Q: A big part of your job is to raise money and spread awareness… Your yearly lunch is a bit of a fixture on the Sydney social scene, with over 1,500 people attending. Any tips on organising large-scale events?
A: The key is planning, planning, planning. Find suppliers you trust and then lean on their expert opinions wherever you can - the caterers will know more about food types and volume than you will, the florist will be able to advise on the flowers, and of course Shorty’s will be able to advise on the styles, volumes and brands of the drinks needed.
When the day comes, chaos rules. It’s inevitable that some things will go wrong and even if it doesn’t, you’d prefer to have some fun and enjoy the fruits of your hard work, right? Put in the hard yards early and ensure everybody in the organizing team knows what they’re doing on the big day. Schedule out time sheets, divvy up responsibilities clearly, and keep a running checklist on the day. If something doesn’t happen when it should happen, at least you’ll know immediately
The temptation with organizing a large event, particularly for a non-profit like ours, is to break up the day into big chunks of required activities – a long block of speeches, an auction, meal, and then social time. For guests, though, this can be a little defeating –it’s hard to pay attention for so long, particularly if they’re coming off an hour of welcome drinks. Try to sprinkle the content throughout the event and ensure that your entire day/night is enjoyable –not only will you have a captive audience for the speeches and fundraising efforts, it will give everyone an opportunity to enjoy all aspects of the event.
Yes, we know that food is an expensive part of any event, but it’s important to serve your guests a meal they'll enjoy and talk about long after the event has finished. When preparing the menu we recommend seeking advice from the venue and requesting a tasting pre-event. The menu should be perfectly paired with beverages to complete the dining experience.
Lean On The Experts
Specialist help for areas you are not an expert in makes life a lot easier. Keep a running list of businesses you trust and it will make each year easier. Despite the size of our events, we ensure that we only choose venues that are happy for us to supply our own drinks. This means that we get the expert staff from a venue used to managing large crowds, as well as being able to lean on Shorty’s Liquor for advice and delivery of all of our drinks needs. When it’s time for the big day, we know that our drinks are going to be at the location, cold and in appropriate volume.
Create A ‘Take-Away’ Moment
At the end of the event, everybody heads home feeling energised but returning to their reality. To keep your cause or event top of mind, try to craft an experience or gift that guests can take home to remind them of what it was all about. It could be supplying a Photo booth with branded Polaroids for the fridge, a gift pack with some marketing materials sprinkled through, or some wonderful gifts from Corporate Supporters. It’s a useful way of extending the conversation and memory of the event beyond the day.
Shorty’s Liquor are proud to support the amazing work the Gidget Foundation Australia are doing to support expectant and new parents.