Ride to Mpower Charity Event: Cycling for Mental Health Awareness by Neowiz Experiential Marketing

Industry Watch | February 28, 2024 | Interview

Neowiz Experiential Marketing Ride to Mpower

The Ride to Mpower charity cycling event, orchestrated by Neowiz Experiential Marketing and conducted on February 24th and 25th, was a commendable endeavor with the primary objective of raising awareness about mental health. With more than 200 committed cyclists participating, the challenging 170-kilometer route from Pune, commencing at Sayaji Hotel and concluding at Birla Centurion in Worli, Mumbai, served as a testament to their dedication. Each day's journey presented participants with an arduous 80-kilometer cycling challenge, thereby assessing both their endurance and steadfast commitment to the cause. 

Following their rigorous cycling expedition on February 24th, cyclists sought rest at Novotel Imagica in Khopoli, preparing themselves for the forthcoming day's venture. On February 25th, participants were ceremoniously flagged off from three distinct locales: Novotel Khopoli, Cidco Vashi, and Sion KJ Somaiya Medical College. Converging upon the finish line between the hours of 9:30 am and 11 am, cyclists were accorded due honors. The event was further graced by a gracious welcome address delivered by Mrs. Neerja Birla, the esteemed Founder and Chairperson of Mpower, an initiative under the auspices of the Aditya Birla Education Trust.

The culmination of the event was marked by a festive carnival honoring all the champions of mental health, held at Birla Centurion in Worli, Mumbai. 

The ride comprised of three categories with limited entries:

-Long Ride (200 cyclists) – 170 km from Sayaji Pune to Khopoli to Birla Centurion

-Short Ride (100 cyclists) – 25 km from Cidco Vashi to Birla Centurion

-Joy Ride (150 cyclists) – 10 km from Sion to Birla Centurion

The commencement ceremony was graced by distinguished figures such as Ashish Kasodekar, renowned for his Guinness World Record achievement of completing 60 marathons in 60 days; Ashish Sanghvi, Trustee of the Aditya Birla Education Trust; and Mrs. Parveen Shaikh, Vice President of Operations at Mpower.

Moreover, Neowiz Experiential Marketing undertook the arduous task of overseeing 7 distinct events scattered between Pune and Mumbai within a tight timeframe of 30 hours. These events comprised four flag-off ceremonies, one opening ceremony, one closing ceremony, and a full day of engagement at Novotel from 6 am on February 24th to 12 pm on February 25th. Remarkably, they achieved the commendable feat of donating 1000 kilograms of essentials to 100 families, ensuring their sustenance for an entire month. Additionally, they generously contributed 20 bicycles, crafted by the cyclists themselves during their overnight stay at Novotel, to further support the cause.

The Core Team of Neowiz Experiential Marketing consists of: 

Ninad Zende – Founder Neowiz & Ride Director

Kanak Sirur – Creative Director 

Biswakesana Biswal – Production Director

In an exclusive interview with EVENTFAQS Media, Neowiz Experiential Marketing sheds light on their efforts to craft unforgettable and unique experiences for their clientele and emphasizing the significance of mental health as a critical concern.

Q. Mental health awareness is a crucial issue, and events like Ride to Mpower play a significant role in addressing it. What motivated Neowiz Experiential Marketing to support this cause through the event?

Ninad Zende: Founder, Neowiz Experiential Marketing 

Understanding the stress involved in managing multiple projects, we recognize the toll it takes on mental health. Event management, in particular, is demanding, often leading to frustration and stress among professionals. We believe it's crucial to address mental health issues, especially in professions requiring multitasking. 

Event management is one of the most stressful jobs as we have to manage clients expectations, Vendor demands, Internal Team issues, Respective families and while juggling through all of it people are often leading to frustration and stress. 

Similarly many professions / education these days require multi-tasking which takes a toll over the mental health. 

Kanak Sirur: Creative Director of Ride To Mpower

In 2020, during the pandemic when events were practically impossible for at least a year, I personally experienced mental health challenges and sought help from psychologists, which made a significant difference in my well-being. 

