Over the years I have run in scores of events. The smallest event that I have been involved with was 12 people. I have also run in races with 15,000 people. I have learned many things from my involvement in these events. The most important is what sticks with me. It has to be about the participants.
Last year at MATS I tried to apply that knowledge to organizing an event. For the first time ever we held a walk at a truck show. This was made possible by the people of the Trucking Solutions Group, the HTAA and Ramp Media. Randall-Reilly is involved at GWTS and GATS. All of the people at these groups were sincere and helpful. The lesson though is still that it is the participants that make it work.
If you want to put on a successful event learn from the pros. When I was a kid I had always wanted to run a marathon. At the age of 46 I started running again after about 30 years of not running. I even entered a 5k. After the race was a party complete with Gatorade snacks and that Wisconsin staple, beer. I noticed that many of the participants in this race came back every year. Why? They had fun. It was about the participants.
My wife got me a subscription to Runner’s World magazine. It named the top 10 marathons in the country. Green Bay was one of them. So I set a goal to run it. It was life changing. Finishing it gave me the confidence to write and speak up. I learned from Sean Ryan, the race director. The most important thing that I learned is that it has to be about the participants.
Last year at GATS we screwed up. We had the walkers walk by the booths of as many sponsors as possible. It was confusing to the participants. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate any sponsor who has helped us put on the event. But, we made it about the sponsors. It has to be about the participants.
This Saturday at 8.a.m, we will be holding our second annual MATS Walk. You can preregister at http://truckingsolutionsgroup.org. It will be about the participants.