When setting the number of required referrals needed to receive a rebate in your event, it is best to consider the following:
  1. The Structure of Your Race:
    • Is this a single participant event? Are you allowing teams?  Teams play a big part. You know that if someone is on a team, they most likely know everyone else on that team. Thus, they’d be likely to share that referral rebate code with the entire team. The point of the tool is to get participants to help you get more people registered. Since they’re already putting themselves into teams, maximize on that financially by incentivizing them to increase the size of those teams.
  2. The Amount of the Rebate:
    • Giving $5 to everybody is a lot different than giving $10 to only a few people. You want to provide an incentive for those participating in your event, but you don't want to make the requirements so easily attainable that everyone receives a discount and your organization loses more money than anticipated. If the rebate is a substantial amount, make sure the referral requirements are just as substantial.
  3. Is It Realistic?:
    • Say, you want to require 10 referrals before a rebate is issued. If the majority of the race participants belong to running clubs, then they have an immediate network to get 10 referrals from. If most participants are not in running clubs, 10 referrals sounds like an outlandish goal that they shouldn’t even bother attempting. Knowing who your participants are and what can realistically be done is key. However, that being said, you do not want to set the number so low that anyone can accomplish it and receive the rebate. Remember, the purpose of this tool is to assist with boosting registration numbers and event revenue.
A previous event had 968 registrants, 202 of which were on teams. There were 42 teams total. Most teams had 1-5 people on them, 3 teams had 10+ people, 2 teams had 30+ people, and 8 teams had 55+ people. If the event director were to set the referral rebate to 5 people (to push those teams with less than 5 people to increase to 5), and all teams met the rebate, they would be increasing their registrations for teams by 101 people. Even with a $5 rebate applied to everyone on those teams, registration revenue just from teams would increase from 16k to 24k. However, let’s say not everyone met the 5 person referral requirement, and team registration only increased by 50 people instead of 100. The organization is still looking at a revenue increase (from teams) from the 16k to 20k range.

Note: Although teams are great for achieving referral rebate goals, and work well when trying to project how many extra participants people are "bringing" to the event, the referral rebate doesn’t apply ONLY to teams
Note: Based on most team reports, people are already bringing between 1-3 friends with them to events. Put your referral target higher than that to increase registrations. Around 4 or 5 is achievable for participants, and can still be financially beneficial (depending on the rebate amount).