I have a confession… | npENGAGE

I have a confession…

By on May 10, 2011 | NONPROFIT-FUNDRAISING

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I was going to try and write this post and exclude my confession, but it wasn’t working. Three days before the Royal Wedding, I became “Royal Wedding Obsessed!” And yes, I did get up at 5:45 AM on April 29th to watch the festivities and my friends had a good time making fun of my Royal Wedding obsession. But, I had fun.

It’s May and many organizations are knee deep in executing their spring events. In many ways events are like weddings there’s lots of pre-planning all leading up to the big day. As a wedding guest, I usually remember the overall experience. The food, music, flowers, and location all blend into one great time. Expect there’s one element that always stands out. As fashionista… the dress… is my favorite part.

When planning your event it’s easy to get caught up in the logistics. Why? Because planning a party is fun. I love selecting the entertainment and decorations. Here’s my advice when it comes to logistics, everything should have a purpose. All your elements should work together so when participants leave they remember- the overall experience.

When I was planning Light The Night walks, the illuminated balloon was our focal point – balloons where the wedding dress. We built the event around the balloons; red for supporters and white for survivors. Walk day explosion of red and white, it was beautiful and meaningful.

When planning Memory Walks, I wanted to create an experience that empowered participants to keep fighting Alzheimer’s after the event. So we layered Alzheimer’s education and awareness throughout the venue. I wanted walkers to know that this one day is important, but what’s more important is that our work needs to continue after the walk. One of the ways we accomplished this was to serve brain healthy foods. Instead of serving hot dogs like we had for past events, dried fruit, nuts and dark chocolate all had starring roles in the food tent.

What’s the wedding dress at your event? What do you want your event participants to remember when they leave? Creating an overall event experience is a good way to keep participants coming back the following year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

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