Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gripping the Grass Roots - The Aftermath of a 3-Week Push

We did it!!!  The event came and went....and now it's over as though it were a fleeting dream.

In true social work fashion, I will now list the Challenges, Strengths, and Suggestions for the Dark Reverie:  A Masquerade Ball.

  • Having only 3 weeks to fully plan the event.
  • Difficulty communicating with representatives of the space, which lead to postponing the event at  first.
  • Not being able to get a liquor license which would have allowed us to sell the alcohol.
  • Competing with multiple events, as I heard from multiple people.
  • Arriving to the venue late.
  • General late start = later end.
  • Lacking sleep for all those 3 weeks of planning.
  • Space was small, but manageable.  When it was full of people, it felt very crowded.
  • Difficult to keep track of the exact numbers, and couldn't get people to write down their information.
  • Some confusion over the amount of raffle items.
  • B forgot a lot of his equipment, and he was grumpy about it the whole night (but it was fine since there was very little time for him to actually "DJ" anything).
  • Street parking was tough.
  • Only 2 accounts of people not being generous in their donations.
  • Dance space was somewhat small.  Dancers were concerned about the cords and musical equipment.
  • Crowded room prevented people in the back from seeing performances.

Packed with Halloween Do-gooders!
  • Successful event overall!
  • My guess is that 50 people attended.
  • Halloween worked in our favor, for the most part.
  • B was able to provide the perfect transition music between the sets, before the show started, and when we were cleaning up.
  • My team of people helping (especially J and G) were lifesavers! All the help they provided made sure I didn't go completely crazy - from the planning phase to the cleaning up afterwards!
  • J's flier!  It was a hit among a lot of people!
  • G getting there first with the beer, helping to organize the space.
  • J's luminary bags, home-made masks, love of costumage - which made the photobooth fun!
  • The Photobooth!  Though it got stuck at one point, it was so much fun and others seemed to enjoy it.
  • The location was great!  Close to 2 major T stops.
  • Though time went about an hour later than we anticipated, everyone was very cordial and conscious about it.
  • G and P as bartenders!  They were great!  I didn't hear of anything bad happening.
  • J handled the door superbly!  It didn't seem like there were a lot of people waiting outside the door or waiting for too long at the front table.
  • Having multiple "helpers" throughout the room - we made sure the space was being treated with respect and that people weren't being rude or rowdy.
  • There were at least 8-10 people who came in off the street.
  • Having multiple donations!  At least 12 different individuals and businesses donated to the raffle and silent auction.
  • Many raffle items collected by others who weren't the organizers - it helped to spark conversations between people.
  • All the entertainment was fabulous!  I heard great feedback from people in the crowd about all the performers.  
  • Belly dancers mesmerized, and musicians rocked it!  Very eclectic music.
  • Optional seats were good for people who wanted to sit.
  • Crowd in general was very eclectic, but very connected to either the cause or to the performers and organizers.
  • Raising over $950!!!!!

Testing Testing 1 2 3...
  • Secure location and date first, then confirm with performers.
  • Regardless of availability of alcoholic beverages, confirm with venue about license issues - early!!
  • Have more time to plan!
  • Check out and measure the space before event.
  • Themes make events fun!
  • Do it again!  Bigger and better, maybe?  Or even multiple small events (thought that might kill me).
  • Think about getting hired to do this - maybe even start up something and hire the people who were part of my committee?
  • Sleep more, stress less.

 Ta da!

The amount of money raised, though not significant to saving the entire organization, is significant because every bit helps us right now.  For something that was only planned in 3 weeks to make about $1000 is significant in and of itself.  It makes me think, " what if I had more time to plan something like this?  What would the result be?"

Really, though, I'm quite proud of all of it.  I and others worked very hard to make sure the event was a success.  And though I ended up almost losing my voice in the weekend after the event, it was a very satisfying way to end October and start November.

Now, I feel like I can sleep earlier, stress less, and take care of myself a hell of a lot more.

I deserve it.

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