I’m in a private Facebook group and we were supposed to come up with our “word” for 2021. There were some really good ones such as Balance, Health, Wellness, Safety.. I had to really think about this one. I wanted to make it sincere and… personal. So, my word for 2021 is “Commitment”. Why is this my word? Well, it’s a very personal. But the more I thought about it, it really resonated with what so many of our clients are going through right now. I got engaged over Christmas having been unmarried for over 20 years. You could say I had “commitment phobia”. The more I thought about it, this is the theme of so many of our consult calls. Prior to COVID-19, I loved having that first introduction call and visiting about what Raising Paddles could do for their organization. At the completion of the call, I would coin a phrase from one of my guilty pleasures of reality TV. One of the hardest questions to ask your future client is, “are you ready to hire us?” So I changed it to, are you saying, “Yes to the Dress?”

Well friends, it’s that time. If you’re looking at having a gala in the Spring, you’ve probably already been forced into having a virtual gala. But, several of our organizations are moving their events to the summer and we’re getting excited about Hybrid and Live In-Person galas. Fall events are crossing their fingers and planning for Live and Hybrid Galas. Are you getting goosebumps? I know I am.

So that’s why the word “Commitment” is the word of the year. But don’t worry, unlike my personal commitment of getting married, your commitment can have a “Plan B”. Actually, I recommend you have a Plan B. Go ahead, plan a live event and we can always go Hybrid. One of the biggest concerns that have been brought up is expense of both putting on the live production and paying a production company’s costs for a virtual event. I say, “It’s totally doable”. Put your money where it counts….and where it will make you money.

1)      Channel your inner “minimalist”. Décor can be scaled back to help pay production costs. often our guests will appreciate this if you promote it creatively.

2)      Entertainment-often groups will spend a tremendous amount of time and scheduling around entertainment. I say, will this pay? How will this add to our bottom line? The amount you spend could sometimes completely pay for your production costs. And remember, a great production company is like buying an insurance policy.

Committing to your event and a secure “plan B” can propel you to possibly your best event ever! If I can, I know you can. Need help? We’re there for you. Just give us a shout!

See you down the benefit trail… and watch for our upcoming Virtual Seminar coming in February!

Shannon Mays, Benefit Auctioneer