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Charity Event Chairs


The charity staff oversees the entire event and recruits the event chairs who directly manage the committee chairs.
The charity and event chairs may collaborate on any of the following based on the charity’s needs.  

We include our "best of the best" ideas below so that you have absolutely all the tools you need for ultimate success.
Please do not become overwhelmed. To avoid this, we suggest reading the page before downloading most documents.

Managing Committees:

The event chair oversees the committees. Become familiar with each committee’s tasks, which you may alter for your specific
event purposes. You might create a binder to give out at your first committee meeting so people understand their roles.


Committee Descriptions 


Charity Staff & Event Chair(s) The Charity staff oversee the entire event. The charity is the "board," with the final word on all matters, and assigns committee chairs to manage much of the event. Additionally they recruit event chairs, and committees (with the event chairs).


Event chairs are “CEOs." They help build-out the team, manage it and ultimately report to the charity. 


Having more than one Event Chair (i.e. "co-chairs") helps divide the workload. It also lets co-chairs focus on areas based on their abilities and personality, for example a  "connector" co-chair interacts with people, while an "operations specialist" co-chair focuses on logistics, etc. Some events even have three co-chairs.


Auction Chair(s) seek donations for live and silent auction lots, as well as Key-to-the-Closet. Find a good "multi-tasker."  A person with community connections and a well-rounded rolodex will shine here and contribute significantly to the bottom line. This chair also oversees coordinators.


Culinary Chair(s) guarantee guests are well-fed with a variety of options. Foodies apply here. Whether recruiting restaurants, hiring caterers or using a venue's kitchen, we all know food can make or break an event.


Entertainment Chair(s) manage the music, emcee, program contents, any speakers, step & repeat, photo booth fun, best dressed, Best in Shoe, and anything else you want to add.


Fashion Show Chair(s) manage all components of the show -- from the fashion partner(s) that provide clothing for the models -- staging and music. Many locations choose to outsource the fashion show to a department store or professional stylist. If this is your path, you only need one fashion show chair. If you’re producing the show yourself, this chair needs coordinators to oversee the various components, as noted in the org chart. The fashion show is simply too large to be produced by one person. For this chair we suggest a fashionable, organized person with a sense of the theatrical.


Host Committee Chair(s) recruit the host committee, who lend their names to the event and help build the mailing list.  This really needs to be a well-connected, well-liked individual who knows socially-influential people.


Marketing, Communications & Promotions Chair(s) collaborate with PR to create a marketing strategy for your community; work with WW&S on communications calendar, manage printed material; works with chairs on budget; works with wine & fashion retail partners, and wine societies to promote event; assures that everyone associated with the event has the information needed to sell tickets; works with models, board and committee to fill tables; finds creative ways to sell tickets (like hair salons, doctors offices, etc.), makes follow-up calls to key individuals for ticket sales, assures that every ticket sells.


Marketplace Chair(s) secure the local and national fashion partners & retailers, and manage their communications and logistics. In making selections, it’s almost like you’re a buyer for a store. They work with the marketing team to make sure partners are promoting the event. They ensure that on the day of event, they staff sufficient volunteers for a smooth load in/load out. Two chairs are recommended, get a “connector” and a “detail diva.”


PR/Social Media Chair(s) manage event public relations. Ideally this person has connections in local media/knows local bloggers/etc. and is savvy with Facebook and Twitter for pre-event buzz, which increase ticket sales.


Shoe Guys Chair(s) recruit and manage the 20+ Shoe Guys. These men are not just a pretty face -- they are charismatic, civic-minded members of your community who can add value to your event. On event day, the chair(s) ensure that the men arrive on time, dress appropriately, and understand their role. Most chairs consider this a very fun job, and it requires someone outgoing and unafraid to recruit charming men.


Sponsorship Chair(s) create partnerships and win-wins. They are business-development savvy, outgoing people with community connections. They know how to sell potential sponsors on the WW&S opportunity for business promotion. They view sales as partnerships, created to benefit the sponsor, the event, and ultimately the cause, and enjoy connecting these components together.


