Do you know the best part about your event? It’s yours! And that’s great news because when you’re making something that’s yours, there’s no mold to fit in and there are no lines to stay inside of. In other words, you don’t have to know what you’re doing. Which is great — because I sure didn’t.
This is my biggest piece of advice after creating my event, called Philly Give & Get: Make the personality of the event match the personality of YOU, the people creating the event. Philly Give and Get is a charity auction. And I know what you’re thinking: Sit down dinner, white table cloths, little socialization. This is what a successful charity event is supposed to be like, right? It can be. There are lots of good ones that look like that, but it wasn’t US.
When we started Philly Give & Get, we knew that creating a great event meant taking a risk and doing something completely new. We took an event that had been done to death – a silent auction for charity – and reinvented it to be more accessible for younger patrons. It was very interactive and fun, focused more on getting new people excited rather than just raising money.
Think out of the event box! Instead of a sit-down gala, a 5k fun run, pancake breakfast, or a silent auction, why not have an original event that really represents your organization? If you’re a youth arts organization, how about a finger painting party or a drink-and-draw that’s hosted by a local brewery? A charter school could host a murder-mystery dinner or have a back-to-school night using its building. I love the idea of a community or rec center having an old-school Field Day, complete with three-legged races and toss-the-egg. Whatever it is, pick a theme and stick with it!
One last tip that worked for us and may work for you: We got a photo booth and had all the photos watermarked with our logo. People shared them on Facebook and it really made a difference to help the spread the word.
Remember, it’s always easier to get more attendees and press coverage when your event has a very specific look, feel, and target audience. When it represents you. All of this has led us to hosting two sold out auctions and activating more 500 new philanthropists. Our attendees are really making a difference and having fun at the same time.