Merchants of Dirt

Merchants of Dirt

Merchants of Dirt, hosted by Kyle Bondo, is dedicated to helping you start, create, build, and direct outdoor and endurance events. Learn what it takes to build an outdoor events business based on customers who enjoy the challenge of water, trail, mountain bike, adventure, and endurance races. I just might be the inspiration that keeps you outside for the rest of your life!... Show More
March 25, 2018
Merchants of Dirt Episode #45

Your accountability to your customers begins when they arrive at your venue, and only ends when you are certain they have left your venue safely.

Head Counts Matter

This episode of Merchants of Dirt is about race director accountability. More importantly, your accountability when it comes to a simple thing like head counts. And if you’re not sure what a head count is, this is the process of knowing how many racers you have on the course at any given time. Or is it?

To get you in the right frame of mind about how important I think headcounts are, I play you a news report from Louise Donnelly of 7 News out of Brisbane, Australia about the disappearance of American's Tom and Eileen Lonergan. These two Americans tourists that were left behind during a diving expedition of Cairns, Australia, over 20 years ago because of a bad headcount.

Listen to the full clip here:

Of course, a diving trip is very different to a race. You don’t need to be THAT accountable to your racers, do you? Besides, no one's ever been left behind on one of your courses, right? If you’re like me, that example of a bad headcount should make you take notice.

Remember from what we’ve learned about Mr. Murphy over the past 45 episodes? And that is that it’s not IF something will go wrong, but WHEN. Is your accountability an accident waiting to happen? Is your next race going to be THE RACE that leaves two divers behind in shark-infested waters to die horrible deaths? I hope not.

So let’s get our understanding of accountability straight.

Taking Responsibility
  • Reason #1 -- Your permit and insurance are not for just the course -- it is for the ENTIRE VENUE!
  • Reason #2 -- What your racers do after the race could come back to haunt you.
  • Reason #3 -- What your racers do in the parking lot has a direct impact on how OTHER RACES see you as a race director.
  • Venue Control Strategies
  • Strategy #1 - Full Accounting -- Improve how you count people that come into and out of your venue.
  • Strategy #2 - Quick Identification -- Another strategy is to know who is part of your race and who is not.
  • Strategy #3 - Controlled Environments -- Keep your customers located in only the spaces you want them to be in, and out of the spaces you don’t want them to be in.
  • Why Accountability is Important to your Business

    You have to know where everyone is at all times -- period. To not know, or to have to guess, leaves you wide open for disaster. So take control of your headcount, make full accountability your number one safety goal. You have all the tools you need to keep an accurate count of everyone involved with your race. And if you don’t you certainly need to improve your accountability process before your next race. If this means adding barriers, choke points, or even wristbands, then do it! Don’t make the only metric you care about be how many people are on the course. You need to know more about your venue then you currently do. Make your head counts always matter.

    And Now You Know!


    Thank You for Listening

    Thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter, by Email, or my Contact Form.

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