Updated: May 21
By: Dani Bernal
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, then gala's are a nonprofit's best friend. However, with so many galas being thrown year after year, it's essential to make them entertaining and creative. A fun and creative gala could be the perfect recipe to increase awareness for your cause, bring in VIP supporters, generate significant donations, and connect with community leaders. Here are some great ideas to incorporate into your next gala:
1. Use a hybrid setup
We may not have to wear masks anymore, but we are still not out of this pandemic, and not everyone is comfortable coming out to crowded areas. A sure way to not miss out on any of the attendees and increase funding potential is to hold a virtual gala. Going hybrid for your next gala is an excellent way to meet the needs of all your guests.
For the virtual guests, you could take this chance to charge tickets at a lower price and include some goodies to match the theme so that the guests at home would not feel left out during the event. Having both physical and virtual options to attend the event is a creative way to have all your guests in one place.
2. Themes are a team effort.
Get feedback from your team. When choosing the next theme for your gala, pay close attention to your team's reactions and ask them for input. You might surprise by who has the most creative idea for the next theme. Just because a member of your team is not an executive event producer doesn't mean they lack originality.
3. Table Design Matters
A well-thought-out table design is one sure way to ensure someone will take a picture for social media at your event, encourage your guests to talk about your organization, and is the best way to make people feel welcome and essential.
Here at Vision Matrix Productions, we take pride in our table designs. Our tables for the Milken Institute Global event were a hit! Check out these tables we designed. Everyone interacted with these hats, took photos, and posted the pictures on social media. The feedback we received was stellar, and we loved seeing everyone enjoying themselves.
4. Invite Bloggers
When thinking of media invites, the first people we assume to invite are top magazines, newspapers, and television reporters because they hold lots of power and respect. However, it would help if you did not forget to invite Bloggers. These are the people who will get others talking immediately.
Bloggers are the people at your event posting live. They engage in live conversations, stir curiosity amongst their followers, and are highly influential. They will be chatting on Twitter, posting for IG, creating captivating reels and Tik-Toks, go live on twitch & IG, and more. More importantly, they encourage sales, donations, and involvement while at your event and after. They are a force for any brand and non-profit.
4. Other Surprise Guests
People love surprises. One effective way to excite and bring your attendees closer to your organization is by including a surprise guest. A few invite options for your surprise guest can be inviting a well-known comedian or artist to perform, hiring a popular band to play at the end of the night, or even having a highly respected business or philanthropic mogul close out your event.
5. Follow Up Goodies
Nothing says "Thank you for your support" more than being thought of after an event is over. Post-production follow-ups and gifts are always appreciated by guests and can continue the conversations by word of mouth and online.
How often do you see your friends and family post gifts that they receive in the mail online? Here at Vision Matrix, we see it all the time. People are thrilled when receiving post-event gifts and memorabilia. That little extra touch goes a long way, won't be forgotten and will be celebrated publicly.
Put in the extra time to include these ideas for your next gala. The awareness of your organization, donations, sales, and connection with VIP supporters and community leaders depends on it.