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How to Boost Donations and ROI with an Engaging Event

Whether you’re looking to increase donations, sales, exposure, or your guest list, holding an engaging event is your ticket to success.

Your guests want to be immersed in an experience. They want to enjoy a night that’s inspiring and invigorating—they want to walk away from the event feeling like they’ve gained a lot just by attending.

So, how do you provide your guests with an exciting and engaging experience that will increase donations or ROI?

Start with the following:

Know your audience

This is the number-one, hands-down, most important aspect to throwing a fabulous event. You need to know who your audience is, inside and out, and provide them with the kind of entertainment they would be excited to see.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and determine what they would like to see happen at your event. From the food to the program, everything about the night should be catered to their wants and needs.

Show—don’t tell!

Throughout the event you must show the value your organization offers and how important each donation is. You can do this through presentations, marketing materials, or even one-on-one chats with attendees.

If you’re a non-profit organization, breakdown what goes into a donation. Show attendees that if they give X amount of dollars, it will result in Y amount of charity work. When you provide examples it makes people feel a greater responsibility to give because they’re better able to envision the end result.

The same goes for corporate events, only instead of showing what goes into a donation, you’ll want to demonstrate how a product or service can transform lives. Always highlight the benefits your company offers—attendees will respond when they see what they can gain from becoming a customer.

Highlight testimonials

Sure, you think your company or organization is great—after all you work there and get paid to think so! Your event attendees also know you’re paid by the company, so employee endorsements don’t carry a lot of weight.

What will resonate with your audience is hearing how the service or product helped someone outside of your company.

If the event is promoting a product, then have a customer share their review on stage or during live demonstration sessions.

If the event is promoting a non-profit service, bring someone in who benefited from your organization. They can explain to attendees how involvement with your non-profit changed their life for the better.

Provide amazing entertainment

We’re talking celebrity emcees, local bands with a die-hard followings, art exhibits from well-known artists and/or business leaders and gurus—these are the types of entertainment you want headlining your event.

Consider any of the following entertainment options for your next event:

  • Celebrity guests: You can feature a celebrity as a speaker or you could sell VIP meet-and-greet packages to attendees.
  • Host an auction: You can opt to do a silent auction throughout the event or schedule time for a live on-stage auction featuring must-have, experiential items.
  • Hold an awards ceremony: Depending on your audience, including awards during your event could get the crowd engaged. It shows how you recognize contributors and adds a sense of excitement to the event.
  • Feature live music or art: Any sort of artistic or musical entertainment will add some culture and excitement to your event.

Have you thrown an exciting and engaging event in the past and have a tip to share? Add it to the comments below!

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