All in for Autism Run: Update Note – 9th April, 2017

Posted By Kaj Pedersen


Weekly Key Metrics:

  • Registrations (Goal: 2,500): 968 – up 13.3%
  • Sponsorship Totals (Goal: $70,000): $71,500 – 0.7%
  • Volunteers (Goal: 299): 216 – 38.4%
  • New Members: 0
  • Total Amount Raised (Goal: $120,000): $103,642 vs. $116,411 (2016 Total)

Summary

We truly kicked off Autism Awareness Month with the Mayoral Proclamation and Mimi Siegel being awarded the All in for Autism Leadership Award on the 7th April.  We will have a story picked up by the Bellevue Reporter on Monday.  Registrations continue to show growth and revenue is still strong.  We now need to push our sponsors and other avenues to make sure we get more registrations.

Registrations (Howard’s Analysis)

We are now two weeks out from the event day and we are still behind last year (2016) in “number of registrants” but running ahead in “registration dollars”.  The attached file shows that we are at this point 531 registrants behind (1,499 in 2016 to 968 in 2017) but $2,987 ahead in registration dollars ($29,155 in 2016 but $32,142 in 2017).  This situation that finds “registration numbers” down but the “dollars raised in registrations” up is evident in the much higher average cost of registrations in the 2017 year.  Note that the average cost of all registrations (at this 2-week out point) is $33.20 in 2017 but was only $19.45 in the 2016 year.  It is interesting to observe that the average cost of the 114 registrations added during this past week was $29.51 ($3,364/114).  This is virtually the same as the average cost of $29.43 for registrations added during the same week in the 2016 year.

Projecting ahead, we should probably accept the fact that it will be extremely difficult to reach the 2,145 level of overall registrations which was reached in 2016.  We currently have 968 paid registrations which is 531 behind the pace of the 2016 year when we ended up with 2,145 total registrations.  A more reasonable goal of 2,000 registrations may still be possible if we kick it in strong in these last two weeks.  To get to the 2,000-registration mark, we must add another 1.032 registrations in these last two weeks including those occurring at the packet pickup on April 22 and the day-of registration on April 23.  Last year (in 2016) we added 646 during the 2-week period prior to the event so it will be a real challenge to pull in 1,032 registrations in the same 2-week period this year.

It is good to keep in mind that as we work to achieve this target of 2,000 registrations in the 2017 year, we should continually encourage people (including our own BBRC members) who can’t register for the event to donate to the cause.  There is some indication that our donations this year are running a bit ahead of last year and that can help make up for any possible shortfall in actual registration numbers.  The positive tone created at last Friday’s meeting along with some creative “donation solicitation” activities should help us improve the bottom line for our “All in for Autism” event.

Sponsorship

This is the time to reach out and connect with all of our sponsors and make sure that they are responding to our call to action with volunteers and participants.  To date we have seen responses from these sponsors in terms of registrants:

  • Acme                          17 runners
  • GLY                            14 runners
  • Amazon                       2 runners
  • Bellevue Collections 2 runners
  • Nintendo                   11 runners
  • OfferUp                     13 runners

Considering the number of sponsors behind our event, it is disappointing that we are not seeing more participation.  I can only comment on the ones that are signing up with the simple observation that we have Rotarians following up with them.  The call to action from Rotarians has the outcome of more sponsor registrations coming in, so we need to be engaged with this effort.

A couple of good examples are with (1) Neil Bretvick who was able to get his firm Hellam Varon to donate the funds raised from their Jeans for a Cause to our event; and (2) Girish Bhatia who has been able to take the lead at Amazon, after fruitless attempts to get them engaged, and is now driving the call to action for us across all their campuses and will also manage their booth on 23rd April.

I will be reaching out to all the people who secured us sponsors to ask them to more actively engage with the sponsors – reminding our sponsors of the discounts, and free registrations, that they are entitled to for the event.  It is also critical that we have our sponsors involved, since it is the best way for them to experience the event first hand (through their employees) and allow us to increase our chances of success for future support.

Marketing

Our 7th April meeting was a tremendous success for us last week.  We were able to bring together all the key parties from our business, non-profit and political community that are directly involved with the AI4A event.  The room was amazing with the colorful decorations, branding and layout – a huge shot out to the team for making this happen.

The energy in the room, from the greeters to the speakers was maintained throughout the course of the schedule.  We amazingly kept on schedule and in line with the agenda and our President Mike handled all the changes with impressive MC skills.  I know that many of our guests and members expressed their delight and appreciation for the program – again, my thanks to all of you who were involved in pulling together all the moving parts that happened in the short space of time we had.

Bellevue Reporter has confirmed that they will running a story on Monday around the personal stories of the two families present – Nicole Gooldy and Kirby & Katie Winfield.  This brings the human interest aspect to the narrative that will resonate with the community when it comes to supporting our event.  There was a lot of work involved in reaching out to the press (emails, press releases, video content, branding collaterals and planning) and there were a number of you who also contributed to this tremendous effort and I thank you as well.

