Enhancing the Spirit of Welcome and Hospitality at your Event.

Think of your event in terms of a hospitality environment. Pamper your guests, create a moment of excellence for them,  greet them. Make them feel welcome and important. The first impression to your guest is a sure way to influence a positive guest experience keeping them coming back year after year.

Can you remember the details of a gesture that made you feel welcome and appreciated? Ask yourself what was it that stood out in that moment of excellence?  What was the gesture or action that made you walk away feeling important and appreciated. The fact that you remembered  the significant gesture today validates that the experience made an impact. I asked myself this same question and what came to mind immediately,  was a King Size Candy Bar that was given to my child at a restaurant over 10 years ago as we paid our bill. Ten years later I remembered this kind gesture, Impactful?… Absolutely.   At a business event I was greeted with women acting as Snake Charmers and they were dressed in the most beautiful jeweled outfits. Upon arrival to a resort on a scorching hot day, cool hand towels, and at a conference once,  a circus monkey (only once). These Simple gestures made those events fascinating, and have left with me a feeling of having and remembering a  favorable experience. As a guest, I felt good.

When you are planning your event you must create a strategy to differentiate your event. Take your hospitality efforts from ordinary to extraordinary. Start by asking yourself, how do I want my guests to feel?

Some simple steps to take: Are your guests acknowledged as they enter your event, were they properly greeted?  When appointing your greeters…. involve the youth, leaders, notable community members, or individuals who will be directly benefit from the event or fundraiser.

Take the time to train/remind your hosts and greeters of the importance of stellar hospitality gestures. The most simple of gestures can make a memorable first impression;  acknowledgement of your guests arrival, a smile, looking your guests in the eyes, offering a firm handshake, and portray open body language of being approachable/friendly.  These are all easy efforts to make which  will result in a enhanced guest experience.

Did your guests get the proper materials/information  needed, do they know where the restroom is, where the coat check is, are they aware of the event timeline and how the evening will unfold?

Open up the conversation of hospitality and welcome strategies to your committee members. I am sure creative brainstorming will result in ideas better then mine. Focus your efforts on how you can “WOW” your guests. Give your guests the red carpet treatment, literally rent a red carpet and stanchions. Offer your guests sparkling champagne upon entry to the venue. Offer a hand massage, have a usher show them to their seat assignment at the dinner table. Provide chocolate, a goody bag, or a creative token of gratitude. Strive to make your guests feel like VIP’s.

Planners must not forget about their vendors needs. Event Chairs have a large responsibility on event day. They are juggling multiple tasks and will be pulled in directions that they do not anticipate. To help ease the pressure for an event chair, plan to designate a hospitality team dedicated to vendors. Vendors typically will have a contractual agreement which comes with specific event accommodations and requirements that are needed to perform their services. Are all of those accommodations taken care of? Do the vendors have any questions, do they have everything they need? Did someone give the vendor their check for services on arrival? Do vendors need water? Is the sound, lighting and power adequate? In the excitement of the event and all of the activity that takes place it is easy to forget about the vendors needs. Make sure your vendors are taken care of and all accommodation requests have been honored. Check back in with them often, questions will arise and its hard for vendors to seek out organizers.  Offer vendors water or a piece of chocolate. This will make you shine!

Your event would not be possible without your volunteers. Consider providing a special area for volunteers, with seating, food, snacks, refreshments and small gestures of gratitude. Acknowledge your volunteers during your program, have them stand for a round of applause.

These small actions of hospitality make a big difference when creating a fascinating event. The final measurement of your event is how was your guest experience. How did you make your guests feel? Make your guests, volunteers and vendors feel welcome, appreciated and important and your fundraising results will follow! A powerful event reputation is in the making!


Author Jenny Gehl, BAS  Fundraising-Charity Auctioneer/Event Strategy Consultant

A National Auctioneers Association validated Benefit Auction Specialist.

Founder of Bravo Benefit Auctions and Consulting Group  

Professional Auctioneer and Consulting Services

                  Serving The Greater Midwest and Surrounding Areas.






