Due to the hotels popularity it is essential that booking occur early. It would be recommended that an event of this size be booked nine months in advance. Once the hotel has been booked and dates confirmed with the management and the charity the preparation can commence. Tickets for the event can go to print. Twenty of these tickets will be made available to the ten celebrities and their partners that will be attending, with a further twenty being allocated to the heads of the charity, and major sponsors. The remaining tickets will be sold at 150 each. This price has been decided by the charity after conducting its own research into costs and setting a price which will be acceptable to guests and give maximum contribution to the charity.
For their money guests will be able to dine in the exquisite hotel and enjoy fine food and wine in the company of well known celebrities and influential captains of industry, which aids the charity to benefit from the PR an event like this can offer, which will result in much needed awareness for the charity. The resource of the media and advertising will also be utilised with local radio, TV and newspapers all being informed of the celebrity guest list and in return for free promotion of the event the charity will allow the media to mingle with the celebrities and guests throughout the evening. When the tickets go on public sale approximately three months before the event, the media concerned have agreed to advertise the event at a fraction of the costs.
The charity will also make use of its technological resources, and will consult its database of guests who have attended in previous years and will direct market them by advising them of the upcoming event and enclose special priority booking forms for tickets. Literature from the hotel promoting special accommodation rates for guests can also accompany these letters. It is important that in today’s electronic age potential guests can buy tickets with ease.
A telephone number where potential guests can buy tickets with debit/credit cards, and the facility to buy online at the charity’s website can be utilised. Skilled operators to receive the phone calls are necessary and this can be overseen by the charity’s own donation line staff to help reduce costs. The charity’s ebusiness volunteers can ensure that all online enquiries are dealt with in an appropriate manner. Any tickets that are to be posted to guest should also include the literature regarding the accommodation provided by the hotel. By including this literature with the tickets the hotel has pledged 10 to the charity for every person connected with the event that stays over. Tickets will also be on general sale at the headquarters of the charity in Glasgow.
The charity also needs to book limousines to escort the celebrities to and from the event, and this has been booked three months prior to the event. The limousine company has donated two limousines free of charge and the charity needs only pay for eight cars instead of ten, saving the charity 200.
As all the remaining tickets for the event were sold within 6 weeks of going on public sale, ample time is allowed to inform the management of the hotel of the names and size of each party to ensure guests sit with whom they arrived. As always the celebrities and heads of charity are positioned among the guest as the charity feels it promotes a genuine atmosphere for the evening.
A band has also been arranged for the entertainment of the celebrities and guests, and the charity had also negotiated to reimburse the band expenses only in return for a notable mention on advertising articles, and any other promotional activity used by the charity. Management of the hotel as always assured the charity that before the band is due to start they will have all tables cleared and seating arranged to ensure guests have the use of the dance floor. The hotel has also offered the charity the use of its technological resources such as microphone, speakers and soft music playing in the background during the dinner.
With many of the guest being business owners many donations of items had been received by the charity by the guests, and it was decided that a good old fashioned raffle take place on the night. Books of ballot tickets were also donated and a member of the hotel staff has offered to sell these tickets on the evening of the event. Another local businessman who owns a travel agent has also donated a Caribbean Cruise for two worth 1,400 to be auctioned on the night to the highest bidder, with all the proceeds going to the charity.
Communications between the charity and the hotel management need to be open at all times and in the weeks before the event the menu needs to be finalised (see appendix 2) and discussions regarding the procedure for the nights events also needs to be finalised so everyone involved in the dinner is aware of what the sequence of events are to ensure the smooth operation of the evening.
On the night of the event the hotel showed their expertise and attention to detail by laying a red carpet for the attending guests. As prearranged the heads of charity and the hotel manager greeted the celebrities and guests as they arrived and the hotel staff escorted the guests to a smaller function room for pre dinner cocktails before being called for dinner. The celebrity charity dinner proved once again to be very successful in terms of monies raised and the guest satisfactions with the level of service they experienced. Many of the regular guests commented on how the hotel manages to achieve a consistent and sustainable level of service year after year. Therefore it is recommended that the communications between the charity and the hotel remain open and friendly so the excellent resources provided by the hotel may be utilised again in the future.
It is also recommended that all guest in attendance profiles be recorded on the charity’s database to allow for direct marketing promotions to be delivered to them in the future. Thank you letters should also be delivered to the hotel, the business that donated prizes, and the media for their continued support of the charity and the event, which without a doubt played an integral part in the success of this fund raising dinner.
In order for the charity to continue to successfully raise funds it is important that the on-going training of staff and volunteers continues to maintain quality and efficiency. This is a vital component in obtaining customer satisfaction and is evident by the standard of service received by the hotel, which has a carefully implemented recruitment and selection procedure and offers staff an excellent on-going training package that can be measured by their repeat custom and efficient complaints procedure.
It is important to evaluate and measure the success of the charity dinner. There is a need to measure monies raised for the charity (see appendix 3), and also to measure if resources were used efficiently. Evaluating the event will also highlight strengths and weaknesses for the dinner and will be useful for planning charity dinners in the future. The charity can also benchmark their performance against another appropriate charity to highlight areas that can be improved on. To conclude it is apparent that many resources available to the charity can be utilised to achieve a successful outcome and meet the objectives of raising much needed funds for the charity, and to deliver a quality service to celebrities and guests. By achieving customer satisfactions and raising money the charity can benefit by going from strength to strength.