In which direction are the running events heading?
Tomáš Pavel, organizer of the Neon Run, answers a few of our curious questions. Read on to find out what it takes to organize a race like this, what role AV technologies play and what the latest trends are.
Tomáš PAVEL from the company Event Media annually organizes 25 cross-country adventure races throughout the Czech Republic. Among the most famous are the Zombie Night Run, Christmas Night Run, Winter Run and Night Run. He introduced an original concept of a course for the first time at the beginning of September in Prague –the Neon Night Run. AV MEDIA became the main partner of this run and prepared participants for the extraordinary light show at Letohrádek Hvězda.
The Neon Run was held in the Czech Republic for the first time; why did you decide to organize this race?
The concept of a Neon Run race occurred to us while organizing our night cross-country NIGHT RUN races. These events are more races, although occasionally someone takes it as a social event. We had the idea of organizing a non-race run for the general public, where the participants could have fun and a great experience, in terms of both sporting and cultural. This idea came at the right moment. The Neon Run is a completely new concept – not to run against the clock, but the point is to enjoy the light and neon zone while experiencing the movement and be able to enjoy the action with one’s entire family.
What does organizing such an event involve and what’s difficult about it?
Compared to other cross-country events that we hold, organizing the Neon Run is really more complicated. The creative process itself and implementing the light and neon zones is complicated, because it’s necessary to take into account the logistics of supplying power and the electric lights and so on. It’s important that everything is in the right place at the right time. It’s a night run, which also complicates the action. And we can’t forget the safety of the runners. We had to order the neon items well in advance for each participant, without which they couldn’t run the race. It’s not just a neon sticks, but also hats, sunglasses and much more.
What role does audio-visual technology play in the races that you organize?
Our events are announced just like this. Audio-visual technology is really important for our events, even when taking the results of the runners into account. We pride ourselves on good moderators and DJs, who try to liven up the participants, creating a good atmosphere and motivating them for the event. We use a large mobile LED screen that runs advertisements from our partners and other important information.
What are the latest trends in cross-country races?
A new innovation is experiential events with colours. For these the well-known motto applies: it’s not the winning that counts but the participation. We are preparing a new innovation for our events next year. We would like to use more LED imaging technology, on which we would like to see posts from Facebook and Instagram. Our main communication networks are through these two social networks, and we wanted to connect with our runs on the spot.
Do you receive feedback from the visitors in some way?
Feedback is very important to us and by using social networks we manage to monitor how successful the event was. We can see how everyone liked or disliked the event and what we should change immediately after the run. The participants are amazing in this respect, because they flood Facebook and Instagram with photos from the event with positive comments right after the event. This makes us very happy since we know that what we do makes sense.
How do you see your first collaboration with AV MEDIA? Are they a suitable partner for you?
We contacted AV MEDIA about 3 months before the event and they immediately called us back with many ideas, which made us very happy. We knew that they are professionals, so we gave them the hardest part - the production zone at Letohrádek Hvězda. We visited the site together and they sent a project in a week. We approved it, even though I thought that they wouldn’t manage it. On the day of the event I didn’t have to worry about AV MEDIA at all; I left everything to them. When the athletes finished the race and were talking about the great neon coloured Stars, I knew that the guys did their job to perfection with 5 stars.
What other projects are you doing in the future?
We’re in the NIGHT RUN season now. We’re also preparing the very popular ZOMBIE NIGHT RUN event, which takes place at Vítkov on 29 October and we’re expecting more than 2,000 runners again. We’d like to repeat the Neon Run next year and repeat it in even greater style. Maybe we could expand this event to neighbouring countries, but that’s getting ahead of myself. We’d be very happy even if AV Media would be a major partner next year.