Hybrid Events

Expand your fundraising reach with hybrid events

Surender Jindal Surender Jindal
Jan 2022

Hybrid Events

What is a hybrid event?

Hybrid Run-Walk-Ride events, commonly known as hybrid races combine in-person and virtual races. Hybrid events empower participants to be part of the race in whatever capacity they’re most comfortable with. The inclusion of virtual components to the race increases the reach of the event, and ensures that virtual participants are able to accomplish their fitness goals as well as raise funds through their peer-to-peer network.
85%+
Did you know that virtual races cost 80-85% less than a physical race?

Interested in starting a virtual race?

What are the benefits of hybrid races?

In these pandemic times, it is paramount to think about virtual races to go alongside your in-person races. Look around, and we see that most popular races like the New York City Marathon, Relay For Life etc. have gone hybrid. There are many advantages of extending your physical events virtually, or rather, there are many hybrid events benefits, a few worth mentioning are as follows:
  1. Increased reach
  2. Better volunteer engagement
  3. Affordable event costs
  4. Greater fundraising opportunities
  5. Added contingency during these uncertain times

How should you prepare for hybrid races?

The key to running a successful hybrid event is clear communication. Prepare a communication plan to call out the following:
  1. Relevant event details - Nature of event and registration instructions for online, virtual, or hybrid participation. Dates and duration of participation, including participation in pre or post-event activities.
  2. Instructions for successful participation - These include venue and registration kits for in-person participation as well as information about receiving participation swags, medals, or certificates and leaderboards for virtual participants.
  3. FAQs and other ways to address participant queries - Identifying how participant queries will be addressed. You may want to tackle in-person registrations yourself while leaving questions regarding virtual participation on a digital hosting platform. It is always better to tell your participants where to reach for help and define a clear escalation chain if their queries are not resolved.
  4. Send periodic campaign emails - Sending emails to participants to notify them about the campaign and its progress. Plan in advance to identify dates for sending out important emails. It’s good to keep in touch with your volunteers to understand how the campaign is performing and how communication can be improved further.
  5. Gamifying virtual participation - Identifying the right tools and features to create an engaging experience for your volunteers so they stay connected with the event at all times and encourage healthy competition between peers.
  6. Identifying scale of hybrid campaign - Although it is a challenge to estimate the number of virtual participants, identifying the different demographics (or geographies) that are likely to participate in the campaign can significantly help you chalk the scope of your hybrid campaign and plan for it. Seeing how your existing digital campaigns or newsletters work with your global audience may help you estimate these numbers.

How to convert your next in-person race into a hybrid event?

Adding virtual races to your physical event can be done quickly within a few days. However, preparing impactful digital marketing content might take longer. Here is the list of steps that you can take to easily convert your in-person race into a hybrid event:
  1. Pick the right platform: Best hybrid event platforms can help you create and manage both in-person and virtual races in a seamless manner. Here is a checklist that’ll help you with selecting the right platform:
    1. Does the platform support multiple registration types like in-person, virtual, both in-person and virtual?
    2. Does the platform allow group/team registrations?
    3. Can participants create their team or join a team?
    4. Does the platform support peer-to-peer fundraising for all registration types?
    5. Does the platform support discounts/promo codes for special participant segments like corporate partners and key community leaders?
    6. Does the platform support platform customizations?
    7. Does the platform support gamification for all participants?
    8. Do you want to allow users to add mental health-related activities? Make sure the platform you choose supports that.

    9. Tip: Do not try to add too many complexities into your first hybrid race and try to go for a simpler registration model that can communicate effectively for your participants.
  2. Once you have identified a reliable hybrid event platform, you should create an additional marketing plan to target your remote online participants and create 3-4 emails to specifically target these users.
  3. Create your hybrid event and test it thoroughly before launching to identify any missing pieces of information.

TAKEAWAY

With the right technology partners, you can start exploring hybrid races for all its benefits in no time. During these uncertain times, hybrid races offer a much balanced and wider target to reach out to, and help organizations execute on an engaging, fun, and an effective fundraising event.
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