A Long Yet Fast Start to the Year
This year my warm-weather escape to Arizona couldn’t have come soon enough. During the last few days I ran a sunny and hot half marathon, enjoyed oranges and grapefruit picked from the trees in the backyard, and hiked in the dessert.
While it has been an especially long Minnesota winter, the year also already seems to be flying by. Before any more of 2018 escapes, we wanted to call attention to top event trends for this year. Read on to discover what local experts have to say about the trends to keep front and center when planning your next event.
From Communication to Cocktails – Here’s What’s Hot!
Ann Plans’ favorite 2018 trend is creating event names, themes, and taglines that connect directly to an organization’s mission. As an example, CommonBond Communities has rebranded their signature fundraiser with a name change from GrandeGala to Celebration of Home to reflect their work in affordable housing.
Thank you to our vendor partners who shared these words of wisdom for producing an event that is on-trend:
- The top two things we are encouraging clients to focus on are the messaging of the night (specifically leading into the fund-a-need) and communication after the event. Fund-a-need messaging has to not only inspire guests, but clearly communicate how the dollars raised will be used in achieving the stated objective. Secondly, we recommend focusing a lot of energy post-event communicating gratitude to guests and highlighting how their participation in the event is advancing the goals of the organization.
– Glen Fladeboe, Fladeboe Auctions
- Interactive entertainment during your reception can create a personal and memorable experience that sets your event a part. Consider how performers such as aerialists, stilt walkers, and magicians can tie in with your theme and enhance the overall guest experience.
– Jen Hansen, Event Lab
- While a nonprofit’s desire to engage the younger generation isn’t a new trend, the behavior this generation is displaying is new. Industry data from The Millennial Impact Report suggests that donors under 35 years of age are more interested in knowing their contribution is making a difference rather than receiving something like an auction item in return. The millennials are driven to make change, support the cause, and value having an experiential component to their giving. For nonprofits to compete for this generation’s participation takes creativity. Can your organization create the next Ice Bucket Challenge?
– Dane Lundahl, Auction Harmony
- The focus on featuring local ingredients in menus has extended further to ingredients that are both local and ethnic. Kitchens now have the opportunity to play with global flavors like those from Latin America, South Asia and North Africa using locally sourced ingredients in creating menus that will delight your guests.
– Chef JD Fratzke, Bar Brigade
- The thing that never changes is the power of a story. What is the story that comes to mind when you think of why you do your job? That is the story you want to tell in the video that is going to inspire people to give at your event. Keep the video short and heartfelt. If possible, have the person featured in the video in attendance at your event, and introduce them right after the video is shown to add impact and emotion to the telling of the story.
– Dawn Mikkelson, Twelve Plus Media
- Take advantage of the explosion of the local craft beer and distillery scene. Create experiences for guests to sample beer from local breweries. Generate some fun and action with a mixologist shaking up cocktails featuring local spirits.
– Wendy Schallock, Entourage Events Group
Focusing on incorporating even one trend can make a big difference in your event’s impact. What’s something new you are excited to try this year?