Outdoor Gala

A local golf course is under new management, and they contacted me to see if I had any upcoming events that would be appropriate to host there. They wanted to offer up their location free of charge to show the property and catering service off to prospective new members (aka my guests) and to possibly entice other people to have events there. It sounded great to me, although I didn’t have anything I thought would work there at the time. I decided to take them up on their generosity, though, and create a charity event for them instead.

I went through my usual go-to list of artists and craftspeople and was able to scrounge up several items to be auctioned. The proceeds—or in some cases, the whole amount—would be donated to a charity of the artists’ choosing. It was a bit late to do much print marketing, so I went the electronic route, blasting messages on social media instead. I did, however, let several print and online media sources know about the event, and most told me that they would be attending. When I reported back with a head count to the host site, including some of the promised press, they were very pleased. Honestly, so was I! I love getting my friends and neighbors together to do great things for this community. This was one of those dream assignments: I got to plan a party, raise money for charity, and support a local business all at the same time. I didn’t really see a way that this could turn out poorly.

And then we got some bad weather. As in, unseasonably cold weather. Now, I had guests coming who were going to be dressed up, so think women in sleeveless dresses. Normally we would have just moved the event indoors, but the new management had decided to renovate the clubhouse and it wasn’t finished yet! That started full-on panic mode until the new event planner walked me off the ledge by offering to rent some patio heaters for my guests instead.

Problem solved!

They did a wonderful job with the décor and showcasing the art that was up for auction. The heaters were both unobtrusive and very effective. Many of the female guests thanked me profusely for thinking to add them, expressing surprise both at the unseasonably cold weather, and the effectiveness of the patio heaters. I was so relieved to hear that the guests were comfortable and enjoying themselves. We ended up raising $1,200 for various charities, which wasn’t bad for an event I had three weeks to set up. I also heard afterwards that the strategy paid off for my generous event hosts—they were contacted about booking at least three other events. They also enticed several golfers to schedule tee times for the following week. What a creative way to kick off new ownership!

I am hopeful that after more people read the press coverage of the event that even more people will schedule bookings or come to check out the golf course, although only time will tell!