16 Jun Bird Helps Launch the Virtual Tour of Tameside
With the coronavirus forcing much of the world to go on temporary hiatus, there was no doubt that mass participation events would be the ones to cause the most worry, given what we know about the virus today. This meant that any and all events with large attendance numbers were effectively put on hold for the foreseeable future. But for those with the foresight to make changes in order to survive, this didn’t exactly spell defeat…
The Running Bee Foundation’s Tour of Tameside, which was one of the many events scheduled to take place during this uncertain period, simply couldn’t go ahead given the current climate. But after careful consideration, the decision was made to turn what many may see as a negative into a positive. Not just for the Foundation but for all the dedicated runners who had been gearing up for one of their favourite races.
Thus, the Virtual Tour of Tameside was born!
The Virtual Tour of Tameside allowed participants to complete their chosen stretch of the tour, or all available routes, in their own time in a setting of their choosing with strict attention paid to following the current government guidelines on social distancing. It offered runners an alternative to the traditional running event and a much-needed distraction in these difficult times.
Bird was involved with the Tour from the get-go and assisted in all areas of promotion for the unique event including PR, Social Media and Design.
From a PR standpoint, starting at the very beginning, Bird organised the initial announcement of the rescheduling of the original event (which is now slated to return in 2021 – you can find more information on that here) along with the announcement of the Virtual Tour that would replace it, once the pieces were in place for it to go ahead at The Running Bee Foundation. This included all relevant details of the new virtual event (dates/times/how to participate etc.) as well as important information people needed so that they could enjoy the event while keeping within the government’s social distancing guidelines.
Bird also ensured that news of the new event reached as wide an audience as possible, utilising our database of contacts within the sport, sporting media and athletic worlds amongst others.
But Social Media was always going to have a huge part to play in moments like these. Not only to allow people to learn of the event but also to get people engaged and interacting with developments as they went along.
Bird created a dedicated web page to host the event online, which allowed people to reserve their place to make their entry official, despite being just a virtual event. We also gave the event a dedicated social media plan, pushing posts, announcements and other relevant information potential runners would find useful and interesting, solely targeted to those interested in running and running events.
The magic of social media also allowed us to build and maintain relationships with runners, during what has been a quite isolated time for all of us. Thanks to this, some runners even offered us photos and regular updates of their Virtual Tour of Tameside progress, which we would then share on the appropriate social media channels to help keep other runners motivated and aware of the event.
In terms of Bird’s design offering, we were able to adapt one of the existing Tour of Tameside logos and make it relevant to the race’s new virtual format, representing the best of the old and the new and giving the race a very individual feel, separate from its original incarnation.
All in all, Bird’s assistance has helped the Virtual Tour of Tameside become one of the most talked-about running events in the region, during a time in which running events are practically outlawed. Thanks to our efforts, the event saw well over 200 sign-ups and generated a multitude of inspiring content online.
We can’t wait for the physical return of the Tour of Tameside next year, but we’ve grown rather fond of the virtual edition, too! Which was still able to bring smiles to people’s faces and raise money for an amazing cause, even in lockdown.