Walkathon Concessions Tips

ConcessionsIf your walkathon event lasts more than an hour or two, you can make a bundle from concessions!  A couple tips:

  • Get donations from local vendors as part of your sponsors program, in exchange for plenty of publicity.  You may be able to get much of your walkathon concessions inventory for free.
  • Be sure to keep an exact tally of what you purchased and how much of it you actually sold.  If you have a walkathon every year, you can use those records to vastly reduce wasted food.   You can even keep your records in a spreadsheet on Google Docs so that any new concessions chair can easily have access to all the old info.
  • If you offer freebie items like popsicles or hot dogs, you can use the walkathon lap card to keep track of what the walker has already received and what they still have coming.

For Walkathon Publicity, Make One or Two T Shirts Early

Consider creating a stir about your walkathon with a great unveiling of your walkathon logo and T shirt. Create a couple of T Shirts prior to the major shipment, to wear when you speak to the group. Alternatively, you could have your group’s mascot model the shirt. At our school, my co-chair Lynne created an XXXL walkathon shirt for our Bear mascot to model, and the kids were so excited when he made his appearance.  It certainly put the walkathon at front and center  in their minds.

Option A: Print your own

Here is how. You need a color inkjet printer.

1. Purchase cheap T Shirts and iron on transfer(s). You can find them at local drug stores, Target, Walmart. I’ve seen the transfers online as well.

2. Get the finalized T Shirt design (logo and slogan) from the T Shirt Team.

3. Print the T Shirt design onto the iron on transfer, then follow the directions that come with the transfer to iron it onto your shirt.

Option B: Order a single T Shirt from your supplier.

This has the side benefit of letting you see a single shirt prior to ordering mass quantities. Go to my Useful Stuff page for a few good T Shirt suppliers.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about Lap Cards.

Great Walk-a-thon Publicity by Booksin Elementary

Booksin's Amazing RaceHere is a nice, inexpensive publicity idea.  Booksin Elementary has set up a very professional looking blog  (click here to see it). It uses WordPress, which I can attest to as being easy and fun.  They’ve purchased their own web address, which costs just $15.

Notice how they use the right column to give their sponsors extra publicity.

Plan your Walk-a-thon Celebration Up Front

If you’re just starting to organize a walk-a-thon, it may seem strange to think about how you will celebrate.  But planning now lets you make the celebration more meaningful because you can easily cover the details if you’re aware of them.

Four Ways to Celebrateasnci

  1. Have a slide show.  Line up some photographers for the day of the event, and have them get shots of as many participants as possible.  Check out the inspiring slide show put together as part of the Autism Awareness Walk-a-thon in North Central Indiana.
  2. Have awards for longest distance or most funds raised.  Tell participants ahead of time to get their competitive juices going, and be sure to track the info you’ll need.
  3. Give every walker a certificate of participation that also denotes distance walked.  Line up a volunteer to create the certificates and be sure your organizers have the records available.  That way they will get started right away even if you personally are still recovering from walk-a-thon day.
  4. Publicy thank your volunteers.

Schedule your after -walkathon celebration up front to get it on everyone’s calendars right along with the walkathon itself.  Then when it’s ready, send me a link to your slideshow!  I’ll be celebrating too.

Walkathon Volunteer and Committee List

Courtesy of Yolo County SPCA and basykes

Courtesy of Yolo County SPCA and basykes

When you organize a walkathon, job #1 is to get volunteers.  With a bunch of great teams on board, walkathon planning falls into place naturally.  Start getting volunteers months before the walkathon.  Focus on team leaders but the more you can fill the teams, the easier it will be to get those leaders.  Put out signup sheets everywhere you can.

Here is a table showing typical volunteer roles.  If your walkathon has other volunteers, please add them by commenting (click on “comment”, below).   This is based on a walkathon with about 300 walkers, from 8:30 AM – 4 PM, so you can adjust accordingly.

Committee Size (incl. Leader) Description
Walkathon Chair 1  – 3 people Recruits team leaders and helps fill teams with volunteers.   Determines specific cause.  Provides backup to all team leaders.  Manages overall timeline.
Insurance and legal liaison 1 Addresses city government, police and insurance issues.
T Shirts 3 Creates, sells, and distributes T Shirts
Publicity 2 Creates slogan and logo.  Creates  flyers, emails, newsletter articles.  If necessary, works with the press, maintains blog.
Technology 1 Selects and sets up online fundraising system.  Works closely with Registration and Treasurer.  Sets up blog for publicity chair if necessary.
Registration 15 Makes sure everyone has registered at the beginning, checked out at the end.  Creates registration forms, punch cards or bead lanyards, etc.
Treasurer 2 Handles all finances.  Collects money from all walkers.
Concessions 26 Plans food, purchases food, prepares, sells and serves throughout event.   Prepares orange slices prior to event.
Entertainment 2 Organizes any music, dancing, etc, and gets necessary furniture and equipment for entertainment
Course Volunteers 41 Organizes all course volunteers (hole punchers for punch cards to count laps, awards at key milestones, squirters if it’s hot), keeps water and orange slice tables stocked.  Purchases supplies for course related activities like awards, hole puncher tools, lanyards for punch cards, etc.
Sponsors 1 Get sponsors who pay for T Shirts, possibly pay for more.  Publicize sponsor names.
Course layout, setup and cleanup 4 Design the course.  Set it up prior to event.  Take down yellow tape after event.
Site layout, setup and cleanup 8 Map the rest of the site – where to place check in tables, food, music, etc.  Then set up to start, take down at end.
Photography 20 Try to get a photo of every participant.  Create slide show.
First Aide 1 Provide basic first aide.  Be CPR certified and available the entire day of the event.
Pinch Hitters 4 Pick up anything that falls through the cracks.
Crazy Hair 1 Give wacky hair styles.
Certificates and awards event 2 Arrange for slide show, create certificates for all participants including miles walked, put on assembly, recognize top walkers, announce money earned
Group financial chairperson 1 This person handles finances for your group in events outside of this walkathon.  He/She should verify count for all payments collected by the Walkathon Treasurer, and make deposits.

Ready to read some more? Here’s the secret to recruiting volunteers.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.