The Des Moines Marathon is held annually in downtown Des Moines, Iowa and is a qualifying event for the iconic Boston Marathon. More than 9,000 athletes participated in the 2014 race event. The 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 the beginning.
“It really has been a good return on our investment.” – Chris Burch, Event Director
Q. 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.
Q. 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 VEB. 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 VEB 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 VEB as a part of the overall event sponsorship levels providing premiere placement for top tier sponsors.
Q. What did you find worked best when positioning the Virtual Event Bag to your sponsors? What did they find most attractive?
It works best to be able to provide examples of the VEB to sponsors. To have worked with the product for a year gave us a chance to ‘show’ sponsors what they could expect from VEB. The fact that they could receive individual statistics on usage has been huge. “It really has been a good return on our investment.”
Q. 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 VEB. It allows them to connect with the race from the computer and interact with the sponsors and coupon offers that are meant for them.
Want to learn more about Virtual Event Bags? We help event organizers more effectively connect sponsors and/or exhibitors to attendees; you can schedule a personal tour or view a self-guided video tour.