• 15 June 2021

Running on a treadmill during a charity fundraiser a few months ago, Tarsus Group’s CEO Douglas Emslie told Raccoon Events’ CEO Mike Seaman that he wanted to run a 5k an hour for 24 hours straight to help people in need in the events industry.

On June 8-9, Emslie completed that promise as part of the Event Industry Backyard Ultra and ran 75 miles (120 km) in a 24-hour period, raising more than $40,000 for three charities – EventWell, The Meetings Industry Fund and The Indian Red Cross Society, on behalf of S. Balasubramanian (Bala) - who headed the Indian Exhibition Industry Association.

“Over the past year our industry has been devastated by the pandemic, and I’m pleased that the Event Industry Backyard Ultra has done a little bit to help those most impacted. I would like to personally thank all the runners (physical and virtual), panelists, moderators, ASP, Swapcard and all the sponsors, the teams at Tarsus and Raccoon and everyone who generously donated to this great industry cause,” Emslie said.

He added, “As an industry we are starting to resume events and the one thing I’ve learnt during this challenge is that it’s not the final few steps crossing the finishing line that are important but showing up and taking those first steps.”

More than 57 runners joined Emslie, with some in person in Guildford, England, at Raccoon Events’ head office, as well as others that ran remotely from Beijing to Sydney to Mexico City to Chicago.

Along with the running, there were more than 17 sessions livestreamed that featured 54 speakers and 5 country host moderators in the U.S., Mexico, Dubai, China, Australia and the U.K.

The Event Industry Backyard Ultra kicked off June 8 at 11 am ET/4pm UK, with representatives from EventWell and The Meetings Industry Fund talking about the people they’ve helped in the past year who have been deeply impacted by the pandemic and shutdown of the events industry.

The event next went to Las Vegas for the ribbon-cutting of the new West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center that also signaled the opening of the Informa’s World of Concrete.

After that, there were some more U.S. sessions until the event next went to Mexico, where attendees heard how Tarsus Mexico’s shows have opened there, the state of the industry from AMPROFEC representatives and they learned how to make guacamole and margaritas.

Traveling to Australia next, attendees heard about the state of the industry there, before heading over to Shanghai to see several shows in full swing at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center.

As Emslie was starting his 15th 5k, the event went to Dubai, where attendees heard about hybrid best practices, as well as the state of the industry in the Middle East region.

Lastly, the event’s last several hours were spent in the U.K., where attendees were about to hear how to have a successful mindset, how consumer shows are faring there and they watched event industry pros bake cakes blindfolded.

Along with sponsors ASP and Swapcard, the event was supported by Charterhouse Capital Partners, Clarion Events, Diversified Communications, Emerald, SISO, GES, Freeman, Raccoon Events and Tarsus Group.

Besides the corporate sponsors, more than 170 donors also generously gave to the event. To continue to donate, please visit: https://gofund.me/e7a57c37.

To watch the sessions on demand, check out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-OrGlb7C5y4dbankOiztuQ  

The event web site: www.24hr5krun.com

The streaming platform: https://app.swapcard.com/event/24hour5krun