Throughout the planning of the event I learned the key elements of hosting a gala for another organization. Since I was only a host, and not a creator, I knew that I had to portray my event and self in an organized, tasteful, and professional manner. At the same time, the guests needed to know that advocating against the forced prostitution in India could be fun as well. In this way, I learned how to professionally ask for donations from local companies and organizations that might be interested in the event, how to work with administrators of an intended venue, how to plan for unexpected delays, and how to run a raffle.
What could have used more work, however, was the advertisement. If I had another chance to host I would advertise in the events section on Craig’s List. I would post a poster on the window of Coldstone Creamery, where I work. I would have put a poster up in every library of Virginia Beach. I would have created an announcement to be stated on the morning news at school. I would have tagged instead of just posting about the event to everyone I know on Facebook. Although I would have to learn how to use Facebook first…
One factor that could not be changed was the weather. The day to hold the event was October 12, in order for all the Galas around the world to be held on the same day, but the weather prevented many people from coming out to the event.
One thing I learned after the event though, is to hold multiple sessions that display the same thing in order for people who come later to still be a part of the entire event. In this way, people can come late or leave early whenever they wish and get the same presentation, activities, food, and raffle opportunities. This also solves the ‘not enough space’ problem that might occur in future events.
The Gala itself was a success overall. The Pop-Up Gala I hosted raised $60 total with 28 attendees. The raffle was well priced, and the system set up for the raffle was well organized. Donations for the raffle were received on time and as promised.
The kettle corn, movie popcorn, cinnamon popcorn, assortment of skittles an starburst candy, and cola were a hit. The food lasted till the end of the event and was a wonderful, non-messy solution when cleaning the meeting room. Which helped the academy student and myself who worked after the Gala to leave the meeting room better than before we got there, which took less time than I had though it would.
The videos, which were pulled up from the International Princess Project’s website, all loaded and played without pauses and definitely left an emotional impact on all the guests. The order in which the videos were played as well, told a story in and of themselves where human trafficking was introduced in the brothels and then resolved with the liberation of the women from generational slavery.
The make-your-own tiara station was popular as well, which I did not expect. In order to display the uniqueness of every individual, I asked all the guests to make one tiara and write one word that describes them. Many individuals wrote their name while others wrote: kind, artistic, characters in different languages, and even beast. Despite the sparkles, neon colors, goofy props, and girly tiara patterns everyone enjoyed the station. Ladies and gentlemen became princesses and princes.