Every host wants to have the best event where their guests feel special, have fun and leave with lasting memories. To achieve this, there is a great amount of work and detail that goes into planning each and every event. Professional event planner Tara Hayes, of Tara Beth Events, shares her top tips for creating a successful charity event.
It is the job of the event coordinator to make sure that an event is executed flawlessly. Or rather, that the event appears flawless to guests!
Here are five top tips for running an unforgettable charity event on a tight budget:
1. Target the right market
Whilst it’s a worry that you won’t sell enough tickets, it’s more important that you target exactly the right audience. Ideally, you’re looking for people who have an affinity to your cause, people who have been supported by your charity and who can network with the guests and, of course, people with either money, influence or both!
2. Expect the unexpected
In order for your event to be successful, you need to be prepared for any issue that may arise. Plan in advance any potential issues that could arise and put a process in place for how you will deal with them.
3. Create a gratifying experience
Charity events come with their own unique challenge of creating an unforgettable time while not taking away funds from the money raised. It’s true that you have to spend money to make money, but you do need to be very strategic in how you plan and spend your event budget. Your guests, whilst wanting a good time, also want their money to go to the charity rather than on the event itself. Research local musicians, dance troupes, entertainers and event suppliers who may be able to provide their services for free or at a reduced cost to help your budget go further.
4. Have a unique fundraising idea
The aim of these events is to raise as much money as possible for your charity so try to think of unique ways to do this. We all know that auctions can work incredibly well but could you add a spin on it?
5. Plan for a ‘wow’ factor
This is something that makes your event stand out from the ordinary and takes your guests by surprise. Unfortunately these ‘wow factors’ can come with a high cost so it’s imperative to plan your budget carefully. For the Everything Is Possible Charity Gala Dinner for the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation I wanted to hire Ariel Angels, to swing down from their perch high in the air to pour champagne for the guests below. At first, this was out of our budget, but through high-ticket sales and careful budget management, I was able to hire this act for the event. This ‘wow factor’ made a lasting impression on all those in attendance and was even featured in the local newspaper.
You might not always have the biggest budget to create a fairytale event, but if everyone leaves feeling like they have made a difference by attending then you have done a fantastic job. At the end of the day a successful charity event will create awareness, raise funds and make people glad they were a part of it.