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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Planning a successful nationwide day of action.

In 2021, Event 360 was selected as the event management partner for the PurpleStride series — one of the top 30 peer-to-peer event programs in the nation — and tasked with producing 59 events all taking place on the same day.

The Mission

PanCAN (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network) wanted to focus their energies on boosting participation numbers, building teams, and motivating their constituents to raise money. To free up their resources to focus on these essential targets, they needed to take the business of event planning and production off their plate.   

To concentrate recruitment efforts on a nationwide campaign and find efficiencies in marketing and promotion, PanCAN turned their year-long PurpleStride event series into a single day: April 29.

This allowed them to focus their internal resources so they weren’t working on planning walks throughout the entire year. It also enabled them to run a national ad campaign all at once instead of individual campaigns staggered by market. But this also meant that one event production team had to plan and execute all events at once!

“Event 360 is not only an incredible logistics partner, but a valuable thought partner as well. Their expertise and knowledge go above and beyond anything we could ask for in a partnership. We truly could not do what we do (execute nearly 60 events in one day) without them!”

Renee Willemse, Director PurpleStride Fundraising & Operations

The Challenge

In 2021, Event 360 was chosen as the event management partner for the PanCAN PurpleStride series — recognized as one of the top 30 peer-to-peer fundraising programs in the nation. 

The logistics of executing 59 events at the same time presented a massive challenge, but it also was a unique chance to innovate and push boundaries, which is at the core of what we do best.

To pull this off, we brought together an all-star team of seasoned event professionals to work with the PanCAN team from project planning to execution (and all the change management in-between). The group spent months developing new relationships, finding new sites, pulling permits, planning routes, and maneuvering jurisdictional mazes and vendors in order to book all infrastructure needs.

We pulled out our rolodex (20 years in the making) of old co-workers, Event 360 friends and new talent, and complemented our current staff roster with additional strong industry professionals. Given the number of moving pieces and the parties involved, we knew that we’d have to get our operations running like a well-oiled machine. That started with giving people the right tools from the very beginning.  

We prepared both our team and PanCAN’s through a series of online training and planning calls. We compiled a detailed event book for each market that was packed full of maps, timelines, special circumstances, and all the details the team would need. About 150 people in total, including Event 360 teammates, PanCAN staff and volunteers are fully trained and prepared each year to execute a flawless event.   

Our centralized command in Los Angeles acted as our national eyes and ears on event weekend, monitoring weather, tracking event progress, and taking calls to help troubleshoot issues. Additionally, we used a centralized texting platform for tracking key event milestones and sharing photos. We provided virtual support including accounting, purchasing, travel and HR, with team members on standby to resolve vendor issues, travel delays, jurisdiction site payment needs and more.

The Results

The sheer scale of this event meant all hands were on deck. The massive effort from the staff and volunteers at PanCAN resulted in huge success! This was a monumental task and a first for the industry. We eagerly accepted the challenge and most importantly, we were proud to support this great organization in creating a world where all patients with pancreatic cancer can thrive.  

Coast-to-coast, from California to Delaware and everywhere in between, the 2022-2024 PurpleStride events brought in more than 177,000 participants and raised more than $48.5 million, and we’re looking forward to getting back at it in the years to come! From supporting research to vital, free support and resources, every dollar raised helps PanCAN’s mission: to take bold action to improve the lives of everyone impacted by pancreatic cancer.


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