Last week we had the pleasure of managing the 5th annual Wine, Dine & Showtime event in the Western Fair District’s Carousel Room with a SOLD OUT crowd! It was a night of red carpet excitement, great food, interactive entertainment and excellent fundraising.
The days after an event are when we feel our hard work has paid off. When all our planning, creativity and expertise has led to success. A time to reflect – what did it take to execute a successful fundraising event?
Volunteers, Volunteers, Volunteers
We’ve said it before and we will say it again, volunteers are vital to the success of any fundraising event. Soliciting the auction items, greeting people, spreading the word and ultimately believing in the cause. The right volunteers make the difference. In the case of the Sexual Assault Centre London the volunteers were hugely responsible for the successful outcome of the event!
Investing in your Event
Invest in your event by surrounding it with experts who can ensure a successful outcome with experience, reputation and expertise - catering, audio visual, entertainment, event management, marketing and an auctioneer fall under this section. Investing in professionals can make the difference in the quality of your event, the amount of stress / time your organization has to spend on the event and also the amount of money you can raise. I am a true believer that at times, it takes money to make money. We were lucky to have done this event with such professionals – Western Fair District, MMC Productions, Linda Leja – The Auctionista, DJ Testify, Paras Events and Rock Star Live.
Again this is a given in the event world! Being organized before the event makes the set up and event day(s) run smooth. A tie down meeting, a detailed event schedule, notes for all suppliers, speakers and volunteers that are distributed ahead of time eliminate many of the last minute changes and scrambles that can happen. And changes do happen. Things look different in person than on a floor plan and someone may just have a brilliant idea that can be implemented – these are ok when you are organized and stress free.
Remember Why We Are There
Emotions run high on event day – this is the moment of truth or as a venue recently quoted “the hour of terror”. We all want to bring our best talents to the table. Everyone wants to shine to impress the client, the guests, the donors, and so on. Knowing when to take a step back to evaluate what is best for the event, best for the organization is key. We cannot all be right all the time. There are funds to be raised, people to inspire and relationships to be nurtured. As much as the décor, programs, signage, staging and servers are important, the cause is always the front runner. Why are we there? Why are we hosting this event? The most successful events always keep this last element at the forefront!
We can confidently say the Wine, Dine & Showtime event was a success – we saw happy guests – eating, socializing, donating money and singing on stage! Yes singing on stage! They were smiling from the moment they walked in the doors and received their complimentary glass of sparkling cider to the time they left with auction items in hand.
We had great volunteers supporting the organization and expert partners to help lead the event to success. We of course were organized and the reason why – well we never forgot we were there honouring every survivor and taking steps forward in creating real, lasting change because together we create “Our world without sexual violence.”
Event Director & Co-Owner