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.

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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.

Deciding Between Tickets vs. Wristbands for your Event

Deciding Between Tickets vs. Wristbands for your Event

When you plan an event there are a lot of decisions to be made. One of the top priorities should be how to best manage the ticketing and admission process. To ensure that the operations run smoothly first you want to decide if your event will require tickets, wristbands, or a combination of both. So you ask yourself; How will tickets and/or wristbands work best for your event?

The use of tickets and wristbands can be different or similar depending on the type of event you are organizing. Let’s start with discovering the options available.

General Admission Event
When it comes to general admission tickets and wristbands, guests are admitted when they present their ticket and then choose any seat at their leisure. General admission wristbands can also be used for non-seated events like a lawn concert or dance performance.

Reserved Seating Event
Some venues have seats with assigned numbers that are also clearly marked on the ticket. When you receive a reserved ticket for admission it is your guide to finding a match of the same section, row and seat as listed on your ticket. Some venues prefer wristbands to signify particular admission or access to a portion of your event. For example, a blue wristband might signify VIP status so that someone can gain access to a special VIP room, backstage, access to a buffet, or a late night party after the show.

How to Choose
In many cases, you might choose to have tickets AND wristbands as they serve different purposes for the same event. Attendees purchase tickets in advance, then upon arrival trade their ticket for a wristband to confirm their entry to parts (or all) of your event.

Consider the type of event that you’re running. Many events for sports (like high school football, soccer games, baseball, etc.) and performances (dance, symphonic band, chorus, theater) concerts, and many conferences are general admission events where first come is first served when it comes to seating. However, there might be a pre-show or post-show event in another area where guests would need to have a wristband for admission.

While deciding on tickets and wristbands, here are five questions to ask yourself to determine whether tickets or wristbands will work best for your situation.

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.