We have the pictures from the gathering located in Dropbox at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r0669jnyfo9b8xk/AADFguZ0NceqBCnalo1O_2RGa?dl=0.  Please take advantage of the content and push it out to your social media channels (Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook).  I can assure that there is tremendous pick up, based on the posts that I have already made this past week.  I encourage you to do the same as it will generate registrations and donations.  We can use both.

This being said, we continue to promote through other activities and for the past week this has included:

  • Bellevue Reporter will be publishing their story from our AI4A event last week this coming Monday – 10th
  • Eastside Marconi Kids have approached me about writing an article for the website in support of the Calendar submission made last month. I will be following up with them directly to get the valuable promotion that comes from this site in service to Bellevue families and their kids.
  • We launched an email/social media promotions this past week: Autism Awareness Month Proclamation and AI4A Leadership Award. Based on feedback that we heard at the Seahawks 12K event this morning, it is clear that people are seeing our emails and social media pushes (especially Facebook).  We must continue to recognize the value of the social media channel going forward, especially in pre-promotional activities around the event.
  • Seahawks 12K Event – Paul Osborn (a huge thank you Paul!) and I were at the Seahawks 12K event this morning. I was able to get there at 5am to secure a position between the two watering stations, which paid huge dividends at the end of the race, when runners came streaming past our booth.  We were able to push over 400 flyers out to the runners and answer their questions as they came up to the booth – we even had Rotarians come up to complement us on the branding.  We even met a couple of ladies who had already signed up thanks to Howard Johnson’s promotions on our behalf…way to go Howard!  A good start to the morning and we expect that we will see some pick up in registrations from this guerilla marketing effort.
  • Flyers and posters continue to be distributed around the community. I will be working to get the flyers and posters distributed to the Boys & Girls Club to increase our reach through Bellevue and Kirkland.  More details of the work completed to date can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gc1rxtqg0ulbwuk/Bellevue%20Run%20Communications%20Plan%202017.xlsx?dl=0.
  • The bag stuffer flyers for Uwajimaya through Orswell Events should be ready and delivered to Jeff next week. This will help with the push from them through their customers for the next couple of weeks
  • We will also be producing some Kendra Scott leaflets for inclusion in the runner’s packets being stuffed by Rogue. These will encourage runners to visit the store and we secure 20% of anything purchased for our event.  I am also working with Kendra Scott to make sure we can get the prizes setup for Men and Women winners in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places – this will be fairer.
  • Volunteer CTA: Paul Osborn and Dustin are continuing to corral members through their promotional activities. They continue to tack ahead of next year – we do need to push our sponsors for volunteers to my point above.
  • Social media – we will continue to leverage our content from 7th April to further promote the event and engagement with the wider community.

The last couple of weeks are going to be critical for us, so let’s keep the foot on the gas to make sure we drive more registrations and meet our goal of 2,500 participants.  It is these activities that will make all the difference.

Volunteers

New goal – 299 – this went up because we have added 21 Forest Ridge Interactors for water station volunteers.  May go up again.

Current – 216 / Remaining – 83 (These are all pretty much Course Volunteers)

Believe it or not, we’re well ahead of pace from previous years.  Even though it is spring break, we’ve still got kids signing up.  Dustin expects to get a rush starting next week when kids are back.

We are still struggling to get beneficiaries (although I will be following up with Kindering and SOWA next week) and other organizations to send volunteers.  We remain over-dependent on the schools.  If the committee has contacts with the beneficiaries, sponsors, or other organizations, Dustin could really use some outreach to get some volunteer action going.

Booths

It looks like we are waiting for confirmation from Costco with respect to the water for the event, although they have confirmed the bananas and oranges for the event.  We may need to scramble for this, so please be on standby for Colleen’s call to action when it comes.

We must also reach out to our networks and see if we can secure more booths from local businesses.  We have had some success with personal outreaches already and they were easily achieved, since the local businesses were excited by the prospect of participating.  All we need to do is ask, so please reach out and see who in your network will sign up for a booth.  Also, encourage other members to do the same.

To this point, we were able to engage four business at the Seahawks 12K event this morning to upsell them to be at our event on the 23rd April.  They will be following up with me next week to confirm their interest, once they have spoken to their decision makers.  We met with a Dental, User Research, Coconut Water and banking group.  I will keep Colleen in the loop as we work through the process.

We want the Race Village to be lively and exciting on the 23rd April.  It helps to generate the energy around the event.

Logistics

No updates at this time.  Steve Roberts, Steve Luplow and Orswell events are working through the details for the course and will work out any issues that might come up.

We do need to think about the early registration in the next week, so we can prepare for the hand out.  Katherine DeStephano has committed to supporting us again and Francine is on point with making this happen.  Francine will also be working on securing the registration support for the day – which I think is going to be busy as I suspect Dick Brown has called out for good weather to support us on the 23rd April!

Tim Leahy and I will need to work out the details for the announcements and officiating in terms of the activities on the day.  My goal is to meet with Tim this coming week so we can get the ball rolling in terms of the planning.

Finally

We have momentum and two weeks in which to use this to our benefit with respect to race participation and revenue.  It will be a busy couple of weeks as we drive to the day of the event and ensure that we can secure the goal of 2,500!  Please let me know where you can help with making this happen, as there is plenty of work to go around and your support will be most welcome in the mission.

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