Race for life is known to be a series of events that are conducted to raise funds for women only. Organization of this event is done is done by the Cancer Research UK which is a British charity. These events conduct several activities such as walking, jogging and running. These races that are conducted are done in the course of 5 kilometres and focus on the aim of raising funds and sponsorships. The funds raised by this event are distributed amongst 200 categories of cancer disease. The event possesses a status of being gender segregated that has resulted in giving rise to certain complaints (Wynick 2014). It has also resulted in the development of alternate events for men that include events of short run for 5 kilometres for Moore.
The Fund for Imperial Cancer Research had identified Jim Cowan who possessed the actual concept for the generation of Race for Life. The respective Fung then started being engaged with Mr. Cowan for organizing and enacting as director of the race that was conducted for the very first event of Race for Life. This event took place in Battersea Park in the year 1994. In this particular event, almost 750 candidates had participated and the fund raised was almost £ 48,000. In the next year, extension of the race was done to 6 different venues and consisted of 4500 participants. This race contributed in raising £ 210,000 (Williams 2014). As years passed, there was an improvement in the intensity of events with different venues raising large amount of funds. Due to this success and popularity, it has been identified as one of the biggest events for raising fund.
Due to this particular reason and possessing a good cause to raise funds, this particular event now takes place in every year for raising funds for 200 categories of cancer.
A survey was conducted on the public and volunteers / participants to gain feedback from them regarding the different events and the overall campaign of “Blackpool Cancer for Life event 2014”. The participants for the survey were randomly selected to gain a valid and in-depth view on their experience at the event. In total seven questionnaires were distributed in which three were filled by visitors or public, two by volunteers whereas the remaining three by participants. However, the survey process followed a random approach regarding the selection of sample; it was ensured that the people belonging to different age groups were addressed and were interacted with for the filling up of questionnaire (Wade 2014). This was essential to gain a valid and realistic argument or perception regarding the overall customer experience.
The analysis of survey results demonstrates that two of the public participants were not local and both of them were female (The Gazette 2014a). However, one of them was not aware prior to the event that the Race for life event is going to held. The same can be perceived as the merit and demerit as well. Merit as it reflects the charm and reputation of concerned event that attracted the non-local people towards it. Demerit as it clearly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of advertising and promotional activities performed prior to the event. Considering their experience, two of them responded that they were somewhat satisfied with the overall event whereas one female responded that she was quite satisfied (Toum 2014). Moreover, regarding the success of cancer for life event in achieving the vision and mission of the cancer for life research, each of them responded in support of its. Thus, the event seems to be appreciable amongst public as neither of them commented any negative remark.
The aspects which were highly appreciated by the public, in context of the participants’ responses, were structure of event, safety and security, and preparation of presenters. However, people felt that the length of event was somewhat long. The participants also responded that they had a quite a bit better or great deal better experience during the event. Moreover, since each of the participants responded that he or she will surely come to another cancer for event at Blackpool, the overall objective of making the people aware and raising funds for cancer patients seem to have achieved (The Gazette 2014b). The public seems to be highly satisfied with the experience they had, however, the associated executives must work on the advertising and promotional practices, as two of the participants responded that they were not aware of the event details and joined it after seeing the entertainment or learning the event detail from a friend. Further, the online practices seem to be highly effective as one of the participant responded that he gained the information of event from online.
The managers or executives also need to plan the event at a better time as each of the participants commented that the event was amazing but the windy and cold weather let it down. They also commented that the contribution of volunteers was really appreciable as they appreciated the support and cheer that they did with full enthusiasm (The Gazette 2014a). The spokes person was also appreciated and people perceived him as one of the key success factor for the whole event.
The analysis of volunteers’ responses demonstrates that the volunteers were also quite satisfied with the overall event. According to the volunteers, event structure, police security, first aiders, presence of ambulance, commitment of event, and team work were the key success factors of event. However, the volunteers complained that they were not made aware of their specific roles as volunteers and were not provided with all necessary information for their role prior to the event. This seems to be a big loophole in the event management and may have lead to negative outcomes (Pudelek 2014). Thus, the managers and executives must address this problem and provide effective training and counseling sessions to each of the volunteer prior to the event, while making them aware of the overall location. The volunteers also responded that the location and time could have been better, although it was good for the run and had a smooth course. The volunteers believed that the event lacked in visibility, first aid timing, marking of volunteers and better communication tools or equipment (Snead 2014). However, they also felt that the atmosphere and the structure were above expectations, well structured and lively.
