In the face of blanket cancellations of events, decimation of fundraising and increasing restrictions around mass gatherings, Alzheimer’s Society successfully delivered a COVID-safe physical fundraising event on Saturday 12th September.
Trek 26 Stonehenge saw more than 500 fundraisers sign up to take part in the specially adapted 26-mile hiking event, in what organisers hope will be the first of a series of three fundraisers this year.
As part of their international work with Formula 1 to bring fans back to Grand Prix, massive have worked with experts from across the global events industry to develop a methodology for the planning and safe delivery of events in the current climate, bringing the latest insights from International Athletics, Major Festivals and European Football Leagues to their charity clients events.
“We’ve had to examine every element of events from a new angle and deal with changes in guidance on weekly basis to demonstrate we can satisfy all the stakeholders and public health teams that we can still deliver a great experience in a way that keeps people safe.
“It’s not been easy but working with a great client and with a strong methodology based around consultation and communication with participants and delivery partners, we’ve built a team that’s been able to achieve that – and so far the feedback has been great,” said massive’s Project Director, Lea Blake.
In order to implement new COVID-19 secure measures we analysed interactions within the participant journey and redesigned touchpoints to make them contactless. Additional adjustments to arrival timings, capacities and flow prevented any gathering of participants and starts were reduced to social bubbles. Transmission risks were mitigated by restricting spectators, encouraging mask use and implementing regular hand washing and hand sanitiser stations as well as strict and regular cleanings regimes.
“We’ve seen almost every event in the country cancelled this year, so it’s been a huge challenge to deliver an event that reassures our supporters that we can keep them safe whilst allowing them to fundraise for our cause. Working with massive we knew we could deliver a safe event, and I’m proud of what we achieved,” said Kiera Ridge, Head of Events at Alzheimer’s Society
Since March this year, the impact of the cancellation of physical fundraising events such as the London Marathon, and almost all charity owned events, has meant charities have missed out on over £650M of fundraising.
massive have worked to help their charity clients pivot to virtual fundraising and digital campaigns this year, but research is showing strong evidence that the demand for physical events still exists and is growing.
Blake added “Going into 2021, not all events are going to be possible, but there is an opportunity for those who do the thinking now and have a strong plan in place, to be able to give their supporters the chance to get back to event fundraising.”