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  • FIRST POST
    • dodge08
    • By dodge08 5th Nov 17, 4:35 PM
    • 40Posts
    • 8Thanks
    dodge08
    Charity event - stressed!
    • #1
    • 5th Nov 17, 4:35 PM
    Charity event - stressed! 5th Nov 17 at 4:35 PM
    Hey all, haven't posted in a while...

    I am running a charity event for a local children's hospice. They're popular locally to Dorset (even Robert Downey Junior ran a special prize to raise money for them once).

    It's a magic evening featuring a cabaret magician and a local magician who will be performing a one man show of mindreading and hypnotism.

    I have been organising it for months now and it's at the end of the month, but I am stressing out a bit as ticket sales are quite low! I have done a lot of marketing and there is plenty on offer on the evening but sales are less than 30 tickets out of a possible 200.

    I have done the following -

    - Local newspaper articles
    - Local radio station coverage
    - Flyered to high street shops / offices in local town
    - Extensive Facebook event promotion
    - Our sponsor is regularly writing on their Facebook too
    - Spoken to as many family, friends etc personally.

    We're just not seeing the ticket sales roll in, any advice on what could be the reason? I would appreciate any advice on whether there's some part of the flyer that is a turn-off since all the people I could ask would probably be too nice to say.

    Massive appreciation, thanks!

    - Adam
    Last edited by dodge08; 29-11-2017 at 2:01 PM.
Page 2
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 12th Nov 17, 2:27 PM
    • 2,004 Posts
    • 5,520 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Have you incurred any costs already? Is it too late to cancel for this date and postpone to a later date when you've had a rethink and can offer something more appealing?

    I'm sorry to be harsh, but you are hoping that people will want to pay £10 to sit in a school hall on a Sunday night (when its school/work in the morning and not a 'social' night for lots) watching a cheesy magic act that they probably wouldn't choose to see, without any food or drink on offer. Your ticket talks about 'rows' rather than tables so if people BYOB are they going to be balancing their glass on their knee and a bottle or a 6 pack under a plastic chair? I'm sorry to say, but I think most people would pay £10 NOT to go to this event!

    You obviously have good intentions, but this could be much better.

    Have you spoken to any churches? A surprising number have function rooms with bars and might be a cheaper way to get a decent room. You'll get more people if you offer some food too, a potato pie supper or similar doesn't need to cost the earth. Vary the entertainment too, are there any local cover bands or other acts who would play for free or less than usual as its a charity event? If the magician is just part of the lineup rather than the main event people might be more tempted. What about a fun quiz? Maybe with a picture or dingbats round that you can leave on the tables for people to have a go at through the course of the evening?
    • dodge08
    • By dodge08 12th Nov 17, 9:56 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dodge08
    Have you incurred any costs already? Is it too late to cancel for this date and postpone to a later date when you've had a rethink and can offer something more appealing?

    I'm sorry to be harsh, but you are hoping that people will want to pay £10 to sit in a school hall on a Sunday night (when its school/work in the morning and not a 'social' night for lots) watching a cheesy magic act that they probably wouldn't choose to see, without any food or drink on offer. Your ticket talks about 'rows' rather than tables so if people BYOB are they going to be balancing their glass on their knee and a bottle or a 6 pack under a plastic chair? I'm sorry to say, but I think most people would pay £10 NOT to go to this event!

    You obviously have good intentions, but this could be much better.

    Have you spoken to any churches? A surprising number have function rooms with bars and might be a cheaper way to get a decent room. You'll get more people if you offer some food too, a potato pie supper or similar doesn't need to cost the earth. Vary the entertainment too, are there any local cover bands or other acts who would play for free or less than usual as its a charity event? If the magician is just part of the lineup rather than the main event people might be more tempted. What about a fun quiz? Maybe with a picture or dingbats round that you can leave on the tables for people to have a go at through the course of the evening?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, but yes - it is too late to change the location, the talent, the time, the day and the offering...

