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6 Takeaways from the 2023 Running USA Conference

The 2023 Running USA Conference was held in Denver, Colorado, and Chicago Event Management sent a big group to learn, network and plan for the upcoming running season. With different titles and involvement in the industry, the CEM-ers in attendance shared their biggest takeaway from the conference.

  1. “Get 1% better every day.” These words from Chris Nikic, the world’s first neurodivergent athlete to complete an Ironman, resonated because they can be applied to both the participants in our events, and those who work behind-the-scenes to create the experience. – Nicole McNally, Senior Account Manager
  2. From the “Volunteer Scenarios and Solutions for Events of All Sizes”, Donna Finney of NYRRC shared a quote that “Volunteers are priceless, but they are not free. Invest in them and they will be one of your most valuable assets.” We must invest in resources that support our volunteers, whether its incentives, rewards, or simply support that improves their experience while they serve at our events. Investing in volunteers shows our respect for their efforts, and makes clear their importance to us.- Greg Hipp, Senior Director of Operations
  3. It was great to see panels and breakout sessions that provided a platform to discuss diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the running industry. Looking forward to seeing these conversations grow in 2023 and beyond. – Mary Beth Johnson, Community Engagement Manager
  4. I found the runner segmentation presentation by Pig Works very informative. They created runner personas to determine how to market events to participants, and that’s something we want to do more of. – Janet Myrmel, Senior Creative Director
  5. I loved the opening presentation that shared a study on Gen Z and getting them more involved in our events. I thought the data on their interests and desires around health and fitness were fascinating, especially how Gen Z are generally more interested in walking vs. running. I’m excited to see how events expand their experience to tailor to this demographic! – Holly Petrovich, Social Media Manager
  6. It was incredible to hear the focus and importance of identifying our ‘purpose’ and ‘why’ for our companies and events. Including these elements in our storytelling can help retain our current runners and stakeholders, and attract the next generation of runners, volunteers, workforce and fans! – Mike Nishi, Chief Operating Officer