The pandemic may have forced you to pivot your event from an in-person one to a virtual one, but that doesn’t mean you need to change how you manage your race. In fact, it is just as important to utilize event management software now, and the only thing that needs to change is how your event takes place. Everything from branding to race management can easily remain the same, meaning you can spend your time focusing on creating a more enhanced event experience for participants to keep them engaged for when in-person events are allowed once again.
Just as with an in-person event, registration for a virtual event doesn’t change. Simply set up your race on your event management software as you did pre-pandemic—just make sure to highlight that the race is taking place virtually and what the expectations are for participating. Include the expected race length and specific exercises if it’s an obstacle race, and make sure to let the participants know how they can submit their fitness tracking information to qualify for race goodies like a medal, shirt or awards.
It’s important now more than ever to communicate to prospective participants about your event. Don’t be afraid of over-communicating. Your race management software should include the ability to contact everyone who has participated, or signed up to participate, in your events. Email—or message, depending on your event management software—everyone on your lists about the changes in this year’s event, when they can register, where they can register (including the registration link) and what they receive upon completion of the race. Get them excited for the event and offer ideas for how to make it fun as they run around their neighborhood, park or city.
If your event management software offers the ability to segment based on demographic data, location or event history, you can personalize your message and drive higher engagement.
Elevate the Participant Experience
Your event management software should include the ability to complement a virtual race with offerings that are sure to get participants excited to sign up. Consider any of the following ways to enhance the participant experience.
- Virtual Event Bags: Provide special offers and personalized information for your participants all while attracting, maintaining and showcasing your sponsors! Along with sponsorships and internal incentives, make sure you link to event merchandise or your other events. Never stuff a bag again!
- Merchandising: Elevate your event with fun, fashionable and functional merchandise that participants want to wear, use and show off as they run. Make sure to include merchandise that can translate from working out to running errands. They say word-of-mouth is the best kind of advertising, but participants wearing your event’s merchandise is equally as important. Pro tip: Make sure to allow your attendees to purchase event merchandise post-registration.
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