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Special Events Workshop October 2012


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Special Events Workshop October 2012

  1. 1. Special Events 101
  2. 2. The Big QuestionSpecial Events are an easy way to raise operating funds. True or False? Story time
  3. 3. Agenda Key Criteria of a Special Event Why Special Events Fail Choosing the Right Special Event Planning a Special Event Budget Special Event Timeline Determining Success After the Event
  4. 4. A Successful Special Event Is carefully planned Makes use of a strong committee Reaches its target audience Sells the right amount of advance tickets Meets its goals and objectives Raises significant dollars Promotes positive and timely follow-up
  5. 5. Why do Special Events Fail? There are 3 primary pitfalls1. Belief that a SE is can or should be you biggest source of operating income2. Too little return for the amount effort—did you budget for staff time?3. Misuse of volunteers  Burning them out  Not giving them ownership  Not expressing appreciation
  6. 6. Failure SpecificsDid not raise enough incomeDid not attract new donorsDiverted attention from other fundraising effortsLack of clearly defined roles-staff and vols.Inadequate sponsorshipInadequate advance ticket sales
  7. 7. Choosing the Right EventHave we examined all the options?Do we have the time, talent and resources?Have we set an appropriate $ goal?Have we explored what others have done?Does our SE reflect age, giving capacity of my target participant?Does the theme fit my mission?
  8. 8. Ask yourselfWould I hold a golf tournament if I run a theatre company committed to bringing the arts to lower income kids? Would my donors be interested in that?
  9. 9. Consider these Elements A suitable and affordable venue Add-ons; auctions, awards, celebrity, sig. cocktail? Additional “asks” Realistic budget Publicity and promotion Risk and Liability Sponsorship How many similar events are happening?
  10. 10. Planning a Special EventYou Need A qualified, dedicated event chair An abundance of volunteers An active, dedicated and supportive Board Ample to accomplish all the tasks A good mailing/prospect list Enough sponsors and supporters A degree of community recognition
  11. 11. Where and WhenWhere? Should be logically connected to your organization Should be easily accessible Should match the mood of the event Should fit your budgetWhen? Is there a time that works best for your organization? What else is going on at that time of year? Are your volunteers available when you need them? Have you provided enough planning time?
  12. 12. Budget Determine what portion of your ops budget will be covered by the event Factor in:  STAFF TIME  Venue rental  Equipment (AV, chairs, etc.)  Services (catering, transport. Security, etc.)  Entertainment  Publications/Publicity  Decorations  Recognition
  13. 13. Budget con’t. Ask yourself if you can get any of the above for Free!! Income  Ticket sales  Sponsorship  In-Kind  Additional $ contributions  Memberships  Auction Item sales  Swag sales
  14. 14. Timeline for a July Event August – select cmte., speaker(s), set mtg. schedule September – assign tasks, contact speaker, choose venue, equipment, permits, insurance, security October – draft event agenda in 15-30 min. increments November – identify potential sponsors December – ID target participants and begin sponsorship discussions January – ID caterer and entertainment
  15. 15. Timeline con’t. February – approve menu, select music March – print invitations, flyers, tickets. Finalize publicity plan April – BIG CHECKIN MTG. On track? Issues? May – start publicity, meet with volunteers, send invitations (last week of the month) June – Coordinate all elements – do run through and talk to all vendors July – Event and Followup
  16. 16. Determining SuccessQuestions to ask after the event is over Did we make enough money? Were the tickets priced right? Were enough tickets pre-sold? Was our target market well-defined? Will the event promote future community involvement? Was the event well-planned executed?
  17. 17. Questions Did the special event interfere with other fundraising efforts? Did we attract good sponsorship? Was our event cmte. Chair effective? Was the staff/volunteers effective? Was the board supportive of our efforts? Did we give ourselves enough time? Was our mailing list sufficient?
  18. 18. Questions Evaluate and analyze any mistakes that you have made Keep this report on file. It is important historical data
  19. 19. After the Event Hold an assessment meeting to discuss the previous questions Acknowledge donors and sponsors within 2 weeks Big donors/sponsors should receive personal thanks – phone calls or in person Tell your donors/sponsors what their money will support Include any press received Provide feedback to those who could not attend
  20. 20. Would you do it again? Discussion
  21. 21. Thank You! Cindy 604-568-9420