Another week of interesting sessions and engagement with the Strength In Numbers session. See highlights below:
- Continued optimism in UK as organisers prepare for events in August focusing on two scenarios: one is taking into consideration COVID-safe precautions and social distancing and the other based on a more “normal” set-up assuming that restrictions are lifted in the manner that Government has indicated. Still key to manage expenditure and timing of payments as evidenced by the 4 week delay in re-opening.
- Organisers in Ireland are still challenged with planning – still only allowed 100 participants per event. All eyes are on the Dublin City Marathon scheduled at the end of October and the hope that it may be a turning point for the industry.
- After successfully holding events like the Techcombank Ho Chi Min Marathon in April with over 10,000 participants Vietnam has gone backwards with tight restrictions. All events since April have been postponed until around the third quarter of this year.
- Canada is expected to have vaccinated most of its citizens by July and are optimistic of going into “Phase 4” in September and the opportunity to stage in-person events for 500-1,000 people in October. In some places councils are at last starting to accept permit applications.
- In the US, an exciting milestone was reached at the weekend with Grandma’s Marathon, the first major marathon since the Pandemic started, being successfully conducted with 8,000 participants. They implemented rolling starts with 1,500 starters each – some behind-the-scenes insights here . Event organisers from the likes of Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run flew in to support, observe and learn. “We felt a bit rusty but it was so good to be back at a live event”
- Australia and New Zealand have just taken a step backwards as a result of increased restrictions with the cancellation, at short notice, of a number of events this weekend including Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon and Gazley Volkswagen Wellington Marathon. This again reinforces the huge commercial risk organisers are facing even in countries where COVID is under control.
- General feedback on supply chain and supplier issues with indications in some markets of price increases by as much as 50 to in some cases 300% on 2019 prices. Also many suppliers gone out of business or pivoted their business away from Mass Participation events – eg portaloos/portapotty’s being re-deployed to construction sites. In Ireland the PA supplier to one event for 40 years has gone out of business.
- In UK British Red Cross has completely exited providing medical coverage at events to focus on humanitarian work leaving a huge gap to be filled.
Starting next month, Strength in Numbers sessions will be pulled back to once a month on the first Mon/Tues of the month.