When Trail Pursuit co-founders Ed and David met at the Conti Thunder Run in summer 2019, they instantly bonded over a shared love of trail running. That bond brought the duo together to lead an adventure running trip in Snowdonia. It was a huge success and a prototype of what was to come. It wasn’t until the two met for a podcast recording that the idea of a collaborative sports event revealed itself. And that’s when Trail Pursuit was born.
“We’ve created a trail race festival series, taking place in the beautiful Lake District and Brecon Beacons. The premise of the event is trail races – from 5km to ultramarathons. There’s also yoga, wild swimming, camping, and athlete speakers who’ll be sharing inspirational stories and motivation.”
Check out the video below to learn more about Trail Pursuit's story:
Like most experience creators, Ed and David faced a challenging 2020, with cancellations and postponements. But since then, they hosted their first festival at the end of May, 2021. Though their journey has been unexpectedly long and winding, Trail Pursuit were able to sell over 1600 tickets – an incredible feat for first-time creators.
Here’s how they did it.
Trail Pursuit’s playbook for launching a new festival
Kickstart with a beautiful website
For Trail Pursuit, speed isn’t limited to trail racing – it’s key in business too. They knew they needed to make a great first impression with runners and potential customers, but couldn’t afford to spend weeks or months building a website.
To launch and start selling tickets as soon as possible, Trail Pursuit turned to Easol:
“Taking an idea to reality can be done in as little as 24 hours. With Trail Pursuit, we wanted to present the activities – the runs, the yoga, the swimming, and the athlete talks – in a really awesome light. Easol gives you the tools to do this.”
Using a website theme, built specially for experience businesses and conversions, Ed and David were able to bring their vision to life in just one day. A week after the website launch, Trail Pursuit sold 100 tickets.
Leverage automation for operational processes
A common pitfall when launching a new experience business is to get bogged down by tedious, administrative tasks. Trail Pursuit side-stepped this by optimising their processes as much as they can.
Using the Allocation and Check-in features, Trail Pursuit were able to automate all their data collection of their runners that are essential to marketing and operations, such as shipping address, email, and booking referral. With this information, Trail Pursuit were able to manage orders and send out merchandise to all their attendees in time for Christmas. Come race day, organisers have the names, race distance, and number, all without sending a single manual email.
This has allowed Trail Pursuit to focus their efforts on sales, marketing, and producing the best possible experience for festival goers.
“Easol has allowed us to grow at such a fast rate and connect with runners all around the UK.”
Turn ambassadors into a powerful sales channel
With the website live and automations working in the background, Ed and David leaned heavily into influencer marketing and word of mouth to promote the festival.
“One special part we’re very pleased with is the ambassador team that we’ve built. There’s 20 guys and gals dotted around the UK all loving their trail running and yoga, and want to spread the good vibes and get more people out moving and into nature.”
Trail Pursuit leveraged the Ambassador feature to load and manage all their ambassadors in one place. In turn, ambassadors were able to send promotional voucher codes, tracking links, and tailored messages to help spread the word about the festival. This marketing strategy was a major factor in Trail Pursuit’s success and impressive ticket sales.
Turbocharge your experience business
Trail Pursuit shows us that, with the right tools, anyone can turn their passion into an empire. Using Easol’s all-in-one platform, Ed and David were able to move fast, create a stunning website, build a team of ambassadors and turbocharge sales for their first festival event.
Want to learn more? Book a demo today and see how Easol can help you launch your experience business.