When Ninad, discussed with me the idea of curating a cyclothon to promote mental health, I immediately resonated with the cause and jumped on board the project the very next day.

The key message of "it’s okay to not be okay" was already close to my heart, and I was passionate about spreading this message and encouraging people to open up and seek help. Having witnessed colleagues and friends in the event industry struggle with mental health issues, partnering with friends and colleagues to raise awareness on mental health became a clear motivation.

Our vision for Ride to Mpower was simple - to organize a charity ride to spread awareness about mental health. Having experienced the challenges first hand, I understand the importance of speaking up and seeking support. 

No one should go through mental health struggles alone, and it's essential to let people know that there are others who are willing to listen and support them.

Q. Can you walk us through the process of curating the 5th edition of Ride to Mpower? What were the key elements that you focused on during the planning stages?

To successfully organize the cyclothon from Pune to Mumbai with a stopover at Khopoli, we strategically engaged cycling groups and communities in Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik, resulting in a significant number of registrations. Collaborating with local authorities, we prioritized safety along the route, implementing measures at risky junctions. Community engagement was central, fostering camaraderie from registration to post-ride activities.

Our commitment to social impact was evident as proceeds supported mental health services, and calories burned were converted to grains for donation. We facilitated riders' mental well-being with free consultations and donated bicycles to orphanages.

Operationally, we meticulously addressed route obstacles, obtained permissions, and managed multiple events simultaneously. Route recce ensured safety, and strategic planning facilitated seamless execution across seven events within 30 hours. Logistically, transporting bicycles and providing shuttle services ensured smooth participation for all 224 riders from Mumbai and Pune.

In summary, our cyclothon exemplified community collaboration, safety prioritization, social impact, and meticulous logistical planning, culminating in a successful and enriching event.

Q. What role does experiential marketing play in enhancing the participant experience and driving engagement for an event like Ride to Mpower?

Understanding the cyclists' mindset was crucial for Ride to Mpower, ensuring a tailored experience for participants ranging from beginners to seasoned pros. Experiential marketing techniques such as interactive calorie tracking and storytelling created personalized and impactful engagements. Building and donating cycles to NGOs added a sensory dimension, enhancing emotional connections and driving engagement. Individualized posts further fueled enthusiasm and participation.

Despite the diverse expectations of participants, constant communication via WhatsApp and phone calls allowed us to meet their needs effectively, from bib distribution plans to event execution. The overwhelming positive feedback reflected our success in fulfilling expectations. Notably, our participants spanned a remarkable age range, from 8 to 81 years old, highlighting the event's inclusivity and impact.

Q. How does Neowiz Experiential Marketing strive to create memorable and distinctive experiences for its clients? Can you highlight some of the key achievements or successful events executed by Neowiz Experiential Marketing?

Ninad Zende: Neowiz Experiential Marketing specializes in crafting memorable experiences that prioritize creativity, innovation, and audience engagement. Our portfolio includes successful ventures like engaging Sports days, high-profile real estate launches, and curating international residential conferences and awards ceremonies. We've demonstrated our versatility by managing projects across multiple locations, including Dubai and Europe. Notable achievements also include orchestrating significant events such as the launch of Lata Mangeshkar Chowk in Ayodhya, where we distributed 5000 sculptured temples to esteemed delegates. Our approach goes beyond traditional methods, ensuring our clients receive unique and impactful solutions tailored to their specific needs and objectives.

Q. What does the future hold for Neowiz Experiential Marketing? Are there any upcoming projects, partnerships, or initiatives that you can provide a sneak peek into?

Kanak Sirur: The future looks promising for Neowiz Experiential Marketing, with exciting projects, partnerships, and initiatives on the horizon. While I can't reveal specifics at this time, we're committed to pushing the boundaries of experiential marketing, forging new collaborations, and making a meaningful impact through innovative experiences. Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming ventures as we continue to redefine the experiential marketing landscape.

With more than 200 committed cyclists participating, the challenging 170-kilometer route from Pune served as a testament to their dedication.

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