I hate small talk. Always have, probably always will. I know what the weather is like, I was just outside too. I like getting to the good stuff. I want to know what you are passionate about, what gets you out of bed every day, and whether or not you’re sympathetic with the Trix Rabbit or not.
What does small talk have to do with picking the entertainment for your fundraiser? Well, it isn’t enough for you to know your fundraiser guests on a “small talk” level. You have to discover much more about them if you want to pick the perfect entertainment and have the best turn out for your fundraiser.
When meeting a new person the first few things you typically touch on are matters of fact. What do they do? Where do they live? Do they have a spouse? Kids? To pick the most popular entertainer for your fundraiser, you will need to figure out certain facts about your average event guest in a similar fashion. You’ll have to figure out what demographics your guests belong to. A few questions you might ask are:
- Is my average guest male or female?
- What is the age of my average guest?
- What are the political beliefs of my average event guest?
Why do these questions matter? Let’s look at age as an example. A 28-year-old’s idea of good entertainment probably looks a little different than a 60-year-old’s, right? Where a twenty-something might prefer a more interactive form of entertainment such as a hypnotist, an older event guest might prefer to let the entertainer do the heavy lifting.
NOTE: While all of your guests are important, past patrons should receive extra attention when you’re fleshing out your demographics. What is the age of your typical donor?
Once you get past the facts, the next step is to dive a little deeper. Now that you know what a person does, you might want to know why they do it.
In the case of your event guests, you will want to discover things like their motivations, worries, fears, and hopes. Ask yourself why your guests are drawn to your cause. What do they see in your organization? What are they worried about in the world, and what are they worried about with your organization?
If you know these things, you can use your entertainment to ease fear and provoke hope. If your fundraiser guests are concerned about making a difference, give them an entertainer who embodies innovation. If they fear failure, give them a comedian to ease their trepidation. If they need a little kick to get motivated, provide them with an interactive performance.
Look to the Past
As you get to know someone on a deeper level, you tend to discover aspects of their history. And an individual’s past can tell you an exceptional amount about them.
If your organization has any data from past fundraising events (especially in regards to entertainment), it is time to start digging it up. Look into the history of your guests by seeing what they liked in previous years. When did your fundraising event receive the largest turnout? When did your event get the most positive feedback? Is there enough data to prove a causation between the entertainment hired for a particular event and the donations made at or following that event?
Nothing will be able to give you as much insight as concrete data from past years. Gather all the data you can and start analyzing.
If the answer to a question isn’t shared during your natural flow of conversation with an individual, there is only one thing to do–ask the question outright.
If you can’t find the answers you are looking for through the means listed above, sending out a survey is a great way to get solid answers and ideas for your event entertainment. As an agency, we recommend surveying in two ways:
- Send a survey to the possible event attendees for the upcoming fundraiser asking what kind of entertainment they would like to see.
- Send a survey to attendees of the last event your organization held asking if they were happy with the entertainment, if they would like to see something similar, what would make the entertainment better, and if there is another form of entertainment they would prefer.
The easiest way to collect responses to these surveys is by sending them via email. If your two lists largely overlap, it might be wise to send out one survey covering the above questions (you don’t want to bombard anyone with multiple emails).
Still Having Trouble?
If you are still having trouble making your choice, click below and download our guide: Our Most Popular Acts of 2016. It will provide you with a list, details, and video content of our most booked acts of 2016.