June 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts June 2002 Current Issue
June 2002
Short Cuts:Up and Running

image Why not get the meeting off to a running start? “A race is a great way of seeing a city and a great way of increasing local awareness of the association,” says Jim Brimm of Chicago-based event production company Jim Brimm & Associates, who for years has staged a race for the Washington, D.C.-based National Restaurant Association’s annual convention. To get attendees to lace up, consider the following tips:

Before picking a date, ask the convention and visitors bureau what else is on the local agenda.

Stick to a 5K (3.1 mile) or a 10K (6.2 mile) run/walk event. Shorter distances are less intimidating.

Local police departments can provide contacts at local running clubs and advise on best routes and road closures.

Get sponsors for T-shirt giveaways, to man water stops and even to kick in for the grand prize, which can be a donation to a local charity of the winner’s choice.

Distribute pins for runners to wear throughout the meeting. “We produce pins that say, ‘I slept in for the 5K’ for those who support our event but don’t run,” says Rosa Aronson, associate director of programs for the Reston, Va.-based National Association of Secondary School Principals (see photo).

Solicit direct support from the convention center or headquarters hotel. “We got the special events coordinator at the convention property to produce our Nashville footrace,” says David Little, continuing education and sponsorship organizer for the Schaumburg, Ill.-based American Veterinary Medical Association. “It took pressure off of our own convention division.”


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