It might be your event … but I’m the one attending

Posted by Sharon Danosky | Posted in The Philanthropy Therapist | Posted on 10-02-2011


It’s Event Season.  Committee Chairs and members are busy planning, putting the finishing touches on everything, praying for good weather and hoping to raise lots of money.

So – in the midst of all this chaos – let’s think about the people who will be attending – some who may be your new best friends, some waiting to reconnect and others just looking to try you on for size.  Their perception of your event may be different than yours.  And – their expectations may be a tad different as well.  But here’s the bottom line.  Everyone who attends your event is your customer and yes, the customer is always right.

So ….  How do you organize your event from your customer’s perspective?

It begins before they even walk in the door – from the moment someone fills out that RSVP card and sends it in.  (It might begin even sooner – but I decided not to begin at the cooling of the earth.)  After all, from that moment there are so many things that can go wrong.  And here are just a few.

1)      You double count their registration.  How were you to know that they were also listed as someone’s guest and they responded on their own as well?  Whoops – now they are at two different tables and you’ve ordered extra dinners.

2)      There’s a long line at registration.  You have to wait until one of the two volunteers behind the registration table checks off your name.  And the line is getting longer because they can’t find the registration for someone at the front of the line.

3)      There are some great silent auction items.  And you are excited about bidding.  But, the person bidding ahead of you keeps going up only by $1.00 when it clearly states bidding should be in $10.00 increments.

4)      The lighting on the items is poor and the description is printed in a tiny font (in italic) so I can’t read it without my glasses.   Hey – I’m all dressed up here and I don’t want to wear my glasses – they don’t go with my dress!

5)       I didn’t know they closed the bidding.  I didn’t hear any announcement.  (And evidently neither did the person ahead of me who just outbid me after the bids are clearly closed)

6)      I love this organization.  That was such a moving testimonial … it brought me to tears.  But how can I make a contribution – I didn’t buy anything at the silent auction and there’s nothing else I can spend money on.

7)      Whoops – I did win an auction item – and look at the line I have to wait in to check out.  The babysitter said she couldn’t stay later than 11:30 and I will never even get through this line until then.

8)      It’s been two weeks, I haven’t had a thank you for my contribution, they still can’t find the gift certificate I bought, and the website still announces the event as if it is coming up soon.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Just one instance can spoil it for a donor – and that donor is going, going, going, gone.

So pay attention to the details.  Arrange your processes according to your donor’s needs and make sure every moment of their experience resonates with meaning.  That will keep them coming back for more.

Words of wisdom …. From The Philanthropy Therapist

Sharon Danosky
Danosky & Associates

Danosky & Associates invites you to preview the Fundraising EventBox which addresses all these issues and identifies numerous ways to raise money and keep your donors happy.  And, for reading this blog, you can receive $50.00 off any EventBox purchase.  Use Code:   ebox2011.   Click EventBox to learn more.

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