5 Things to Remember When Planning a Fund Raiser

Acute Inflections Event

Fundraising events are a popular form of raising money as well as awareness for certain causes or groups. Charity balls or dinners are also considered as social events, and many people can’t wait to receive their invites or e-vites.
If you’re planning a fundraiser or a non-profit event, you must remember that there’s a lot more riding on it than just good reviews. The success of the event assures your charity or group of funding for at least one more year. So plan your event carefully.

Here are a few pointers to help you along:

1. Have a Clear Goal or Purpose

Non profit events don’t always have to be just about raising money. Some events are used as a vehicle to introduce a new project, a personality (like an endorser or benefactor), or introduce the organization to the press and public. Having a clear goal sets the tone for the rest of the planning stages, and gives you a good idea of who to invite as well as where to hold the event.

If it’s a real fundraiser, however, the goal will be to set an amount that needs to be met.

2. Set Your Budget

Know how much you can spend by listing down all of the expenses. Thus should include the cost for invitations, the venue rental, catering, security, décor, food and entertainment. It is extremely important to stay within the budget you’ve set, otherwise you won’t be able to meet the target amount you’re trying to raise. Word of advice though: set aside a little extra money for unforeseen costs or additional charges.

3. Plan Your Guestlist Carefully

The key to a successful fundraiser is having the right mix of people in your event. Are you inviting businessmen? Artists? Parents? Young professionals? It’s up to you to decide who your target audience is, just be sure that these are the people you want to be associated with your project. If it’s a press launch, be sure to invite members of the press, including internet influencers.

4. Envision the Set Up

You can create a mock-up of the venue set up including seating arrangements, buffet set up, and where the stage will be. If there will be dancing involved, make sure that there’s enough space in the ballroom for it. Additionally, the band should be positioned strategically for everyone’s pleasure.

5. Entertainment

Fundraisers are more formal than any ordinary party, so it’s best to hire entertainers who are appropriate for the event. A rock band is definitely out of the question, but a lounge singer or pianist would be tasteful and elegant. For a more contemporary touch, you can hire a jazz duo and have them perform an eclectic selection of R&B songs, Top 40 hits, and some jazz classics.

Here’s a bonus tip: After the party, don’t forget to send thank you cards or an email to all your guests as well as the event volunteers. This is one way of keeping your donors happy, and willing to support you and your organization next year.

Unlocking the Evening Party Dress Code

Black Tie affairs

When you’re invited to a corporate event, a benefit, or a gallery opening, do you often wonder what to wear? It’s easy to get lost in the maze of terms (cocktail, semi-formal, black-tie) if you’re someone who did not grow up in these kinds of circles.

But don’t worry, we’ll break everything down for you and get you on the right track to dressing appropriately for social gatherings.

For Women

1. Business Casual and Business Formal

Business casual for women can mean open collar shirts or sweaters teamed with skirts or trousers. No spaghetti straps and tube tops please. Business formal, on the other hand, means a business-style dress, a dress paired with a jacket and high heels. Accessories should be kept to a minimum (no chunky, loud baubles) and some light make-up would do.

2. Festive and Cocktail

Festive is different from themed parties. It does not mean coming in a costume. Some events just want to celebrate an occasion such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but the dress code pretty much remains the same. Cocktail dresses are shorter than formal dresses and gowns and normally don’t have long sleeves. While most cocktail parties see different versions of the “Little Black Dress”, festive events allow more color. Accessories are welcome in these types of gatherings.

3. Black Tie and White Tie

Black tie gatherings means its time to have your gowns dry cleaned. The bare minimum is an ultra dressy cocktail dress. Otherwise, it’s floor length gowns and some sparkle. High-heels are the norm here as well as tiny clutches. When the invitation indicates white tie, this is even more formal. These could mean formal gowns with trains and bustles and long gowns. Bring out the diamond accessories, or tiaras if you have them. Darker, more dramatic make up and coiffed hair are also must-haves.

For Men

1. Business Casual and Business Formal

It’s actually a little easier for men. Business casual means a dress short or a casual button-down shirt teamed with slacks. Ties are optional but a sport coat or dinner jacket is considered tasteful. Loafers and socks are the bare minimum. For business formal, a conservative tie and a dark business suit is expected. It is also classy to wear a vest and matching dress shoes.

2. Festive and Cocktail

For men, the festive and cocktail gatherings can be differentiated by the tie you choose to wear. Playful and colorful ties are the norm in festive soirees. They can wear light-colored suits or even slacks and a sport coat. Cocktail events on the other hand require dark business suits, dress shirts and shoes and a conservative tie.

3. Black Tie and White Tie

This is where it gets exciting for men. Black tie affairs call for the dapper suits and the slicked hair. Black tuxedo jacket and matching trousers require a formal white shirt, a vest and a bow tie. Team this with black patent shoes and black dress socks. Cuff links, yes. Gloves, no.

White tie events on the other hand, require more pomp and glamour. Men are expected to wear a black dress coat teamed with matching trousers. Interestingly, a single stripe or satin braid is added to the trousers in the US; and two stripes in the UK and Europe. White vest, white bow tie and white or grey gloves complete the look. Finish off with shirt studs and cuffs as well as shiny black patent shoes.

Formal parties do indicate the dress code when they send out the invitations. Be mindful of themes and special instructions (for example: hats or Gatsby theme) so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb. In the unfortunate event that you come to a party under or overdressed, don’t ruin your evening over it. Trust your confidence and personality to carry you through.

