Celebrate the Seasons with Holiday-Themed Raffles

Celebrate the Seasons with Holiday-Themed RafflesWhether it’s summer, autumn, winter, or spring, every season has at least one holiday to celebrate. There’s the 4th of July in the summer, Halloween and Thanksgiving in the fall, Christmas, New Year’s, Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day in the winter, and St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day in the spring. If you’re raising money for a good cause, each holiday has its own associations and invites fun ways to put a spin on your holiday raffle.

In fact, raffles are the leading way to fundraise, and for good reason. They’re straightforward to run and easy and accessible for people to participate in. Who doesn’t love the possibility of winning a prize, especially when the funds will go towards a good cause? When you leverage a holiday theme, your raffle will become all the more fun and profitable. Raffles are an excellent way to reach your fundraising goals.

Start by sourcing appealing items for your raffle prizes, and the more that they fit with your overall theme, the better. Ideally you’ll be able to solicit donations of these items from local businesses and organizations, but you can also buy reasonably priced goodies for prizes. For Valentine’s Day your prizes might be romantic in nature, or for St. Patrick’s Day something green might be in order. A Halloween theme might include scary movies and candy, and everyone likes a Christmas theme in the spirit of Santa. It’s great to raffle off 2-3 prizes; a first prize and one or two runner up prizes.

Once you have your prizes, you can start to sell tickets. What better way to set the mood for your holiday themed raffle than with decorative themed tickets? Particularly if you’re selling raffle tickets as part of a larger holiday event, Worldwide Ticketcraft offers customizable raffle tickets with attractive, full color holiday themes to choose from. There are fun New Orleans Mardi Gras themes, lucky leprechaun St. Patrick’s Day tickets, and spooky Halloween tickets, etc. Having professional, attractive tickets will help put everyone in the mood for the holiday and will inspire them to participate generously in the raffle.

Raffles are a fun way to fundraise, and a great way to leverage the spirit of the holiday. Raffles generate more revenue than soliciting donations or any other form of fundraising. Always make it very clear that the proceeds from the ticket sales will be going to support a good cause. When people connect your festive and fun raffle with a good cause, you will have better results.

With a holiday to celebrate, appealing themed prizes, and the enthusiasm of your volunteers, your raffle is sure to be a success. Embrace the spirit of the holiday and everyone will feel generous and have a fun time in the process.

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How to Fundraise with Raffle Tickets at your Next Sporting Event

How to Fundraise with Raffle Tickets at your Next Sporting EventDid you know that raffles are the leading method of raising money at sporting events?

No matter what good cause you’re fundraising for, raffles are an excellent way to reach your goals. Studies show that raffles (also known as “charitable lotteries”) generate more revenue than soliciting donations, and even more than 50/50 draws and auctions or silent auctions.

Whether your holding a raffle at a golf tournamentbaseball, soccer, or football game, raffles work perfectly at any sporting event. There’s just something about a raffle, particularly at a sporting event, that encourages a participatory spirit. They’re a fun way to fundraise, and a great way to leverage the spirit of sportsmanship to meet your non-profit revenue goals.

It’s important to double check that raffles and charitable lotteries are legal for non-profits in your area. Once you’ve cleared the rules, you can start to source appealing items for the raffle. Ideally you’ll be able to solicit donations of these items from local businesses and organizations, or otherwise you can buy reasonably priced items to raffle off. It’s great to raffle off 2-3 prizes; a first prize and one or two runner up prizes.

It’s great if your prizes are large and appealing enough that you can sell tickets for at least $5 each, or groups of tickets for packaged pricing like 1 for $5 and 3 for $12. If that pricing is too steep for your audience, you can try 1 for $3, 2 for $5, 4 for $10, and 10 for $20. Make it easy for someone to decide to spend more money and buy more tickets with nice round bill amounts like $20.

At sporting events, people bring money to spend on food, drinks, and merchandise. It’s not a stretch for them to spend money on your raffle tickets. Make it clear that the proceeds from the ticket sales are going to support a good cause. When people connect such an easy, fun purchase with a non-profit cause, their generosity increases.

Set yourself up to not only accept cash, but also credit cards. You can pick up a Square reader or a similar app so that there’s no reason for someone to pass up the chance to buy a ticket.

