NFE Series 1.1: How To Sell Out Your Fundraising Event

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By Justin Baer of CharityHappenings.org. Want to know how to better sell your event this season? Take the word “charity” out of your vocabulary! The rules of the fundraising game have changed. The days of being able to run a successful charitable event like it is a charity are over. Learn how to bring for-profit business practices into your marketing, planning and logistical management that will guarantee your success.

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  • I just got back from the AFP conference… walked the exhibit hall, AFP had queen Latifaand Bill Clinton speak… Last time I checked, he doesn’t speak for free.. My guess is low 6 figures.The days of a nice company that get’s approached and makes a $10,000 donation because they want to be nice are long gone… now sponsors want something for their dollars.. It’s turned into advertising, marketing and customer acquisition. At the end of the presentation, I’m going to throw out a bonus easy strategy that will help you land your next corporate sponsor… A really incredible way to leverage the assets that your organization has.
  • How would Jack Welsh (sp?), Richard Branson, or Woman who runs HP run your event? Think about that? What would they do? How would they make deals, motivate volunteers negotiate with vendors?? That’s the mindset…
  • Many of you now are probably thinking.. “I don’t have a sales force” and did you not understand I that work for a nonprofit?? We don’t have sales people… Well you do or you should have them.. They are called your host committee or board. Most successful events have them and the events that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars have boards stacked with not only popular influential people, but popular people who are willing to go out and market your event to their network.. I’m sure we currently have or have dealt with a board member who everyone said was the talk of the town, had great connections but didn’t do one thing to help you organization out.
  • This topic could be week long seminar, so I’m going to take all the self help business books about sales people and break it down into 2 words. Incentives and Recognition.
  • Studies show that the faster the incentive is delivered, the greater the enthusiasm for the incentive program.. Don’t be afraid to have your iPad drawing before the event or gift card giveaway.. Set a goal for the group and watch them hit it!Sell 10 tickets and get your ticket freeSell 5 tickets and get entered to win an iPadBring 7 new people to the event and get your tickets to the event upgraded to VIP.Get creative with incentives, use sponsors, local restaurants, gift cards…Get nominated for host committee chair
  • It’s no secret that when you walk into any big box retailer, they have the employee’s picture on the wall for all to see… doesn’t cost the retailer a dime, but the returns are shown to be threw the roof.
  • Of the questions I hear the most are how do I get people to purchase their ticket early… I’m getting worried.. Why are people waiting to the last minutes… the answer is why not?It’s unlikely that people will do something out of the ordinary if their isn’t an incentive or a consequence to do it. If there is no reason to purchase my ticket 6 weeks before the event, why should I?Get a discounted ticket if you buy in advanceBetter seat placementLimited seats available.. “Don’t miss out!”One day sales
  • Retailers get around this behavior by setting sharp limits on their sales events. Think "Limited Time Offer," or "Summer Sale Days Ending Soon." Charity events need to use the same tactics. Ticket sales at discounts prices should be limited, or they can increase in price as the event date gets closer. The key is to create a Groupon-type excitement around buying tickets early.  People need an incentive to make a certain decision or especially buy something if it's out of the ordinary. Meaning, why should someone buy a ticket to your event two months out if they can buy it for the same price two days before the event. Some exciting tools that I have seen being used to spread the word about your "hot deal" are mass text messaging to your donors, automatic mass voicemail messaging and Twitter.
  • In my experience, the best way to sell event tickets is to have a "charged up" host committee reach out and phone their friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances.  The problem is, this never happens. Yes, you will get one or two superstars that make a bunch of calls, but getting the average host committee member to make 30 eight-minute phone calls about your event is wishful thinking. 
  • They will however, be happy to send out an email to their address book. When this happens a link should be included to your event's online ticketing page.  The key is this page must sell the event itself.
  • Those generic donation web pages that come with clunky donor management software simply won't cut it in 2011. Attendees, and especially those who are new to the event, want to see a web page that is elegant, easy to use, and shows them what the event will look like and who will be there. Your site should give them a good feel for whether your organization is "with it" or not. This event page not only reflects your organization, and it's programming, but you as an event planner.
  • Attendees, and especially those who are new to the event, want to see a web page that is elegant, easy to use, and shows them what the event will look like and who will be there. Your site should give them a good feel for whether your organization is "with it" or not. This event page not only reflects your organization, and it's programming, but you as an event planner.We do online ticketing pages..Your CRM does it..Hire a developer
  • Here are a few tips for building a strong online ticketing page for your event:Include photos from past events, so potential buyers can get a sense for the atmosphere and attendants. Put the organization's mission right on the ticketing page so visitors don't have to leave the sales page to learn about your organization. Sponsors' logos lend credibility to your event-feature them prominently on your homepage. Finally, equip your page with a message board, social media share buttons, and an easy way to check out.
  • NFE Series 1.1: How To Sell Out Your Fundraising Event

