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Tips on Event Planning

Thank you for thinking about hosting a fundraising event for Tropicana Community Services. From Bake Sales to Garage Sales, Golf Tournaments to Galas, no event is too big or too small. While finer points may change or differ, there are broad approaches that ought to be taken in choosing and implementing an event.Here are some general guidelines:

  • Plan early.
  • If you know of others who have done a similar event, try to find out what aspects were a success and attempt to adapt them.
  • Develop a theme and a focus for the event from the get go. Theme and focus serve as a roadmap for the event.
  • Determine what your needs are as they relate to personnel, e.g., speakers; entertainers; volunteers (to plan the event, help during the event, assist with cleaning, etc. after the event); financial needs; venue; equipment; transportation; etc.
  • Confirm and reconfirm with anyone having anything to do with the event.Keep a paper trail of correspondence.
  • Keep an eye on your budget and be sure not to overspend.
  • Give yourself enough time to promote/advertise the event to try to connect with your target market.
  • Send notice of the event to the media. Prepare a media kit and make arrangement for media that may attend. Decide on the spokesperson(s) for the event in case the media want to speak to a representative.
  • Plan on capturing the event in words and/or pictures through photos, testimonials, statements, feedback of participants, your own note-taking.With today’s technology (digital and video cameras), one doesn’t have to be a professional photographer to take good pictures.

After the event, there are additional tasks and duties to be completed:

  • Send thank you letters to key personnel; such as donors, funders and the keynote speaker.(In some instances, thank you letters are sent to the attendees).
  • Do a post-mortem of the event as soon as possible to determine what went well; what did not; what can be improved; etc.
  • Do cash reconciliation.
  • Download photos taken at the event. Photos and/or press releases of the event can be submitted to media that did not attend.The sooner submitted after the event, the greater the chance of it being published.

Good luck!