Most of us took time off during the summer. Well, we did and hope you did too! Summer is about getting outside, breathing in that fresh air, enjoying the sunshine and spending it with family and friends.
And when that happens, things move slower. Not many decisions happen – tickets/tables don’t sell, sponsorships remain unconfirmed, auction items are hard to secure, etc. The struggle is real and this is normal!
With September here, kids back to school, cottages sadly closing we like to think of this time as a new beginning and a time to get back on track.
Here are some of our tips on how you can get back on track, run effective meetings (because we know you probably cancelled some during the summer!) and help get people (re)engaged and ready to raise money for your organization!
Take some time to clean up your inbox and get yourself caught up – you probably have lots of unread emails or emails you said you could do later. Go through these, answer them and deal with them. Once you tackle this you will feel better instantly.
Define your tasks – what are the things you need to focus on the most? Securing cash sponsors, selling the last of your tables, confirming your live auction, etc. Once you know your tasks, schedule time in your calendar to work on each piece. This organization will make it easier for you to plunge back in and help guide your committee effectively.
Get excited – if you have a fall event, it’s coming up…this is exciting! Get excited about what you have accomplished so far and where you are going. You steer the ship, so if you are not excited, people around you will not be either.
Set in-person meetings (committees, sponsorships, supplier updates) – we recommend aiming for the 2nd of 3rd week of September. Why then and why in-person? Well, most people are busy that first week getting their kids back to school and getting caught up themselves on emails, etc. Give everyone time to get back into their routine. People will feel most energized and ready to take on that meeting if they are not feeling overwhelmed themselves. Meeting in-person helps build that energy and excitement around the event, it also helps build those stakeholder relationships.
During your committee meeting make sure you:
1. Make the meeting agenda clear – so everyone knows what outcomes are expected and the goal(s) you are working towards
2. Stay on track – if there is a conversation between people which can be taken offline, do it. Time is precious and there is nothing worse than a meeting that goes over the time scheduled
3. Provide organizational updates – what has happened during the summer? What are the successes the organization has celebrated the last few months? Share good news stories!
4. Define roles – ensure everyone walks out of the room with a clear understanding of what they are doing and how they are contributing to the success of the event and what the deadlines are (yes – deadlines are fast approaching now!)
5. Provide food & drinks – a bottle of wine (even sparkling) to celebrate accomplishments, thank the committee and refocus towards the final weeks of planning
We know it’s tough getting back into routine and feeling motivated again. Things will move fast with everyone hitting “play” at the same time. Stay organized, stay focused and lean on the team of experts you have around you for support. Deep breath, you will get there and your event will be amazing!