By: Jake Geiger

For the past year, our team has been preparing to produce an unprecedented peer-to-peer event series with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) called PanCAN PurpleStride.  

The goal:  

  • Plan 59 events 
  • Support execution for 30 of those  
  • 98 staff members out on event
  • 4 in a national command
  • 2 on call for purchasing
  • All on the same day!  

The numbers seem staggering, and no event was flawless, but it was pretty incredible. This was a monumental task and a first for the industry…that we know of 😊. We eagerly accepted the challenge and most importantly, we were proud to support this great organization create a world in which all patients with pancreatic cancer will thrive.  

To pull off such a feat, we brought together an all-star team of seasoned event professionals to work with the PanCAN team, from project initiation to execution (and all the change management in-between). The group spent months developing new relationships, finding new sites, pulling together permits, planning routes, maneuvering jurisdictional mazes and navigating a vendor world “post” COVID in order to book all infrastructure needs. Throughout the planning period we worked with PanCAN to develop the new operational processes needed to simultaneously execute all 59 events on one single day. It was critical that certain event elements were contactless and more efficient, which led to a QR code-driven, registration and check-in process. Participants were able to check-in from the comfort of their own home, or on the way to the event, starting 48 hours out.  

Executing so many events at one time was a definite challenge, but it also was a unique chance to innovate and push boundaries, which is at the core of what we do best. Our efforts, combined with the PanCAN team, allowed the PurpleStride series to successfully consolidate what was previously a year-long season of events into one day, making their planning and marketing efforts all that more focused and efficient.   

So 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. As event weekend approached, the team prepared through a series of online trainings and planning calls. Disseminating information on such a scale is always a challenge. So we compiled a detailed event book for every market that was packed full of maps, timelines, special circumstances and all the fun details the team would need. About 150 people in total including, Event 360 teammates, PanCAN staff and volunteers were fully trained and prepared to execute a flawless event.   

At last, after so many months of planning, hundreds of hours of phone calls and thousands of emails, the time finally came. Beginning on April 28th, in cities all over the country, the team set out to help execute something truly unique. Throughout the weekend and especially on event day, April 30th, our team worked with key PanCAN staff and volunteer leadership to welcome thousands of participants to PanCAN PurpleStride. As a collective effort, the team: 

  • Shepherded hundreds of vendors 
  • Snipped countless zip ties  
  • Hung hundreds of banners  
  • Marked miles of course 
  • Navigated weather delays and last-minute route construction  

The culmination of all our efforts led to over $15 million dollars raised by over 55,000 participants. This was one for the books and an event we’ll never forget! 

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