Event 360 has had the privilege of producing events ranging from 300 to 60,000 participants. We have created, planned and implemented every type of fundraising event from single-day walks to multi-day bike rides to urban scavenger hunts. This experience has taught us that no matter if you are managing an event with 500 or 50,000 participants, there are many common components that an event fundraiser has to manage to make the event successful. To put these things in perspective, I recently asked our events team to come up with a event production checklist.

For example, most athletic fundraising events (i.e., runs, walks, and rides) can be broken down into four main categories:

1. Event Logistics and Participant Support
2. Donor Management and Fundraising
3. Event Production and Volunteer Management
4. IT Support 

Over the next four blog posts we’ll cover each of these components with a brief, easy to follow checklist that will ensure your success.

So let’s start our series with event logistics and participant support.

Event Logistics

Event logistics or general event management refers to the delegation of the strategic planning of your event. It is the big picture. Over the years we have learned that establishing the right logistical plan assures that these crucial details are effectively managed, which allows you to produce a safe and effective event.

Specific General Management tasks include:

o Project Management – Determine who is going to be the lead on each aspect of your event.
o Finance and Budget Reporting – This is vital information to have on hand at all times. Your budget will influence all of the event logistics.
o Post Event Wrap-Up – It’s important to find time to review the event, celebrate accomplishments and be honest about where improvements can be made.

Participant Support

While logistic are important, nonprofit events require more than just an attention to detail. In order to start a movement or create loyal donors, an event needs heart and soul. In our view, events are only a path to achieving your mission. That means your event experiences have to make participants feel truly special. Your event should give participants multiple opportunities to interact with your organization over the course of months rather than just one day. When your participants use their feet to walk, pedal, bounce and glide, their long-term level of engagement with your organization increases.

To that end, where General Management focuses on the big picture, Participant Support focuses on direct interaction between your nonprofit organization and your event participants. It is especially important for run/walk/ride events to keep accurate documentation for each individual participant. Questions need to be answered in an accurate and timely manner, surveys must be collected and compiled, incentive programs need management, and both individuals and teams require a direct point of contact.

Participant support can be one of the most time consuming activities associated with a fundraising event. Mark sure you train your staff, and even take the time to do a trial registration day walk through. Checking and double checking your participant information will ensure you have everything in order for the big event.

Specific Participant Support services include:

o Phone and E-Mail Support
o Post Event Survey
o Fundraising Incentive Programs
o Incentive Fulfillment
o Team Program Management

To learn more about Event 360’s experience in event logistics and participant support, click here.

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