A splendid run in the park

AIA discovers that plenty of good comes out of building a private sports event for staff and special guests on top of a public race

Event brief
AIA Hong Kong and Macau has been the title sponsor for Hong Kong Disneyland Resort’s (HKDL) 10K Weekend race for the past three years. For the 2018 edition, the life insurance group leveraged the public sports event to create a special activity for its staff, business partners, clients, and almost 100 guests from underprivileged families and NGOs such as the Music Children Foundation.

AIA Vitality @ Work All In All Appreciation 2018 was held on November 2, a day before the public race. The 1.5-hour in-park route run was combined with a buyout of HKDL, granting participants access to the theme park’s limited-time Halloween attractions.

Other highlights included a race kick-off officiated by CEO Peter Crewe and CHRO Maylie Lee, accompanied by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in sports gear; an extra showing of the We Love Mickey Projection Show; a guests-only performance of Moana: A Homecoming Celebration; photo opportunities with Iron Man; and a special balloon twister and atmosphere performances in Fantasyland.

Challenges
Large-scale events typically come with logistical challenges. As the AIA Vitality @ Work All In All Appreciation 2018 private run was held inside the Disneyland park and during regular operation hours, event organisers also had to take into consideration park visitors to ensure safety for all.

As well, as the event was held on a weekday afternoon from 16.25 to 18.00, organisers had to entice participation from family members of the staff, clients and business partners.
Alternative programmes also had to be arranged for participants who chose not to run.

Solutions
To clearly identify event attendees from regular park visitors, event organisers created a range of branded credentials such as bibs for runners, colourful lanyards, specially-designed runners T-shirts, and wristbands for all guests.

As well, separate entrances were designated for event attendees.

To accommodate the private run, Adventureland, Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch theme park zones were cordoned off. Space along the running route was provided for attendees to cheer runners on.

As soon as the race concluded at 18.15, Adventureland was swiftly reopened for regular park visitors, while Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch remained closed for the event.

To attract runners, a lucky draw was arranged for the first 30 who completed the race, where AIA dangled prizes such as a complimentary stay at the new Frozen Suite at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. As a result, more than 1,700 people participated in the private race.

Key takeaways
By combining the HKDL 10K Weekend race with the park’s Halloween buyout experience, AIA was able to fulfil its objectives of providing a staff incentive, engaging underprivileged communities, and living out its commitment to helping people live healthier, longer and better lives.

Building the private event on top of a prominent public event also reinforced corporate pride through extensive branding, from event stage backdrop and finish arches to AIA logo projections by Gobo light at Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land and Adventureland entrances during the run.

Additionally, the private run allowed Disney VoluntEars – a CSR effort managed by Disneyland cast members – and AIA corporate volunteers to collect recyclable plastic cups used by runners to minimise waste on site.

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