Swag Bag Chair(s) solicit donations for guests' gift bags, i.e. swag bags. Gifts may be from sponsors, event participants, or local businesses. They manage the collection of donations, bag assembly, timely delivery to the event, and delivery at the event.


Venue/Logistics Chair manages the decor, as well as logistical nuts and bolts of the event: rentals, lighting, sound system, etc. - basically all site pre-event and event day minutiae. They put out fires on event day. Ideal candidates possess a sense of style and organization skills and stay cool under pressure. They recruit assistants, including a decor coordinator with fabulous ideas for unique, eye-catching visuals.


Vintner Chair communicates any brand preferences to WW&S, coordinates partnership with a wine shop to promote event & take orders at event. They communicate winery needs to the venue chair for rentals, ensure all wine deliveries happen smoothly, greet wineries when they arrive and help tend to their needs. If you’re having vintner dinners, this job also organizes vintner concierges & wine delivery. This person knows the difference between a chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc and is a detail-oriented person.


Volunteer Chair(s) collect all names of potential volunteers, contact them, and assign them to committees, where individual committee chairs manage them.  This role needs someone who manages others well in a high-stress situation. We suggest a detail-oriented ninja master of the spreadsheet, who's great with following up.


Business Plans & Budgets

What is the financial goal for your event?  

 First, you need to figure out how much $$$ you need to make.  

•  Then you must weigh how much you're getting (or intend to get) from sponsors against your event expenses.  
    This will tell you how much you need to bring in from other areas of your event, such as the auctions.

•   For ideas on how to raise money through sponsored programs at your event, look at this this page:
    Revenue Generating Programs One Sheet

•  Look through these event business plans & budgets to better understand this process:


Business Plans: With WW&S, put together a business plan for your event. 

View & download editable example here:

Event Business Plan Palm Springs 2015

Budgets: With WW&S, put together a budget for your event. 

See examples here:

Event Budget Template
Tulsa Budget 2013
Nashville Budget 2013

Marin Budget 2011 and 2012
San Diego Budget 2012
Bakersfield Budget 2012

2012 Naples Budget

2012 Miami Budget (editable)

Charity Reminder

Remind people whenever possible (in PR & marketing collateral, speeches, sponsor asks, and on signs at your event)
of your charity’s mission and the reason you are raising money at this event.

Mission Ideas

Choose a Graphics Package

Print Samples & Graphics Packages
With WW&S, choose graphics packages which will appear on all event collateral.  

View examples and download fonts here:


   Font Examples



   Clarendon BT Bold.ttf

   Industrial736 BT

WW&S Logo

   Color Palette

   WW&S Logo

   WW&S Logo Adobe Illustrator

   WW&S Logo.eps

   WW&S Logo.png

Graphics Packages, Invitation Samples, Etc.

Program Samples

 Venue Selection

The event chair chooses the venue, along with the charity & venue chair.

Some interesting past ideas:

  Luxury Car Dealership:  Enlist a gorgeous luxury car dealership. Move the cars out of the main showroom.
    One big room for the market place & fashion show is best.

  Estates on the Market:  Find a real estate company that wants to showcase a private estate. You gain
     a free venue. They get an open house with hundreds of viewers.

   Private Estate:  Secure a gorgeous private estate with a huge yard for the event. People love seeing a
    beautiful home. It makes the event more compelling.

Also see the Venue Committee Page for more details.

Timelines & Schedules

Long-term & Day-of Timelines:       

Look at these timelines to understand which committee is responsible for what & when during your planning phase,
and on event day.


Long-term Event Timeline

Day of Event Timeline Samples (2 samples)


•  Hold a day-of pre-event meeting with committee chairs

 Make sure your chairs are managing their areas on event day.

 Event Schedule: Event with a Live Auction & Fashion Show


2 Hours
    It ALWAYS runs two hours and ALWAYS occurs before the seated part of your event.

    Why? Becuase guests never return to the marketplace after the show.  And if your vendors aren't given enough time, they
    will be
 very upset & not participate in future events.  


