After months of anticipation, the Gala Fundraising Event Fight of the Century is on. The matchup pits Team “We Set the Date” against Team “Left It to Fate” in a showdown of event planning contenders with very different styles.
Mayweather-Pacquiao has nothing on this!
In the blue corner stands Team Date, who thought strategically, planned carefully and built in enough time to print and deliver all materials. In the gray corner stands Team Fate, who brainstormed a few ideas and decided the details could be dealt with “later.”
It’s Round 1, and here come the guests. Those entering through the blue corner are admiring Team Date’s handsome signs directing them to the ballroom. In the gray corner, the signs have been taped to walls because Team Fate ordered at the last minute and forgot the poster stands. Those guests are shuffling into the wrong elevator and disembarking in the basement laundry room.
In Round 2, Team Date’s guests are seated at their tables, oohing and ahhing over the beautifully designed program booklets. Team Fate’s guests are pointing out the typos in the flimsy program flyer photocopied two hours before the event.
Two weeks later, Team Date’s guests are receiving a lovely thank-you note and reaching for their checkbooks. Guests of Team Fate also receive a note, two months later: “Thank you for attending. Sorry about the laundry room thing. Please give generously.”
Team Date wins by unanimous decision — proving that event planning is also a “sweet science.”
When preparing for an event such as a gala fundrasier:
- DO plan ahead for printed materials that will be needed before, during and after the event. This includes save-the-date postcards, invitations and reply cards, posters, directional signage, name tags, program booklets, pop-up displays, advertisements and thank-you notes.
- DO schedule the work backward from the day of the event. Consult with your designer and printer about their lead times, so you know the exact date by which the design must be signed off and final files sent.
- DON’T neglect to include time for decision makers in your organization to review proofs and make changes along the way.
- DON’T forget to document the event. Hire a photographer or a videographer, so that you’ll have great images to use in next year’s materials.
Need help with design for your business website, publication or marketing collateral? Email Kim Landry or call 484.829.0021.