Event Planning For Your Fundraiser – Advance Registration Can Save Time and Money
A “special event” can include–but is not limited to–parties, dances, rallies, bands, concerts, special speakers, 5K runs, walks, fun-runs, athletic or sporting events, etc. In planning for the event you should ask these questions:
1. What is the purpose of the event?
2. When it will occur?
3. Where is the specific location?
4. Who is the target audience?
5. How many participants/guests will there will be?
6. What is your budget?
7. Will you be charging for tickets?
Let’s try and answer these questions:
1. This is an easy one… or maybe not. Why do you want to hold your event? To help a needy family? Raise money for your school? Help the choir gets funds for a trip? Clearly define your event. It will make a difference.
2. Planning a date means checking with others for conflicts. Check your calendar for major holidays. You don’t want to schedule a fundraiser dance for your school on Super Bowl Sunday.
3. If you need to be off-site for the event, make sure you have contracted with the hosting facility well in advance of the event. If possible, negotiate a no fee cancellation. This will protect you if pre-registration doesn’t meet expectations.
4. If you are charging for the event, who do you want to attend? Remember the demographics of your audience.
5. Planning the number of attendees will help you determine the size of the facility needed as well as how many security and event staff people will be needed.
6. Don’t overlook costs. There is nothing free in this world. Even an event that is free to the public has costs to your organization.
7. Whether to charge for an event or not may seem like the easiest question to answer, but it can determine if your event is a success or not. Pricing should be calculated on your demographics of attendee. If you are planning a basketball tournament for 8th graders your admission fee may have to be FREE. If it is a college tournament, tickets could cost $50.00 or more. Give it thought, because once a price is published and tickets are printed, it’s too late.
When all of the above have been answered, the implementation phase of your event can begin.
While many of the issues being faced are easily responded to, it is key to planning your event that as many people as possible be registered in advance of the event. This is critical if you are selling tickets for the event. Nothing beats advance sales as a cash flow source. The task of gathering names of attendees can be somewhat daunting. There are, however, a number of software programs available to handle this critical phase of the event. While you can try to develop a program on your own, the costs of most systems are small considering the time and effort they will save. This is particularly true when you only have a few events per year.
Event planning software programs can collect names and other added information about your attendee (phone, email, address, etc.) that can be used for future event planning. Many programs will also allow your attendee to pay for tickets or make donations on line, which saves you effort in trying to collect those who have ordered but not yet paid for their tickets.