Featured / News / Community / Business / 10th September 2020
Goose Chase takes flight
What started out as a seed of an idea has grown into a successful business venture for Coonabarabran entrepreneur, Vivian Evans.
Vivian first pitched the idea for the an online goose chase after stumbling across the GooseChase app through her role at The Rural Woman.
Initially developed for Coonabarabran’s Dark Sky Awakens Festival that was scheduled to be held in May this year, Vivian said she thought a Star Wars-themed Goose Chase would be a fun way to connect event-goers with the activities, places, businesses and tourist spots on show.
Although the Dark Sky Awakens Festival was eventually postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19, Vivian was perfectly positioned to deliver connection and entertainment to families who were being encouraged to social distance.
When the opportunity to take this year’s Youth Week events online presented itself, Vivian jumped.
“While talking with Mandy Sulter, community services connections officer, who was disappointed the Youth Week events for Warrumbungle Shire were also shut down, we came up with a strategy to create a shire-wide goose chase for youth and families,” Vivian said.
“The reason the Warrumbungle Goose Chase actually went ahead was because of COVID-19!
“As one door closed another one opened - with quick thinking and flexibility we were able to meet the requirements of the Youth Week funding and help families of all ages connect, get creative, active and, importantly, have lots of giggles when everyone felt stuck at home.
A three-week event quickly turned into 15 weeks, as the popularity of the event continued to grow.
Sixty-eight teams containing a total of 292 people registered for the Warrumbungle Goose Chase,withapproximately 3208 missions completed.
“What surprised me was that people of all ages and teams of all sizes had fun playing, and that participants were so creative with their entries,” Vivian said.
“Gorgeous images of kids out on farms in Coolah reenacting the holidaytheycouldn’thave, retired couples recreating an iconic image and having fun when their grand children could visit, individuals playing on their own and feeling connected, dads getting involved with mum and the kids was a great delight and hearing and seeing the laughter as teams submitted video entries!”
After the success of the Warrumbungle Goose Chase, Vivian has been able to launch an Australia-wide COVID Sanity Goose Chase that is already underway.
She is also busy making preparations for a three week StarFest Goose Chase, which kicks off on Friday, 18 September.
“There has been a huge shift in my business,” Vivian said.
“I have gone from a sole trader, working pretty much independently, to contracting seven people to help my business grow.”
So what’s next for Vivian? While world domination is not presently on the cards, Vivian said her focus was on rural and regional community collaboration.
“We are reaching out to other festivals to offer adaptable activities no matter how the COVID restrictions change - we can facilitate to quickly adapt the game with a variety of games to play athomeortobeapartof town activities.
“We are also excited to be preparing an offering for councils in rural and regional areas to offer tourists and locals a fun way to explore the many aspects of our fabulous spaces and places.
“We hope it will help our rural communities and businesses thrive!”