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Event Planning During COVID-19

While races are cancelling en masse for public safety, many race directors have suspended their planning of future events. While an abundance of caution during this pandemic is healthy, race directors should remember that races and gatherings will be permitted again eventually—and once they are, be assured that runners will sign up in droves. As a race director, you’ll want to be prepared when that day comes. Nobody wants to retroactively discover that they could have hosted their event after all.

Right now is a great time to start laying out your plans for events later in the year. Take advantage of time stuck indoors—most event hosting agencies are able to work remotely and will be responsive to prospective clients, so it doesn’t hurt to reach out while you’re staying put. Get everything together for your event—have all of your logistics organized and prepared so when the time comes, you’re ready to pull the trigger.

Remember that once conditions return to relative normalcy, event planning services will see a glut of orders. Apparel production, medal production, and the like can only occur so fast—and so, as a race director, you want to be first in line when production resumes.

Operating under the assumption that your event six, seven, eight months from now will still happen is a wise choice. Planning your event out does not mean you need to make everything official immediately. Rather, you should work on the technical components of the event—make sure your shirts are designed, your permits are secured, and other similar tasks. By doing this, you’ll be all ready to go once circumstances return to normal—for example, having the shirts already designed means you can get production started as soon as you’re sure your event is proceeding as planned.

This is a stressful and tumultuous time. While caution is both necessary and appropriate, plan for your events as if they will happen—to avoid getting caught off guard when society reopens.

Stay safe and healthy!