How to Plan a Charity Black Tie Event. Planning an event of any kind is never easy. Black tie events raise the stakes even more for those put in charge of organizing these grand affairs. Everything from securing a location to what to wear can become a huge headache if you are not equipped with some basic information about charity event planning. Learn how to plan and execute a charity black tie event successfully and gracefully.
Be aware of the budget you will be expected to work with during your planning. Hire an assistant or recruit someone if necessary to keep track of the financial details of the event so that you aren't bogged down in those details; however it's important to maintain focus on your given budget.
Immediately begin scouting for a suitable location for your event. Black tie events are best held in ballrooms or beautiful rented spaces that will give a sense of elegance and decorum to your fundraising. Find out whether your event will utilize silent auction or donation type accrual in order to raise money and plan around this.
Find a Master of Ceremonies to direct your event, or do it yourself if you are familiar with the protocol. Decide on a menu if there will be dinner, if not it is imperative that you secure hors d'oeuvres and champagne and a full bar. Along with the board of directors from your charity decide on a goal for your fundraising efforts if you are to be raising money.
Design and send out invitations at least 45 days prior to the event, preferably 60 days, so that everyone has ample time to prepare for the big night. Remember to indicate the dress code, which in this case will be black tie. Make your invitations elegant and formal so the black tie atmosphere of the event is emphasized. Indicate what fundraising or charity raising events will be held during the event so people come prepared to donate. Send invitations to those people in your community who will be most likely to attend and donate to your charity.
Secure tables, chairs, staff, entertainment, table cloths, floral arrangements and a sound system. If not provided by the MC, at least a month in advance if not more.
Visit the location at least two days before to make sure that everything will be in order for your event. Publicize your event to local newspapers so that you can have local press at the event to capture the festivities. Consider getting a red carpet to make it a truly memorable experience.
Make a timetabled to-do list that you will follow religiously and set a realistic and generous schedule so you can accomplish each task in enough time. Make a seating chart for your guests and don't forget place settings. Hire specific members of the wait staff or charity committee to help seat guests in their proper seats. Require the guests RSVP at least 30 days in advance so you can make the proper seating, food and beverage arrangements and not be surprised.
Do not wait until the last minute to send out invitations; secure a location, procure catering or wait staff as these things must typically be booked very much in advance.