How to Make Child Safety a Priority at your Event

How to Make Child Safety a Priority at your EventAre you looking for great ways to keep children safe at your upcoming event? We love to attend events that are aimed at children, or make it welcoming and safe for parents to bring their kids along. It’s especially great to see all of the new and creative ways that special events and festivals are making events more safe and inclusive for children.

If you’re planning an event that admits minors, you want people to enter the event feeling like it was well thought out by including safety for children in the planning process.

Of course we all hope for a best-case scenario, but the reality is that part of good planning is to have a system in place for the worst-case scenario and to create a Major Incident/Safety Plan. Here are some things to keep in mind and plan for.

Identify the Worst Case Scenarios

While it’s not the most fun part of the creative process, it’s critical to imagine and identify all of the possible risks and hazards that could arise at your event. Events vary in size, nature, and type. However, all events can benefit from pre-event assessment and monitoring of risks so that you can set up the right controls for any situation that could arise. Hold a brainstorming session in advance to consider all of the possibilities.

The most common two incidents are as follows:

  1. Children Being Separated from their Parents

The most common a situation that inevitably arises at events with children is that they become separated from their parent or guardian. This is a common issue, but one that you can prepare for.

Risk: The potential of children being separated from their parents.

Safeguard: We have a great new way to minimize the risks of a child separation. We offer an Adult/Child Security Pack of Wristbands. The wristband for the child has the same number as the adult which can help with tracking and verification should your child become lost. When you order the wristbands online, you can also customize the band so that it includes the name and date of the event. Upon arrival at the event, the adult receives a wristband that matches that of the child. Exiting is monitored with the numbers of the wristbands being checked for matching to make sure that the children are exiting with the right adult. Nothing will ruin an event more quickly than a child going missing, however these wristbands and checking procedures safeguard against that possibility.

You should also implement a plan to reunite the children during the event if they are separated. It’s important that staff and volunteers are easily identified so that if a child does become separated from their guardian, they can easily identify who is in charge. If there is a PA system, an announcement can be made calling out to the parent so that they can be reunited with their child. Create a clearly identifiable checkpoint that can be used as a meeting place.

  1. Child Injury

Let’s face it; children are easily excitable and often get hurt, particularly when they get tired. However, child injury is not that different from adult injury and is something you should prepare for anyways.

Risk: Child (or adult) injury.

Safeguard: Create a reaction plan. Make sure that you have First Aid provisions onsite, and someone knowledgeable who will take responsibility for First Aid? For larger events, consider having an ambulance onsite, or medical staff.

Do a risk assessment to identify the potential hazards related to your specific location. Is there anything you can do to eliminate those risks in advance? For example, in thinking about children, are there any sharp objects at child level? Are there any apparatus’ that could be knocked over? Try to assess and eliminate as many potential hazards before any injury occurs.

In the worst-case scenario, what provision needs to be made for emergency services? What will be the procedure for summoning assistance? Where would an ambulance park? How would emergency services get into and out of the site?

When it comes to kids, we all care about safety. Rather than dwelling on the negative things that could happen, you can feel proud and secure knowing that you have a plan in place that will minimize the potential risks. If you’re lucky, the planning won’t have been necessary but you can rest easy knowing that you’ve implemented the necessary steps to keep your event kid-friendly, happy, and safe.

7 Easy Steps to Make your Chinese Raffle a Hit!

Chinese Raffle TicketsChinese Raffles are a terrific way to fundraise for your charity, school, club, church, or community organization. When you know how to run one of these raffles, you have the potential to raise a lot of money for your cause. They’re one of the most dynamic ways to organize a raffle, and they’re a lot of fun for participants. More fun can equal more lucrative fundraising results, which creates a definite win:win situation for organizers and participants alike.

What is a Chinese Raffle?

Many people also refer to this type of raffle as a Chinese auction, basket auction, penny (or nickel, or quarter) auction. It’s a fundraising event in which participants purchase small tickets that they can submit to win a variety of prizes.

How does a Chinese Raffle work?

The basic concept has two parts: the “auction” phase and the “raffle” phase. The raffle organizers seek out donations for prizes for the auction. At the time of the event, the prizes are put on display on tables for guests to peruse. In front of each prize is a designated basket, bowl, box, or some sort of vessel to hold the tickets for each prize.

The Auction Phase

During the auction phase, participants purchase sheets of tickets and each ticket is used as a “bid” for a chance to win the items of their choosing. They place however many tickets they would like in the baskets that correspond with the prizes they would like to try to win. This is fun for participants because they have a lot of choice in how they can spend their tickets. Participants may increase their chance of winning by bidding more tickets on one specific item. If someone really wants to win one particular prize, they might put most or all of their tickets in that lot to try to win that prize, or they could spread their tickets out among all of the prizes.

The Raffle Phase

At the conclusion of bidding, a raffle is held to draw the winners. The raffle stage is really like a series of raffles. One winning ticket is drawn for each raffle item. The more tickets a person deposits into each basket, the higher their chance will be to win the item. Participants who bought a lot of tickets and bid on several items might win many times. It can be fun to create a ceremony for the draw and to make the announcements publicly, or you can contact the winners after the event if they’re no longer present.

Part of the draw for a Chinese Raffle is that ticket costs are quite low per ticket and, if you’ve been able to round up desirable prizes, lucky winners can get a great deal. The more desirable your prizes, the more heated the bidding will become. It’s an amusing and fruitful process!