Make sure that you have enough staff or volunteers situated throughout the stadium or sporting event location so that they’re visible and front of mind. Have your crew both circulating as well as in fixed locations. Prep your team with sales skills including easy to remember scripts that they feel comfortable speaking repeatedly throughout the event. They shouldn’t be pushy, but they should be friendly and encouraging. The more excited that your team selling feels about both the prizes and the cause, the more they’ll be able to influence your buyers.

When you approach your fundraiser with enthusiasm, have appealing prizes, and have a well-trained, friendly team selling tickets, your raffle is sure to be a great success. With the right planning in advance, your sports fans might just feel as excited about the raffle as they do about the game!

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.

How to Market your Event and Sell More Tickets

How to Market your Event and Sell More Tickets Part I a

In the world of event planning, there is always something new to discover. As organizers, we grow and learn with every conference, concert, or festival that we run. Whether this is your first rodeo, or you’re a seasoned event planner, we’ve created a two-part series of points that every marketing team should remember.

Part I – Setting Up A Successful Event Marketing Campaign

  1. Branding
    Establish an identifiable look, tone, and message for your brand. Your event is special and is much more than just physical attendance; it’s all about creating an experience for your guests. Your branding needs to convey that experience and value to your potential customers. Establish the associations that you would like your audience to instantly connect with your brand. Whenever people see certain imagery, colors, hashtags, slogans, and verbiage, good branding will evoke the feelings that you want them to associate with your event. Get your branding straight right from the beginning.
  1. Visuals
    If your event features well-known artists, experts, or guests, leverage their notoriety as much as possible by using their photographs and likeness on your advertising. Create branded visual images, art, and infographics that can be used for your website, social media, your newsletter, print media, etc. Maps, transportation guides, testimonials, and schedules can all be made into attractive, branded visuals.
  1. Video
    Video is a powerful tool that gives you the chance to convey the excitement of a live event. You can use video in a number of ways:
  • Create a highlight reel from past events.
  • Share video clips of artists, performers, or speakers in action.
  • Interviews with artists, performers, or speakers.
  • Visual content to promote your unique location.
  • Video testimonial from participants.

Keep in mind who your target audience is and be consistent with your branding when creating the videos. The video should convey your message, and the value and benefits of attending the event. Post the video(s) on both YouTube and Vimeo and share them on social media, in your newsletters, and on your website.

  1. Testimonials
    Use testimonials from past participants as well as from presenters and performers. These provide trustworthy and credible sources of information for your consumers.
  1. Competitive Pricing
    In addition to offering early bird pricing, have different pricing tiers so that there is an option to fit into everyone’s budget. Create both affordable and more elite options; VIP tickets with special incentives could appeal to a higher ticket bracket while less expensive, general admission tickets are appealing to the more general public. You might also offer student and senior discounts.

You can also create different types of passes for people who are not able to attend your entire event. Passes might include full passes for an entire weekend, or a la carte tickets for individual sessions, or single day passes.

Discount group tickets can also be great idea. One of the best ways to do so is to contact the sponsors for your event and offer group passes for their companies.

  1. Create Urgency
    Create a sense of urgency so that people buy tickets now, not later. People’s calendars fill up and you need to claim your place in their calendars immediately. Creating early bird tickets, promotional codes, and other early incentives helps to get the ticket-sale ball rolling early.
  1. Loyalty Rewards
    If your event is annual, consider rewarding last year’s attendees by offering them an incentive. This could come in the form of a discount, an upgrade, or first access. People who have attended before could be your biggest supporters and it’s worth investing in their continued participation by sweetening their participation with promotional codes and perks.
  1. Get Traditional
    Don’t forget about traditional promotional channels like print advertising, or even radio and television. In this digital and social media age, it’s easy to neglect the value of paper promotions. However, posts, flyers, sending invitations by snail mail, creating event postcards, and rack cards are still a very valuable part of your marketing campaign. Depending on the size and scope of your event, you might also like to take out advertising space in targeted newspapers or magazines, or place airtime on radio or television.
  1. Include Your Event Sponsors in the Marketing Process
    Tag your sponsors and give them proper shout outs whenever possible, and get them on board to help create excitement about the event. Stay communicative with them so that they feel invested in the event not only from the perspective of continued sponsorship in future years, but also so that they feel invested in the marketing success of the event.

