Just a "zebra" trying my best to live life to the fullest with EDS and POTS...and loving the ride.

My Top 20 for Planning an Event

Written by Katie. Posted in Fundraisers, Memorable Experiences

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So needless to say, I learned a LOT from planning “An Evening With Chris Trapper To Benefit Invisible Illnesses.” These “lessons” will definitely come in handy as we begin planning the second annual.

Here’s my Top 20:

1. Get a venue secured first, and put it in writing that it is secured. Otherwise you will be scrambling, panicking, and using up all your cell phone minutes trying to find a new venue, because the other one fell through. (Thank you Lou and Harry’s!)

2. Sometimes the things that fall through, really are true blessings in disguise.

3. It is an amazing thing to have so many strong women in a family pull together to create something so beautiful and successful.

4. It is also a beautiful thing to have a lawyer in the family. AND event planners, and technology geniuses, and t-shirt company workers, and advertising gurus, and expert decorators, and social media experts, and the list goes on and on and on…

5. Most people really do wait until the last-minute to buy tickets, and that is okay. I now know that that is just a fact of life. Looking back, I should not have spent the energy I did worrying that hardly anyone would show up.

6. As much as you try to plan and control everything to go perfectly, there will always be glitches. You just have to roll with them.

7. People will continue to surprise you with their enormous hearts and generosity. Additionally, people who you least expect, including strangers, will come out of the woodwork to help and support.

8. I can’t say enough about silent auctions. I am now a firm believer that they are the way to go when putting on a benefit. They take a lot of work (you know who you are who did most of the work), but are definitely worth the time and energy. Something else I learned about silent auctions? Next year, we will definitely start organizing earlier.

9. Chris Trapper is not only a talented musician, but an extremely generous person, and we could not have pulled this off without him and his wonderful manager.

10. As much as you think you won’t get emotional, you probably will. Oh, and you cannot pretend that just because you are planning an event, you no longer have EDS and POTS.

11. Do NOT click “non-profit” accidentally on PayPal if you are not a non-profit. Whew, that gave me a few gray hairs.

12. I will definitely use the programs, Ticketbud and Square Up again.

13. When asking businesses for donations, it is usually more successful to go in person, rather than calling or emailing.

14. The press kits were great, but next year, we will definitely have them done earlier.

15. Interviewing on shows and radio is not as scary as I thought. It really is just like having a conversation.

16. Facebook and constant contact emails act as “best friends” to help with promotions.

17. The actual event will be over in a flash so it is important to soak up everything you can and enjoy the product of all of the hard work that went into planning it.

18. Cellophane is not an easy thing to use. Right Jaskolski ladies?!

19. Expect to have a full email inbox when everything is said and done.

20. It takes a village. And the village that worked on this event was the best village in the world.

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