1000 Little Things We Learned From Mickey Mouse at Running USA 2017

Every year, the top race directors from around the world come together at the Running USA Conference.  This year the event took place in the magical world of Disney.

These days, more people are flocking to Disney for its unique RunDisney race experiences.  Run Disney themes range from Star Wars and super heroes, to princesses and wine and dine. Disney covers the desires of a wide spectrum of runners.  And participants come in droves.  Hundreds of thousands of people crossed the finish line at Disney races last year.  Athletes look forward to running through the Magic Kingdom and seeing their favorite characters. But, they don’t have to wait until the fireworks go off at the start of the race. As soon as runners touch down, the magic begins. When they get off the plane and hop on the complimentary Magical Express Motorcoach. When arrive at the park, they’re greeted with a warm welcome from Walt and Mickey.

1000 Little Things

We spent the weekend listening to running industry experts and immersing ourselves in all things Mickey Mouse. The same theme kept jumping out to us all. Disney has spent the last 100 years perfecting the art creating a space for magic to unfold for individuals.  It was evident both inside the conference rooms and in the surrounding 25,000 acres of Disney Magic. And there’s much to be learned from that smiling, friendly Mouse and his friends.

The Disney Institute teaches that it is best to focus on the 1000 little things that make a great experience rather than 1 big thing. If your 1 big thing fails it is really hard to recover.  Focusing on 1000 little details enables you to deliver an positive experience even when things go wrong..

It’s clear that individuals are seeking unique, positive, special experiences, and that magic ensues as a result of these experiences.

The Connected Athlete

Races are all striving to deliver a completely connected experience. Registration, social media, fitness trackers, event day photos, charity and vip experiences and add-ons like Motigo should all work together to elevate the participant experience. We are coming into the age of the connected athlete.  Strava (which integrates with everydayhero) and Garmin shared how their technologies are building online communities and changing how people view endurance sports. everydayhero connects fundraising with fitness applications like Strava and MapMyFitness. We have seen a 46% increase in funds raised for charity when these athletes link their fitness with their fundraising pages. One nonprofit mentioned that they would rather use funds to enhance the fundraiser experience than to pay to provide free race entries. Race Directors mentioned how they look for unique items to give to runners as part of their registration. And, one event registration company touted that 81% of millennials chose to spend their money on experiences over things.

So what does this have to do with peer-to-peer fundraising?

The intersection of one big thing and 1000 little things

Perhaps peer-to-peer fundraising is the intersection where 1 big thing and 1000 little things meet.

The act of doing good for others creates an engaging and memorable experience which is unique and different (but always rewarding) for every person. Perhaps peer-to-peer fundraising is the intersection where 1 big thing and 1000 little things meet.

Endurance charity programs are fundamentally about raising money – and yet the giving experience is not always or only about money. It’s the 1000 little things that make up the entire giving experience.  In endurance fundraising, every step, every mile, every bead of sweat is focused energy given for a cause. Through social media, individuals share their journey, and their stories, photos, and videos to create critical awareness.  Each like, each email, each share, each thank you is another moment for magic to unfold for participants. And it’s a win-win-win. Event directors, participants, and nonprofits can all benefit from the uniquely positive experiences that come from giving back to the community.

We encourage you to meet us at the intersection of 1 big thing and 1000 little things.

Leave a Reply