Nearly 2,100 participants joined us at Heartstrings Walk 2021, and $4,774,010 had been raised to through this collective effort! A big thank you to our valued partners, donors, and participants for the continued support towards our five causes and making this event a success!
Community Chest Heartstrings Walk is an annual community event organised by Community Chest and Marina Bay Sands, that rallies partners, volunteers, social service users and the community to build a nation that cares and shares.
As large physical events are halted due to COVID-19, many events that were traditionally held physically had to be cancelled. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, it has allowed us to embrace innovation. For the first time since its first mass walkathon in 1984, Heartstrings Walk 2021 was held in a hybrid mode!
Ms Marie Choo, Community Chest’s Relations and Engagement Director, believes that the crisis is a catalyst that taught us to be agile and innovative.
“Whenever challenges occur, we can always apply what I call the ACE principle, which is to Accept, Calibrate, Evolve. We accepted that the traditional physical event will not be possible this year, calibrated our plans to adapt to the current restrictions and make it a “walk at your own time own target” event, and evolved to a new format of Walk@MarinaBay and Walk@Anywhere, to allow everyone in Singapore or the world to participate safely.”
Making use of technology and social media, the event was launched at the MBS Hybrid Broadcast Studio and was broadcasted on Facebook Live.
Marie explains that the event was positioned to be inclusive and made available to everyone in this “new normal”, regardless of where they are in the world. Participants could choose to do a 5km walk along Marina Bay in an interactive format, or at a location of their choice.
Participants of Walk@MarinaBay used a live tracking GPS to help them navigate from one checkpoint to the other, while engaging in fun pop up quizzes along the way. In addition, all participants were invited to create fun videos or posts on Instagram for a #EveryStepCount contest through customised Augmented Reality (AR) filters.
Marie (second from right and back row, second from left) and Community Chest's senior management team participating at Heartstrings Walk 2021's Walk@MarinaBay.
While hosting this hybrid event has its challenges, such as dealing with the uncertainties of COVID-19 and the short turnaround time to calibrate the event, Marie shares that they have gain some valuable insights.
“We learned not to limit themselves geographically, as technology enables them to connect and reach out to supporters from all over the world. This year, we receive a 71% increase in registration fees as compared to the last Heartstrings Walk! The community has grown to be more digitally savvy and receptive to virtual participation in events, especially those in support of social causes."
Organising Heartstrings Walk 2021 has been an enjoyable and fulfilling experience and we hope that everyone had as much as fun as we did!