Setting Up a Virtual Event
  • 19
    Mar

Setting Up a Virtual Event

In this time of health crisis, social distancing and discouragement of large crowds gathering, a viable alternative for race organisers – especially those who organise charity events – is the virtual event.

A virtual event enable entrants to still undertake the physical challenge, without the face to face competition of having lots of people around you.  It’s not ideal for everyone, but it gets a result recorded, and can also be viewed as a panacea in these usual times.

The main characteristic of a virtual event is honesty – a competitor may have to be taken at their word that the results they upload is what they actually did.  Some virtual events will demand a GPX file uploaded from services such as Strava or Garmin Connect, before a result is verified.  Some organisers may simply ask you verify your details such as Date of Birth.

Whatever the method used, the nature of virtual events makes them unsuitable for highly competitive scenarios such as Ironman triathlon, or qualifying events where the result has to be verifiable.

To stage such an event, you need to have your usual registration mechanisms in place, capturing such things as name, date of birth, location, event entered, and a contact detail such as phone number or email address.

The event itself can take place anywhere the entrant chooses – at home on a treadmill, on the actual official course, or on another course of the same length and characteristics.  The common factor for all options should be distance – easy enough to set up on a treadmill or virtual device, and SatNav devices make it simple to do outdoors as well.

Once the entrant has a time for their endeavours, they send it to the organiser, who collates them in the results.  Because of the nature of the event, these results are no longer instantaneous, but will gradually be compiled over a period of team.  The organiser meeds to set a deadline for the lodgement of results, after which the entrant is deemed as DNF.

Some race timing companies now offer a service where your virtual results can be tabulated in a real results grid – with placings, category results, and downloadable such as certificates and medal inserts available.  This takes the pressure of the organiser, as entrants themselves can upload their times to the results site, and verify their identity.

Virtual events are limited only by the number of people who wish to enter them, but in the current climate of COVID-19, or other natural disasters and  weather events, they offer a means to restore some normalcy to upturned lives, and if they are a charity event, continue to do the good that these events intended. Contact me at info@tempustiming.com.au for more information on how I can help you with your virtual event.

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