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E236 - The Future of Challenge Events with Lucy Collette

“…Covid showcased what the UK had to offer in a big way… there are things you can do in the UK and that’s a trend I hope will stay because when you get a nice day in the Lake District or the South Coast, you can be anywhere in the world” – Lucy Collette

We spoke with Lucy Collette, Managing Director at Classic Challenge to hear about the challenge event landscape over the last few years and what the future looks like. It’s no surprise that multiple Covid lockdowns greatly impacted challenge events, but a feeling of optimism appeared on the other side as well as providing event companies the chance to reassess their portfolios to improve challenge events offerings for potential participants. For anyone looking to revive, refresh or even begin to build a challenge event portfolio at your organisation, Lucy provides great insight into how to make this successful.

1. Making the most of the UK

There has and always will be peaks and troughs in the events cycle but one trend that seems to have been exacerbated by the lockdowns is a move away from international challenges to more UK-based events. Restricted travel for everyone allowed us all to really appreciate what the UK had to offer. People and companies are also becoming more conscious of the financial and environmental impact of promoting international challenges so it seems that making the most of the UK is a trend that is here to stay in the challenge events market.

2. Hybrid events

Virtual events are not a thing of the past yet and lots of organisations are being drawn to hybrid events. Whilst its always important to remember that running the virtual side of an event isn’t “free” and it can be harder to engage your audience, having a virtual element to a charity challenge can bring the event to a wider audience by removing the limitations of place and travel.

3. Know your audience and know their sponsors

Knowing your audience when thinking of expanding your challenge events roster is incredibly important. You need a warm reception from your current supporters to create a foundation for a successful fundraising initiative. As challenge events are reliant on peer-to-peer fundraising, it is also important to think about what will appeal to potential sponsors. Niche events aren’t always the answer and it feels like there is a return to the “classic” events like the Three Peaks Challenge.

This episode of Charity Chat has been brought to you by our platinum sponsor Work for Good. Work for Good believes everyone should be able to turn the work they do into good. Through their fundraising platform, they offer charities a way to engage and work with small businesses, including founders, owners and sole traders who want to make an impact for charities through their sales. To find out more, please visit

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

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