Founded in 2013 in Singapore by Mega Adventure Events, the Commando Challenge is a unique obstacle event that brings together like-minded people, friends, family and colleagues to create a community that takes on physical challenges together. In 2013, Commando Challenge started using ACTIVE Network’s technology to power their online registration and participant management. Commando Challenge has worked closely with ACTIVE to continue to evolve their event and fine tune their marketing efforts.
Q&A with Jack Tucker, Events Manager, Mega Adventure Events
Q: What is the Commando Challenge?
A: Commando Challenge was the brainchild of a former British Special Forces
officer who had moved to Singapore. He saw that the global surge in the
popularity of obstacle races had not made it to Singapore—so decided to
kick it off. He was part of the British Parachute Regiment, which is where
the inspiration for the Commando Challenge logo came from and concept
for the race itself—obstacles based on military style obstacle courses. The
event aims to go above and beyond the traditional ‘fun-run’, and it challenges
participants both physically and mentally. There is a strong emphasis on
teamwork and camaraderie, and the Commando Spirit:
#1: Commandos are up for it!
#2: Commandos thrive on challenge!
#3: Commandos share success!
Q: Has ACTIVE’s technology helped you improve the online registration process?
A: ACTIVE’s platform is relatively easy and straightforward to use. It has a great overview dashboard, which allows you to quickly check in and track the performance of registrations. The team loves the price scheduling function and the ease of being able to search for a participant. This helps with amending registrations when they do not know how to access their ‘My Events’ page. The My Events page is a great function, which allows the participant to make changes themselves.
The prepayment function has been very useful for our corporate groups who like to pay one lump sum for all participants. This is a market that we have been able to tap into by easing the registration process for them.
Q: What support have you received from ACTIVE over the years?
A: The team at ACTIVE are very supportive of our events and are always suggesting ways and offering advice to scenarios that we have not yet considered.
We have received good support in the setting up of our event, in terms of the technical aspects of using the system, as well as initial (and ongoing) marketing support. ACTIVE has also been good at organising events where we can learn some industry best practices from their experts, as well as creating the chance for us to network with fellow event organisers in Singapore.
Q: What support does the ACTIVE Network team provide you before, during and after your events?
A: The ACTIVE team proactively keeps in touch with the Commando Challenge team, and offers alternative services and new initiatives that have not yet been rolled out in the region. The Commando Challenge Team has a great relationship with our account manager who is always happy to assist where possible. We receive training before launching our event, to make sure we are ready for the day-to-day management of the registrations. The training also helps to set the event up in the best way possible to ensure the process is as simple as possible for the customers. During the registration process, we have received some great marketing tips, and some opportunities to use their knowledge and marketing channels to publicise our event.
Q: What features of the technology would you like to incorporate more in next year’s event?
A: We will look to enhance the ‘Invitation’ function to make it more personalisable and be able to include images etc. I feel this is a great tool to use. I believe that we use the majority of ACTIVE’s functions already, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so, as well as trialing anything new.
Q: What are some of the ways you ensure that the participant experience is the best possible?
A: We have created a community of participants and people interested in the brand—known as Commandos. We engage with exciting, complementary brands that share our values and adventurous spirit, including: The North Face, Sony AXN, Monster Energy, Wenger Watches, Oz-Fit UFIT Bootcamps and UFIT Studios. We engage with the best suppliers to ensure the obstacles we use are well built and safe—our suppliers work on the F1 set-up. We listen to, and act upon all feedback received from participants. We continue to adapt and improve our obstacles, as well as introducing new ones each year to make sure the challenge changes from year to year and keeps people guessing. The team are also constantly engaging with the community across social platforms providing advice, insight, and interest pieces that resonate strongly with the community.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about being an event organiser?
A: Being able to create a unique experience for thousands of people simultaneously. Seeing months of planning all coming together at once is a hugely satisfying feeling.
Q: You are one of the first event organisers to work with an ACTIVE digital marketing consultant, tell us about your experience. Was it helpful?
A: We worked with ACTIVE in 2014, we felt well supported through the process, and information / help was provided when we needed it. However, this proactive digital marketing service that we got this year through the offer of support on our digital media strategy has been hugely appreciated. The changes and advice that were provided were incredibly helpful in allowing us to measure what we were doing, which has enabled us to proceed with a more targeted strategy moving forward. We have genuinely seen an increase in registrations since the digital marketing consultant’s intervention and implementation of a number of minor (and some larger) changes.
Some of the changes advised were subtle, and simple enough to implement ourselves, but walking us through the more complex ones was massively valuable to myself and the team. Even as an existing client of ACTIVE, we were not fully aware of all the best practices. We appreciate having these brought to our attention, and helping us implement them immediately.
I do believe that other event organisers would benefit hugely from this support upon the launch of their campaigns.
Q: Can you summarize your experience working with ACTIVE?
A: We have a very positive relationship with ACTIVE. Our understanding of the system has certainly improved as a result of their support. Furthermore, their openness to listen to the changes that we proposed, and any feedback was hugely appreciated, and we have seen a number of our proposed functions implemented from one event to the next which was great.
Q: We chose ACTIVE because…
A: After looking around at numerous other online race management platforms, ACTIVE were the only ones that ticked all of the boxes, instead of just a few!