As more organizations return to in-person fundraising, it’s important for them to consider the impact that COVID-19 will have on attendance. For the last two years, most events have been almost exclusively virtual, and while in-person participation has increased as of late, many potential attendees may just be returning to public social gatherings
Many people are just now feeling more comfortable engaging at social gatherings, and the more your organization can do to minimize potential health risks and make it easier for guests to participate, the better the chance that they’ll be able to maximize attendance.
Here are five considerations that can help minimize the impact of Covid 19 on your fundraising events to help make them as successful as possible, all while keeping your attendees feeling safe.
Using exclusively online ticketing
Setting up an online ticketing system for your in-person fundraising event is a simple way to avoid unnecessary contact between guests. Because guests will need to order their tickets online to enter your event, you’ll be able to avoid any handling of money and maintain some level of crowd control at the entrance.
Online ticketing also allows you to keep a more accurate guest count, which can help future fundraising event planning and build a donor database.
Set capacity limits
Many venues are continuing to limit capacity to keep their guests safe, but even if the venue you’ve rented for your event is not, you can take the initiative to make guests feel more comfortable.
However, it’s important to set those capacity limits well ahead of your event. Make sure your potential attendees are aware so they don’t miss the opportunity to purchase a ticket before they sell out.
It might be helpful to send reminder emails about the limited number of tickets, along with a note that tickets will not be available at the door.
Take social distancing measures
Even though social distancing measures may not be required at your venue, your organization can establish simple approaches so guests feel comfortable returning to an in-person fundraising event.
Whether it’s setting up tables further apart and limiting the number of guests at each table, to offering a sit-down dinner versus buffet meal to avoid closer contact and even changing the event activities so guests will be spread out, taking these simple measures can reassure your guests that you have their health and safety in mind.
Additionally, you might consider adding some language about masking if that makes your guests feel more comfortable, particularly for those guests who may be immunocompromised.
Set up e-commerce
Selling goods and swag at an in-person fundraising event can cause large crowds to gather in a specific place, so a smart alternative is to offer an e-commerce option, where attendees can simply order their items online. This also means that guests who don’t attend your event can also show their support with their order, wherever they are, whenever they want.
And because e-commerce doesn’t require any inventory, your organization doesn’t need to worry about storing the items, which can create a challenge for many school organizations that just don’t have the space. Items are made and printed as they are ordered, making it easy for any organization to set up and deploy.
Host a hybrid fundraising event
Recently, hybrid fundraising events have become quite popular, offering both an in-person and online fundraising option for guests who wish to support their favorite organization. You can combine a ticketed party or celebration with a virtual event, whether it’s a Zoom party room, a video Livestream, or an online auction so that guests can participate at their own comfort level.
While some potential guests might be experiencing screen fatigue due to the impact of Covid 19, there are many other guests who might appreciate the flexibility that online fundraising events offer, not to mention the safety it provides for guests who might not feel comfortable with in-person fundraising events just yet.
With the return to in-person events, organizations need to consider how to raise the comfort level of their guests to help maximize attendance and create a successful experience for everyone involved.