    We have over £350 in ticket sales and so choosing to refund all of that back isn't an very effective way to fundraise for charity.
    Last edited by dodge08; 12-11-2017 at 10:05 PM.
    • Spelunthus
    • By Spelunthus 13th Nov 17, 10:46 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    Spelunthus
    Very interesting post to all of us who try to run such events.. I have no additional advice for OP. Just my own thoughts from experience...
    1.Sunday is a bad night - Fri or Sat better
    2.There's generally lots of local musicians who will play for NOTHING. This can liven up any show in addition to main headliner.
    3. School Halls can be very dull venues - a little bit of decoration, walk-in music, and volunteer students art etc. can liven it up.
    4. For most events a bar is essential, a license is "only" £21. BYO is a reasonable alternative. But if drinks, you must have tables, not rows.
    5. Instead of raffle, consider auction - especlaly if raising funds for charities. People can be very generous at the end of the night, after the drink...
    6.Try to get a sponsor to "double-up" money raised - Bank, Supermarket,... all the big copmpanies do this.
    7.Social media is great for the 18-40's But will miss older people, who want posters, flyers, entries in newsletters, local papers...
    8. A poster or flyer should be no more than 10 words, anything else is an essay. (What, when, where and how do I get info/tickets). Any local Graphics student can design a better poster/flyer than you or I.

    Good Luck with the event.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 14th Nov 17, 10:24 PM
    • 2,004 Posts
    • 5,520 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, but yes - it is too late to change the location, the talent, the time, the day and the offering...

    We have over £350 in ticket sales and so choosing to refund all of that back isn't an very effective way to fundraise for charity.
    Originally posted by dodge08
    How much will your costs be?
    • dodge08
    • By dodge08 15th Nov 17, 2:10 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dodge08
    How much will your costs be?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    £0 ... all our costs are being covered by the sponsor.

    We're at over £400 now so things are on the up for sure.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 15th Nov 17, 10:39 PM
    • 2,004 Posts
    • 5,520 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    £0 ... all our costs are being covered by the sponsor.

    We're at over £400 now so things are on the up for sure.
    Originally posted by dodge08
    40 tickets? Maybe you can still consider setting up as tables rather than rows than as the hall won't be full. It will look less empty that way and people will be more comfortable with their drinks.
    • dodge08
    • By dodge08 15th Nov 17, 10:41 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dodge08
    40 tickets? Maybe you can still consider setting up as tables rather than rows than as the hall won't be full. It will look less empty that way and people will be more comfortable with their drinks.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    There aren't tables at the venue unfortunately, well at least not proper ones, they're small rectangular ones. I am sure we will sort something out on the night. Cheers
    • dodge08
    • By dodge08 29th Nov 17, 2:00 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dodge08
    Update - in case anyone was interested. The event ended up going exceptionally well and we raised over £1000 for the charity on that night alone! Thanks for all the advice
    • pelirocco
    • By pelirocco 29th Nov 17, 3:38 PM
    • 7,591 Posts
    • 8,463 Thanks
    pelirocco
    For future reference , quiz nights and race nights do well . We once raised over £4000 on a race night , tickets were only £10 a head and that included fish and chips ,
    Vuja De - the feeling you'll be here later
    • dodge08
    • By dodge08 29th Nov 17, 4:48 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dodge08
    For future reference , quiz nights and race nights do well . We once raised over £4000 on a race night , tickets were only £10 a head and that included fish and chips ,
    Originally posted by pelirocco
    Y'know it's funny you mention that, someone was just saying to me about a quiz night they did where they charged £10pp and the local fish and chip place brought all the food too! It's a good idea

    I am doing a quiz night next but it may be in a local bar so might not be an option, but we shall see!
    • Reb2016
    • By Reb2016 1st Dec 17, 8:31 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 401 Thanks
    Reb2016
    Really pleased to hear it was such a success
    Light bulb moment 6th June 2017 £13333.63 Debt now 11837.25
    DFD was October 2020 40 months now 21st Dec 2019 26 months Overdraft £720/£2250
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