The IMT Des Moines Marathon has utilized the Virtual Event Bags platform since 2011. Event Director Chris Burch has clearly seen and believed in the logic behind the convenience, performance and environmental care a digital bag brings to his event since Day 1.
Why did you initially decide to incorporate a digital bag into your event?
The IMT Des Moines Marathon is committed to bringing products that feature technology to our athletes that can enhance their event experience. The idea of a Virtual Event Bag not only made sense from an athlete and sponsor perspective, it has been the right thing for our event to do in regards to the environment and our carbon footprint.
How did you first introduce this to your sponsors? Sponsorship package? Sold separately or both?
The IMT Des Moines Marathon was one of the first events to work with VRB. Many of our sponsors did not get it at first, but I knew with a real strong presentation and a bit of their trust we would have a winner on our hands. The first year we worked with VRB was a great success. The visual presentation, contact with athletes before and after the event and analytics have been most welcome.
The IMT Des Moines Marathon includes the VRB as a part of the overall event sponsorship levels providing premiere placement for top tier sponsors.
What did you find worked best when positioning the Virtual Event Bag to your sponsors? What did they find most attractive about it?
It works best to be able to provide examples of the VRB to sponsors. To have worked with the product for a year gave us a chance to ‘show’ sponsors what they could expect from VRB. The fact that they could receive individual statistics on usage has been huge.
“It really has been a good return on our investment."
What is something a participant shared with you about Virtual Event Bags?
Participants like the fact that we aren’t wasting all of that paper in their goodie bags. They like shopping online and are using more and more products like VRB. It allows them to connect with the race from the computer and interact with the sponsors and coupon offers that are meant for them.
Chris Burch – Race Director, IMT Des Moines Marathon
"The IMT Des Moines Marathon is all about community; the community of volunteers, race committee, and the great city of DesMoines that embraces this awesome event." – Bart Yasso, Runner's World Chief Running Officer