How to Have Fun Team Building Sessions During a Corporate Event

Corporate Team Building

Corporate events don’t have to be limited to cocktail parties or elaborate dinners. It can actually be an entire weekend away at a resort or a hotel where the employees can all mingle and interact. You can take advantage of this time to plan short but meaningful team building sessions. These breakout sessions can be done per department in order to focus the goals according to what they need more – communication, scheduling, sales etc.

Here are some things to remember when planning team building sessions:

1. Make It Fun

If it were a strategic planning session, it should have been at the boardroom. But since this activity will take place at a more relaxed atmosphere, it should also be laid back and relaxed. The breakout sessions can be in between rounds of sports or other activities for the day. Start with icebreakers so people will become relaxed.

2. Show Videos or Photos of Past Team Building Sessions

It’s always good for employees to see past team building sessions or corporate activities. The older ones will feel nostalgic and proud to have stayed for many years, while the newbies will have something to look forward to. More importantly, it shows how well the company looks after its employees.

3. Listen to the Common Folk

Team building sessions are a good way to listen to what the rank and file have to say. The managers and supervisors are always in control during meetings at the office, so make this a little different. Ask the employees to list down their suggestions for their department, and for the company. It can be about work, or about how the work environment can be improved. The suggestions can be anonymous, since some employees are hesitant to voice out their concerns. This little exercise gives management a chance to get a real pulse of what’s happening in their organization.

4. Use Technology

Spice things up a bit by using social media in the team building activity. You can use Instagram, Twitter, or FaceBook for games. You can also create a twitter hashtag for this corporate event and have everyone upload their photos during sessions and other activities.

5. Good Food and Great Music

Cap the day or weekend activity with a party. Make sure that it’s tasteful and well-planned because it is after all, a company function. For larger groups, hiring a live band or a DJ is a good idea. Make sure that the venue has enough space for dancing if that’s the kind of gathering you like to have. For smaller, more intimate and formal settings, a jazz duo with an eclectic repertoire just might be the thing you need.

Team building sessions are all about communication and building better rapport with your department, or the rest of the company. It allows the management to reconnect with the staff at a personal level while having a little fun and relaxation in the process.

Make cocktail events and corporate functions more memorable with the sultry vocals and upbeat tunes of Acute Inflections. Contact us at 800-610-0704 for booking information!

Picking the Right Wedding Band: 5 Things You Need to Know

wedding band
Source: everafterguide.com

Music is the life of any party, weddings included. Events planners and wedding coordinators say that wedding bands or DJs should be one of the first things to book. Months or weeks ahead would be best, but that is often not the case. Couples usually focus on the venue for the ceremony, the reception, food, flowers, photographers and other vendors. They think of booking a band afterwards. By that time, it’s too late.
They may not get the band that they like, or they may have to book one at a more expensive price. You don’t have to put up with a band you don’t like if you book early.

Where Do You Find a Band?

Bands don’t normally go around and advertise themselves as “wedding bands”. What usually happens is that a couple goes to a gig or an event where a band is playing. If they happen to like how they sound or how they “jam”, then they inquire if they can play at their wedding
In cases where an events planner is in charge of wedding preparations, they show some tapes or videos of the bands in action. They then ask the couple which one they think is closest to their preference in terms of style and song choice.
This is important because not all couples want a full on dance party during their reception. While some of the guests may be after lively entertainment, there are guests who may want something softer or romantic. It is up to the couple to strike a balance between keeping their guests on their feet or wearing them out.

Questions You Need to Ask

1. Ask them if you can choose songs from the band play list?

While couples would love to create their own play list, it’s impossible for any band to know each and every song. What is more practical, however, is for the couple to select titles from the bands set lists. This way, they won’t have to learn extra songs just for one event. You can customize the play list to match different points in the reception such dancing after dinner, and slow romantic songs towards the end.

2. What About Music Between Set?

Bands normally play 2 to 3 sets during weddings and take 15-minute breaks between sets. It would be more practical to have the band prepare some recorded music and play it during the breaks. Some bands charge extra for this, so it is best to discuss it up front. Alternatively, you can play your own iPod with a special play list. Most often than not, these are songs which mean something to the couple. In other instances, they play their parents’ favorite songs, which is a sweet and sentimental thing to do during a wedding reception.

3. Can We Do a “First Dance” Song?

The first dance is one of the highlights of the wedding reception. The band usually opens their set with this song. This can be the Father-Daughter dance which eventually ends up as the couple’s first dance as well. Most bands accommodate a special song request for the first dance. If this song is not included in their repertoire, it will be good to inform the band of the title weeks in advance. This will give them enough time to learn the song and add their own unique spin to it.

4. Does Your Band Meet the Requirements of the Venue?

Most wedding reception venues have a sound limiter which could seriously cramp the band’s style. However, wedding venues have set this up to prevent noise issues with the neighbors or establishments set up in the area. There’s no problem if the event is being held at a hotel, but other venues have to comply with zoning rules. If the reception is being held at home, make sure that you have plenty of space at the backyard or gazebo for the band to set up. Most bands will also carry a small generator and other equipment so prepare a small room or holding place for them before and in between performances.

5. How Long Do You Play?

On the average, a wedding band plays for 2 x 45 minute sets. However, there are some who can play for three sets – or until midnight. By then the last of the guest are expected to have left. As mentioned earlier, there are 15-minute breaks in between sets. At some point the band members also have to have dinner and refreshments.
These are five of the most important questions that couples should ask a wedding band before hiring them. But remember, the band is just there during the reception. Couples might also consider some elegant and softer music during cocktail hour just to keep the guests entertained.