Creating a successful charity event can be challenging. Taking full advantage of online opens additional ways to fundraise and help lower costs.
Ticketing your event through your own website is a powerful way to build excitement and drive attention early on, whilst also expanding the scope of sponsorship deals through content and branding that will be highly visible and shareable both before and after the event.
Selling more tickets is, of course, a high priority. So, what can you do to increase sales?
Don’t wait for invitations to go out, official announcements or media coverage – open ticket sales early and tap into the buzz of discovery. Reward the first round of supporters with Early Bird Discounts which can also help create a time imperative to commit even though the event is still more than a month away.
Use your network first
Start by tapping into your immediate network. Engage the committee and all volunteers to message invitees with a personal note to visit your event website and find out what they’re involved with. Getting engagement early on can be critical for making the most of intimately shared support and ensures you’ve opened your event doors in a special way for your most treasured patrons.
Create an invitation narrative
Thread together a story around your cause and the event so you can gradually reveal details in a compelling series of invitations, follow-ups and reminders. Keep the process warm and friendly. Avoid any hard sell. Response rates are significantly higher when invitees who don’t respond at first hear from you or your team again at regular intervals.
Consider offering premium tables, a special deal for a prominent group or upsell the experience with optional luxury add-ons. Maximising the committed attendance early on provides momentum helping you cover upfront expenses sooner, so you can accelerate your efforts with confidence.
An event before the event
A pre-event gathering for exclusively invited VIPs creates a valuable opportuninty for additional fundraising. Network your elite supporters, personally introduce key influencers and connect opportunities to increase group cohesion. Letting individuals knw how they have made a difference on a personal basis is very powerful, especially when done face to face in a setting that underscores their valuable contribution.
Identify content sources and opportunities
Everyone talks social media, but real reach through social platforms requires great content. The temptation to simply use fluffy memes or catchy one liners can quickly wear thin with followers leading to a loss of cadence ultimately destroyed your social visibility. Facebook in particular is fast to penalise posters who don’t get engagement, with algorithms quickly deselecting future posts from inclusion in feeds.
Leading up to your event, creating content around your cause, the stories that breath the truth of your impact and the motivation of key supporters can help generate a larger audience for subsequent offers. One the day capturing the experience through professional photography, live posting event highlights or recording short interviews or videos can build an invaluable repository of material for future events as well as trumpeting your success.
Expectation builds excitement
The more excited people are about an event, the more likely they are to attend and to encourage their friends and colleagues to do the same.
Use email and social posts to drip feed fascinating event details.
A story of overcoming struggle to achieve great outcomes can be enhanced by injecting fun elements that lighten the mood and add to the socially uplifting side of the event. But more importantly, it adds excitement to the occasion that will drive fundraising success higher. Explore the following:-
- Find high profile influencers, celebrity or highly respect business individuals to provide prepared to endorse, attend or be quoted about the event – and feature their support on your website and in emails and social posts.
- Connect with organisations that have synergies of some kind with the events values. Have principals speak for a minute, meet and greet or simply attend.
- Silent auction unique items that can be featured pre-event.
- Invent a fun theme, use a popular local chef or entertainer.
Bringing it all together
And last of all, a platform of engagement you can direct attention to, that is not simply a ticket page on an event aggregator site (that is also promoting competing events and holding on tight to your contact data), is a critical foundation to bringing it all together. That platform is of course your event website with the right tools to make messaging, ticketing and registration a cohesive process for you to manage and for your attendees to experience.