What You Need to Run a Chinese Auction

  • Volunteers
    • To round up prizes
    • To promote the event
    • To sell tickets
    • To help set up and run the event
  • Baskets, bowls, boxes, or a similar vessel to collect the tickets for each prize
  • Raffle prizes, donated from sponsors and generous donors
  • Raffle tickets, like our 25 chip and the 20 chip DIY Chinese Auction/Raffle Tickets. Order 100 minimum tickets that can be customized with your logo or image.

Optional:

  • You can also sell tickets for an entrance fee with a door prize, particularly if your event will include other entertainment or attractions.

Step 1 – Recruit Volunteers

About 4-6 volunteers are ideal, or more if you plan to hold a very large event.

Step 2 – Seek Out Prize Donations

Have your volunteers reach out to their networks to request prizes for the auction. Prizes might come from members of the organization in question, local businesses, supporters, friends and family members. Consider offering businesses and organizations advertising space in your event program if you have one, or list their sponsorship on your website and on social media. Prizes might be physical prizes, or gift certificates for different kinds of experiences.

Popular items include spa packages, wine tours, entertainment tickets, restaurant certificates, vacation travel deals, consumer electronics items, and wine is always popular.

Also request contributions for refreshments that you can offer at your event as part of the incentive for having people attend. If you’re charging an admission price, include a snack and beverage in the cost of the ticket, or you could offer a cash snack bar. Reach out to a local caterer to see if they might discount their services or an ‘in kind’ donation of sponsorship in the form of food.

Plan to print programs for the event that include recognition and thanks to sponsors, donors, and volunteers. You can also sell advertising spots in the program, and be sure to include a list of items being auctioned to entice participants and excite them about the bidding process.

Step 3 – Promote your Event

This is, perhaps, the most important step in the process. The success of your event will depend on the number of people in attendance and the quantity of tickets that they purchase. Advertise your event on social media, on your website if you have one, on community boards, and with posters (link) in your community. Check your area for free or inexpensive event calendars that you can post in. Make sure to get your entire volunteer team on board so that they can help to promote the event with their networks and build interest and excitement for the cause.

Step 4 – Prepare the Prizes

Arrange large prizes on display alone and group smaller donations into prize baskets. Bundling items together can create additional appeal for those prizes and often raises more money than a small item would individually.

Assign a number to each prize and consider providing a sheet with a description to display with each prize. Prepare a small bowl, box, or basket to go with the prize that will hold the raffle tickets for that item and include the appropriate corresponding number. A brown paper bag can also work well.

Step 5 — Prepare the Tickets

Prepare your ticket bundles in advance and price your tickets in bundles of 25, 50, or 100 tickets. Have a cash float on hand and try to set out easy prices that will allow for quick sales.

Step 6 – Running the Event

Prepare a ticket table at the door to sell the raffle tickets.

If your event will include an admission ticket, you can sell and collect this too. If you sell an admission ticket, use the stubs to conduct a draw for a door prize.

Allow attendees plenty of time to buy their tickets, evaluate the prizes, and place their bids. Depending on the nature of your event, you might allow an hour, or the bidding might go on all day if the raffle is part of a larger festival.

Step 7 – Award the Prizes

When the time comes to conduct the draw, shake up the tickets in each basket, box, or bag and draw one ticket out of each. If you plan to conduct live announcements, this can be a very exciting and fun time for attendees to witness the draw and cheer on the winners. If you’re also awarding door prizes, pause part way through the Chinese Raffle to draw for the door prize, then resume drawing the prizes.

Follow these 7 steps for your next Chinese raffle and your fundraiser is sure to be a success. The more prizes that you’re able to collect, and the more people that you have in attendance creates a recipe for financial success for your cause. Best of luck, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Showing Veterans Our Appreciation with Veteran Event Tickets

Showing Veterans Our Appreciation with Veteran Event Tickets 1

There is a very worthy movement continuing to sweep our nation, and that is the appreciation of our veterans. It’s not a new movement, but the ways in which we recognize our veterans is growing. Appreciation can come in many different forms, and for event organizers, offering veteran tickets for your next event is worth consideration.

Take VetTix (link) , the Veteran Tickets Foundation. Their program has been created to provide free and discounted tickets to those currently serving and to veterans of all branches of the US military.

It’s all about giving something back to these brave people who have given something so important to us. The program makes tickets available not only to veterans but also to family members of troops killed in action. There are veteran tickets that are offered for large events like concerts, performing arts, and sporting events, and also for smaller events like family activities.

If you’re an event organizer, consider offering some form of veteran tickets. You could offer a discount to veterans, but what a wonderful gesture it would be to create a pool of tickets available free of charge to our veterans and their families. If you have extra tickets or seats available anyways, then why not fill those seats with veterans? Not only would such a donation be noble and generous of you, but your other patrons will appreciate that you’re making such a worthwhile gesture.

At the time of this article, 1,582,566 event tickets have been given out by the Veteran Ticket Foundation to our military, veterans, and their families in all 50 States and Washington, DC to our Military, Veterans and their families.

Offering veteran tickets really adds a lot of value to these people’s lives. The burdens of war carry both physical and mental weight that can stay with veterans for their entire lives. By donating tickets, we’re giving veterans a way to strengthen their family bonds and also an encouraging way for them to stay engaged with their community. Attending events provides a form of entertainment for them that can go a long way to reduce the stress of a very intense livelihood. It’s a wonderful gift.

If you’re an event organizer, consider donating event tickets to the Foundation. It’s a wonderful way to acknowledge our veterans.