Let’s face it. We’ve all been to events that just lasted way too long. The human posterior has about 90 minutes of sit time. Anything that exceeds that is pure torture. No matter how engaging your event may be, a mass exodus is about to begin. Every minute that transpires must count as your event is about to expire.
So where did the time go? Let’s rewind your event and find out. Your 90 minutes started as people took their seats at the dinner table.
- Did you have a system to seat them fast, or did that add 10 minutes?
- Was your caterer ready and able to serve your group in a short time, or were the first people done eating before the last were served?
- Did you have a number of people that had to say something to the group or did you keep it short?
- Did you have more live auction items than could be sold in the time you allotted or a long appeal for the fund-a-need?
Each of these time vacuums has a solution. Here are but a few.
- Start seating people a few minutes early. Make sure they have easy access to the dining area. Use your volunteers to help corral them like a net.
- Have the salads on the table before they sit down. As the salads are cleared and the first entrees served, start your event.
- Limit your introductions and thank yous. Use your catalog to cover this important information. Story boards and videos can be used to tell your story during the social.
- Limit your live auction number of items from 5-10 items maximum.
- Orchestrate the “fund-a-need” to include an emotional 1.5-3 minute video or first person story followed by the “ask”.
If you just can’t live without those time takers, raise your funds first and follow it by the speeches and entertainment. At least that way your event won’t expire before the dollars have been given.