Event Management – Back to the Basics


SignMeUp provides online event registration services to many organizations but we rarely get to attend the events that our customers produce.  I had the opportunity to go to Texas Advocacy Project’s Black and White Ball recently and thought I would share what made it a terrific event from an attendee’s perspective.  Nothing earth-shattering, just good fundamentals.

The Event

The cause. The event benefited Texas Advocacy Project, a non- profit organization that provides legal solutions, through free services, to victims of violence in the home.  The Project’s vision is that no child should see one parent harm the other.

The Guests

The venue.  The Black and White Ball was fortunate to have Accenture as its presenting sponsor.  The event was held at the spectacular Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, which is located on the shores of Lady Bird Lake.  I don’t get to frequent Four Seasons hotels very often, which made the evening more special.

The honorees.  Texas’ rising political star, Representative Patrick Rose, was the Honorary Chair and presented awards to several incredibly inspiring individuals.  Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton was given the annual Vision Award for his leadership in the fight to eliminate violence in the home.  Accenture employee, Cynde B. Jones, was the recipient of the Generosity of Spirit Award for her volunteer commitment.  Brenda Larcom was given the Courage Award, which recognizes a domestic violence survivor who has demonstrated the courage to escape her abuser and create a healthy, productive and secure life.

The Honorees

The food and entertainment.  Even with a great cause, terrific venue, and inspiring honorees, a benefit event can fall flat without good food and entertainment.  Fortunately, the evening featured the Grammy award winning band Ambrosia, elegant hors d’oeuvres created by Chef Elmar Prambs and one of the city’s most amazing auctions of the year. KVUE’s news anchor Terri Gruca was the evening’s emcee.

The online registration and fundraising.  Of course I have to mention the easy registration process, right?  Seriously, many attendees get their first interaction with an event when they purchase their tickets and make donations, so a seamless registration and fundraising process is key.  Event tickets and tables were sold online through a SignMeUp online event registration Form.  In addition, in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Texas Advocacy Project launched an ongoing Purple Pledge through SignMeUp’s Givamajig fundraising platform.

While event management and planning clearly is very complicated, it can be helpful to go back to the basics of what makes an event special from an attendee’s point of view.  I already am looking forward to next year’s Black and White Ball.

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