Hint: Don’t write off virtual just yet! Make more money now, raise funds for charity, stay connected with your participants, all while learning what people want next.
COVID-19 has changed the face of the event industry. Not only are virtual events the new norm, but they are likely to remain popular for the foreseeable future.
With this reality in mind, event makers have needed to reimagine their tried-and-true strategies. It can be challenging to combat lost revenue from canceled live events while losing visibility among target audiences. Fortunately, Events.com can help event makers gain a fresh, new edge in the event planning industry.
Event makers can use Events.com’s innovative solutions to not only take advantage of a virtually-centered world but to position themselves to return to live event planning even stronger—when the time comes.
With restrictions still in place in many parts of the country, now is the time to host a virtual or hybrid event. Offering a virtual fitness challenge provides a multitude of benefits to both organizers and event attendees.
What Is a Virtual Challenge?
A challenge like this is a virtually hosted event. Participants take part in a specific fitness challenge or competition. They can join individually or as a team to complete a set objective within a scheduled timeline. Many virtual fitness challenges feature a goal based on activities like running, walking, hiking, or cycling.
Common measurements for fitness challenges include speed, elevation, distance, or time. These light-hearted competitions are meant to gamify fitness and provide a much-needed sense of community among users and brands. The intent behind virtual run events is to not only build relationships but to foster healthy competition and motivate participants to stay active.
Virtual events are open to participants from around the world—making it an impactful way to connect with a wide range of users.
5 Reasons Why You Should Host a Virtual Challenge
A virtual fitness challenge is a great way to create a unique buzz around a brand or business. For brands looking to elevate their visibility a new way, here are five reasons to host a virtual challenge.
1. Create a New, Sustainable Revenue Stream
While many brands have lost immense amounts of revenue to the cancellation of live events, virtual events provide a flexible way to host without the risk of getting canceled. This provides a reliable source of revenue that rolls in as participants sign up.
Online events can save brands thousands of dollars on venues, food, insurance, and various other in-person costs. In addition to saving a significant amount of money, virtual challenges give brands an opportunity to connect with more prospective customers. Not only does the event generate ticket and merchandise revenue, but it can also drive future sales by establishing brand loyalty. Virtual race running events and fitness events increase revenue by:
- Creating a broader community. Brands can expand their usual audience to include non-local participants or non-runners who might typically avoid race events. On the other hand, a virtual fitness event might also attract athletes that might not have otherwise discovered the brand.
- Encouraging long-term engagement. Fitness challenges inspire participants to engage with the brand over longer periods of time. Rather than just earning one sale, brands have an opportunity to build an unbeatable connection through shared goals and accomplishments that take place over weeks or months.
- Establishing lasting connections. Virtual events give brands an opportunity to gain new audience members who interact with the business long after the virtual race is over.
2. Continue to Connect With Sponsors
It can be easy to view the cancellation of live events as a loss in networking opportunities. However, virtual events give organizers and participants a chance to network on a much larger scale.
Because virtual events remove many of the barriers to entry, 63% of people are more likely to attend virtual events than in-person. Beyond this, 72% of people surveyed feel confident about communicating virtually — opening brands up to major networking opportunities.
Virtual fitness events provide an excellent chance to connect with sponsors in meaningful ways. Fitness challenges are a great occasion for local and global sponsors alike to support the health and wellness of the community, gain brand awareness, and demonstrate partnership. Brands can connect with sponsors directly through Events.com EveryChallenge®.
3. Engage Your Audience
No matter what type of event they are dreaming up, event makers strive to boost the visibility of their events to engage with more people. Virtual events offer a solution that helps planners maximize brand awareness and participation. Fitness challenges can be easily promoted via:
- Brand websites
- Email marketing
- Social media channels
- Paid ads
With the right tools, planners have the opportunity to connect with participants on a global scale, grow their audience, and build lasting connections. In a virtual setting, people are actually more likely to participate. Surveys show that 30% of people are more likely to engage with someone at a virtual event than a live one.