The Program:   "Run of Show" w/ Auction & Fashion Show


Suggested song selections, your DJ may have better choices that are more contemporary

Download suggested Run of Show songs

(Music – Hey Soul Sister, Train)    

2 mins                        Emcee welcomes everyone  

(Music – Boogie Shoes)

5 mins                        Best in Shoe awards 

(Music – Hot Stuff, Donna Summer)

3 – 5 mins                  Intro Shoe Guys who deliver goody bags

(Music – Brand New Day)

2 – 3 mins                  Mission Communication by ED or some other  compelling speaker or video


(Music – Let Yourself Go) 

15 mins                      Intro auctioneer, last call for raffle tickets, auction (5 lots at 3  mins/ea)        

3 – 4 mins 
                 Special speaker for Cash Call

(Everlasting Love, Carl Carlton or Brand New Day, Sting)

5 mins                        Cash Call

18 mins                      Fashion Show

(Music – Material Girl)

2 mins                       Key to the Closet drawing

(Music – Raise Your Glass)

2 mins                          Thank you for coming

(Music – continue Raise Your Glass followed by Blurred Lines)


57 – 62 mins             Total Running Time



Notes: Auction with Cash Call

→ Fund a Cause:   If you don’t do this in the right way it can cost you 10K

Occurs 1/2 to 2/3 into the auction, not at the end because audience loses enthusiasm or at the start because they’re not warmed up.   Tie the "fund a cause" to concrete outcomes e.g. $10K gets x number of kids out of foster care.

→ A "Heartfelt Story":  3 Minutes Max.  This immediately precedes "Fund a Cause." 
    You should have a video for the full impact.  A live person has a challenge of being fallible -- too long-winded, boring,
    and not good at triggering people's emotions.  Regarless of whether it's a script or video, keep it to 3 minutes



The Program:  "Run of Show" w/out Auction & Fashion Show 


 If there's NO live auction & fashion show:   Event runs no longer than 2.5 hours


The Speaking Program

View an example program script here:     Program Script Sample

The charity oversees the speaking program and the copywriting committee may assist. Speaking happens after marketplace and before the fashion show.  It usually takes place on the same stage as the fashion show. 


 Describes the event’s charity mission

•  Emotionally tugs at audience heartstrings, reminding them of the mission, so that they spend money during the auction
  Publicly acknowledges the significant time, money & efforts of key players by name:  Sponsors, shoe guys
   (by name & profession), wineries, vendors, and other key players. This goes a long 
way with people. They
   appreciate it and will remember it next year.  Be sure to introduce everyone before the fashion show.

     -  Winery acknowledgement:  Gather all winery partners in advance. Line them up alphabetically by brand
        name. Make sure they have one of their bottles in hand and announce each one as they take a quick
        bow on stage.


     -  Shoe guys: Do something fun to introduce the shoe guys by name and perhaps profession.
        Introduce them before the fashion show.



The charity & event chair need to find a photographer and videographer to shoot photos and video of the event.

View suggested shot lists here:

Still Photography Shot List
Video Shot List


You never get a second chance to make a first impression!   Hence, guest check-in should be extremely friendly and run smoothly. And while you’re at it, make it fun. Can you add some décor and whimsical elements?  Shoe Guys? Signage? Music? Greeters? Décor?

  We recommend having music at check-in and valet so
 there is music as the guests enter the event. We consistently hear that
   that guests love it because it sets the tone for a very fun event.  See if the DJ can put speakers out at valet and at check in.
   If not, even 
a boom box playing music from the cd's we can send you helps. 

•  Have greeters - shoe guys, your event chair, and/or committee members--greeting guests as they arrive.
  Clear signage designating specific sections: Break up the alphabet (A-J, J-S, T-Z) and have VIP check-in so
   they get the 'special treatment' for which they paid.
  Have a "Walk-Ins" table so those who purchased in advance aren't stuck waiting in line with those who did not.

  Designate an area for "Information" with a volunteer to answer questions or manage any challenging check-ins.

