Hot Topics at The Special Event

Hot Topics at The Special Event

The Special Event is known for its ability to draw a great crowd: the best of the best in the event industry. The industries largest tradeshow, it’s the go to place for event professionals alike with a plethora of networking opportunities and access to the latest trends and education sessions from all types of event industry professionals.

I had the pleasure of being a speaker this year in the non-profit event planning track to discuss ‘How to be an Event Planning Pro’. If you weren’t able to attend you might find my free 3 part video series on the topic useful. You can access it on our blog here.

Every year I notice a few common themes rise to the surface. This year, finding alternatives to silent auctions was a hot topic amongst non-profit event planning companies. And while I didn’t cover this in my presentation, I thought I’d offer my own thoughts on less labor intensive and (in my opinion) more effective alternatives to the often stressful and resource heavy silent auction format. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do a silent auction, but with all the enhancements in event and fundraising technology, event planners shouldn’t feel bound by old school ideas to reach revenue targets.

Live Auction
Live event bidding on auction items makes for a highly interactive way to get your crowd engaged in the event. An MC or auctioneer and video presentation will ensure you get the most for each auction item and keep your sponsors happy with the extra visibility.

Mobile Fundraising: Text to Pledge
An easy way to collect donations and engage potential donors, text to pledge lets your attendees pledge an amount just by sending a text. This is also a great way to engage new and younger donors who are typically more receptive and comfortable with mobile technology vs traditional fundraising methods.

Donate When and How Your Donors Want
Companies like Charity Water are creating a movement out of regular giving. Charity Water asks people to give up birthday presents and donate to the charity instead. This creates a regular stream of income throughout the year not to mention large amounts of organic social engagement with your brand online.

Also, don’t forgot to make sure your website is mobile friendly, has powerful messages and imagery, and gives potential donors different giving levels and options to donate on a reoccurring basis.

While these options might not be right for every non-profit, technology makes it easier to connect with your donor community on a regular basis and find the right fit for your company and your audience.

Do you have some additional ideas we didn’t list? Drop us a line at And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive even more event planning tips and tricks.

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