Sound Advice: The ultimate tip for better results at your fundraising event

Sound is a critical element that can make or break your event. So often I hear “the venue has a in-house system”. The dreaded ceiling sound. This very type of “in-house sound” was designed for announcements before dinner, when the entire room is quiet and  all eyes and ears are focused on the speaker. You and I both know that at a fundraising auction the attention is not as focused, if fact it is quite the contrary. This type of sound system was not intended for a lively fundraising auction and many planners do not pay attention to that detail. Your guests will be talking, laughing, carrying on with a good time, not all focus is placed on what is currently happening.  You want your fundraising event to be fun and lively. For this reason you must make the important event investment of hiring a sound professional.  Sure this is going to cost you, however,  it will pay for itself. A sound solution that will ensure that all guests can hear what is going on and as a result  you can count on higher engagement/participation, which in turn creates a competitive bidding environment achieving higher prices which directly aligns with your desired outcome.

Think about all of the effort you put into this wonderful event. Months of planning and countless hours of securing sponsorship’s, audience development, item acquisition, marketing, and the finer details of the event, why would you cut corners with the sound? Result: If your guests can’t hear they will  become dis-engaged and the crowd will become louder and louder eventually drowning out your message. After all your organization has an incredible story to tell and a very important message to communicate. A good sound system will credit your events success if those messages are heard loud and clear.

A sound professional will help you determine your event sound requirements and will achieve optimum sound that is evenly distributed throughout your venue. The on site technician will be present for your event if you should encounter technical difficulty.

Sound is one of the most crucial components of your event and it will cost your organization more money by not having a professional sound system.  Our event teams work closely with sound professionals, we can refer you to someone who will take the time to understand your needs and provide the sound solutions your event desperately needs.  Make that extra investment of sound for your event, you can’t afford not to.

We have “IDEAS WORTH SHARING”     Gala Ideas

Contact us for  event strategy consulting that is custom designed for your group.


Author Jenny Gehl, BAS  Fundraising-Charity Auctioneer/Event Strategy Consultant

A National Auctioneers Association validated Benefit Auction Specialist.

Bravo Benefit Auctions and Consulting Group 2015



4 Secrets to Event Excellence

Read about some great techniques and opportunities for sponsorships, volunteers, marketing and event date selection. A must read for event planners.

  1. When sourcing donors to underwrite some of the event costs or sponsorship’s, the first type of sponsorship that comes to mind for most of us is the  Business sponsorship… think beyond business… why not ask for family sponsorships? Grandparent sponsorships? Many families  would love to have their name recognized for sponsoring a portion of the event (a bounce house, a caricature artist, facepainter) . Provide recognition for that individual, family or business with a great sign that celebrates their generosity.
  2. Hold your event the day before Friday!… that’s right plan your event for a THURSDAY night. The truth is venues will have more availability and more room for price negotiations on a Thursday. Your event will likely have less of a chance of competing with other events on a Thursday. The weekends are priceless, Families are busy, weekends are consumed with youth activities and sports. Your guests will be appreciative that you kept their weekend free.
  3. Create a website dedicated to your event. Take the extra time to name the event, craft a logo, and create a tagline. Brand your event. Inform, educate, and communicate your story and message. What are you raising the funds for? Remain consistent with your brand and message throughout all social media platforms and marketing materials.
  4. Volunteers! Create a committee that has a primary focus on being dedicated to volunteer recruitment, organization and execution. Sometimes it can be hard to get volunteers. Reach out to organizations who need service hours, they would be  happy to partner with your organization to do great things while earning service hours.

Contact  Fun-Rental, LLC  to learn about additional event excellence details, we have some “ideas worth sharing”.

7 reasons to consider a Thursday for your next fundraising event.


  1. Venues will typically offer a better value on a weekday verses a weekend event.
  2. Families are on the go on the weekends, out of town, youth sports, youth activities and family commitments.
  3. Guests are more likely to be available on a Thursday evening to attend the event.
  4. Guests will appreciate the fact to not have another commitment on the weekend. With busy lives… time is precious.
  5. As the trends of auction events increases, Auction Professionals are in higher demand and may appreciate that call for a Thursday night event. Not to mention maybe a small discount may be available!
  6. Great way to get the weekend started. A Thursday event will break up the monotony of the week.
  7. Contrary to most beliefs, over consumption of alcohol at fundraising events makes the crowd harder to control and many times guests attention is lost for the live auction… by having a Thursday evening event there is a good chance that over consumption of alcohol will not be as apparent with having a workday the following day. WE must remember are we planning a party or a fundraiser?

Contact us for more Gala Ideas . We have some great “ideas worth sharing” to achieve event excellence.


Author Jenny Gehl, BAS  Fundraising-Charity Auctioneer/Event Strategy Consultant

A National Auctioneers Association validated Benefit Auction Specialist.

Bravo Benefit Auctions and Consulting Group 2015