09-02-2011 10:42 AM
To host a successful event, you always want to have the end goal in mind. After all the invites have been sent and your guests have left the venue, after all your post-event surveyshave been returned and you've added up the donations or sales, how will you know that you've gotten the return you wanted on the investment of time and money you put into the event?
For a nonprofit organization, knowing what event success looks like is critical. Here are four questions to ask yourself during the early stages of your planning process:
1. What is the right type of event?
What is the purpose of your event? Is it to raise awareness of your cause or organization? Is it to raise funds? Or do you want to increase your number of volunteers? If your purpose is exposure and awareness, or an increased number of volunteers, then depending on your organization, a fun gathering where people can get to know what you're all about and how they can get involved may be most appropriate. If you're trying to help out a specific cause by raising funds or collecting resources, then perhaps something more low key and informational will work better.
2. What is the right content to include?
Now that you know what kind of event you're going to host, think about how best to communicate your message. Will it be by having a speaker who is a beneficiary of your organization's work? Will it be some quick pamphlets that can be taken home and read later? Maybe it's not that serious or formal; your staff members making personal connections with attendees can serve to inspire and encourage others to get involved.