EVENT CHAIR & STAFF | Great Ideas & Lessons Learned


Keep your video about the charity no longer than two minutes. Remember: entertain your guests for success. Long speeches and solemn videos do not entertain.

Don’t spread
the event over two stories or in multiple rooms. Separate spaces will dilute the energy.

Some guests will arrive early, so be prepared to go. It's better to be friendly than perfectly ready. This means you need as many registers open as you can get, and pre-register as many guests as possible. Also allow for entertainment and wine service while they wait in line.

Have greeters who engage guests after check-in. This might be the committee members who stay near the front of the event and give guests the lay of the land (when the fashion show will begin, wine tasting, bathrooms, etc.) and timing, assist with any special requests, and make people feel invited and welcome. These should not be the same people as those seated at check-in.

Red Carpet Commentary: Having a red carpet at the entry to the event can be a great Sponsorship Opportunity and a terrific way to make each attendee feel like a "star." Commentators with live mics can interview and comment on attendees' outfits and shoes, making for great photo ops and the Best in Shoe contest can be worked into the Red Carpet: photos can be submitted to the Fashion Committee who can choose the top five top walk the catwalk during the Seated Program. a Red Carpet adds entertainment value as well.

Be sure to run through the music, so everyone is on the same page. If you’re still not sure, the WW&S team has playlists and CDs we can send you. You want high-energy, girls-night-out music.

Make sure your committee coordinator for décor and entertainment are managing their respective areas day-of. Have a pre-event meeting.

Make sure you have one stall for every 75 guests.  If there aren’t enough potties, rent a trailer with a nice port-a-potty.

Never make people wait in line to check-in. It starts them off in a bad mood. Use a greeter to direct guests to open spots at the check-in tables. Have a designated station for more complicated check-in or problems. If it’s hot and sunny at check-in, make sure to provide tenting or parasols for people waiting in line. 

Ask the venue
to have a manager on the floor at all times for spills, glass breakage, food replenishment, etc.

Have your committee chairs
(and other key committee members) be there to greet guests and act as hostesses. Delegate day-of work to volunteers, staff, other committee members, and the WW&S team. She who doesn’t delegate does not get to enjoy the event!

Choosing a strong committee ensures that all of the work won’t fall on the charity staff’s shoulders.

One time we made the mistake of not doing a sound check before the event because the DJ was late. It left the auctioneer and the speakers having to shout.

If the venue doesn’t have air conditioning, rent lots of fans. If it’s hot, moving air at least feels better than stagnant air.

Communicate your charity’s mission at the event!  Mission posters placed around the room help, as do a powerful video and/or speaker to remind guests why they're there.

Provide wine service during check-in and the auction/fashion show. Don’t make your guests have to find it. Ask the Shoe Guys to pour during check-in, and auction, or ask volunteers or vintners to pour during the auction and assign each of them to specific tables.

Don’t rely on tray-passed food. Include food stations where guests can always find something to eat.

Safe Alcohol Service: It is very important that alcohol is served in a safe way and no one is over-served at your event. For a list of important tips and ideas to keep alcohol consumption safely under control, click here.