By Jillian Schranz and Jake Geiger
Last fall in Denver, we piloted a new event concept, the 5x5K FOR GOOD, and 50 participants joined on behalf of four non-profits to DO MORE GOOD. We felt confident enough to take this concept to the next level and earlier this month, our team produced the 5x5K FOR GOOD in Dallas, Texas.
With more time and proof of concept under our belt, we were able to build upon our initial model and grow the number of charity partners involved in the event from 4 to 12, a 300% increase. We also saw three times the number of participants and over three times the dollars raised by our DO GOODers.
In addition to the incredible growth and impact of the event, we came away with some key learnings that will help us continue to evolve the concept as we move into our second year in Denver this August. We love to take our own advice and continually improve the experience of our events for our participants. Here’s what we learned:
- Go where the people are! (Who knew we’d be saying that this early in 2021?) In Denver last fall, our sites were strategically located in less populated areas. For Dallas, we leveraged the popularity of two local breweries that were adjacent to running trails, which added a fun element for our runners and helped generate interest from the community.
- The QR code is king! Long live contactless check-in. Our participants were seamlessly checked in to each site, and the speed of check-in means we can accommodate more people much more quickly and easily.
- Hybrid is so 2021! But…not all hybrid experiences are created equal. In Dallas, 40% of our participants joined us virtually, and as one runner said, it was the “best virtual run he’s ever done!” The difference was an interactive experience powered by Charge Running that allowed for five live broadcasts with music, live coaching, and an interactive chat. The community created in the virtual experience was unmatched and every event in 2021 needs to be looking for the best fully immersive tech available when going hybrid.
So, if the event was so great, what would we change? For Denver, we want to add a few things that will help us grow and bring the amazing vibe of the virtual experience to the live event as well. First, we’re adding a teams program into the mix as cities begin to open up more and more people feel safe returning to live events in groups. We know teams are the secret to success for us and our charity partners. We’re also going to try to bring the live Charge Running broadcast to a portion of the in-person 5K’s as well as test out providing one scheduled run that our participants can all do together if they want.
We continue to be excited about the return to live events and our collaborative 5x5K FOR GOOD series. We hear the same excitement echoed in the words of our charity partners and participants.
‟This was a great twist on 5Ks and a great way to test our endurance and mental strength! We had a lot of fun and the hosts at each location were so energetic and excited that it helped us push through each 5K! I’ll def be doing this event again next year! I hope you join me next time!!”
—Kelli, 5x5K FOR GOOD Dallas Participant
“I’m so happy and simply overwhelmed to have completed this challenge…. Five 5K’s in less than 24 hours? It was challenging but one of the best experiences ever.”
—Todd, 5x5K FOR GOOD Dallas Participant
“We all win! No one else has to lose for us all to win!”
—Karen, 5x5K FOR GOOD Dallas Charity Partner, American Lung Association
“Love the program, believe in it!
—Colleen, 5x5K FOR GOOD Dallas Charity Partner, Kidsave
Jillian has worn many hats at Event 360 in the past 15 years – from fundraising coach to project manager, to event IT support. She knows our work and our team inside and out. In her current role as Director of Business Development, she can perfectly partner our clients with the services they need and ensure our team delivers flawless event experiences that yield happy participants and stellar results.
In his 17 years with Event 360, Jake Geiger has delivered exceptional event experiences from the planning phase all the way through to implementation. Specializing in complex event operations, Jake also works with local sites, jurisdictions, EMS, police and fire to ensure our sites and safety planning are top notch.