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I know virtual and hybrid events are the last thing we want to talk about right now, but there is one hybrid event we aren’t talking about, but need to be. And, it has the potential to turn around your fundraising, engage your donors like never before, leave your attendees wanting more, and talking about it Monday morning at the water cooler….or the virtual water cooler.
It’s the VIP in-person with a virtual experience fundraising event. (*title is a work in progress)
For more details about it, download our guide here.
Think of it like an intimate in-person event for your biggest donors, with a virtual audience watching and engaging too. It’ll allow you to get the largest return on your fundraising effort with the same time and money spent. Your virtual attendees will tune in, similar to watching their favourite awards show, seeing celebrities show up at the Oscars, dressed to the nines while they enjoy the event at home, on the couch with snacks in hand (maybe even something boozy).
But, unlike the Oscars, you’re going to engage your virtual attendees throughout the event too. They’ll be talked to directly from the stage, encouraged to engage and participate, and might even have some surprise visitors with goodies on their front doorstep throughout the night.
And, at the end of your event, you would’ve engaged two different audiences like never before, and raised more money for your cause than previous years.
So why is nobody talking about it? Well, it’s new, but that’s also why we love it. This is the chance for your organization to stand out and beat the zoom fatigue from a typical virtual event. And, event organizers also assume it’s harder to run, even though it isn’t. With the same effort, you’re engaging two audiences, a VIP in-person group, and a virtual audience. And, with the right support in place, we know you can make it a success. To connect with a fundraising specialist specifically around this type of event click here.
While you may have done VIP in-person events in previous years, the virtual experience will be your chance to stand out. Make it a unique experience in the way you interact with virtual attendees and engage them throughout the night. Include high-quality pre-recorded videos that elicit emotion, and at the right moments bring them back to join the in-person audience as your host engages both groups simultaneously. And, when it’s time for the Live Auction and Fund-a-Need, encourage your virtual attendees to participate alongside guests in the room, with your host calling out all of their names as the bids and funds roll in! It’s easy to engage your attendees in the room, but with this event, it’s crucial to also make your virtual attendees feel involved and engaged.
Some other tips to make your event stand out and raise more:
- Invite your biggest donors to join in the room. Your host will be able to feed off their excitement and engagement especially during the Fund-a-Need, and encourage other attendees in the room and at home to keep giving too.
- Ask your host to involve virtual attendees too. Get a key sponsor to surprise a virtual guest at their doorstep with a gift basket. Let in-person and virtual attendees watch the excitement together as somebody shows up at their door unannounced.
- Encourage pre-seeded donations from virtual and in-person guests to release during your Fund-a-Need and further drive the engagement during the event. To learn more about how Trellis has uniquely designed the donor experience for virtual, hybrid and in-person events click here.
The organizations that host this type of event will be the ones that raise more. They’ll stand out as cutting edge leaders in the fundraising space, raise more than previous years, and wow their donors in the process. It’s also the perfect event for organizations with a larger regional reach, to engage all donors regardless of location at one time.Return to Insights & Events