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Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

When planning an event you need to ask yourself some key questions to determine if the “Juice is Worth the Squeeze.”

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Last week I had the honor and privilege of presenting a workshop on Event Fundraising at the 4th Annual Not for Profit Workshop for 260+ nonprofit professionals along with my AMAZING co-presenter Sharon McDonald, Director of Special Events at the Straz Center.

The Not for Profit Workshop is designed to help non-profit organizations and their employees find ways to increase donations and maximize their impact from generous philanthropists and is founded and sponsored by Warren Rodgers and Dr. Zena Lansky, Philanthropists and lovers of the Tampa Bay community.

I served on the marketing committee for this event and was featured with Dr. Zena Lansky on 10 News to promote and discuss the event on air. You can view our interview below to learn more!

10 News Interview

The event began with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn welcoming the crowd followed by a slew of prestigious speakers such as Bob Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data and Steve Mason, President and CEO of BayCare to name a few.

Planning for this presentation took a lot of work and to be honest I was really nervous at first. I wanted to make sure our attendees were leaving with relevant information and new ideas, I wanted to make sure we weren’t boring and of course I didn’t want to mess up on stage.

In the end the workshop was a huge success and somehow I wasn’t even nervous on stage! We brought our attendees through a “Road Map for a Successful Fundraising Event” and discussed budgeting, volunteers, sponsorships, event marketing and how to best utilize social media before, during and after your event to increase revenue.

Alyssa Rhoads Event Fundraising Workshop

I learned a lot about myself during this process but mainly I learned that you really do need to face your fears to be successful in business and in life in general. I truly am thankful for the opportunity to speak on what I love to do all while giving back to the community in my small way.

In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing our presentation on Event Fundraising through this blog beginning with the Key Questions you need to ask yourself before deciding if “The Juice is Worth the Squeeze” when determining if hosting an event is the best decision for your company or organization.

NFP Workshop Road Map

KEY QUESTIONS:

1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MY EVENT?

Are you hosting this event to raise money, gain exposure or gain awareness for your cause?

2. IS THIS A REOCCURING EVENT?

If so, ask yourself why your organization created the event in first place and if those reason still remain valid today?

If not, what new realities should be taken into account?

Remember that it is ok to reinvent and reenergize your event with new fresh ideas to satisfy the needs of your organization as well as your attendees.

3. WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?

4. WHAT TYPE OF EVENT WILL ATTRACT THIS AUDIENCE?

Will your target demographic be more likely to attend a breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktail party, etc.?

5. WHAT IS THE BEST VENUE TO ATTRACT THIS AUDIENCE?

With this question comes many sub questions that you will need to know about the venue before signing a contract.

A. What is the capacity?
Be sure to take your AV and stage needs into consideration when discussing the capacity.

B. Location and Parking
Is the location easy to find? Is parking Free? Is there Valet available? What parking charges might my attendees or my organization have to account for?

C. Food and Beverage requirements
What are the food and beverage minimums at your venue?
If you are looking to get food or beverage donated… be sure to ask your venue if they will allow outside food and beverage.

D. HIDDEN COSTS?
Before signing a contract be sure to ask what additional expenses that are not included on the contract that you might encounter.

Ex. If you are expecting 600 people at your cocktail event you will need at least 6 bartenders which may cost you $100+ per bartender. That is an additional $600 expense that you might not have budgeted for.

6. WHAT TIME OF YEAR WILL WORK BEST?

Be sure to check the holiday calendars as well as competing events in your area before selecting the date and time of your event.

7. WHAT IS THE KEY THEME/CALL TO ACTION TO ENCOURAGE RESPONSE?

Ask yourself why someone would want to attend your event and what makes your event stand out from the crowd? This is where you can get creative with your theme, bring a celebrity guest or keynote speaker, great entertainment, food and beverage, etc.

8. DO A S.W.O.T analysis to vet out the STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES and THREATS that will come along with your event to finally determine if…. “The Juice is Worth the Squeeze!”

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