Sorry if this is in the wrong place, but couldn't find anywhere more appropriate. I'm in the process of arranging a fundraising event for my air cadet squadron which will involve an evening of prominent outdoors people speaking about their expeditions and activities. This post is to try and get some ideas from you, (the target audience) about how you would want the evening organised? To raise sufficient funds, the tickets will be £10, so I want to maximise the value for money. Which is best, 3 speakers for 45 minutes each or 2 speakers for an hour each? Have you been to any which were good, or bad, and what made them good or bad? Gear displays or the opportunity to buy gear?
I suppose what I am asking is what do I need to do to get people through the door?
Thanks in anticipation
For ideas, you could do worse than have a look over at Speakers From The Edge. I saw Andy Kirkpatrick last year and that was a great night. His Mrs, Karen Darke, is one of the most inspirational people you're ever likely to meet.
I was speaking to Andy this morning about this and other things and he is the calibre of person I'm considering. Although he didn't give me a yes at the time, I think I've got him cornered.
Also looking at some leading Polar people, some of whom are on Speakers from the Edge.
Bearing in mind that it's primarily a fund-raiser, you need to come up with a formula that leaves you the most cash when all the bills are paid. So... be realistic in that respect.
Does Holywell as a venue have enough of a prospective audience? Are you paying for the hire of a hall for the venue, or are you getting that for free? Are you looking for top-notch speakers who'll perform for free, or are they going to be paid? Are they expecting any travelling expenses, or hotel fees to be paid if they have to stay overnight?
You've said that tickets will be £10. Will people in and around Holywell pay that much? Let's say you get 100 people through the door, then that's £1000 made. I know some speakers would ask for £1000 for a one-night spot anyway... so that's all the cash blown! Fair enough if you get 500 people through the door, and even if you paid three speakers £1000 a pop, and £100 for the hire of a hall for the venue... it would still make a profit of £1900. If you get everything for free, handed to you on a plate, then even 30 people through the door would make £300 which, as a guy I knew often used to say, "is better than a kick in the teeth!"
I have a choice of 2 arranged venues and am hoping that the speakers will do it for free or just travelling expenses. I have one lined up already who will be going for a North Pole solo in 2013 and he'll do it FOC. However sponsorship is also an option and that is available if we need it. With the quality of the speakers I am thinking of, then people will travel some distance. If we concentrated on polar, there are not many specialist evenings where aspiring polar travellers can talk to the experts.
It’s not all hill walking and Kendal mint cake
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