Festival & Event Planning

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1 Festival & Event Planning Developing an Auction Dinner EVENT DEVELOPMENT SERIES Module Two Event Planning Manual 2008 Gary McWilliams

2 Developing an Auction Dinner Volunteers Make It Happen! I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. I ve seen everything from luxury automobiles to original works of art to elegant jewelry to a talking fish, auctioned off. The enthusiasm for the talking fish was unbelievable. Some halls were decorated exquisitely others had no decorations at all. Some were organized with military efficiency others seemed to have no organization at all. I guess what I am trying to convey is that Auction Dinners come in all shapes and sizes. The only things they really have in common are the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who spend their precious time to help organize these events. This booklet is dedicated to all those volunteers, past, present and future, who mean so much to their communities and organizations. The feeling is meant to give you an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived planned and managed. Good luck and good planning! 2

3 Event Planning 1. Meeting Agenda The aim in managing a committee meeting should be to accomplish the most amount of work in to minimum amount of time. Nothing turns committee members off more than a poorly run meeting that accomplishes little and seems to last forever. The key to running successful meetings is to have an organized agenda (see appendix F Meeting Agenda Sample) and then to follow it Side talk on non-agenda items will kill the meeting. The other component of a successful meeting is to have complete and accurate minutes (see appendix G Meeting Minutes Sample) taken during the meetings. These should then be sent out to all members as soon as possible after the meeting. 2. Event Planning When preparing the plans for your event, consider all aspects that you want to include and see how they all fit together. Your main object at this point is to make sure all pieces of the event fit together smoothly without gaps. The success of your event will be greatly determined by how smoothly it runs. 3. Plan of Action The most important stage in event planning is the creation of a comprehensive realistic Plan of Action and Budget (see appendix H Plan of Action and Budget Sample). These two processes give you the foundation for holding a successful event. The more effort you put into these, the easier the event become to organize and the less chance of unforeseen problems. Include a Critical Path Chart (see appendix I Critical Path Chart Sample) with the Plan of Action. This will help keep the committee on target in completing the tasks set out in the action plan. 4. Event Program The event program highlights all the hard efforts the committee put into organizing the event. Creating a well organized quality program not only let everyone know about the event s activities, but shows them what a great event it is that they are attending. 3

4 As discussed previously, it s the small touches that help people have a great time and want to come back for more. 5. Timing If you want to kill a great event, make it too long. Too many potentially great events becoming an agonizing failure because they went too long and attendees became bored and restless. When this happens people tend to talk and drink too much, talk over the Master of Ceremony and not pay attention or worse, they just leave the events before it ends. All of this behavior results in people spending less money. 6. Event Insurance If your group does not have overall insurance that covers events, you should definitely contact your local insurance broker to discuss coverage. Most facilities will not let you hold an event on their premises if you don t have liability insurance. (See appendix J Event Insurance Information) 7. Quality Prizes When you are developing your event s budget, make sure you include money for the purchase of quality prizes. The amount you need depends on how many people attend you event and how many donated prizes you can collect. A word of caution be selective on the types of prizes you accept. This may sound like poor advice, but inappropriate prizes lower the quality of your good prizes. People WILL judge your event by the type of prizes you offer. 8. Main Prize As mentioned above, quality prizes are needed to hold a successful event. The main prize should be a SHOW STOPPER. It something you can advertise and promote. A great major prize will help your ticket sellers sell tickets. It will give them something to talk about. It will give your event that extra oomph that people will talk about. It will become the WOW factor that creates a desire for people to attend your event. 4

5 9. Great Food They say that the way to a man s (woman s) heart is through her/his stomach. This is very true for holding a fundraising event. Make sure that the food being served is of top quality, is interesting and that there is plenty of it. If you are unsure of the quality, try to get a taste test and/or talk to others who have used the facility and get their opinion about the food and the service. 10. Complimentary Wine While you don t want drunks attending your event, people who have been loosened up a little with wine, make for a much more relaxed group. Relaxed people, enjoying themselves, are likely to spend more on the prizes being offered. Offering a reasonable amount of complimentary wine on each table can add to the enjoyment and success of your event. An additional benefit is that attendees feel that they getting value for their ticket price. 11. Parking To add to the grandeur of the event, consider either valet parking or a shuttle service. These would be especially helpful if there was a large parking lot with space far away from the entrance or if the weather was inclement. Liability considerations may make these services unadvisable. If you do consider these, contact your insurance broker for advice. 5

6 Developing an Auction Dinner Appendixes Appendix F Meeting Agenda Sample Appendix G Meeting Minutes Sample Appendix H Plan of Action and Budget Samples Appendix I Critical Path Chart Sample Appendix J Event Insurance Information 6