Virtual events often break down barriers of social stress and encourage participants to engage more fully with the event. To keep attendees engaged and excited, Events.com EveryChallenge® hosts a diverse range of challenges to offer participants, including:
- Badge Challenge: Allow participants to earn badges for their unique accomplishments within your event. For example, reaching a key mileage milestone, participating in a consecutive day streak, doing multiple activities, reaching a landmark and more.
- Best Result: The faster you go, the higher your ranking. Participants can compete for the fastest time and/or a specific distance.
- Total Calories: Participants can challenge themselves to stay in shape by adding up the amount of calories burned across one or multiple activities.
- Total Distance: Encourage engagement and physical activity by challenging participants to go for the most mileage. Each activity they complete gets added to their total distance.
- Total Elevation: Tracks vertical elevation gained on your walk, run, or ride.
- Total Time: Let participants choose their favorite activity and challenge them to a total time goal. This allows for an even playing field for all sports – Yoga, pilates, cycling, or walking the dog etc. – each active minute counts towards the goal.
- Total Stairs: Motivate participants to take the stairs and track the amount of total stairs they climb.
- Track Challenge: Set the exact course each participant has to follow during their activity using a gps file of the course.
No matter which challenge a brand chooses, real-time results help boost engagement and keep participants motivated to interact. Event makers can pick the challenge that fits best with their brand, audience members, and sponsors.
4. Collect Valuable Data
Collecting feedback and data is an essential part of any event — virtual or in-person. However, virtual events present a unique opportunity to connect with participants online. Because attendees are often online for the entirety of the event, coordinators can easily pose questions or use polls to collect valuable feedback.
These real-time interactions can help event makers gauge excitement surrounding their fitness challenges. Tracking participation can help planners make informed decisions about their next virtual fitness challenge. Beyond this, tracking or surveying where and how participants learned about events can help strengthen future marketing campaigns.
5. Keep Your Brand Relevant
There has been an immense societal shift towards a stay-at-home economy. For many brands, this has posed the challenge of remaining relevant from a distance. Brands that used to rely on events to attract customers and build relationships have needed to find other ways to stay at the forefront of people’s minds.
Virtual fitness events are a fun way to stand out among the white noise of online content. Fitness challenges are particularly impactful because they provide a healthy outlet for participants. They also provide brands a unique way to build meaningful relationships with their customers.
Now more than ever, consumers place value on sustainability and inclusivity. Another way that virtual events can help boost brand relevance is by virtue of their sustainable and accessible qualities.
Furthermore, the virtual format provides access to participants of all ages, locations, and abilities. Marketing a virtual event to highlight these qualities can help position a brand as one that is eco-conscious, cost-conscious, and committed to inclusivity and equity.
Events.com EveryChallenge®: An Easy Way to Host a Virtual Challenge Event
With virtual events on the cutting edge of the event industry, there’s truly never been a better time to launch virtual fitness events. Even as COVID-19 eases, many people are reluctant or worried about making travel plans or committing to in-person events. Take the stress out of fitness challenge planning by hosting a fun and rewarding virtual experience.
Events.com EveryChallenge® is a fresh virtual challenge platform designed to offer engaging endurance sports experiences. The platform was created to offer a safe space for participants to connect, enjoy being outdoors, and stay healthy and active.
While there are many virtual challenge platforms, Events.com EveryChallenge® is unique. It provides innovative solutions to accommodate a wide range of virtual and hybrid events around the world. The powerful features of Events.com EveryChallenge® include:
- Customizable badges
- Easy integration with major fitness trackers
- Individual and team-based options
- Over eight types of fitness challenges
- The ability to auto-sync activities
Events.com EveryChallenge® provides event makers with the tools needed to host an unforgettable event that is stress-free, fun, and gamified. Beyond the quality of the event itself, Events.com EveryChallenge® makes it easy to sell tickets, connect with sponsors, market the event, and update participants, all through one platform.
Events.com EveryChallenge® is the perfect way to connect people of all ages and locations through a shared fitness goal. Interested in Events.com EveryChallenge®? Get started or request a demo today.