Trying to make your gala fundraiser a blowout success can be a stressful time for any party organizer. Driving your anxiety is the fear something could go wrong or guests may not have a good time.
Such fears can be put to rest by taking steps to plan your gala down to every exact detail. As frightening as that may sound, getting every element of your gala into perfect alignment is relatively simple.
Begin by crafting an outline of the top things you’ll need to have in place for your gala to be an affair to remember.
Find the Perfect Gala Venue
Even on a limited budget, you should be able to land the perfect event venue for your special occasion. An online search should help you locate just the right spot.
To ensure you find the perfect space for your event, make a list of things to bear in mind during your hunt.
Top considerations include:
- The size and audience of your gathering
- Weather conditions for the time of year
- Location convenience and parking considerations
- What the Venue offers in regards to food
- Entertainment set up, stage areas, or outdoor seating
- Openness to the use of temporary decorations
These all-important questions will be essential when creating your gala location checklist.
Determine Your Event Goal
As much as this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how often people get this wrong. Imagine a bride’s surprise when she enters into a space that looks like a gymnasium.
A family reunion in an 18-and-up club is ill-advised as well.
As galas are usually fundraising dinners or semi-formal events for donors, this may revolve around the charity.
With this in mind, think about the type of people who will attend and what they may expect.
- Is this an exclusive corporate bash to celebrate an achievement?
- Will underaged people be allowed at the get-together?
- How accommodating would the Venue be if age is a factor?
- Will you be selling tickets or holding an auction or raffle?
Once you have the answers to these questions, plan accordingly. Be sure to spell these elements out in the invitation to event guests who know these all-important specifics.
The Right Food and Drink
When you make your list, bear in mind the type of fundraiser you’re throwing and who will attend. Keeping these elements in consideration can assist in determining the kind of food you will serve.
There are numerous things to contemplate when pondering the food menu:
- Will this be a catered party or will attendants appreciate a more casual approach?
- If you decide to cater the gala, what kind of menu will you plan?
- Can you plan around any potential food allergies or lifestyle preferences, such as veganism?
Personalizing some aspects of the feast can be a memorable touch. Talk to people you are close to who may attend the event to get an idea of what people like.
Gala Theme and Entertainment Choices
Your entertainment should match the gala’s theme. For instance, you wouldn’t pair a 1920s art deco theme with an 80’s party band. Likewise, a classy affair is better accentuated by an excellent jazz trio than a DJ.
Deliberating on this aspect can be time consuming.
Here are some items to think about:
- Cost – A smaller band will be less expensive than a larger one.
- Accessibility – can the Venue accommodate the size of the group you hire?
- Speakers – if you hire a speaker, ensure their content or perspectives match the event’s tone.
Ask the venue liaison for a list of entertainment or entertainers they might have used for other functions.
Gala Volunteers and Sponsors
Obtaining money for the gala can be a fundraiser in and of itself. You will need funds to get everything you need, including decorations, music, food, and more. Volunteers come in handy in this realm as well.
Asking people passionate about your cause to raise money for the gala or decorate the venue space can facilitate your event goals. Enthusiastic helpers could also place calls to individuals and companies willing to sponsor the party.
When reaching out to volunteers or sponsors, try to find people who have supported similar fundraisers in the past. You can also recruit new sponsors and volunteers most likely to be interested in the cause you are promoting.
You Can Throw the Gala of Your Dreams
All it requires is the ability to schedule and design your function around the basic principles of event organizing.
With a clear plan in place, there is little doubt your gala will be the memorable success you desire.