Tips & Tricks | Estimated Read time – 5:42

What do you think marks the exact moment your event begins? Is it as soon as the first participant arrives? At gun time? How about when the first step is taken over the start line? If you ask us, we’d say it’s that epic moment when the announcer picks up the mic and welcomes everyone to the event. 

Announcers and Sports Presenters can heavily impact the success of your event. However, their value is often overlooked and is one of the last things given any consideration by events, or worse, hasn’t been budgeted for AT ALLl! It’s important to know that the quality of your announcer’s performance is powerful enough to ultimately make or break your event! After talking to professional announcer Steve Fleck, we’re covering what makes up a great announcer and how you can support your announcer in taking your event experience to the next level.

Why great announcers matter

A great announcer has the potential to add tremendous value to your event. When looking for your announcer, keep an eye out for someone who checks the following six boxes

  1. Motivates & entertains: A professional announcer knows exactly what to say to get everyone in the crowd pumped up and ready to move. It goes without saying that high energy is a necessity and your announcer should be making it theatrical.

  2. Provides recognition & creates connection: In addition to top-notch charisma and contagious motivational vibes, a well-trained announcer is tactical in how they provide recognition to everyone involved in the event. Your announcer is the key and main link between your event, sponsors, vendors, partners and participants on the day-of. How important is that connection to you? Great announcers also know exactly how to provide additional exposure to your partners, improving their overall return-of-investment, increasing the likelihood of continuing to work with your event. 

  3. Serves as the eyes & ears: As an organizer, you have plenty of roles to play on event day. A great announcer can lighten the load by being the eyes and ears of the event for you, allowing you to deal with more important matters such as working with the police or managing volunteers.

  4. Adds event credibility: A well-known announcer can add credibility and legitimacy to a newer event looking to establish itself.

  5. Enhances the overall event experience: The engagement your announcer creates with participants, sponsors, VIPs, and others on site is key. A great announcer will make your participants feel seen and rewarded as they cross the finish line – something they may have spent weeks, months, or even years training for. Crossing that line can be an extremely emotional moment and it is absolutely essential to have an announcer who knows how to make that moment that much more meaningful. Your announcer will continue on with creating that impact at the awards ceremony, making your event a truly memorable experience. 

  6. Strategic & impactful: A professional announcer can also be incredibly strategic in how they use the sea of data you may just have sitting in your database – you know the stuff. You may not know what to do with it, but a great announcer does. They will leverage this data to call out key information about each participant as they cross the finish line, making your event’s experience that much more impactful.

Utilize your data to create powerful finish line experiences 

That sea of data you are storing can finally be put to use. All those registration totals, participant addresses, amounts raised, and other information can become an extremely impactful announcement. 

On Race Roster, most of this information is automatically collected. However, there are ways you can assist your announcer in taking that finish line experience to the next level, but you’ll need to plan ahead! That’s where Race Roster can help. The information you capture through your registration form can make extremely impactful announcements. 

For example, “This is Casey Smith, coming all the way from California for the first time ever, running in honour of her mother, Donna, who passed away from breast cancer last year. Casey has raised $5,000, way to go Casey!”

Something like this can be achieved using a combination of custom registration questions and other data. If there is something specific you want your announcer to highlight, you’ll need to ask for the information during event registration. Once all the data you’ll need has been collected, you can export it onto a spreadsheet and collaborate with your timer to set up a data display, allowing your announcer to read out this information as participants cross the finish line! Additionally, this data display can help your timer spot potential inconsistencies between who the data says is crossing the line vs. who they actually see crossing the line. For example, this is a great way to pinpoint any mismatched bibs.

Idea bank

Here are a few ideas on what you could use from your registration details or collect through custom registration questions:

  • Fun facts – this is a great way for spectators to learn something fun about the person they are cheering for!
  • Nicknames
  • How they plan to participate (run/walk/cycle/roll)
  • If they are participating in honour of someone and why?
  • How many times they have participated in this event
  • Why they are participating in the event
  • First and last name
  • City/Country/State or Province (how far have they travelled?)
  • Selected sub-event
  • Amount fundraised individually
  • Team name
  • Amount fundraised by team
  • Last year’s finish time vs this year’s finish time (did they beat it? by how much?)

What else can enhance your announcer’s presentation?

There is a lot of great information you can supply your announcer with to help make the experience even better. Some of this information includes:

  • Historical and geographical information – This will allow the announcer to give a compelling overview of your event’s origin story, highlight how long your event has been going for, and indicate if there are any significant locations to note as they pass these areas along the course.

    (e.g., “This is the 50th year of the event! You will be running through these 5 neighbourhoods, be on the lookout for this structure built in 1880!”)

  • Statistics on the event – Hearing about how many people are going to be setting out to cross the finish line with you and where they all travelled from can be a really interesting piece of information — especially if there are thousands of others, with people who’ve travelled from all over the world to end up in the same place with the same goal — to cross that finish line!

    (e.g., “There are 20,000 people here today with you from 10 different countries”!)

  • People to be recognized  You can provide your announcer with a list of noteworthy people, groups, organizations, etc. to give a shoutout to! Here are some ideas on who these people could be: 
    • Political figures/celebrity starters
    • Who is singing the national anthem
    • Elite athletes and other political figures, actors, or famous participants
    • Who is starting the event 
    • Athletes participating in a wheelchair
    • Sponsors, vendors, and partners

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Race Roster

At our core, we are event organizers and athletes serving event organizers and athletes. Race Roster was founded by a group of friends with combined interests in running, technology, and event management. After organizing their own 10K in 2010, it was very apparent that the running industry was in dire need of better technology. Since May of 2012, Race Roster has partnered with over 4,000 organizers to grow, manage and execute on race day!