Event Planning. Pittsburgh

Raising Dollars – Investing in Events for Non-Profits

Fundraising Social MediaOne of our key areas at Pierce Events is non-profit events. It’s not hard to find non-profit groups that want and need to raise money and many do that through events. Yet not all are ready to bring in a professional planner. It’s important that both organizations and planners understand realistic goals, challenges and expectations.

It’s a learning process for everyone and one that must be taken seriously to be successful. If there are large committees, differing ideas, communication obstacles, objections to change and a reluctance to view an event not only as an investment, but as an ongoing marketing program, often times it becomes a disappointment.

For groups that are used to relying on volunteers and donations of goods and services, hiring and paying a professional event planner can be uncomfortable. They idea is to raise money and spending it on an event can be scary.

The time to hire a professional planner is when you are ready to go beyond a typical fundraising event. To create and grow a marquee annual event takes planning, branding, marketing, sales, public relations, sponsorship development, production, data collection and most of all … patience. The well-known, talked about, “must attend” events are the ones that have been developed over time.

The first year of marquee event is very important and not just from a financial standpoint. Media and attendees often only talk about an event after it’s over. You have to have an impact and sustain that interest throughout the year. Remember, this is an investment that has the potential to raise a lot of money over time. Most organizations see a substantial increase in funds raised with a professional event production, but the benefits go beyond that.

A key element that is often not considered when organizing a fundraising event is brand awareness and social marketing. Many of our non-profit clients are surprised at what we offer in this area. Supporters have the ability to share your event and brand to thousands of people who haven’t been reached before through social media platforms. Your logo and messaging reaches thousands of friends, families and colleagues. All of these become potential supporters.

Our services create not only amazing and fun events, but they connect supporters, volunteers and the community to the mission and message.

Not every organization is ready to make the jump to a professional planner, but the ones that carefully consider all the risks and benefits to improving existing efforts may want to consider it.

If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation please contact our office.


Spending Wisely – Planning Your Budget

Pierce Events Pittsburgh event Planning Budget

Event Planning Budget

It’s imperative that planners do the most with the least for clients.  In our planning process we represent our clients to vendors and always seek about he best values on their behalf. We never exceed a projected budget without prior approval and we must have a darn good case to present to even ask a client to amend an agreed upon budget.  In the rare event that we do seek an increased production budget a complete explanation as to why the cost overrun exists and the benefit of the additional cost is always explained to our clients.Last year some of our national events increased in production cost for several key reasons. Rising fuel costs can have a big impact on your budget. Everything from deliveries to generators to food costs go up as the price of fuel rises.

Trust is very important in the client/planner relationship. Our client know that we explore the most cost effective options for each production and clearly understand the goals of every event. Without spending wisely, our clients would not come back to us again and again. Creating a wonderful event can be accomplished while sticking to your budget.

Often times we start of with the “Cadillac Plan” and whittle it down to the “Chevy Plan”. That’s because client like to know what the event could be but needs and wants must be sorted in the budgeting process. This is true of corporate events, weddings and any other event.

Needs and Wants are not always easily identified. A want disguised as a need can reveal itself in later stages of the event planning process. You may think you need live entertainment, but space and acoustics could limit options and push that live band into the “want” column.

Often times we must eliminate unnecessary items once the event starts to come together. Often keeping a few items on the list that can be removed without a major impact on the production provides a nice buffer for your budget.

There is always more than way to get a job done. When it comes to event services, sometimes there are non-traditional options. We have used local talent, volunteers, community groups and schools to assist in everything from entertainment to marketing.

Staying within budget requires us to value good business dealings, be cognizant of the current economic climate and understand the needs of our clients.