Everyone makes mistakes. However, making these mistakes during the process of gala event planning can prove quite costly. We’re here to help you avoid those headaches and roadblocks that make your events… uneventful.
Your best bet is entrusting your gala event management to the pros, but that may not always be possible. If you’re tackling the planning process yourself, then keep reading to learn about six mistakes you need to avoid making.
The Defining Elements of a Gala
What is a gala event? Typically, they fall on the sophisticated side, have a theme, and are held for charity to raise funds.
Nowadays, you’ll find that diverse event types can be executed in the luxurious “gala style.” From after-parties for award ceremonies to corporations celebrating a new milestone, galas have become the go-to method of partying in high style.
6 Must-Avoid Mistakes
1. Not Having Experiential Elements
You want your event to make its mark and be remembered—the best way to achieve this is by giving attendees an unforgettable immersive experience. Here are some ideas that will inspire guests to get involved:
Interactive Art Walls
Position art in an interactive space. Consider a mess-free, digital graffiti wall where they can write their answer to a thought-provoking question. You might also find doing this will double as an Instagram-worthy moment!
Photo Booths and Photo Walls
We’re in an era where everyone loves to document experiences with as many snapshots as possible. Photo booths and photo walls will make your event camera-ready while giving event attendees aesthetic spaces to commemorate the experience.
2. Not Generating Enough Ticket Sales
Another one of the most common gala event planning mistakes is not attracting as many attendees as possible. If you’re throwing your gala to get charitable donations, you especially want as many people there as possible. Reach a wider audience by:
- Leveraging both online platforms and print publications to advertise;
- Collaborating with influencers to spread the word on social media; and
- Charging attendees less to attend if your event venue can accommodate a large number of guests—this will boost ticket sales.
3. Coming Across as a Cash-Grab
Event planners have to find the right balance between reaching the fundraiser goal amount and creating an experience that isn’t just a cash grab. Check out these fundraiser ideas that’ll increase revenue while still elevating entertainment for attendees.
- Turn your gala into a hybrid event that can also be attended virtually;
- Opt for a larger venue to accommodate more ticket sales;
- Hold an auction that both in-person and virtual attendees can participate in;
- Hold a raffle that both offline and online guests can join;
- Make donations simple through apps and QR codes; and
- Look for sponsors who are willing to donate in exchange for advertisements.
4. Not Connecting With Local Communities
Tapping into the local audience is essential. These are the people who are most likely to attend your event since they’re in closer proximity to the venue. Audiences also tend to be more drawn to fundraising efforts that occur close to home.
Here’s how to become the talk of the town:
- Collaborate with local businesses;
- Connect with local media (publications, TV, and radio) for promotions;
- Partner with local influencers or public figures;
- Check if any local artists are willing to work with you on auction items;
- Use a unique hashtag to monitor online engagement; and
- Schedule your gala around competing events.
5. Not Making Your Organization’s Purpose Clear
Amidst all the hectic gala event planning, make sure no is losing sight of your organization’s purpose. Whether it’s during the promotion stage or at the event itself, make it a point to highlight your mission, efforts, and achievements.
Rather than just shining the spotlight on celebrating and advertising in high style, show audiences how passionate your organization is, what you’ll be doing with the proceeds of your successful fundraiser gala, and what results you’ve achieved so far. Not being clear about these things is one of the common event-planning mistakes.
Consider incorporating some of these elements into your game plan:
- Invest in high-quality content creation to resonate with audiences, such as photos and videos that tell the story of your organization and its achievements. These can be used as promotional and during the event itself.
- Ensure you choose the right keynote speaker. Pick someone who can effectively represent your organization, summarize your efforts in a meaningful way, and inspire guests to continue supporting the cause—choose wisely.
- Bring in the people who have benefited from your organization. Their presence at the event will enable guests to feel a stronger bond with your mission. Even better if you could bring in those who will benefit going forward.
6. Trying to Do It All Yourself
Event planning is stressful—are you sure you can handle it?
Typically, experts in this sphere have connections with reliable vendors who can provide you with top-quality supplies and services at the best prices. They’ll also staff the event so you can focus on fulfilling your responsibilities.
Sure, you can follow a gala event planning checklist and hope for the best, but there are many perks to employing some expert help. Not only will they handle the logistics, but they’ll also bring innovative ideas to the table.
How to Avoid Gala Event Planning Mistakes? Hire us!
From galas to trade shows and experiential marketing activations, start planning all your future events with The Concierge Club.
We have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to organize a gala for your business that gets results. Working all across North America, we’ve made a name for ourselves as a team that consistently designs premium experiences that are second to none.
Reach out to us today to get started with gala event planning.