The analysis of participants’ responses demonstrates that most of the participants were non-local as one of the participants was from Chorley and other was from Blackburn (Pudelek 2014). As one of the participants aged between 20 to 30 years and other’s mother was also participating, as commented by him, the event was successful in reaching people from almost all age groups. The participants considered the safety and security, presence of ambulance, first aid bikes, adequate information, commitment, team work, structure of event, and location were the key success factors of the event. All the responses from the participants were in support of the event and liked every aspect. They appreciated the crowd as they motivated and cheered them enthusiastically and were extremely satisfied with the overall event. However, they felt that the refreshments or water bottles could have been directly handed over to the participants rather than keeping it on the tables (Mid Devon Gazette 2014). Other participants commented that it would be better to make the timing of event clear, so that the participants can come early or warm up.
Thus, the overall analysis of survey results clearly demonstrates that the event was highly successful in satisfying each of the public, volunteer, and participant. Each of them responded they would love to attend the event next time. However, there seems to be some loop holes that must be adequately addressed and resolved by the event managers or executives, so that there is no scope of faults or inadequate conduct. The crowd added to the attraction and charm of event, thus effective advertising and promotional activities must be conducted prior to the nest event (LEP 2014). The event can also be refined through changing the timing as many of the participants of survey complained about it.
The observation of the overall event was conducted consistently so as to gain the key success factors and loopholes in the management or operational practices. Considering the health and safety of people, there were no big issues regarding the same as there was first aid bikes and ambulance present closer to the track. The track was also smooth enough and there were tracks for the wheel chair users. The police security also highly contributed to the safety of people. However, the key problem identified was that in the communication in between volunteers and other staff (Hull Daily Mail 2014). The problem occurred due to the inadequate weather and strong winds. The radios must have been exchanged with modern equipment as when a runner fell badly, the first aider took 10 minutes to the spot but the runner had already left and was clearly delayed and slow.
The design and structure of overall event was great and the chosen track was perfect. The stalls, stage and the services all were on the top of promenade, thus being at the centre of all crowd, the public was able to easily join in. the crowd added to the success of event as they were enthusiastic and cheered the participants really well. The event continued without any hassle due to adequate crowd control measures. However, the problem was a little far for the volunteers as they had to walk too much and since many of them were not local, they were not well aware of the place (Hines 2014). It was also found that the map provided to volunteers were complicated as the signs were not clearly marked for each standing point. Thus, the management of volunteers was bit disorganized although it did not have any major negative impact on the event as with time the people started getting familiar with place.
The event also lacked in the utilization of IT as the only IT tools used were emails to keep everyone updated regarding the timing and location of event. The marketing materials utilized for the promotion and advertising of event were quite successful (Anderson 2014). The t-shirts with logo of cancer for life emerged as a massive brand as people were well aware of the fact that the event occurs every year. The utilization of website, advertisements on social media sites such as FB and Twitter also paid well.
The practices of staff motivation were brilliant, as everyone seemed to be friendly. Although the weather was extremely windy and it was difficult to stand at locations because of the cold, the motivational words from organisers helped in preventing the occurrence of negative thoughts. The overall atmosphere was lively, great, fun and very vibrant. With Blackpool lights on and everything happening at the centre of Blackpool, no one missed what was happening. There were around 10,000 runners and it made the event much more successful (Adkins 2014). However, there should have been more access for the crowd as there was hardly any way to the track but they all were at the end.
The crowd seemed to be confused regarding the timing and the volunteers were not told either. The crowd seemed to enjoy it and the cheering, music, stage and presenter was brilliant and made the event stand out even more than the last event.
The overall event of Blackpool Cancer for Life Event 2014 seemed to be highly appreciated by the crowd as most of the participants of survey responded that they will come back for the event. The key success factors for the event were its structure, safety, police security, first aid bikes, presence of ambulance, and smooth course. On the contrary, inadequate weather, inappropriate communication gadgets, ineffective awareness, and lack of strong advertising and promotional campaigns appeared to be the loopholes of event. However, these loopholes can be easily prevented in the next event.
Overall, the event was highly successful in attracting the people from different age groups and thus added to the success of event. The managers and executives could have conducted effective advertising and promotional activities to attract more people.
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