All in for Autism Run: Update Note – 16th February, 2017

Posted By Kaj Pedersen


Weekly Key Metrics:

  • Registrations (Goal: 3000): 373 – up 16.2%
  • Sponsorship Totals (Goal: $70,000): $71,000 – up 9.2%
  • Volunteers (Goal: 243): 59 – up 28.3%
  • New Members: 0

Summary

We have achieved our first objective and hit our sponsorship target for the event – we now have $71,000 committed from external businesses.  This achievement allows us to now focus on driving up registrations for the race and we are embarking on a number of promotional efforts to make this happen.  We are making good progress on our volunteer goals and this is the most Rotarians we have seen sign up this early, which is marvelous.

City of Bellevue

Our banners for the race have been prepared and we will be working on handing them off in advance of the event.  We continue to work on securing the proclamation from the Mayor in preparation for the promotional activity we have planned for this event.  The next step will be to have our collaterals published so we can get the materials distributed throughout the Parks and Recreation’s facilities.

It is good to have most of this side of the race organization taken care of since it represented the biggest risk for us at the start of our project last year with the course challenges.

Sponsorship

It is great that we were able to get this goal accomplished this early into the process.  We were able to get closure from Symetra, Nintendo, Microsoft and Parallels, which carried us over the $70,000.  We have some outstanding requests and it is my hope that we will get closer to $75,000 when the dust settles.

My thanks to the sponsorship team for their help and for driving the sense of urgency around this aspect of the race.   We had some challenges with prior sponsors dropping out, so we did start behind from last year’s impressive sponsor commitment.  However, we were hustled and remained open to looking for new partners with a good result for the race overall and with new partners joining us.

George Searing from Orswell Events has pulled together the Sponsorship Agreements for our major sponsors who have made contributions that are $2,500 and above.  John will be working with us to coordinate the distribution of these agreements, so we can lock in the value they represent to us and our partners.  We will be able to have Howard and Jason send invoices to our sponsors for the start of the collection process.

We will need to make sure we do a good job of recognizing our sponsors after the event as this will be key to keeping them engaged with the event for the future.  Chris Boland has the suggested the idea that we have a club program to celebrate the sponsors and allow them to present to our membership as well.  I think this is a great way for us to build a relationship with our partners, raise the visibility of club within their businesses and, I hope, establish new channels for securing members.  We will need to make sure we do not lose sight of this opportunity once the race is over.

Marketing

We launched our past participants promotion this past week.  We were able to work with Orswell Events to incorporate a past list of runners with their current list of past participants with the result that we were able to send our $5 discount to 2,800 potential registrants.  This is the start of the renewed focus on driving up registrations over the next 9 weeks.  We have to pull in over 250 registrants per week, so we can meet our goal of 3000 participants and 219 volunteers.

We will kick start next week off with another press release that is planned to go out on Tuesday to our media channels.  We will then use this as an opportunity to promote our event through our various partners, social media channels and other outlets available to us.  To this end, here is what we have ahead of us:

  • We will need to work with our sponsorship partners to have them promote the race to their employees through their wellness programs and their community support groups. The media committee will work on making sure this outreach happens on the back of the sponsorship agreements being sent out.
  • We will be planning another 2-3 press releases before the event and these will tie into the following:
    • Release to go 2/25 that will announce our event celebrities (Zach Scott/Dennis Bounds), our major sponsors and quoting Kindering as our beneficiary
    • Release to go in March around the progress to date and other promotions that will focus on the goal of driving up registration
    • Release to go in April, when we have secured the Mayoral proclamation that will highlight Autism month, our event and family stories that will make this event real in the mind of registrants
  • We have now posted our event to the following community calendars:
    • Geekwire
    • Washington Technology Industry Association
    • Northwest New Tech Meetup
    • Bellevue Reporter
    • We will keep hunting these calendars down to make sure they are relevant to our demographic and locality
  • We continue to work with the ABA and other autism groups to get support from them in terms of participants and visibility for the event.
  • We will be sending an update out into the Rotarian District newsletter. I will also work on sending a note out to all members in the district to see if this will generate support for our event as well.
  • We continue to push stories out via our web outlets: Facebook, Website, Twitter and Linkedin. Please make sure you encourage members to like the updates.
  • I will be planning to promote the race during the distinguished speaker series hosted by Atlas Informatics to get more registrants – we will leverage our company’s social media and other contacts to make this happen. I am also planning on attending a number of Eastside technology meetups to promote the event.
  • We will be publishing our collaterals for the event, so we can hand out posters, cards and other materials to our contacts. This will include the Parks & Recreation’s support through their website and facilities.

We have a lot of work to accomplish over the next few weeks, so please help where you can to promote amongst the club membership, your contacts and our business community.  It does not take much to bring this to the attention of people in your network and it will add so much to the overall success of the event.

Internal Promotions

I have asked Carmela to kick start a competition within the club, so we can get our members involved in a fun way to go after participants.  By keeping it simple in terms of the goal, it is my hope that people will engage more readily since we are not asking for the members to raise dollars.  We just want our club to generate interest, teams and runners for the event.  It would be great if we can add things like reaching out to their company wellness programs or community sites and be able to get credit for making it happen.

I will let Carmela and Wendi come up with the ideas for us to get behind.

Booths

We have Easter Seals committed to a booth – yay!  I know that we have a couple of other Autism related groups locked in.  I am still working with Pinkabella on a promotional idea and I suspect it will be launched from our Rotary Booth, so we can get some traffic there for membership recruitment.  We need more and now we have an opportunity to focus on reaching out to our networks for business support – let’s lean in and help Colleen with this effort.  I will commit to securing another two booths personally and I hope that others will join me in the personal challenge.

Volunteers

We have seen a healthy jump in volunteers – over 28%.  This is great momentum and we need to keep it going.

Dustin is also going to learn from Steve Luplow and course officials to provide the official count of course Volunteers needed.  ***Don’t be shocked when Dustin jack’s the “Total Target” number from 243 to 293 to account for the 20%+ no shows we typically see.

Dustin has contacted all BSD high schools. Actually got three to put the word out for us.  Next week, Dustin is going to reach out to the remaining BSD High schools to participate and he will also contact all LWSD high schools.

The high school kids are just beginning to show up.  It’s traditionally super slow until April.  Basically Dustin will advertise now, absolutely nothing happens, he will fret a lot, and then everything happens at the end.  Let’s do our bit to make sure Dustin does not fret…or wear his gym shorts!

Finally

Now that we have the course details locked in, the sponsors secured and our promotional activities being lined up it is time for us to think about the other tasks.  Kids Dash, booths, course logistics and other key activities are also necessary for us to get behind, so please find ways to cajole, engage and push our members into making this happen.

We have 9 weeks of the journey left and an ambitious goal in terms of getting 3000 runners.  Let’s make it happen as the more money we raise the more good we can do for the community.  In the end, this is what will make us important partners in the community and will lead to getting more members as they see the value of Rotary in making a difference.

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