Hosting a successful social function is never without its challenges. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you pull it off without breaking a sweat. Whether you’re thanking members, gathering the community, or recruiting new members, use an event as a time to showcase your club at its best. Event planning doesn’t have to be stressful. Following a few key steps (and taking a few deep breaths) can make the whole process more enjoyable.
1. Commit to a committee
Organizing club programs and activities will be much easier if you have a group of event planners. If your club doesn’t already have an event committee, consider asking for volunteers. Ask spouses, family members, and any authorized guests to join in the process. This will allow you to delegate tasks, save time, and benefit from the input and expertise of others. Establish a committee in the early stages of planning your social function. This way, your servicemen and volunteers can be on the same page from day one.
2. Plan ahead
Depending on the type of event your club is hosting, start planning at least four to six months in advance for big gatherings like Airman Leadership School graduations and dinner galas. Make sure to put all recurring annual events on your committee’s calendar. This will give you time to prepare the venue, a caterer, a keynote speaker, or any details that are critical for your event. Give yourself and your team an adequate buffer between planning and execution. Don’t be afraid to multitask, but anticipate event overlap, so separate committees can work in tandem.
3. Create a game plan
Set a goal for each of your events and clarify your intentions. Are you looking to recruit new club members? Are you organizing a membership drive? Or maybe the Cinco De Mayo party? Use each gathering as a publicity opportunity to elevate the exposure of your club if your goal is to attract new servicemen. Share your RSVP with other servicemen to generate buzz and entice them to attend. Knowing exactly what you want the event to achieve will help you plan the necessary details to attain your goals.
4. Make a checklist
Organization is crucial to making sure the event runs smoothly, so create and distribute a checklist before carrying out your plan, and make sure you stick with it. Once you’ve outlined your goal for an event, program, class, or drive, you can start planning everything else. A discussion board can be a valuable tool because it will keep your event committee on track and informed of how plans are progressing.
Here are some basic items to help you start your list:
5. Send invitations
It's important to get the word out to club members and their guests early, within six to eight weeks of the big event, so invitees can save the day and make any necessary arrangements. People are more likely to decline last-minute invitations if they don't have enough notice to set aside the time. This may also make the event seem unorganized.
Creating a web page for the event allows you to post updates and pictures as well as answer questions that invitees may have. Increasing communication and member interaction is a great way to build anticipation to boost attendance. Your event page can include: images, branding, ticketing, and a location map.
6. Stay organized
This is extremely important to avoid mistakes and limit the stress of your event planning. Keeping track of RSVPs, their guests, meal selections, food allergies, and add-ons like raffle tickets, prizes, and more can be a daunting task. Our member management platform streamlines this by allowing guests to RSVP and purchase tickets online using the events module. Event committees benefit when all the necessary information is organized in one location that they can access from virtually anywhere. A month before your event, schedule weekly check-ins with your team. Increase it to daily check-ins the week before the event ensure that everyone is ready-to-go and on the same page.
7. Have fun!
You and your team have worked hard to create the perfect function and now it’s time to profit from a job well done. Remember, in order, to make a game plan, set a goal, and stay organized. And most importantly, have fun! The hallmark of your successful event is being able to enjoy yourself alongside your servicemen.
Our event functionality, donation and email campaign features, discussion boards, and online payment forms within the event module make it easy to plan for your entire year. Let’s get going!
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