You’ve planned for months. Every minute detail, from what linen colors to use, what entertainment to hire, which font will be on the signage….. and your event is finally over. Hopefully your non-profit partner is happy, the event raised more money than last year, and guests have been sending emails and posting on social media about how much fun they had at the event. So, now you can rest on your laurels, right? Nope, not just yet. You’ve still got the critically important event debrief – ideally, one with your internal team and a second with the client team.
Even though your event may have been a huge success, both in terms of event experience and revenue generation, there are always areas for improvement, or things that you wish had been different. This will help you not only for that client’s future events, but for other client’s events, too. Even if the events are vastly different (for example, a benefit concert versus a 13-year cocktail fundraiser), there may be ideas from one that can improve the other (for example, a social-media/hashtag photo station at a benefit concert may be just what a tired cocktail party needs). Having your internal debrief a day or two after the event assures that it is fresh in everyone’s mind and also allows you to bring your key findings to your client debrief, which ideally happens within a week of the event.
It’s important to take clear and thorough notes of all comments made during the debrief; and to share these with your internal team after they are written up. During the client debrief, it’s important to go in with the areas you know could have been improved, and welcome their feedback. Even if, or when, their original requests were impossible, be willing to accept their constructive criticism (if applicable) and use it to improve all of your future events. You can also use the debrief meeting as a time to strengthen your partnership with the client, and offer ways to further improve their future events.
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