Ready, Steady, Go! The 12th of February is the day of the 2023 Standard Chartered Hong Kong marathon. A day thousands of runners have been training for. There are hundreds of marathons all over Asia, and only one in Hong Kong. Is that enough?
The lack of marathons and endurance runs brings a great opportunity for organisations to organise more and start a new yearly tradition. It is a market gap in Hong Kong that already has a large demand by sports enthusiasts.
However, marathon events are not simple to organise. There are various steps firms must take to organise a marathon event in Hong Kong successfully.
Like every event, risks and sudden accidents could affect the marathon. Therefore, organisations should plan strategies to deal with all. The article will explain the steps to organise a marathon event in Hong Kong.
How to Organise a Marathon Event in Hong Kong?
1. Purpose Of Marathon Event
When businesses organise a marathon event, they must think of the right reason for it. Organising any event can be challenging, and each event should have a purpose and specific desired outcome.
There are many reasons to organise a marathon event in Hong Kong, such as charity, improving brand image, or increasing income. Whatever the reason, it should be strong enough to motivate all the work and attract attendees.
For example, if the event’s income goes to a specific charity, it attracts more athletes, and people feel like they are running for a cause. It is a motivation for business and marathon runners.
2. Design Course(s)
It is only possible to organise a marathon event with a course. However, you can’t just choose any course or route or expect runners to find their way. Therefore, selecting courses is crucial and requires a lot of research – the route must be easy to follow and marked out well.
Most marathon events include race courses that are full marathons (42km), half marathons (21km), and 10 km. The organising business can provide multiple routes or one, depending on markets demand.
Just make sure the course in Hong Kong is safe and challenging. Additionally, providing a different path to the current Hong Kong marathon is always better.
3. Entry Requirements
After the course and purpose have been decided, it’s time to consider the runners and the event itself. When Standard Chartered organise a marathon event in Hong Kong, they set strict requirements and rules. Therefore, it is essential to have at least a brief guideline on who can enter the competition.
There should be an age restriction, medical history restrictions and a certain fitness level for all attendees. A business must communicate these requirements and limits to the public before opening runner registration.
4. Choose a Date
The date of the event is one of the most crucial steps when organising a marathon. Many factors affect the date of the marathon, especially in Hong Kong. The main factors include the weather and public demand.
Hong Kong weather fluctuates all year and is never truly certain. Therefore, a business must ensure it is not too hot, too cold, and away from the rainy season.
The weather must be almost perfect, and runners in Hong Kong or even Asia should want to compete. It is also better to organise the marathon event nowhere near the current Standard Chartered marathon.
5. Decide an Appropriate Budget
To organise a marathon event successfully, you need an appropriate amount of funds before, during and after the event. You must set a reasonable budget for marketing, licence, insurance, staff, t-shirts, rewards, and medical needs.
Most businesses get sponsorships to help pay for the event and market the purpose. The sponsors could include an energy drink company, sports brand or any brand related to the marathon event. It is a great way to cover the budget and reach a new market.
6. Hire Staff or Volunteers
A marathon event is mainly about the runners, but the event is only possible with a range of staff/volunteers. Therefore, hiring the appropriate staff is vital when you organise a marathon event in Hong Kong.
These staff and volunteers include medical staff, trackers, assist truck drivers, photographers and drinks distributors every few kilometres. Each of these hires needs to be paid accordingly to their role and protected with insurance.
Even if one of these types of staff is missing, the event will not run smoothly, and there will be significant problems.
Additionally, the organisation needs to inform the right authorities about the event to get approval and block paths to make the course easier.
7. Purchase Insurance
An organising business must protect its participants, staff and even the public. There can be injuries to anyone at any point due to the event, and the organisers will be liable. The best way to protect these parties is by purchasing insurance.
There are three insurances that are a must which are event insurance, personal accident insurance and public liability.
Event insurance will cover in case the event is postponed/ cancelled or any participant is injured during the event.
Public liability insurance will cover if the marathon activity causes any public (third party) injury or property damage. The event insurance policy may also include public liability, depending on the insurer.
Personal accident insurance will protect part-time staff and volunteers from any work injury when performing their duty at the marathon.
8. Promote Marathon on Platforms
At this point, you should have settled most of the admin work of the marathon event. It’s time to promote the marathon and attract runners from all over Hong Kong. To organise a marathon event successfully anywhere, marketing is crucial.
The ideal event is when it is full and there is a waiting list of participants. Your business must use all platforms to promote the event- including a website and social media. It is also great to use offline marketing, such as posters in the MTR, bus banners and billboards.
The proper marketing from your business and sponsor can create a positiveimpact and even attract runners from all over Asia.
9. Start Entry Registrations and Collect Fees
After there is a demand for the marathon, people eagerly will be waiting to sign up and start training. The registration platform must be easy to use for all ages; runners should be able to apply online and offline.
The registration process must gather all the needed data, such as name, ID number, medical issues, experience and contact details. Additionally, each participant must sign a waiver to show they legally understand the risks, and the business will not be held responsible in some situations.
Finally, there should be a limit to how many people can register and a registration fee. The fee helps differentiate the serious attendees and provides them with a certain spot.
10. Execute Marathon Event
The last step to organise a marathon event in Hong Kong is to execute it. Everyone is ready for the running to start, and as an organised, you must make sure all moves smoothly. Each runner must feel comfortable, safe and enjoy the experience.
Event managers must ensure each staff is doing their duty to help runners and everything is happening the way things are planned. As the eventfinishes, the top runners must be rewarded, and the organisers must post photographs on a platform where participants can download them.
Each runner deserves a certificate as they have trained hard, and running a marathon may actually be more challenging than organising it.