Making a Success of Gala Season

If you live in New York City and see the leaves change, then you know one thing for sure – its Gala Season.

If you don’t know what Gala Season is – it is a period of a few weeks in fall when various charities and philanthropic or non-profit organizations arrange events to celebrate their achievements in the past year and help their fundraising efforts that will support the next year’s activations.

If you are planning a ball or gala, or even a smaller party, be aware that there is a lot of competition, so if want to make sure your event is the hot ticket event, there are a few things you should consider.

  1. Establishing a junior committee or a leadership committee, dependent on what age the core group skews, try and balance it out.
  2. Offering tiered tickets for people to join for cocktails, dinner or just dancing – this allows people to still attend even if they had another event.
  3. Tier the prices of the tickets dependent on age – people under 35 may not be able to afford a thousand-dollar ticket, but can do a $200 cocktail ticket and still show their support.
  4. If you are honoring someone, be clear about your expectations are – do you expect he honoree to sell tickets, to secure gift bags, to buy a table? Lay everything out at the beginning to avoid any confusion.

With Couri at our helm, we have always understood that luxury marries philanthropy and one should not exist without the other. Therefore, make sure you engage with luxury brands for your event’s sponsorship. Think about what makes sense for your brand and approach them. Luxury brands reevaluate their charity partnerships regularly so pitch them and tell them why you make sense for them.

As an agency that specializes in philanthropy, our fall was packed with events. Two of our standout events were theFrench Heritage Society (FHS) who held their Annual New York Gala Dinner Dance at on October 31st and themed the black-tie event, The Black and Orange Ball. Guests wore elegant masks, disguises, and colorful accents, which created fantastic photo opportunities and helped the event stand out. The organization is French so had a Wine Consultant – many events do not do this, but perhaps consider doing this if your event has ties to California, Italy, New Zealand or elsewhere.

We also worked with Hope for Depression Research Foundation once again on their 12th Annual Luncheon Seminar. HDRF honored and toasted a series of individuals who have either spoken up about their experiences with depression; raised money for depression research; or made strides within the field of depression research. The luncheon seminar is always highly attended, and features well-known speakers who can talk about depression in an entertaining way – this year Ali Wentworth was honored with the 2018 HOPE Award for Depression Advocacy and made the room of 300 people laugh with humorous insights about her own experience with depression and psychiatric treatment.