Charity events Forum - A discussion about Sharing The Risk at NY-LON javascript:__doPostBack('ctl00$body$save','')

Sharing The Risk - 'What should the charity module look like in the future when booking events’?

The guest list is finalised, the final logistic notification has been sent, the day of my ‘Forum’ event has arrived! I’m a little nervous even though travelling to The O2 has gone smoothly (i.e. the M25 and the A2 behaved!), parked easily in car-park 2, it didn’t rain for the short walk over to the main Entertainment District, my venue NY-LON had everything ready! 

6pm - Arrival time – will anyone turn up? Gosh just think if no one comes – the risks – embarrassment / sense of failure / wasted food / bruised ego / decline in peer respect / lost budget / missed objectives! These are risks we take on when organising events, even with my educational, networking and venue-showcase forum.

The purpose of the Forum Event which was held on the 28th June was to bring like-minded charity event organisers together to discuss ‘Sharing the Risk – What should the charity module look like in the future when booking events’? The ideal outcome of the Forum being that the charity event organisers share their experiences and for me the Charity Champion for over 90 venues within Lime Venue Portfolio to understand how venues can help charities with risk solutions.

"This was a really interesting and refreshing opportunity to discuss risk in charity events, and how that affects venue choice. Lime Venue Portfolio’s interest in learning more about how they could help us with our events has given me lots of good ideas about discussions that can be had in the future to ensure that each venue is a more financially viable option than it may seem based on a first looks. It’s also always so interesting to visit new event spaces, and this was a great chance to see NY-LON in action."
Lizzie, Action Against Hunger
"It was great to have the opportunity to share the specifics of our industry with Lime Venue Portfolio who are intent on understanding the sector and working with us to deliver great events. As to be expected the venue choice of NY-LON was superb."
Katy, Parkinson’s UK

For charity events the risks feel multiplied especially when there can be many stakeholders involved e.g. committees, sponsors, extended third parties. From a venue perspective the terms and conditions of a booking are the ‘management of risk’, legal obligations and liabilities to protect. All parties acknowledge events need to be contractual but how can the risks be shared for the good of an event?

Going back to my event. Fortunately, we had a great turn out, which enabled us to have an even better discussion about the sharing of risk. We kicked-off with NY-LON’s famous Transatlantic Cocktail and delicious canapés which set a relaxed and open tone to the event and facilitated networking. Best practice was discussed and shared and considerations around risk, aired. 

"It was helpful to chat with fellow event organisers and the evening was really informative, gave me some new ideas of how to potentially engage suppliers further with our cause and that we can share the risk more."
Emma, Alzheimer’s Research UK
"The roundtable event with Lime Venue Portfolio and NY-LON was an incredible evening. The discussions around the future of charity events with likeminded events professionals were really helpful and interesting to be a part of. The venue itself was a really versatile space with great food and cocktails – definitely one I’ll share with my team to keep in mind for the future."
Molly, Cancer Research UK

From the discussions, I’ve compiled my top 8 take-aways to share risk: 

1. Be aware of the ‘authorisation process’ and related timelines.

2. Understand the objectives of an event e.g. if it’s a charity fundraiser dinner, the event needs to make money for the charity’s’ work. Calculate the final price per head when all extras are considered – ask the question ‘Will donors pay the ticket price plus have money on the night for additional fundraising activities such as auction pledges’? 

3. Explore ways to reach out to the event audience?

4. Realistic minimum number flexibility.

5. Match audience expectations and beliefs to get unquestioned ‘buy-in’.

6. Don’t underestimate added-value e.g. auction prizes

7. Have complementary and same vision suppliers e.g. to help with creative production, AV, ‘at cost’considerations.

8. Cultivate community interaction and support to drive excitement of an event.

Sometimes, the world feels very transactional, process driven, one sizes fits all. We mustn’t forget in the world of events, everyone and everything is bespoke. Let’s consider every experience and in terms of the risk, help and evolve an event for a win-win situation.

Let’s truly embrace the words which are emblazoned on the wall as you enter NY-LON, after an event let’s “leave as friends” – mutual affection, supporters of a cause, allies within risk.

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