Help the Event Industry Backyard Ultra Run Support Event Pros in Need!

May 12, 2021

The exhibitions industry is racing to help those in need by running for a good cause. Set for June 8-9 for a 4 p.m. start in the U.K. (11 a.m. EDT), the Event Industry Backyard Ultra will feature marathon enthusiast and Tarsus Group CEO Douglas Emslie, who will be running a 5K race every hour for a straight 24 hours in an effort to raise funds for two industry charities and a global charity supporting India, while being livestreamed across multiple platforms. 

Please sign up to watch and donate here: https://app.swapcard.com/event/24hour5krun

Participating in what BBC Sport describes as “the toughest, weirdest race you’ve never heard of,” Emslie must consecutively run a 5K (3.1 mile) distance in less than one hour. After completing each lap, he will use any remaining time within that hour to recover for the next round. 

The event will concurrently livestream industry panel sessions covering hot-button topics from around the world. There will be regular check-ins with Emslie and other event industry runners who will be joining him from across the globe, including the United States, Mexico, the Middle East and China.

U.K.-based Roger Black, silver medalist in the 400-meter sprint at both the Olympic Games and World Championships, and UK-based singer, actress and TV personality Suzanne Shaw also will be joining in the challenge. 

EIBU

The goal of the run is to raise $24,000 for the Meetings Industry Fund, Indian Red Cross Society and EventWell, said Emslie, who is spearheading this effort.

“The charities we have chosen will help people not only impacted in the events industry, but also assist with efforts to combat the devastating COVID surge in India,” he added. “I hope the Event Industry Backyard Ultra can continue to raise awareness and money to build upon the great work that has already been done. I would like to thank everyone for their support for what I hope will be a very memorable day.”

The bevy of industry sessions to be broadcast each hour include:

  • Advocacy Update on Travel and Exhibition Industry – Roger Dow/USTA, David Audrain/ECA, Tommy Goodwin/ECA
  •  Ribbon-cutting of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new West Hall and ‘Going Live’ at Informa’s World of Concrete trade show with Danica Tormohlen
  • Taking Events Live in the Middle East Region – Ashley Roberts/Oman Expo Wilbert Heijmans, Infosalons (a Freeman Company) Graham Stephenson, ADNEC Gulsum Arslan – Dubai World Trade Center

Charity Information

Founded to provide financial assistance during times of crisis like a disaster, medical illness or an emergency, the U.S.-based Meetings Industry Fund serves as a helping hand for meeting professionals when they need help the most. In its six-year existence, the MIF has assisted many industry professionals and continues to provide financial assistance thanks to the support from trade show industry organizations.

According to MIF Chair Gary Schirmacher, COVID-19 and its impact on the meetings business has made support from causes such as Emslie’s even more critical.

“We are so appreciative of being selected by Doug’s Backyard Ultra Challenge as one of the charities of choice for this unique event,” Schirmacher said.

He added, “The support from participants in ‘the toughest, weirdest race you’ve ever heard of’ will allow the MIF to assist people facing crisis who are part of the meetings industry that have nowhere else to turn for help. Thanks to Doug and all the event industry runners and non-runners for this amazing opportunity to raise much-needed funds for those in tremendous need.”

                                                                                                                                         MIF logo

The Indian Red Cross is a voluntary humanitarian organization having a network of over 1100 branches throughout the country, providing relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health & care of the vulnerable people and communities. It is a leading member of the largest independent humanitarian organization in the world, the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement.

India’s branch of the international humanitarian aid organization is providing ambulance transportation and oxygen in hard-hit cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, and helping to administer vaccine doses. Volunteers are handing out masks, food and hygiene supplies in both rural and urban areas.

Dedicated to educating, campaigning and supporting better mental health and wellbeing in events, U.K.-based EventWell was created to support and serve the event industry community within creative communications, experiential marketing, live and business events, exhibitions, travel and hospitality. It works to share the knowledge and tools needed to help professionals stay “event well” and provides vital relief and support to any event professional suffering from mental health challenges. 

Several sponsors are already lined up for the event, including ASP (who built the event’s web site), Swapcard (where the virtual event will be held), Raccoon Events, Charterhouse Capital Partners, Tarsus Group, Society of Independent Show Organizers, Freeman and Emerald, along with supporting organizations, including IAEE, AEO, UFI and tfconnect, and media partners TSNN and Dan Assor Media. 

To donate, go here and for regular session and runner updates, go here.

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