7 Developing an Auction Dinner Appendix F Meeting Agenda Sample Event Name Meeting Agenda Location: Date: Start Time: End Time: 1. Welcome 2. Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting 3. Correspondence 4. Treasure s Report Outstanding Invoices Budget Review 5. Old Business A B C 6. Committee Reports A B C 7. New Business A B C 8. Adjournment 7

8 Developing an Auction Dinner Appendix G Meeting Minutes Sample Event Name Meeting Minutes Location: Date: Start Time: End Time: 5. Meeting Started: (Time) 6. Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting (Approved or changed and approved) 7. Correspondence (Tabled) 8. Treasure s Report Outstanding Invoices (Approved) Budget Review (Reviewed and approved) 9. Old Business (Normally arising from previous minutes) A B C 10. Committee Reports (Best in they are received prior to meeting and in written form) (Reviewed and approved) a. A b. B c. C 11. New Business (New business tabled and discussed; motions introduced when necessary and voted on) A B C 12. Adjournment (Time) 8

9 Developing an Auction Dinner Appendix H Plan of Action & Budget Checklist Plan of Action (The following actions must take place to create a successful event. The Plan of Action highlights these actions and gives the committee targets to achieve so that the event comes to a successful conclusion) Committee Members need to be found and duties assigned Date needs to be decided upon and firmed once facility booked Number of attendees needs to be estimated Locations (facilities) need to be investigated then approved facility needs to be booked Ticket price needs to be determined and approved by committee The timing of the event needs to be determined (night or day event; duration of event; etc) The theme of the event needs to be decided upon and approved. This needs to happen now so that the program and decorations can be developed The type of meal has to be determined and set with facility or caterer Advertising and promotion plans have to be developed and executed Event tickets strategy needs to be developed and executed The number of prizes needs to be determine and a plan to purchase or have donated developed and executed A plan to obtain sponsorship dollars needs to be prepared and executed A decorating plan including hall and table decorating needs to be developed and material purchased Special considerations need to be determined and listed. Such considerations could include hiring an auctioneer, finding a winery to present a wine tasting session, inviting a celebrity guest, etc 9

10 Budget (The following checklist outlines the main revenue and expense categories) Revenue: Ticket sales Monies received from sponsors Raffle ticket sales Game revenue Silent Auction revenue Live auction revenue Expense: Hall rental Printing charges (event tickets, posters, etc) Advertising costs Purchased Prizes Decorations (purchased and rented) Table decorations Auctioneer (if hire) Sound system rental Multi-media presentation Entertainment Meals Wine Extra event help Wrap-up meeting Miscellaneous 10

11 Developing an Auction Dinner Appendix I Critical Path Chart Sample Task Name Duration Start Finish Fixing Date of Event 4d Mon 2/26/07 Thu 3/1/07 Estimate number of attendees 4d Mon 2/26/07 Thu 3/1/07 Find and book facility 8d Mon 2/26/07 Wed 3/7/07 Determine ticket prices 10d Mon 2/26/07 Fri 3/9/07 Determine event duration 10d Mon 2/26/07 Fri 3/9/07 Determine event theme 10d Mon 2/26/07 Fri 3/9/07 Determine event program 14d Mon 2/26/07 Thu 3/15/07 Choose and book meals 14d Mon 2/26/07 Thu 3/15/07 Create advert/promo plan 21d Mon 2/26/07 Mon 3/26/07 Ticket sales plan 21d Mon 2/26/07 Mon 3/26/07 Prize plan 30d Mon 2/26/07 Fri 4/6/07 Sponsorship plan 45d Mon 2/26/07 Fri 4/27/07 Create decoration plan 60d Mon 2/26/07 Fri 5/18/07 Special considerations 60d Mon 2/26/07 Fri 5/18/07 Hold event 61d Mon 2/26/07 Mon 5/21/07

12 Event Development Appendix J Event Insurance Information Finally, Special Event Coverage Made Easy! The HCC Specialty Underwriters Special Event Liability Program is the newest addition to our TotalEvent suite of event products. We deliver fast, responsive and competitive short-term special event liability policies! Acceptable Events: Animal Shows Arts and Crafts Festivals Auctions Beauty Pageants / Fashion Shows Concerts (see Referrals & Exclusions) Consumer Shows Conventions Dances Exhibitions Fairs Festivals Fundraisers Graduations Luncheons Marathons Meetings Parties Picnics Receptions Religious Ceremonies Road Races (bicycles, running) Seminars Sporting Events (see Exclusions) Walk-a-thons Weddings Rodeos A++ Superior Low Minimum Premium No Attendance Limitations Available On All 50 States Online Application Quick Quote Turnaround Limits: Each Occurrence = $1,000,000 General Aggregate = $2,000,000 Products / Completed Operations Aggregate = $1,000,000 Personal & Advertising Injury = $1,000,000 Fire Damage Legal Liability = $50,000 Med Pay = None

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