    1. 1. How To Sell Out Your Fundraising Event This Season<br />With Justin Baer, Founder and DirectorCharityHappenings.org<br />
    2. 2. What’s coming up in the NFE Series?<br />
    3. 3. Thank you to our sponsors!<br />etouches: 13 modules of event management software, everything you need in one place<br />Contact: Suzanne Carawan<br />scarawan@etouches.com<br />IML: Interactive event technology to help you reach all of your fundraising goals <br />Contact: Shelley Brown<br />shelley.brown@imlworldwide.com<br />Omnipress: Your place for innovative solutions for event content solutions<br />Contact: Chris Uschan<br />cuschan@omnipress.com<br />
    4. 4. How To Sell Out Your Fundraising Event This Season<br />by Justin M. Baer, Founder and DirectorCharityHappenings.org<br />
    5. 5. The Game Has Changed<br />Take the word “charity” out of your vocabulary<br />This is a business<br />Sponsors want value<br />With the right event and correct strategies, you can raise much more<br />
    6. 6. What Would Jack Welch Do?<br />
    7. 7. 3 Sales Strategies From the Corporate Playbook<br />
    8. 8. Motivating Your Sales Force<br />What sales force?<br />What are host committees?<br />What makes them tick?<br />
    9. 9. 2 Keys to Motivating <br />Incentives<br />Recognition<br />
    10. 10. Incentives<br />Yes, literally incentives <br />What are incentives?<br />Reward immediately<br />
    11. 11. Recognition<br />“Praise loudly, blame softly” –Catherine the Great<br />Recognize your superstars<br />Emails<br />Newsletters<br />Competition<br />
    12. 12. Sales Techniques <br />Add urgency to your sales<br />Procrastination… it’s human nature<br />
    13. 13. Retailers have the same procrastination issue.<br />Cool tools to generate ticket excitement<br />Mass texting<br />Mass voicemail<br />Email, Twitter and Facebook<br />“Limited Time Offer”<br />
    14. 14. Marketing and Advertising<br />Best way to sell tickets = personal connections<br />Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule<br />Now what?<br />
    15. 15. Motivation Techniques<br />Increase your number of superstars!<br />Get low-performers involved<br />Email<br />Facebook<br />Twitter<br />
    16. 16. The Look Is Critical<br />Spend time on product design<br />Headline: “Same product, plus new packaging, equals increased sales at Coca-Cola”*<br />Why does it make a difference?<br />*http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/industry-sectors/new-bottles-the-real-thing-for-coca-cola-sales/story-e6frg9h6-1225904656996<br />
    17. 17. Not Going To Cut It In 2011<br />Generic “buy now” pages<br />Donation forms for buying tickets<br />Event invitations created in Word<br />
    18. 18. Would You Go To This Event?<br />
    19. 19. Would You Go To This Event?<br />
    20. 20. Online Web Page Elements<br />Photos from past events<br />Organization mission on the page<br />Sponsor logos<br />Social media share buttons<br />Easy checkout<br />Photo: Bill Brett<br />
    21. 21. Conclusion<br />Bonus –<br />Use your board to land sponsors…<br />Links<br />Charityticketing.org (CharityHappenings Ticketing) – Sample ticketing pages<br />CharityHappenings.org – Charity Event Research Report <br />Thank you!<br />
    22. 22. A recording of this webinar will be available onwww.engage365.org<br />
    23. 23. Winning!<br />$50 Gift Card to more than 150 charities from charitygiftcertificates.org<br />To list your charity, contact Daniel Goodman at specialkid@gmail.com<br />
    24. 24. Next Event: Wednesday, April 27, 1 Pm Edt<br />5 Ways To Build And Sustain Your Event Brand<br />With Liz King, Owner & Event SpecialistLiz King Events<br />www.lizkingevents.com<br />Discount Code: <br />EVENTSERIES<br />Register at http://nfe2011.charityhappenings.org<br />

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