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A hybrid event should be an advantage in your marketing, not a hindrance. Get creative!
TELL PEOPLE the benefits of your decision to go Hybrid:
Live Event Cap Example: “The city of XXX has approved our event for 2021. Yay! However, they have set the participation limit at XXX. Since we are expecting our live event to sell out due to these capacity restrictions, we will continue to offer a virtual option. This will allow us to support XXX and continue to grow and host XXX for many years to come.”
Flexible Options Example: “We understand that the future is uncertain and there are many registrants who do not yet feel comfortable attending a live event. We are grateful to our registrants for their continued support! For our 2021 event, we are offering flexible options to make sure that everyone can be included in XXX. Whether you prefer to attend a live event or run virtually, we've got you covered. We are also allowing registrants to switch their distance and/or option until XX days before the event.”
It's not easy to host a hybrid event! But (most) runners are grateful for the effort of race directors - especially while their running options are limited. It's worth taking the time to let your participants know why you're going the extra mile for them:
Help your registrants feel comfortable registering for your live event
Let them know about your flexible options and why you have them
Announce your participant management policies and create an FAQ page with tutorials for the changes
Have your social distancing/COVID safety plan in place and post it
Change the Conversation
Have you heard that everyone's sick of "virtual"? The numbers don't lie - the demand for virtual is still there - but you can change the way you talk about your event to ensure that people understand why your event is special.
2020 was the year of virtual racing - 2021 is the year of hybrid races. Hybrid may contain a virtual event, but you can separate yourself from the pack by not calling it virtual. Creative wording that focuses on the strengths of virtual include:
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