By Casey Campbell
We’re now halfway through 2017 (already, I KNOW) and our MuckFest MS series has successfully run its course in four of its twelve markets. From Charlotte to Boston, then Philadelphia to New Jersey, we’ve seen thousands of “muckers” come out and get muddy to help end MS. In the last week of June, the National MS Society announced an exhilarating accomplishment: MuckFest MS has raised more than 27 MILLION dollars for the Society, since the event’s inception! So, what does this mean for us?
Well, first off, a huge CONGRATS to everyone who works day-in and day-out on this project to make the event run smoothly and to help engage new and returning participants. Secondly, a big ole THANK YOU to participants across the country who have made MuckFest MS their event and whose strength and optimism brings a smile to all our faces. From MS conquerors to runners who are supporting their friends and loved ones (not to mention the 600+ volunteers we’ve seen show up this year already), this event thrives on your energy and passion, so thank you for all your support.
With more than half of the events left to produce, we stop and ask ourselves how we can optimize our marketing and community engagement to “spread the good news” of MuckFest MS. This ultimately becomes one of the most crucial, and often most difficult, questions to tackle as a marketer. The answer to this question and the steps determined to execute “the” plan are what results in the number of registrations for the event… which determines how much money is raised… which determines the level of care and research given to those living with MS… no pressure. Some questions our team asks daily are:
- What makes MuckFest MS different from other mud runs?
- What’s the right balance of entertainment and spreading awareness?
- How can we encourage members of the community to share their story and participate?
- How do we appeal to people who feel limited because they’re affected by MS?
There isn’t one right answer and it’s often easy to get stuck on what the wrong answers might be, but there’s one thing I know for certain: MuckFest MS is a platform for people affected by MS to express themselves and to feel important because they ARE important. We’re not just “The FUN Mud Run” and we’re more than a sassy duck on social media; we are a nationwide platform and voice for people living with MS, and that’s both an exciting and sometimes terrifying responsibility to carry.
But, as the summer kicks into high-gear, our goal is quite simple: LISTEN. We want to hear the stories, give the hugs, chat on the phone, meet up for coffee, play in the mud, and fully submerge ourselves into all things MuckFest MS. I know I’m thankful to be joining the dedicated and compassionate team at Event 360, and I can’t wait to continue mucking FULL SPEED AHEAD!
Casey S. Campbell (LinkedIn) is a Digital and Social Media Specialist at Event 360. He executes the social media and digital advertising strategy for MuckFest® MS as well as oversees their social media community management and engagement. He also works on digital advertising strategy for The Susan G. Komen 3-Day and social media and community management strategy for Event 360’s corporate social channels. Casey is an avid cat-lover and actor living in Chicago.