Get in touch with industry organizations to help promote your event. Consider offering free tickets to strategic guests and ask them to blog or get social about the event.

All of these set-up steps are vital to event marketing. However, there is a glaringly obvious section missing from today’s blog post and that is cyber marketing. Social media and online promotions are such a vital part of event marketing that we’re devoting an entire second blog post to the topic. Check back next week for Part II of our How to Market your Event and Sell More Tickets – Cyber Marketing.

 

 

The Event Organizers Checklist: 16 Steps to Make Your Next Event a Success

Event Checklist

Planning is the most important part of running any event. This is a quick checklist to refer to when you’re planning and organizing your next festival, workshop, sports rally, club meeting, or any type of event big or small. While every event obviously varies in scope and size, this checklist can be scaled based on your needs. A two-hour book club party is going to be scaled much differently than a four-day jazz festival. However, the core planning principles remain the same. Refer to these 16 steps to make your next event a success!

  1. Set the Date
    As early in advance as possible, set your dates.
  1. Book the Venue
    The next most important step is to book and confirm the venue.
  1. Send Out a Save the Date AnnouncementYour full promotions might not begin for a while, and you might not have any other details set yet, but as soon as you have your date confirmed and your venue booked, update your public.
  1. Layout the Event Timeline
    Depending on the lead up time to the event, determine what benchmarks should take place when. Consider all factors, like the launch of your promotional campaign and the date that ticket sales will open, based on what other events and holidays are taking place, when setting out your timeline.
  1. Build Your Team
    You may already have a core team in pace, but consider what staffing needs you’ll need based on your event scope and budget.
  1. Create a Schedule of Team Meetings Leading Up to the Event
    Depending on the size and scope of the event, meetings might take place in person or by conference call and should ramp up from monthly or bi-weekly to weekly in the time leading up to the event.
  1. Get Serious About Your Budget
    Every event is scalable. If your event is in its infancy, be conservative.
  1. Give Your Event Shape
    Determine event specific details. This will depend on the type of event that you’re holding. This is where you give your event unique personality. Let it shine! (As long as it stays in budget.)
  1. Operations & Logistics
    Now it’s all about balancing logistics with the flow of your event. What should take place when? What parts of the event will be the best attended slotted in where? Consider all aspects of the event flow before you lock in to your final schedule.
  • Organize Registration and Tickets
    What type of ticket or wristband will be most appropriate for your event? Use the wide variety of Worldwide Ticketcraft ticket options to pick the right type of tickets to suit your needs. Also, will the tickets or wristbands be enough for re-entrance, or will you need a hand stamp of some kind?
  • Determine Technical Needs
  • Determine Equipment and Supply Needs
  • Determine Administrative Needs
  • Consider All Possible On-Site Needs
  1. Return to the Budget
    Review your budget again to make sure that costs are still lining up with projections or revise the budget as needed.
  1. Launch Full Advertising Campaign and Begin Ticket Sales/Registration
    According to the timeline you originally set out.
  1. Check Up on your Event’s Health
    Check ticket sales in the weeks leading up to the event and re-scale your event if necessary. Also check-in with your team members regularly. How are they feeling? How is morale?
  1. Critical Path
    Walk the Critical Path of your event with your Team Leaders to make sure that all aspects of event flow have been considered. Create a flow chart, or a spreadsheet and break it all out.
  1. The Event Itself! Aka. Event Proper
    Follow the plan that you set out in your Critical Path and enjoy what you’ve created!
  1. Social Buzz
    Follow up with photos and conversation on social media. Better yet, have someone live Tweet and manage social media during the event. Share your success and highlights with attendees and potential future attendees.
  1. Event Post-Mortem
    After the event, conduct a post-mortem meeting as soon as possible to discuss the successful or needs-improvement aspects of the event. Create detailed notes while the event is fresh in your mind.

Once the wrap up has taken place, relax and look back at what you’ve accomplished. Feel proud of a job well done!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions of items you would add to your own checklist, please let me know!

