would be a nice temperature upgrade for us New Englanders, but Jay was the only one on the team that actually arrived from New England. Bill and Richie came straight from a timing gig in the Bahamas (nice work if you can get it) and Jessica and I were flying in from Florida. Nevertheless the three days in the Lone Star state provided us with beautiful weather and lots of new things for us to learn.

About Chronotrack

alamo

The Alamo was within walking distance of the host hotel.

Chronotrack equipment is considered the best in the industry. Twenty-five of the largest thirty road races in the United States use Chronotrack for their timing needs. We feel very fortunate to be part of the Chronotrack Timing network. How good is their equipment?

For the past four years Yankee Timing has been part of the team that times the New York City Marathon. This year’s event was the largest marathon ever held! At the conference Tom Kelly of the NYC Road Runners reported that out of 50,000 finishers only twelve corrections were required. What a great endorsement for Chronotrack and, of course, the great team of timers that operate the equipment.

Our Goals

At this conference each member of the team is given a specific task. Our divide and conquer strategy works well. We split up and gather as much information as possible then share it with each other.  The learning experience is great, but it is the networking that is the real pay dirt.

Having access to the best timers in the country is a huge benefit of attending these conferences. Sharing war stories and ideas is priceless.  What better group to learn from then your peers?

Overall I’d have to rate this conference a big success. Every team member picked up a few golden nuggets of information that will help us better serve our clients. Next year the user’s conference is in Phoenix, AZ., so the team gets to escape winter once again.

California Dreaming

SD_Expo

The expo at Running USA is one of the best. Walking the floor gives you a good view of where the sport is heading.

San Diego, CA – After our stint in San Antonio the rest of the team headed back to the cold and snow of New England and I headed to the warmth and sun of southwest Florida. However my stay was brief because the Running USA user’s conference was just a little over a week away.

The RUSA Conference, held at the beautiful Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego, CA is one of the best conferences that I attend. The hotel is situated on the bay and is within walking distance of the Gas Lamp district. This year’s conference set a record with 550 attendees making it the largest running industry conference in the country.  Just about every major running and MOB event is represented.

Having spent two winters in San Diego I felt right at home. Also being surrounded by New Englanders certainly added to the comfort level.  I shared a room with Mike Thompson of Eagle Events.  Announcer on the Run Steve Moland was in attendance as well as Kim and Dan Ashworth from Ashworth Awards.  The DMSE team of Dave McGillivray, Matt West and Ron Kramer were also in the house. Dave gave the closing speech which was both instructional and inspirational.

Tweet Me

One of the strengths of this conference is the outstanding presenters. They have a great sense of the trends in the sport. One message that came through loud and clear is that social media will play an important role in our sport going forward.

The keynote speaker was Jeff Fromm author of the book Marketing to Millennials. I downloaded his book to my Nook and read it on the plane ride to the conference and I was glad I did. In his presentation he pointed out that there are more millennials then there were baby boomers and if we don’t start planning for them now it will be too late three years down the road. If this subject interests you, I recommend reading his book.

The conference had a strong leaning towards social media.  Many of the tools being demonstrated were based around Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram and similar social media tools.  Using social media as both a marketing and communications tool seems to the direction the sport is going.

The San-San conferences really opened my eyes to a whole new era in road race management. Now it’s time to get back to New England and begin implementing all the new stuff learned.

 


Dave Camire is president of Yankee Timing & Event Management and has been scoring races since clocks had hands. In between he made time to start the popular website Coolrunning.com, the BayState Marathon, the Good Times Series, the Wild Rover Series and the Mill Cities Relay among others.