We compared strategies used by our virtual event directors to come up with five easy steps that you can take to boost your events to the next level.
It’s no secret that virtual is the new buzzword in the endurance space and you don’t have to look hard to find virtual challenges. We dig into how you can create a challenge that stands out from the crowd. We have condensed everything we have seen from our event directors as well as the strategies we employed during our own virtual event that we ran in May 2020.
Create a virtual challenge title and theme that grabs people
It is important to make sure your event stands out to get people registered and create lasting engagement for your brand. If you are converting an in-person event over to a virtual challenge, build a challenge that uses what makes your event special.
The areas that will pull people in are the title, the imagery, and any quick tag line you can associate with it. Let’s start with the title. Backroads Challenge: 50 mile edition, sounds much more intriguing than 50 Mile Virtual Challenge. If you’re marketing the event, follow it up with a one liner that makes people want to learn more. What’s the mission of your event? What makes it unique? Why should people sign up? Grab one or two of these and highlight how they still happen in the challenge.
In addition to that first impression, you will guarantee higher engagement with carefully selected achievements, which brings us to…
Choose achievements that mean something
Your event will keep participants excited if you create achievements or goals that are unique to your challenge and provide some small “wins” along the way. Our virtual challenge platform allows you to easily create achievements for three separate metrics: Distance, Vertical, Time. We recommend that you create between 5 and 10 achievements using our achievement tool to keep your participants engaged throughout the entire challenge.
Easily motivate participants by selecting well-known landmarks or distances and climbs your in-person event may have had or your participants may know. For example, you could choose a distance goal that covers the length of the Grand Canyon, or 277 miles. Or, you could set a vertical goal as a locally, nationally, or internationally known mountain, like Mt. Washington at 6,288 ft.
With these achievements, you will want to make sure the badge that participants earn is designed so that you would want to earn it and share it…
Get creative and use inspiring images to build badges
We realize that you probably aren’t a graphic designer, but it’s important to remember that there are image resources online (like unsplash) that you can use free of charge.
While we do provide some awesome looking stock badge images, we also have an easy tool that allows you to upload an image to create a custom badge of your own. Make them interesting and make them fun!
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
It’s important to stay in touch with your participants throughout the challenge. Because challenges have taken the place of in-person events, emails are the best way to get your message across to participants. The scheduled email tool is an easy way to create your emails ahead of time and have them sent out to participants at intervals that make sense to your event.
Active on social media? Provide updates with imagery, logos, and your tagline (see above). These engage current participants and reach potentials. Have an event hashtag? Encourage everyone to use it and share those posts, because it’s all about engaging and listening to your participants…
Listen to your participants
Virtual challenges are a relative newcomer to the endurance space, so it probably goes without saying that there is still room for improvement and innovation. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback or invite constructive criticism. As that old adage goes: the customer is always right.
With that in mind, keep an open ear for any changes that make sense and an open mind to allow for some adjustments.
Any questions? Want help setting up a virtual challenge? Let us know at Support@athletereg.com.