You’re Cordially Invited to The Nutcracker!

nutcracker-212544_640

There are many reasons people get excited this time of year but one universal source of joy for people all over the globe is found by attending The Nutcracker ballet. This event is a long standing spectacular tradition – good for the young or the young at heart! The first performance of the ballet was held around the Christmas holiday season in 1892, at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. The popularity grew outside of Russia into England by 1934 and by 1944 the San Francisco Ballet held the first United States performance. For the last 70 years, The Nutcracker has evolved into a cherished favorite. See our Top Ten Must-See list below for more details on performances in your area. If you’ve never been before or if you haven’t had a chance to take your children yet consider this your formal invitation to make 2014 the year to experience the wonders of The Nutcracker! Read on to find where the nutcracker in playing in your state!

The Nutcracker: The Holiday Must-See Event:

  1. Houston Ballet
    Nutcracker shows tradition can still thrill.”- Houston Chronicle
  2. Boston Ballet
    “A holiday season without The Nutcracker would be like New Year’s Eve without champagne.” –The Improper Bostonian
  3. San Francisco Ballet
    Get out your iPad and interact with SF Ballet’s magical production through the new iPad application!
  4. New York City Ballet
    George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is one of the most complex theatrical, staged ballets in the Company’s active repertory.–NYCB
  5. Atlanta Ballet
    “For Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, the beauty of the dance makes the gift.” –ArtsATL
  6. Pacific Northwest Ballet
    Pacific Northwest Ballet can proudly lay claim to the world’s most recognized and celebrated production of Nutcracker.
  7. Miami City Ballet
    This lavish performance – one of the ONLY productions of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker ™ in the nation – features magnificent scenery, elaborate costumes, and the magical music of Tchaikovsky.
  8. Ballet Chicago2014 marks the 18th year of Ballet Chicago’s performances of The Nutcracker!
  9. Saint Louis Ballet
    “Lovely ‘Nutcracker’ spins holiday magic at Touhill.” –The Current
  10. Moscow Ballet
    Moscow Ballet performs Russian ballets in over 70 cities across North America annually. Get tickets in Your City!

In addition to attending one of these amazing events above you could always put on a Nutcracker production of your own at your school or local theater company. Check out all of the awesome Nutcracker ballet products we offer to make your production one to remember! Journey with Clara as she dances on the arm of the Nutcracker Prince through sparkling snowflakes in a kingdom of sweets. Come one, come all and experience the magic of The Nutcracker!

How Your Event Ticket Stub Can Save You Money While Building Your Mailing List

Dance-Party

When you purchase  admission tickets for an event, chances are these tickets come with a stub. The ticket itself is used to gain entrance into the event and the stub is either utilized in a creative way or tossed in the trash. If your organization is tossing the stub, you are missing out a great way to save money while building your client list.

Each  ticket and stub comes numbered  along with an area to customize. If you do not have a raffle or giveaway consider printing lines on the stub for individuals to write down their contact information. Using the ticket stub to collect this information is an excellent way to build your mailing list.  Collecting these stubs will generate a list of people that you can invite to upcoming fundraising opportunities and future events, so you will need to get creative to encourage people to leave you this information.

A great way to encourage people to give you their contact information is by offering a reward when they use the stub or giving this part of the ticket a value. For example, you can alert your guests that they can redeem the ticket stub for a free drink, sweet treat, entry into a  raffle, or a free event t-shirt. If your event is specifically for the purpose of fundraising, you can use the ticket stub to collect the individuals contact information and donation amount.

If your organization is selling tickets for a relay event, you can have the individual use the ticket to enter the race and then use the ticket stub for a raffle at the Family Day Event that the race sponsor hosts after the race. If your organization can offer a chance to win a large prize, it will boost the attendance at the Family Day Event because people love the opportunity to win something amazing!

If your school’s PTA is going to be selling tickets to the upcoming dance, graduation party or art exhibit and can only sell a certain number of tickets due to the size of the venue or chaperone ratios, tickets are a great way to go. You can encourage utilization of the ticket stub by offering students a free slice of pizza, a drink, or party favor bag. This in turn is a great way to keep a record of how many people actually attended the event, allowing you to compare attendance from one year to the next and to adjust and plan accordingly the next year.

Whether you are utilizing event tickets to build a mailing list or to track attendance to save your organization money in the future, they are a great, affordable option that your organization can really benefit from.