To Kick-Off or Not to Kick-Off – Charity Event Planning

It seems that with each passing year more and more events are being held to raise awareness for nonprofit galas and philanthropic events across the globe. The question then becomes – how do you make your event and cause standout from the crowd?

It has been said that an event can make or break you, so it’s vital to keep the charity event at the forefront of the media to help generate interest and bolster ticket sales. One of the surefire ways to do this is having you host a kick-off. A kick-off will give you the chance to engage perspective ticket buyers and future sponsors as well as pre-event and philanthropic based media to keep the buzz alive if you are further from your event date.

A kick-off is particularly important when you are dealing with a newly formed charity event or one that has yet to be introduced to the media. An agency specializing in charity PR and event PR can help to develop a kick-off that will be impactful with recommendations on the best locations and caterers. The charity PR agency is truly a vital member of your team, as they will be the ones to craft the kick-off ensuring success. A tool that is always used is a timeline highlighting when guests arrive, the best time for the speech and when cocktails should be stopped. For example, one would want to make sure that when the speeches are given the highest number of people are in attendance with an emphasis on media attendees.

Finally, a well-executed kick-off event will allow a charity PR agency to re-approach those who could not attend with a detailed post release and images. This will yet again keep your gala and event in the news.

Here is a small cheat sheet of questions you need to ask yourself before planning a kick-off event.

  • What are the goals of this kick-off event?
    • The two main goals of a kick-off event will be to raise awareness to maximize press and ticket sales.
  • What is the target audience?
    • This should be a mixture of those who already hold tickets, potential ticket buyers and meaningful members of the press that will keep your upcoming event in the forefront of the news.
  • Where will this event be held?
    • Location cannot be stressed enough when planning a kick-off event, as you want to find a location that is accessible to the largest number of people and has that “wow” factor to garner the largest attendance.
  • What is the attendee experience?
    • While a good kick-off event can go a long way, so can a bad one. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you pay close attention to the ambiance of the kick-off – that includes catering, décor and timing of the speeches.