It was an honour for Chris Robb to host two panels at the IAAF Global Running Conference in Lanzhou, China and share the stage with so many industry leaders.
The successful conference thanks to Alessio Punzi, IAAF and the City of Lanzhou, saw three amazing days culminating in the IAAF Gold Label Lanzhou Marathon with over 40,000 runners.
Some of the key takeouts:
- Continued massive growth in China saw a 43.46% growth in 2018 to 1,581 events with government playing a key role
- Meanwhile numbers in N America and Europe are in decline
- Participant focus is shifting from competition to experience
- Most cities/governments and events are still focused on economic benefit and not fully recognising or understanding social and health benefits
- New York Road Runners with 1,300 programs across USA seems to be the gold standard in year-round engagement
- The arrival of 5G will provide massive opportunities for content and engagement but are rights holders ready?
- In terms of sustainability there are some standouts such as Chicago with a number of “closed loop” initiatives but in general there is much work to be done and rights holders need to overcome the perception that sustainability negatively impacts the bottom line
- IAAF launched the Clean Air Quality Project