Events: how to manage an Event Manager

There are many courses you can take to learn Event Management.  But how does the senior management team manage the Event Manager?

  • How can you get the peace of mind that the event will happen as planned?
  • How can the Event Manager get what she needs from you to avoid frustration?

The same questions apply whether the Event Manager is staff or volunteer.

Why are we holding the event?

Events are better “friend raisers” than “fund raisers”.  Organizing events is time-consuming and there is lots of competition.  Be sure the event is part of a year-long plan for creating opportunities to connect with donors.

Are the preparations on track?

Ask your Event Manager for a monthly Gant chart.  The bigger the event, the bigger the reputational risk.

Do we have a plan for after the event?

Are you prepared to leverage the contacts made at the events?  Do you have plans to followup and nurture?

Are we going to make any money?

Here is a suggested template for a monthly report.  The Benchmarks at the bottom are very important to learn whether to continue the event annually. The Expenses/Revenue multiple is similar to your CRA Fundraising Ratio.  Although it excludes the staff time, it will give you an indication of how this event will compare with other marketing activities in the Revenue Efficiency report at year end. Big events have a way of absorbing staff time.  Keep track monthly, while it is still fresh in their minds. Volunteer time is free but it is also finite.  Would it be more efficient to ask volunteers to help you with other marketing activities?

Suggested reading:   see “Non Profit Management 101″ by Darian Rodriquez Heyman p 459-475, available from libraries.