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O-21 Developing a new mass participation event to support hospices nationwide
  1. Jane Thompson and
  2. Claire Langston
  1. St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice, Winsford, UK

Abstract

St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice was looking for a fresh mass participation event to help offset possible drop in income from our Midnight Walk. We have a hospice culture that allows the events team delegated responsibility to respond swiftly to opportunities.

To enable us to find options, we undertook research to see what was trending in the USA and identified ‘Bubble Run’ events which are in their infancy.

The large, costly equipment for the new event, Bubble Rush was not for hire in UK. We approached a company who specialise in creating adrenaline rush equipment for events, aimed at the corporates. They saw an opportunity and agreed to purchase the significant equipment needed to create the Bubble Rush courses. Negotiations were held with a local Motor Racing circuit to enable us to run the event from there.

We launched the event on social media on New Year’s Day. We had an unprecedented sign up rate. 85% were new to our database.

Strong relationships were forged with the equipment/events company. The event company have agreed to offer hospices the chance to dominate the market with a tried and tested formula and own the Bubble Rush event in their area. Alternatively, they will offer hospices the chance to be the charity partner of a commercially run Bubble Rush event.

The event had costs of £20,000 and is currently showing a profit of £52,000, far in excess of expectation!

Development of such an event took faith from trustees who enabled the events manager create a lucrative new event. Hospices where events team are with hierarchical and slow decision making processes, opportunities can be missed. The hospice movement working in collaboration, and using identical branding are in a position to dominate the market in the UK for this event if they move quickly.

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