Running USA Membership Update from CEO Rich Harshbarger: April 2019
Running USA continues its overall growth trend in membership. Since 2016, our membership has jumped 10% overall and by a remarkable 14% in attracting more events to our ranks. In that time, the staff has worked diligently to deliver first-of-its kind benefits such as preferred pricing for email marketing and fleet vehicle rentals; dramatically simplified the process of securing insurance quotes for liability and cancellation policies; and introduced flexible ways for events to purchase deeply discounted music licenses.
Working with our sponsors and vendor members last year alone, we delivered at least 10 educational Webinars bringing together nearly 1,000 industry decision makers to learn, share and grow our sport. In 2018, the board of directors approved a $30,000 investment to update the runningusa.org website, improving not only presentation and navigation but also giving members a customized platform to access exclusive content. And of course the commitment to being the clearinghouse for data and trends reporting has only gotten stronger. For the second year in a row, we collaborated with a consortium of registration companies to deliver good news that while overall year-over-year event registration is flat or slightly down, the state of our sport remains strong. The National Runner Study was again released and a new report, Global Runner’s Study: Asia was introduced comparing motivating factors of runners in the far East to those right here at home.
The year ahead looks promising. Beginning in June, we will introduce new Standard Membership levels while those at the top two tiers, Contributing and Foundation, remain unchanged. Standard Members will be categorized into Event and Vendor segments which will allow Running USA to better identify and serve each category. Annual dues are being adjusted (for the first time in four years) to reflect the growth and improved benefits.
Standard Level Event annual dues: $425
Standard Level Vendor annual dues: $675
All members will continue to receive a $200 discount when registering for our annual conference. To activate this benefit, members in good standing and current with their dues will be sent their unique discount code later this month. NOTE: This discount is not retroactive to those who join or renew their membership after registering for conference attendance.
As the leading trade association for our sport, Running USA is focused on several key initiatives this year. Among them include planning another world-class annual conference to be held at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Feb 9 - 11, 2020; visiting 13 cities with half-day educational seminars in the largest-yet Running USA Accelerator Series; providing monthly Webinars online; casual networking receptions and meet-ups at various events nationwide, customized white papers and case studies released regularly and of course, specialized research and trends reporting.
On behalf of the board of directors and the staff, we thank you for your continued support, generous commitments and are always open to your feedback and suggestions.