  Have a minimum of 6 volunteers working the check-in area.

  Have roaming volunteers greet guests in line and direct them to open check-in spots or the appropriate check-in
   station. This will make the line move much faster and the guests feel welcomed.

  Make sure all check-in table volunteers inform guests of restroom location.
  Once the first hour to hour-and-a-half of the event has passed, the check-in area can be rotated to
   check-out. Put a sign up that says "Auction Winners.”
  If your check-in area is outside and the sun is out, provide plenty of shade. This could be with market umbrellas, or
   even shoe guys carrying golf umbrellas or parasols.

  Hand out the wine glasses to guests as they check-in or come in. The Venue Comittee is in charge of renting
   glassware.  (You'll also need a few glasses at each wine table to cover any glasses that get set down and lost.
   Budget 1.2 glasses per attendee.  Also account for vendors, shoe guys, winery reps, and anyone else who might


VIP Tickets


Market VIP Tickets  

VIP tickets are the overall purview of Charity & Event Chair.  You work with your Outreach (marketing, promotions, PR) to find great ways to promote these tickets.  

The VIP tickets are a major marketing incentive.  You charge more for VIP tickets, and also sell more VIP tickets.  You may hold special
VIP events.  (See this sample VIP event invite on our Outreach page.)

The VIP tickets are a major marketing incentive.  You charge more for VIP tickets, and also sell more VIP tickets.  At the Napa Valley event, for two years, they sold 2/3 VIP tickets ($250) and 1/3 general admission ($150).  Call the VIP tickets something cute like "Platinum Pump" tickets. Work with your to promote these tickets.


Benefits to Market:

•  During the fashion show, the VIPs get table seating (round tables along the runway), food and wine service
    (courtesy of the vintners and Shoe Guys), and a special gift bag. General admission guests receiv
    theater-style seating for the fashion show and they do not receive wine or food service.

•  Market that proximity to the fashion/auction stage is determined by contract receipt date, so book early for
    the best seats!

•  Designate VIP parking areas or valet parking
•  Distribute special VIP lanyards for people to wear (think backstage passes).  One idea is 3" x 5" printed
    tags on ribbons worn around the neck.

•  Create special roped off "VIP only" area with a wine & food pairing, and a special wine.
For an upcharge on the VIP tickets, offer specialGirlfriend Section"  seating during the fashion show &
    auction.  In Naples, the "Girlfriend Section" was lounge seating on either side of the runway. Each section
    could hold 12 people.  They had their own shoe guy to provide the wine service. 



Entertainment Ideas


Please see our Entertainment page



Lessons Learned

(Also see individual committee pages)

Short & Sweet
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.

Where's the party?
Don’t spread the event over two stories or in multiple rooms. Separate spaces will dilute the energy.

The Early Birds
        •  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. Al
so allow for 
         entertainment & wine service while they wait in line.

I'm here! Now what do I do?

       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.

Dude, who turned on Led Zeppelin?
     •  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.
Tinkle, tinkle little star, where’s the bathroom, and just how far?
     •  Make sure you have 1 stall for every 75 guests.  If there aren’t enough potties, rent a trailer with a nice
Where's the express lane?
     •  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.
Um, hello...does anyone work here?
     •  Ask the venue to have a manager on the floor at all times for spills, glass breakage, food replenishment,
Am I an event chair or an octopus?
     •  Have your chair (and key committee members) be there to greet guests and act as hostesses. Delegate
        day-of work to volunteers, staff, other committee members, and 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.
Testing 1-2-3-4, did this mic work before?
     •  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. We know, we’ve endured it...three times.

Whose party is it anyway?
     •  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.
Where for art thou, wine and food?
     •  Provide wine service during check-in & 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
        them all to specific tables.

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


Sample Documents

(Consolidated from the above)


Long-term Event Timeline
Day of Event Timeline Samples (2 samples)

Business Plans (editable)

WWS Business Plan 2012 Denver CASA
WWS Business Plan 2012 Sacramento SCH
WWS Event Budget 2012 for Business Plan