2020 Virtual Symposium Recap

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We held our first Virtual Symposium last week! Over 4 days, 500 race directors, timers, and nonprofit leaders attended 23 educational sessions, 2 sets of round-table discussions, Certifications in RaceDay Scoring and RaceJoy, and a Happy Hour. Collectively, the group attended 3,940 hours of education. While our “normal” Symposiums focus on a broad range of technology and best practices, this summer’s virtual event was focused on helping the industry meet the current moment, with an emphasis on virtual events and challenges and modifications to in-person events.

While the round-table discussions and Certifications were not recorded and there is no interactive chat with the videos, you can still catch up on the majority of the content shared.


So How Did it Go?

Like so many of our customers who have taken events virtual, the experience was completely new, with it’s own positives and negatives.

Positives

  • Larger capacity
  • Lack of travel and much lower cost increases accessibility
  • Online chat functions encourage engagement in real-time without interrupting presenter
  • Ability to share most recent information, immediately

Negatives

  • Networking is limited without in-person social and educational events
  • Harder to focus on a computer for several hours a day
  • Real life (and work) distractions throughout the sessions

All-told, I think we view it the same way that many of you view your virtual events: we hope to return to “normal”, but in the meantime, this was a reasonable bridge to ensure we can continue offering education – and it’s an element that we will incorporate in the future, even when “normal” returns.

92% of attendees had never attended a RunSignup Symposium. This tells us that, like many virtual events, we aren’t necessarily appealing to the same audience – but there is a different, untapped audience that is interested in a virtual opportunity. Attendees came from 46 states (and 5 countries).

Looking Forward

While nearly half the attendees had not put on an event, virtual or in-person, since COVID-19 restrictions started taking place in April 2020, it’s clear that the group is looking for ways to re-engage participants actively through the remainder of 2020. 66% expect to produce a virtual race, 46% are planning on a virtual challenge, and 60% intend to produce an in-person event with modifications for safety and local restrictions.

Highlights:

Trying to catch up on some of the content? You can find all the available videos and related presentation slides here, but we have a few recommendations of where to start if you have limited time:

General Knowledge

Virtual Events and Challenges

For Nonprofits

  • GiveSignup Overview (recording and slides)
  • Elevate Donations and Raise More with Campaigns and the Facebook Fundraiser Integration (recording)

For Timers

Stay tuned for more virtual learning opportunities!

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