Well, here we are- back in the familiar position- unwinding and dissecting an event, just a few hours later. So how did it go? It was a very nice event, I'm glad that I partnered with Hello Stiletto for it- Felt had set up their Christmas decorations as promised and the placed looked beautiful, they had a large amount of appetizers available, our DJ played really good music, Santa Claus was awesome, the pink carpet walk-off was a hit as always- it was the type of event that I would have been happy to attend regardless. However, the turnout was lower than expected and the silent auction didn't do well. We had over 20 auction items- a nice variety of sports items, golf outings, jewelry, theatre tix and other things, but we only sold 3. I don't know what happened. Obviously, people have less money this year to spend and maybe with the holidays coming they are holding onto their money to buy particular gifts- even though any one of those items would have made a great gift. It obviously wasn't an audience that wanted to spend a lot of money. Our items were well displayed, in a central location, so there is nothing that I could have done better on that front. The sports items are being returned tomorrow and the rest of the items will be held onto. I don't have any events planned, so I need to work on another way to sell some of those items.
It is definitely the type of event that I can see growing. The firefighter who was Santa Claus had a wonderful time and is really on board with participating again. I am going to make this an annual event. It is OK to have small events- do I want 500 people at every event we have? Of course I do. But that isn't realistic. We had a very pleasant, very enjoyable event tonight- people really looked like they were having fun, so this is definitely something that I want to build on. Tonight was a good foundation- it opened my eyes to how cool Christmas events can be, even though it was smaller than I'd hoped for. Every event that I've done has grown over the years- two years ago, our first date auction had 350 people and we raised $3,800. This year it was 500 and $12,000 raised. So I'll think about how to make it bigger and we'll come back next year with another holiday event.
It's funny, although we had less people than I'd hoped for and we raised less money than I wanted- i don't view the event as a failure at all. We created a good foundation for future Christmas events and it was a really fun night. We raised awareness for Project Smile and although there weren't a ton of people- those that attended had a good time. And we did sell calendars and raise some money. This event was never intended to be big and I put a limited amount of time into it, so it wasn't like I expected a huge return. I don't know why the auction was so unsuccessful- perhaps coming off the big holiday shopping weekend didn't help either.
Anyways, that's it for tonight. I'm a tired munchkin. Last night was another 3am night. I was working on bid sheets and getting things ready for tonight. That's also it for events. Next month I'll be back to work on the date auction and anniv. event and starting work on events for 2011- I have a number of potential events in my head and I need to narrow them down and focus. Our most successful events have been singles events (date auction), so I might focus on bringing that to another city. But I also know that we need to spread our event wings some more and work in a couple of different events. Christmas 2010- plans will be underway soon.
This morning, it was so nice- I was trying to get organized before our intern Amanda showed up, but I was really tired and dragging- when a friend called me to wish me good luck tonight. It was such a nice surprise, I wasn't expecting her to call at all- moments like that make me feel so grateful that I have friends. We only chatted for a few minutes, but I just felt so encouraged after I talked to her. There is little better than knowing people care. Another friend drove in with me this afternoon and helped at the event and a couple of friends attended too. It really means a lot to me when my friends make an effort to support Project Smile. I hope they know how much I appreciate it.
OK, eyes are hurting a lot now- need to sleep. Tomorrow night is the grants award dinner which I'm looking forward to. Until tomorrow friends..