How to Stage Your Nonprofit Event
By Kerri on March 9th, 2020 | Categories: Blog

You’ve marketed your fundraiser, you’re expecting a full crowd, now there’s one more piece to ensure a memorable occasion. Any ideas? Bueller, Bueller?

If you guessed setting up and staging, you are correct! The little details might seem like they go unnoticed, but their absence stands out. By that, we mean you want your staging to contribute to an overall experience that guests won’t forget. Here’s what our silent auction company recommends:

Settle on a theme.

Midnight in Paris? An evening in Tuscany? A trip to a luxurious ski chalet? A theme makes your event complete, but it also makes staging easier. As soon as you know your theme, you can seamlessly figure out a color scheme, decide on decorations, create a menu and more. A few tips to consider for consistency’s sake:

Menu Matching.

Serving Chinese food at an Italian themed event is off-putting. People like it when things fit into categories; they’ll expect their food to coincide with your event’s theme. If serving drinks, come up with a signature cocktail for the event!

Make the Mood.

What time of day does your theme take place? You don’t want a “Midnight in Paris” theme to have bright lights glaring overhead, just like you don’t want dim lighting for a golf-inspired event. Consider your entire ambiance when staging.

Dazzle With Decorations.

There’s no need to go overboard, but your staging decorations should play up your theme in a fun way. Here are some ideas, using a golf-themed event as an example:

  • Table decorations: Put flags on the tables like golf holes and fill vases with tees and/or golf balls.
  • Wall decor: Either temporarily put up some vintage golf clubs or line them up on a wall if in a space where things can’t be wall-mounted.
  • Activities: Bring in a miniature putting green for guests to try!

Organize accordingly.

Staging isn’t just about what decorations guests see. Every attendee will want an event structure that makes sense. For example, you likely don’t need an hour for dessert between dinner and your silent auction — guests will likely get antsy. You also don’t want to have more open-ended, unstructured time in general. Organize time so that guests have a clear idea of what to expect — confused guests are less likely to want to donate to your cause.

Be social media-friendly.

Did you know that nearly 70 percent of people are on Facebook and 37 percent of people are on Instagram? Your event will get more traction and excite attendees if people can share what they’re up to.
Going along with your theme, come up with a backdrop that guests can take pictures in front of. Create a hashtag for social sharing purposes. Include an easy-to-use donation link that people can share so that people not in attendance can contribute. Look into creating a Snapchat filter if it makes sense for your demographic. In the age of technology, digital staging is just as important as physical staging!

Find auction packages that fit with your theme.

No matter your theme, we’re pretty sure our silent auction company has a vacation package that will fit perfectly. After all, we have trips around the globe that will be the cherry on top to your nonprofit event. Because after hypothetically spending an evening in Paris or at a Tuscan vineyard, who wouldn’t want to actually go there? Look through Philantopia auction packages to put the finishing touch on staging your event.