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Holding a mall event best practices final 8.5.09
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Holding a mall event best practices final 8.5.09


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  • 1. Holding a Mall Event Best Practices July, 2009
  • 2. Content Outline
    • Background
    • Planning
    • Promotion
    • Resources and tools
    • Key success drivers
    • Measurement
    • Recognition
  • 3. Background
    • A number of key mall events were held as part of the 2009 Be The Match Marrowthon
    • There are recruiters currently staging successful mall events
    • Best practices from these events are being shared for anyone planning a mall event
    • For planning, think – Who, What, Where, When and Why
  • 4. Planning-Why
    • Why are you holding this event?
      • To build the registry and to raise funds
    • Set goals:
      • How many people do you want to recruit?
      • How much money do you plan to raise?
      • How many volunteers/volunteer hours will the event require?
  • 5. Planning - Who
    • For a successful event, you need to know your target audience and your main partners
    • Determine your target audience:
      • Are you trying to recruit young adults, a specific race or ethnicity, faith-based community, college students, etc?
    • Determine who will be involved:
      • Know the time commitment for you, other recruiters, volunteers, patients, families, donors and partners
  • 6. Planning - Who
    • Involve mall merchants:
      • Merchants can help get the word out, sponsor your event, make donations, or give coupons for give-aways
      • Conduct information sessions with merchants prior to your event; train them together at the mall’s community room, or go store to store and do 5 minute stand-up sessions; help them know how to answer basic questions about the event
  • 7. Planning - Who
    • Volunteers are vital:
      • Recruit a big volunteer base (12 or more at event)
      • Engage volunteers early in your planning
      • Give volunteers specific tasks – spreading word prior to event, staffing tables or out front engaging mall-goers
      • Train your volunteers ahead of time
      • Communicate with volunteers often
  • 8. Planning - Who
    • Partner engagement for additional boost
      • Engage local partners appropriate for your audience
      • Consider police, firefighters (trucks out front for tours), local celebrities, elected officials, pro athletes, media
        • Police/firefighters have community outreach programs and with notice are happy to attend and help promote
      • Look for philanthropic match when selecting partners
      • Engage partners early in your planning
  • 9. Planning - Who
    • Patients/donors attract wanted attention:
      • Searching patient stories draw local media attention (traditional and online) and pull in registry members
      • Work with patients willing to attend the event and share their story
      • Searching patient Stuart
      • with two new registry
      • Members (holding
      • “ Ask Me How You Can
      • Save My Life” sign)
  • 10. Planning - Who
    • Assign roles:
      • Divide duties if possible. For example: mall event logistics for one person, volunteer coordinator for another
      • A single point of contact with mall works best
  • 11. Planning - When
    • Begin work early:
      • Start planning a minimum of 6-8 weeks in advance
      • More complex events require 2-3 months advance work
    • Timing is critical:
      • Find out mall’s highest traffic day for holding your event
      • Ask if there is another event happening at the mall; would it be in conflict with yours, or in conjunction?
      • Weekends are best; Saturday usually the highest traffic
      • Good traffic around special holidays
  • 12. Planning - When
    • Create event timeline and checklist:
      • Utilize BWR Drive Checklist
      • Hold regular meetings/calls to review timeline and actions
      • Use weekly recap e-mails to capture actions and to-dos
  • 13. Planning - Where
    • Work with mall/property management group:
      • Find a mall suited to your target audience
      • Work out every detail carefully upfront
        • Every mall has different rules, even managed by same company
        • Need high visibility location near food court or mall center, not back halls or within stores
        • Some malls won’t charge you a fee; others will
        • Some malls allow media/police/firefighters; others don’t
        • Some malls allow engaging public throughout mall; others won’t
  • 14. Planning - Where
      • Work out every detail carefully upfront
        • Some malls won’t allow fundraising on the premises, but will help with grants or contributions
        • Tell them you’re planning a big showing with signage, balloons, t-shirts, possible radio station remote, video, and ways to attract attention including noise-makers (one group rings cowbells and claps every time a new member joins)
  • 15. Planning - What
    • Think through planned activities to attract attention and media
      • Is it the right activity?
      • How complex is it to organize or obtain elements?
      • Will mall-goers participate?
      • What kind of activity attracts people – competitions with Wii Fit, Guitar Hero, video games? What is best suited to a mall event?
  • 16. Planning - Budget
    • Establish your budget:
      • Plan for signage, balloons, drive supplies, refreshments for staff and volunteers, and sometimes a mall fee
      • Talk to mall in advance to determine if there is a charge for the mall
      • Before making the full ask with the mall, remember to engage them in our mission and let them know what we do and how the event relates
  • 17. Promotion
    • Work with local media:
      • Send media advisory and patient bio to local media list
      • Follow-up with phone calls and ask to attend event
      • Local media may attend, interview patient, or run PSA
      • Work with local radio stations to host a live remote day of and promote leading up to event; they can interview participants and may do give-aways and bring games
  • 18. Promotion
    • Negotiate with mall to allow you to post signage at mall in advance of and during event
    Sign includes, date, time and specific event location in mall Sign also includes logos of event sponsors and supporters
  • 19. Promotion
    • Work with volunteers, patients, donors, sponsors and others to spread word about the event
      • Provide contacts with social media tools, such as widgets and e-cards, and ask them to add to their social network pages such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and more
      • Ask contacts to ask their employers to post information on company Web sites and send out e-mails to promote the drive event
    • Use the promotion tally sheet and assign someone at the drive to collect information from attendees regarding how they heard about event
  • 20. Resources and Tools
    • Explore which tools you want to use:
      • Use tools on Recruiter Resource Center, including sales and drive tools, media advisory, patient bio template, fact sheet, key messages and promotion tally sheet
      • Obtain standard drive tools and budget for drive collateral such as Be The Match t-shirts for volunteers or to use as fundraisers and Be The Match lapel pins to give to those who joined, gave money, or volunteered
  • 21. Resources and Tools
    • Work with NMDP Coordinating Center:
      • Marketing can review promotion ideas and language
      • Note: for NMDP operated centers, all contracts must be reviewed by the NMDP contracts department before signing
      • RCD Ops can be a central point of contact, help you navigate resources, help with answering questions and provide general support
  • 22. Key Success Drivers
    • Start Early
      • Allow lots of time to engage volunteers, patient families, local celebrities, public officials, media and police/firefighters
    • Select Date Carefully
      • Timing based on factors such as mall traffic, holidays, avoiding competing events, best timing for partners
    • Establish a Project/Event Manager
    • Assign a Volunteer Team Captain
  • 23. Key Success Drivers
    • Make Specific and Limited Asks for Each Partner
      • Patients, families, donors – share their stories
      • Volunteers – lead a fundraising team or help at drive
      • Local partners – contribute funds or sponsor event
  • 24. Measurement
    • Review results against goals
    • Make sure you know what and how you are going to measure when planning your event:
      • Example: In order to determine which promotion you did was successful, use the promotion tally sheet
    • Report to your manager and/or Regional Director regarding the success of your well-planned and well-implemented event!
    • Share your program’s success with RCD Ops; what you accomplished may be shared with the network through Recruiter News
  • 25. Recognition
    • You are not done until you have thanked everyone
      • Thank volunteers, partners, mall contacts, and others for their support
      • A little praise goes a long way
      • Utilize templates from BWR
    • Share your results with your partners
    • Let them know how important they are