Are you planning any events for the new year? Whether it is a non-profit fundraiser or a membership workshop, planning an event can be exciting, challenging and always an exercise in collaborative teamwork.
Staff and volunteers who are new to event planning soon realize that “the devil is in the details” and can get overwhelmed by the long “to-do” list at the start of the planning cycle.
Our Event Planning Guide can help
We recognize that for the staff and volunteers of small non-profits and membership organizations, getting started with event planning can be particularly challenging. That’s why we’ve developed an Event Planning Guide as one of the resources in our new Membership Knowledge Hub. This Guide offers a high-level overview of the basic steps you’ll need to follow when developing an event as a starting point for your event planning. The Guide is divided into two sections:
- How to Plan an Event: 10 Steps to Get You Started With Event Planning
- Event Checklist
Don’t forget about event promotion Effective promotion is a key to event success. After all, that's how you can raise awareness, get media coverage and promote event attendance. To help staff and/or volunteers who are new to event publicity we've also created an Event Promotion Guide. The guide offers an overview of five key publicity options for promoting your event.
What about online event management support?
Organizations that are hosting one or a number of events each year might want to consider using online tools that can help you automate the promotion and registration administration of your events. For example, Wild Apricot’s Membership Management Software offers an event management module that you can use for meetings, conferences and fundraising galas that includes online registration, payment and promotion features.
If you are a Wild Apricot user, you can check out a video of our Managing Events Webinar or read the transcript to find out more about the event management features.
Events are a lot of work – but offer a lot of benefits too!
Yes, events – whether they are fundraising, networking or educational affairs – require a lot of effort and teamwork, but they can be very beneficial to both the individuals involved and the organization. As Joanne Fritz suggests in How to Make the most of Your Special Events, along with its primary objective of raising funds, awareness or providing education, your event can also:
- build relationships, helping potential donors [or members]to feel a connection with your cause [or your association]
- provide great "face time" with your supporters [members], sometimes setting the stage for large gifts
- bring in new donors [or members] and introduce them to your organization
- develop new leaders through serving on event committees and engaging in the planning that is required
Good luck with your event planning for 2012. Keep us posted about any challenges you are facing in the comments below.