Supporting Endurance & Festival Events from Behind-the-Scenes

In 2006, Ryan Griessmeyer founded Race Day Events to support the endurance community. But what started as a "hobby business", quickly became an indispensable partner for events all over the country.

Today, Race Day Events is considered to be the Midwest's leading event production company, hosting and managing hundreds of endurance races, like 5Ks, triathlons, marathons, mud runs, bike races, and IronMan events. It also supports the production of large food and music festivals across the country.

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The Challenge

To Streamline Event Staff Scheduling

The Challenge

It takes a lot of man-power to manage hundreds of large endurance races and festivals every year. For Race Day Events, this equates to nearly 115 full and part-time employees. But while the large team size makes it easier to handle event logistics, marketing, equipment rental, course measurement and event timing, it would create a different problem on the backend: scheduling.

Since Ryan's team relied on Excel spreadsheets and Doodle surveys, the process was tedious. They'd spend hours manually adding available shifts into Excel, importing the schedule into Doodle, and sending surveys to employees. And once employees responded, they'd pour more time into transferring the information back into Excel and assigning shifts.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Since Excel didn't have any way to account for shifts that had already been assigned, employees were often scheduled for multiple shifts at the same time, in different locations. This meant that management had to spend more time moving people around, to ensure that all shifts were filled by an employee who could take them.

The Project

Believing that there had to be a better way to get employees scheduled, Ryan and his team set out to look for a tool that could help them streamline the process. And a short Google search later, they came across SubItUp.

"We settled on SubItUp, because it was the best option for us," says Ryan. "They had a lot of the features we needed built in already. And the onboarding process was really straightforward. The SubItUp team showed us how to set up an account. We got to play around with the software a little bit. We watched some of SubItUp's tutorial videos. And we spent time on the phone with customer support as we went through the onboarding process."

"Honestly, the support we received throughout the onboarding process was probably more than we needed. It was kind of hard to keep up with them! They were working with us almost faster than we could put things in place on our end. But the platform was also really easy for us to understand and use almost immediately," explains Ryan.

"We always want more than what they have. But their resources and their abilities to cater the platform to us has been amazing!"
Ryan, Race Day Events

The Solution

A faster, more sure-footed way to schedule employees.

Event Scheduling

First and foremost, Ryan needed a solution that would solve the double-booking problem. Not just to save his team time, but also to ensure that they were able to put their best foot forward at each and every event.

"We have specialized departments that handle different aspects of races from timing and site work to swim safety teams. And if we have a big, important event, we want to make sure we get our A-team there," explains Ryan. "Previously, we'd spend a lot of time transferring information back and forth to make sure we got the right people scheduled for certain events, but we'd still end up with employees assigned to be in two places at once."

"SubItUp's event calendar lets us see who's working and when, and it doesn't let you double book people. It's impossible! That feature alone has been a huge step in the right direction for us," says Ryan.

Survey-Based Scheduling

Ryan wasn't content to simply cut out the extra time spent scheduling employees, though. He wanted to streamline the process further, by automating tasks that had previously required manual importing and data entry. So he decided to tap into SubItUp's survey-based scheduling feature.

"On any given weekend, we have 5 to 20 events. And those events together probably take anywhere from 30 to 50 people, divided into shifts. But there are a lot of different combinations of shifts available, so it's difficult to staff them," explains Ryan. "So when we were made aware of SubItUp's survey-based scheduling feature, we were excited, because it fit the need we had."

"We just import all of our shifts into the SubItUp system and send an email to our employees," explains Ryan. "The email basically just shows employees the different shifts available, with a slider bar next to each one. If they can take the shift, they just swipe the bar. It will automatically update to show us who's available and when. And then, we can plug and play on the backend to get all the shifts filled."

Custom-Built Upgrades

While both of these features solve major pain points for Race Day Events, the relationship doesn't end there. Ryan regularly works alongside SubItUp's developers to take the solution to the next level.

In fact, SubItUp's survey-based feature was both inspired by Race Day Events' Excel + Doodle process and commissioned by Ryan as a working upgrade to that system. And today, Race Day Events is collaborating with SubItUp to add an additional element to that feature: qualifiers for assigning employees to shifts. This addition, once completed, will enable Race Day Events to completely automate their scheduling process.

"I joke with Zach and Bob that we're the problem child," says Ryan. "We always want more than what they have. But their resources and their abilities to cater the platform to us has been amazing! They respond quickly. They develop new features a lot faster than we expect. And they come up with creative solutions to help us make ends meet in the interim."

"It was kind of hard to keep up with them! They were working with us almost faster than we could put things in place on our end."
Ryan, Race Day Events

The Benefits

A New Paradigm to Scheduling Employees

Better Employee Response Rate

In addition to the benefits Race Day Events has seen on the backend of its scheduling process, employees have also been enjoying the simplicity of SubItUp. This can most easily be seen in their responsiveness to scheduling surveys.

"We've seen a huge increase in our survey responses by shifting over to SubItUp," explains Ryan. "In fact, it bought our previous 30% response rate up to almost a 65% response rate!"

Increased Efficiency

Ryan points out that SubItUp isn't just designed to support his company. It's features and functionality can enhance the efficiency of businesses in any vertical.

Anytime you have more than 10 employees at multiple sites, it makes sense to have a tool like SubItUp," says Ryan. "It enhances communication. It eliminates errors. And it increases efficiency immensely."


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