Charity event - stressed!

edited 29 November 2017 at 2:01PM in Charities
30 replies 9.6K views
dodge08dodge08 Forumite
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edited 29 November 2017 at 2:01PM in Charities
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
«13

Replies

  • Reb2016Reb2016 Forumite
    176 Posts
    Hi,
    I’m wondering if the lack of a bar might be one reason, if i’m out for the evening I like to be able to relax with a glass of something, with your event the only way I can have a drink is by paying an extra £5 for a glass of something sparkling which wouldn’t be my first choice of drink. Would you be able to allow people to bring their own drinks?

    Reb
  • The act sounds awful, I expect many would rather have no entertainment and just a social evening than something they really don't want to sit through. Sorry.
  • tho_2tho_2 Forumite
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    I'd agree with Reb. The only alcohol option being a glass of fizz with a dearer ticket will be a putting some people off. Added to it being a Sunday, if you're planning a weekend night out you'd aim for Friday or Saturday.

    What is the prizes in the "silent auction -
    big raffle -" that's potentially a big draw there, but you give no details other than also at the event. If the prizes are worth it that'll get people in on its own, but without even detailing a top prize/lot it appears that they're nothing to shout about.

    Your acts sound fine for me, although as shown in the replys a magician probably isn't everyone's cup of tea.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Are Julia's House helping with publicising the tickets in all possible ways?

    People are more likely to come if a friend asks them, so encouraging everyone who's already coming to bring a(nother) friend is definitely worthwhile.

    My experience of this kind of event is that there's usually food too - so that may be another put-off. I went to a fairly laid back quiz night and auction on Friday, tickets £10 including ham and cheese platter. Had to buy all our own drinks (no problem with that). But they were able to send out the auction catalogue in advance, which allowed people who couldn't be there to put bids in.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • iammumtooneiammumtoone Forumite
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    Its the no bar. I don't even drink much and I wouldn't go, sorry. Even if people aren't bothered about alcohol they still like to have a soft drink on a night out.

    I think your best best now is to target those who are close to the charity, for a charity that was close to my heart and I supported it wouldn't bother me so much the lack of drinks. I would go just to support the charity. I am afraid to attract the wider general public you need to offer a bit more (or at least the availability of drinks).
  • dodge08dodge08 Forumite
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    Reb2016 wrote: »
    Hi,
    I’m wondering if the lack of a bar might be one reason, if i’m out for the evening I like to be able to relax with a glass of something, with your event the only way I can have a drink is by paying an extra £5 for a glass of something sparkling which wouldn’t be my first choice of drink. Would you be able to allow people to bring their own drinks?

    Reb

    Hey Reb, thanks for the reply...

    It's probably the common issue within this thread so far, the problem is that with a limited "charity event" budget, we can't cover the costs involved with a proper hall that includes a bar. Most want hundreds for the evening. Our hall was pretty much given to us... people could bring their own drinks no problem though.

    If it was felt this was the primary reason sales are slow, I could promote that but I don't know if it'll cause a massive rush?
  • dodge08dodge08 Forumite
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    The act sounds awful, I expect many would rather have no entertainment and just a social evening than something they really don't want to sit through. Sorry.

    Ouch... can't do much with that advice, thanks though.

    tho wrote: »
    I'd agree with Reb. The only alcohol option being a glass of fizz with a dearer ticket will be a putting some people off. Added to it being a Sunday, if you're planning a weekend night out you'd aim for Friday or Saturday.

    What is the prizes in the "silent auction -
    big raffle -" that's potentially a big draw there, but you give no details other than also at the event. If the prizes are worth it that'll get people in on its own, but without even detailing a top prize/lot it appears that they're nothing to shout about.

    Your acts sound fine for me, although as shown in the replys a magician probably isn't everyone's cup of tea.


    Thanks for your reply, once again it's down to constraints with a "free" hall, we only had a few dates to choose from and they were not Fridays or Saturdays unfortunately.

    Auction wise, £100 M&S voucher, signed Harry Redknapp, Ben Ainslie, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Kelly Holmes merchandise. Raffle - Pair of return eurostar tickets, spa day for 2 with afternoon tea so plenty of prizes to go round really.
  • dodge08dodge08 Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    Are Julia's House helping with publicising the tickets in all possible ways?

    People are more likely to come if a friend asks them, so encouraging everyone who's already coming to bring a(nother) friend is definitely worthwhile.

    My experience of this kind of event is that there's usually food too - so that may be another put-off. I went to a fairly laid back quiz night and auction on Friday, tickets £10 including ham and cheese platter. Had to buy all our own drinks (no problem with that). But they were able to send out the auction catalogue in advance, which allowed people who couldn't be there to put bids in.

    They're doing their best, I can't fault the charity one bit, but they aren't massive. I like your advice about getting people to bring a friend with them.

    I'd have loved to do food, I think again the problem is juggling whether or not buying the food (further expense) is definitely going to guarantee more tickets, otherwise, if not - then we'd be already set to make a lot less money that we currently have raised in sales.

    Its the no bar. I don't even drink much and I wouldn't go, sorry. Even if people aren't bothered about alcohol they still like to have a soft drink on a night out.

    I think your best best now is to target those who are close to the charity, for a charity that was close to my heart and I supported it wouldn't bother me so much the lack of drinks. I would go just to support the charity. I am afraid to attract the wider general public you need to offer a bit more (or at least the availability of drinks).

    Thanks for the advice, I can't implement a bar now sadly, I could go to the wholesalers and offer drinks if I can staff a table for it. But I don't know whether it's something I could legitimately talk about "we have a bar - sort of" so I'm not sure if it'd draw anyone else in at this stage?
  • sarah69696pinksarah69696pink Forumite
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    I think like others have said no bar is likely to be the reason, particularly with the type of act you have booked - it kind of calls for people being relaxed and having fun in order to roll with it.
    Is there anyway of doing some sort of BYOB?? (not sure of the legalities of this).otherwise I suspect you'll mainly be getting people personally affected by / involved with the charity.
  • dodge08dodge08 Forumite
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    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I think like others have said no bar is likely to be the reason, particularly with the type of act you have booked - it kind of calls for people being relaxed and having fun in order to roll with it.
    Is there anyway of doing some sort of BYOB?? (not sure of the legalities of this).otherwise I suspect you'll mainly be getting people personally affected by / involved with the charity.

    Thanks Sarah, I think BYOB is the way forward, legally I don't think there is a problem as an alcohol licence is being paid for on the night. May even venture into some basic selling of some drinks too based on the advice here.
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