Let’s Do This (LDT), the London and San Francisco-based online endurance event marketplace, have launched a new Virtual Events Hub. The company, founded in 2016, argues that the traditional model of virtual events is ‘a drawn out, monotonous affair’ and aims to shake things up by reimagining the entire virtual event experience.
“Up to now, virtual events have been unexciting, undynamic and unsociable,” said Constantine Louloudis, VP Sales & Business Ops at LDT. “We’re changing that.”
He continued, “As mass gatherings are off the table, virtual events are the only way forward for event organizers, so we’re enabling them to stage truly engaging virtual events that replicate the buzz of live events alongside the convenience of remote participation.
“Our goal is to keep organizers’ participants coming back for more, giving them a recurring revenue stream even in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis.”
Key for LDT is reproducing the sense of community and connection found at physical events, as well as that finish line feeling:
‘When doing a virtual event, people want the same sense of excitement and camaraderie that they get from live events. They want to connect with those around them, celebrate their achievements, and feel the buzz of reaching the finish line.’
LDT also argues that previously virtual event experiences were a ‘lacklustre experience for participants’ and that the open-ended nature of a traditional virtual event – sometimes lasting as long as 30 days – killed off ‘the buzz you’d expect at the finish line of an event.’
However, with COVID-19 suppressing mass participation events, the market for virtual events has boomed. LDT claims to have totally reimagined the experience, aiming to make events more engaging and exciting and bringing the best parts of physical events online.
Engagement First, Winning Second
Undoubtedly one of the major draws of a live event is the sense of camaraderie between finishers. This is why LDT has prioritised engagement with fellow finishers over rankings.
‘We’ve prioritized engagement with fellow finishers over rankings. The finisher board and photo gallery are automatically updated in the order of result submission to recreate that finish line feeling for your participants.’
That being said, more competitive participants are also able to filter and sort the leaderboard to see how they line up against fellow competitors.
Social Engagement at the Finish Line
‘People have different motivations for signing up to an event. Some like to complete it with friends; others want a PR. But whatever their motivation, they want to share their experience with other people.’
LDT have created an event page that features a finishers’ photo gallery front and centre. Currently 48% of finishers choose to upload a photo when they upload their run. Participants are increasingly looking for a sense of community and are finding it in our finisher’s gallery. LDT also plans to release a feature that allows for more interaction with finishers’ photos.
LDT are also aware of the importance of accuracy and professionalism in virtual events: ‘We ask participants to submit proof of their activity using a running app or GPS watch. These verified times are marked by a blue tick’ confirming the legitimacy of each participant’s result.
Group Sign-Ups and Sharing
‘Running is best done together. We’ve seen participants consistently signing up their friends to join them at their Virtual Event. Our sign-up flow makes it easy for participants to sign up with friends and family. For every transaction on our site, we sell 1.3 tickets.’
LDT also notes that they enable users to easily share events across social media at multiple points across their virtual event experience. Indeed, sign-ups from social sharing have been increasing steadily week-on-week as a share of total sign-ups since they first launched their virtual event solution.
More Events; More Sign-Ups
A major advantage of virtual events is reduced overheads, giving organizers more creative freedom when designing events. One way of pursuing this is to launch an event series, which offers organizers a recurring revenue stream as well as building brand loyalty and long-lasting relationships with participants. ‘We are building the best series functionality to give you the opportunity to engage with your participants in a new, exciting and ongoing way.’
Event organizers and other interested parties can enquire about the LDT Virtual Event Hub online.