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A Successful Event in the Era of Virtual Runs

Nowadays, race registrants have hundreds upon hundreds of virtual race options to choose from—physical races being out of the question in many parts of the country means event directors have little recourse but to move to the digital front. As an event director, though, virtual races pose their own set of challenges. A firm understanding of the circumstances of the industry is the best way to ensure your newly-virtual race ends up successful.

The largest challenge a race director is going to run into is the sheer number of other virtual events they will be competing with. Naturally, a virtual run doesn’t have the same draw as a physical race—there’s no set venue that distinguishes it from other events. This leads to there being little variation between different virtual runs—and this is the biggest threat to newly-virtual events. What can you do in order to have a distinct event when they’ve all become remote?

The answer lies in how you present the race to potential registrants. What sets you apart? Does your event benefit a charity? Are you giving away event swag unlike what other events hand out? Are there unique prize categories or incentives to register? If so—make sure people know! Any characteristics that break from the norm are your biggest asset when it comes to advertising your virtual event. You want potential registrants to recognize you in a sea of similar events—and to sign up for your race rather than another because you stick out in a positive way.

Virtual races are here for the foreseeable future, and race directors must adapt in order to keep their events relevant. When designing a virtual race—or sending what was intended to be a physical race online—it is crucial that you find something to set yourself apart from the rest. Once you’ve found that spark, make it the focal point of your marketing—carve an identity that tells runners that your virtual race is the one they should care about!