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From the minute you decide to hold an event all the way until the last Thank You note is sent – there is always the “live” event dynamic. This means that anything can happen throughout the event life-cycle. Often times, it’s things that are at times completely uncontrollable. It runs the gamut from unexpected construction to changes in jurisdictional requirements to severe weather.
2013 has seen some major advances in technology and we are a big fan of using them to simplify the work that needs to be done when planning and operating events. Here are a few of our favorite examples from projects we worked on this past year.
I’m planning an event and this time it’s not for work: I’m getting married. It’s a little surreal to undertake a production within my own life because I’m experiencing what it’s like to be on the other side of the equation. What’s been most surprising to me is how many vendors in event services act like they only deliver equipment… “We just do tables, tents and chairs.” I’m astounded at the lack of service being offered and it makes me wonder how many organizations are used to this deficiency when working with event production companies. Don’t get me wrong, there are good vendors out there and I’ve had to cut through the chaff to find them. I’ve had to filter vendors by the expectations we set for ourselves at Event 360. It dawned on me that this experience translates really well into our event production world and I wanted to share a few of those filters every organization should expect of their event services provider.
It occurred to me the other day- probably after I was making my 3rd or 4th donation to the very same friend (and cause that she supports)- that we, as event fundraisers, place a lot of emphasis on making sure our emails are perfectly crafted to motivate our participants. That they know all about the tools accessible to be good at fundraising. We encourage them to use social media. And to get their friends to join them- not just in making a donation, but on event too. These are all important aspects of event preparedness. But how much do we teach our participants about the art of storytelling and how to inspire people to donate through the power of our written words?
The very reason that I have supported my friend Molly (confusing, I know. That’s why in our inner circle I’m known as “Good Molly”) is because she is persuasive and passionate every time she is looking for support. She clearly outlines why this cause is important to her and beautifully puts into words why it needs to be important to me- and all her prospective donors- too. Her latest fundraising request ended with this:
There's lots of change around me. Some I’m engineering and some I’m watching from the sidelines. Partly due to the weather (yes, even in Santa Monica, the weather changes!) and partly due to the time of year, I’m finding solace in reconnecting to the reason why I do this work in the first place. It’s helping me stay grounded with so much happening around me. And with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it gives me time to pause and think about my very personal reasons for being an event fundraiser.
Caine’s Arcade, for those of you who don’t know (and didn’t read my friend and colleague Therese’s post last year), was an elaborate do-it-yourself cardboard arcade that Caine Monroy built during his summer vacation when he was nine years old. It was through this arcade that Caine met Nirvan Mullick who helped Caine’s Arcade go global and inspire millions by launching the Imagination Foundation and the Global Cardboard Challenge.
Although the arcade was open all summer long, Nirvan (a Los Angeles-based filmmaker) was Caine’s first customer. He stopped by Caine’s father’s auto parts store in East Los Angeles on the last day of the summer looking for a used door handle for his ’96 Toyota Corolla. Unlike most of the customers that came in and out of the auto part store, Nirvan was curious enough to check out the arcade. And it’s safe to say that he left with so, so much more than he ever could have imagined.
I’m happy to speak to a topic that’s critical to the work I do (and I’d say is critical to the work you do as well!): building relationships.
Editor's note: I'm excited to welcome a new guest blogger to the Event 360 blog. David Berry's professional passion is helping leaders find the courage and wisdom to create environments where they, and the people they lead, can creatively explore the limitless possibilities of their potential - and build rock-solid organizations while doing so.
I had an opportunity to attend Invisible Children’s Fourth Estate Summit on August 10. While it took place over the course of three days, I could only attend this one day. Although I was jet-lagged, I’m so glad I attended. This is how Invisible Children’s CEO, Ben Keesey, described the Summit: “…leaders in the fields of culture, social entrepreneurship, human rights, and the arts will come together to share their learnings with 1,400 Millennials who have distinguished themselves as social enterprise mavens and advocacy navigators.”
Saturday found me sitting in on two breakout sessions. It’s hard to describe the energy, inspiration, and excitement that was evident in each attendee and was impossible to avoid everywhere you went. Invisible Children absolutely capitalizes the market on youth mobilization and knew just how to inspire and motivate attendees. I’ve been catching up on the live feed when I can, but having an opportunity to be there in person was off the charts inspiring. I felt energized in a way that can only be accomplished by being surrounded by excited and determined world changers. I felt motivated to keep moving on this path of wanting to make the world a better place. And I felt inspired by the speakers and presenters; they made me want to do more.