Welcome to part 3 of my September mini-series on how to harness your powers for good and plan a fundraiser from the ground up.
Batman has his Batcave, the X-Men have the X-Mansion: now it’s time for you to find a sweet pad to carry out your mission for good.
You now have a sense of what your fundraiser is going to look like and have a catchy name, and you have found your fearless co-leader to work with in you effort to use your superpowers for good. Now it’s time to find a kickass headquarters, i.e. a venue for your fundraiser.
There are lots of things that factor in when choosing an appropriate venue for your fundraiser. Are you holding a small, intimate gathering or a loud, boisterous affair? Will the event be fancy or super casual, include a sit-down meal or fingers foods? Will people be listening to speakers or will there be dancing (or maybe even both)? What does your entertainment for the evening look like (’cause there’s gotta be something to get the people comin’)? You want to choose a venue that fits the look and vibe of your event and that fits into your budget.
When we first started looking for a place to hold our spring fundraiser, we compiled a list of possible venues in the area (skipping over the fancy hotels that we knew would be way over budget) and started by making some phone calls and looking at websites to check out pricing. Right off the bat (no pun intended) we eliminated a bunch of venues because they were beyond the means for our small budget. We knew we wanted to be able to serve adult beverages, so that also helped to eliminate venues that either didn’t allow them or required us to get a special permit (way too complicated for our small team).
From there we whittled our list down to a handful of possible venus and went to visit them. One was a very beautiful space, but way too small for what we had envisioned for our event. Another one was conveniently located near public transportation, but inconvenient for anyone who would be driving to the event. Finally we settled found one that instantly we *knew* was the one. It was spacious without feeling overwhelming, had a bar and bartending staff, had a great setup that would allow for all our evenings’ activities (including a stage for the spelling bee portion of the evening!) and it was super reasonably priced. Plus it had a really fun, laid-back vibe (with a fundraiser called The Bids & The Bees, obviously we weren’t taking ourselves *too* seriously!) that fit with the feel we were going for.
And because you are a prepared superhero who knows had to take advantage of those tools at your disposal, now is a good time to make use of Google Drive (or whatever tool you have up your superhero belt) and make a shared spreadsheet where you can fill in all the information you might possibly need. I know it isn’t super exciting (ok, maybe for some of you spreadsheets elicit as much excitement as an afternoon of making jewelry does for me), but trust me, it will make your life sooooo much easier down the line when you’re trying to remember all of the little details that are bound to floating around your head instead of writing them on little bits of paper that will inevitably end up scattered all over (which, of course, never happens to this prepared superhero).
Some information you might want to consider noting down:
- How much does the venue cost?
- It is easily accessible for the people you want to attend? Is there ample parking? If you are in a city, is it near public transportation?
- How many people will it hold? What the the standing versus sitting capacity? You want to make sure the venue can accommodate enough people? Conversely, you don’t want it to be too big. You don’t want a small event to feel empty by holding in a space that is too large!
- If you want to serve alcohol: do they provide the drinks and servers or do you? What are the local laws regarding serving alcohol? Do you need a special permit?
- What type of food do they allow? Do they have a kitchen for warming hot food? Do you need any special permits?
- What type of decorations does the space allow?
- If you want music and/or presentations, is there a PA system?
- Does the venue provide tables and/or chairs? Is there an extra cost associated with it?
- Can you move furniture around if need be?
Before you know it you will have found the *perfect* place to carry out your mission for good!
Don’t forget to check back next Monday for the final installment in harnessing your powers for good as we talk about working with your team of superheroes to decide on your end-game, or figuring out goals for your event.
Have you ever had to choose a venue for a big event (fundraiser or not)? What aided in your decision to choose that venue? What questions do you wish you had asked before you chose it?
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