What Is A Special Event?

Sections of this topic

    There used to be hard-and-fast rules as to what was, or wasn’t, a special event. Today, everything gets that label, from a small cocktail reception, to a board lunch, to a Gala Auction for 1,000.

    Nonprofits think special events are cool and a great way to raise money, but they’re only partially right. Events are indeed cool, but only a great way to raise money if the organization has the donor base to make it happen.

    To do an event, your organization needs:
    • A great donor/mailing list of people who will want to come to an event to support your work;
    • Board members who will step up to the plate, and make an example-setting contribution;
    • Leaders who will make calls to friends and colleagues to engender their support/participation;
    • A great honoree or two who ”bring” more people and money to the table;
    • Co-Chairs and a Host Committee who will deliver their own contributions and those of others; and,
    • A staff event coordinator who does nothing but the event … because that person will have no time to do anything else.

    No one wants to spend an evening listening to talking heads. Learn to be brief, and if you must present a long biographical history of someone, do it in the evening’s printed program and/or in a quick (2-3 minute) video presentation.

    There are a lot of variables to the success of an event. The evening is only so long; don’t try to do too much. If you have two honorees and two presenters you’re done !!

    And, one thing to remember, it takes years to build a major event that people mark on their calendars as a “don’t miss.”


    Have a question about creating or expanding your special event? Email me at Info@NatalieShear.com. With over 30 years in conference and event planning, we can help you turn your vision into reality.
    Have you seen Natalie’s ebook on Special Events ??