Active at Altitude, organizers of the US Trail Running Conference, announced that the 2020 event will be a hybrid format, allowing both in-person and virtual attendees and exhibitors. This pivot is expected to encourage an expanded reach for the industry leading event, supporting access for race directors and trail runners who may not be able to attend in-person, said the group.
The eighth annual US Trail Running Conference will be held October 21-24, 2020, in Fayetteville, Ark., and is presented by Race Roster, an endurance registration website, and Spartan Trail, which feature runs along the world’s most rugged trails. The Conference is also held in partnership with Experience Fayetteville, and the American Trail Running Association (ATRA).
The hybrid format was made possible by the Socio app that organizers said was selected to deliver a branded hub where “streaming, networking, engagement and sponsor visibility comes to life.” Socio was first used for the 2019 Conference, and have developed the technology to be able to offer attendees, exhibitors and sponsors a user friendly app that can cover both in-person and virtual engagement in one convenient place.
The Conference location at the Town Center in Fayetteville has flexible options for hosting the event, and organizers and hosts are confident that the facility will be able to accommodate the Conference whatever the guidelines or recommendations in force on COVID or social distancing to enable production of a safe and successful event. The Conference is held in two segments. The first is focused on trail race directors, and is held Wednesday, October 21, to Friday October 23, while the second segment focuses on trail runners, and takes place on Saturday, October 24.
For trail race directors, new registration options will give simplified a la carte pricing for both in-person attendees and virtual access, with choices from any one day, to the complete four days of the full Conference. While in-person attendees will be able to benefit from the live sessions and presentations as well as post event recordings, virtual attendees can either view the same livestream sessions, or be able to access recordings at a time that is convenient to them. There will also be an opportunity for virtual attendees to enjoy online networking sessions that will parallel the in-person events taking place in Fayetteville. For trail runners, virtual access will mean they can also either livestream every session on the Conference agenda or be able to view recordings at an opportune time.
Sponsors and exhibitors are also able to attend in-person, or be a part of a virtual expo, all accessible via the Socio event app. The app features a selection of engagement functionality to enable full interaction from both in person and virtual attendees, along with gamification, banner ads, and push notifications to drive traffic and engagement with both sponsors and exhibitors.
Event Director Terry Chiplin comments: “We are very excited to announce our pivot to a hybrid format for this year’s Conference. We believe that this opportunity will open up new and expanded opportunities to reach trail race directors and trail runners across a broad spectrum and exponentially increase the reach of the event. This innovative development will also give us enhanced engagement opportunities for sponsors and exhibitors and will perpetuate that engagement well beyond the end of the Conference itself. We look forward to a highly successful Conference working closely with our partners at Experience Fayetteville, and using the technology benefits of the Socio app.”