The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon was unlike any other race in the event’s 40-year history. When pandemic restrictions meant that only elite athletes were able to take part in the London race, tens of thousands of runners signed up for the first-ever virtual version of the marathon.
The event saw 37,966 participants run 26.2 miles at their own pace on the same day, and smashed the world record for the greatest number of participants to finish a remote marathon in 24 hours.
Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon events, said the approach also attracted new participants who might not previously have run a marathon: “It was, without doubt, the most inclusive marathon in our history.”
The 2020 London Marathon might have been one of the highest-profile events in the fundraising calendar to adopt virtual and hybrid approaches through necessity, but it was not alone.
Event planners across every sector had to rethink, innovate and migrate their events online over the past 18 months. As face-to-face gatherings resume, many organisations are weighing up the right mix of digital, live and hybrid in their future events strategy.
Hugh Brasher will share his expertise as a keynote speaker at Third Sector’s forthcoming Big Questions Live: What’s next for the events industry? forum.
The event will take place from 3pm-5pm at London’s Regent Street Cinema on 9 September.
Held in partnership with Third Sector’s sister events brand, C&IT, and industry specialist Cvent, the forum will bring together experts from the corporate and not-for-profit events world to share insights and answer the biggest questions facing event organisers.
Speakers include Daniel Larcey, head of mass participation and public fundraising at NHS Charities Together; Sarah Marshall, global head of content at education specialist Bett; and Claudia Stephenson, managing director of ‘live storytelling’ agency INVNT.
Experts will discuss how to build excitement around digital and hybrid events, and whether these formats could help to build larger audiences.
An expert panel will discuss how technology and data will help shape the future of the events world, with speakers including Felicia Asiedu, European marketing manager at Cvent; Dax Callner, strategy director at Smyle; and Hina Mistry, project director at Imagination.
Delegates can register their interest by visiting the Big Questions Live sign-up page.