A Message from the CEO: Strategies for success in COVID times

This is the first in a multi-part series exploring how events are adapting in light of COVID-19

We are now six months into what has been an extraordinarily tough season. However, with these new and unpredictable hurdles, we have seen many event directors take control of what they can and use ingenuity and passion backed by our technology to make it work.

Producing events. Building community. Raising funds. Providing an experience. These are all things we value and there are now more obstacles than we’ve ever faced to do these things, do them safely, and do them well. I’d like to show you all the ways things can go well. Now, and in the coming weeks we’ll be sharing stories of event directors making it work in 2020.

Virtual is still growing and it’s only getting better

More and more directors are getting on board with our virtual challenge tools to accommodate anything from a multi-month challenge to a single verified activity. Virtual events with a cause, whether they be tackling the mileage and vertical of Vermont’s Long Trail or setting your own cycling goal are helping raise much-needed funds for nonprofits. Events like these are also engaging with folks that might be outside of the usual geographic target, or encouraging some friendly team competition across the country. Do you have an event that’s cause-based? Strictly competitive? More of an experience? We have the tools in place to help you communicate your message while creating an engaging environment for participants and fundraisers, alike. Our team has been working on these tools since March and we are elated to see the engagement and progress events are making with them.

In-person is happening

We’re seeing a growing calendar of in-person events to round out 2020. Every week we see a greater diversity of types and locations of events. On BikeReg we’re seeing a rapidly growing list of cyclocross and off road events for the fall. Many are modifying with smaller field sizes and the type of restrictions many of us have grown accustomed to –  masks and distancing pre- and post-event, or when interfacing with others. We’ve seen really creative ideas on RunReg with time trial format starts and virtual options allowing larger fields; we plan to highlight some of these strategies in the coming weeks. 

Will your event look different than it did in 2019? Sure. Is your community ready to get out there and getting used to the type of changes and restrictions they will encounter? Absolutely.

Your mission is important and you can still raise funds

We’ve broken records two months in a row on PledgeReg and are on pace to keep doing so. We’re not bragging, we’re pointing out an opportunity. Despite events looking different this year, people are ready to ask and ready to give. Many nonprofits are in need right now as their usual fundraising efforts involving in-person events and communication are scaled back or canceled altogether. But it’s not all bad news – if you’re able to get creative, there’s a tremendous opportunity to reach out to your community with a virtual event and peer to peer fundraising

Be willing to think differently and try something new

Don’t miss an opportunity to engage with your community. People are eager to get out and find a safe way to pursue their athletic passions and are hungry to be part of something. You may not be able to put on YOUR event the way it’s always been, but there may be a way for you to put on AN event. You just might be surprised at the result!

Here at athleteReg we are lucky to have a lot of perspective thanks to our amazing partners who are working extra hard to engage their athletes and keep building community. We would like to thank them for their work; not only is it inspiring, it also informs how we approach our features and business model allowing us to offer a better service and build a stronger community.

Over the coming weeks, we will share what we have seen work over a wide genre of events including those with a fundraising component. I know there are many more success stories, and more than likely, useful stories of ideas that did not work. Have one to share? Email us at support@athleteReg.com

Keep following our blog and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter as we continue the series with some event case studies.