When top athletes like double gold olympic winner, Dame Kelly Holmes, work together with vulnerable young people to help them realise their true potential, you know it’s going to be moving, memorable and most importantly; life changing.
Our creative makers have worked with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust ever since the charity was launched back in 2008. We’ve been thrilled to support them on their incredible journey and witness just how much the work they do matters.
So, when the charity’s most important annual event was threatened by a national lockdown, it was so important to us to find a way to make it happen in some way. Here’s how we rose to the challenge to create our first national virtual event of 2020.
Each year, The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust works with vulnerable young people from across the country, providing them with 8 months of life-changing mentoring support through an AQA backed program. It gives these young people access to top athletes, to help develop their life skills and increase their confidence, self belief and motivation.
At the end of the program, these young people join together for a day-long celebration in London. It’s a crucial part of the program, giving them the chance to recognise their own growth and be inspired by the stories of their peers – it’s an exciting and moving experience, and often their first trip to the capital!
It was only a few weeks until the celebration when we realised the London event wasn’t an option. Knowing just how crucial this final experience was to the program, we got to work quickly to create a solution that would be safe, but also capture some of those inspiring moments from the in-person experience.
Working with the Trust, AQA and schools across the country, we planned a virtual event that would still give the young people the chance to get together online, to share inspiring stories and hear from those athletes who’d supported them during the program.
We worked with the schools to help them get set up and confident with the right technology, blending the school systems together to enable them to participate live throughout the event – to add more excitement to the experience.
For those watching, we kept it simple. All they had to do was log on to a private Youtube stream to enjoy the event (while we took care of everything else behind the scenes!)
So how did we turn a day of celebration into an online experience worth getting excited about?
To make any virtual event a success, you have to find ways to keep your audience engaged throughout. We did this by segmenting the event so it was a mixture of showcasing stories and also speaking to the schools, through live Q&As. Dame Kelly Holmes herself even answered questions from the young people involved. There was also an added element of surprise when it was announced live on that all those involved were being rewarded for joining the program.
What we didn’t try to do, was to fit everything from the normal day of celebration into the virtual event. We kept it shorter, but compelling, engaging and moving. We made it our mission to make sure these young people received the celebration they deserved.
The virtual charity event was so well received from the AQA, the schools, the athletes, and more importantly the young people, that we were incredibly proud to have played a part in making it happen. For many, it was the most interaction they’d had outside of school in 6 months due to lockdown, so it meant a lot to be able to help provide this experience for them.
Following the event, we also created a highlight video which showed the whole story – from those first in-person meetings pre lockdown, to the final virtual celebration. A further way to showcase the achievements of this incredible community in such a challenging year.
For our creative makers, it was the start of our venture into hosting large virtual events and proof you could still create something meaningful for people, even from a computer screen!
If you’d like support in making your next virtual event happen, email or call our creative makers today. Let’s make something meaningful, memorable and change-making, together.
“We shared it in our team meeting on Monday and everyone loved it. So a huge thanks to you!” Dame Kelly Holmes Trust