I probably get about 467 calls per month asking if I’ll help with another fundraiser.  I’ll be very honest with this line since I exaggerated the numbers in the previous line, but it gets very frustrating to tell some no, some yes, and lead the rest to my friends, since I can’t do them all.

I am grateful people would think I could help draw a crowd for a night out with family and friends, in support of a worthy cause, and yet I really can’t do too many of these.

Why am I writing about this?  Because this very Saturday I am doing a Fundraiser.  My friend is running for Mayor of South Jordan, UT, and this is my community.  She has never done anything political and nobody knows how well she’s going to do, but I think she’s a great person so I said I’d help.

She doesn’t know how to put an event like this together, and neither do I, but in this case I’m trying to help out as pseudo-Event Planner friend.

I warned her up front that I don’t have a name which draws a crowd, so let’s hope people come in support of her, and if someone other than my Mom and brothers show up, we should be happy.

I met with the Theater today, went over the sound system and needs, ensured I have what I need to do a good show.

Unfortunately my friend couldn’t join us for the meeting, so I just sent her this email, perhaps the longest one she’ll ever receive, in preparation of the event.

If you have ever put together ANY kind of event, you may want to take notes on this one, as there are some nuggets most people never remember, and equally if you have suggestions for things I forgot, then yes, please comment below.


Hi Dawn,

Toni and I had a good conversation and went through all that I need.  Looks like you have the rental from 6-9 PM, so we can only arrive at 6 PM to begin setting up.  We should be all set and ready to leave the stage by 6:40 PM latest so people can come in and sit and listen to the music playing overhead.
I wasn’t sure what you are planning on doing or having, as far as if you need a podium with a mic, or prefer a lavaliere, that sort of thing, as I’m assuming you’re going to do some speaking – correct?  Toni can get you what you need but it needs to be communicated sooner than later.
I don’t need projection, but they will have it set up if you need it.  Projector will be at the 5th row of the seats and shoots directly in the front and center of the stage, immediately in front of the closed curtain.  Assuming if you have slides, you will need to bring a laptop to plug in and have it reside next to the projector, so there will need to be a clicker in your hand to advance the slides.  Let me know if you’re concerned about your computer doing this, as I have one as well I can bring if you need.
The whole evening ought to be at a podium on the Stage Right (if you’re on stage, or the audience view to the left).  This gives the Emcee and you a place to go and stand and feel more comfortable.  It also keeps you out of the line of projection if you are using that throughout the night.
Regarding the flow of the night, I wasn’t sure what you had planned but from my experience doing these types of events I’m just going to list out a few things that are normally overlooked or forgotten.  This list may seem extensive but it’s only things I feel are necessary for a successful night.  Perhaps you’ve got this already, so if that’s the case disregard.
1. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other outlets if possible DAILY POSTS until the show need to be sent out from your account.
2. If you have friends, followers, or people helping you campaign, this is the time to call in all favors and ask them to post daily til Saturday.  Makes a HUGE difference.
3. You may want to print a few posters or papers with your face on it and stick it on the doors of the outside of the ELA theater so people know that is the event they are attending and location.
4. It would be amazing if you can get some of your supporters to make a video expressing why they are supporting you and how great you’ll be as Mayor, and then uploading it to social media.  Who could you request this of?
– Toni said you didn’t rent the box office to handle tickets so you’ll need to ensure the following:
1. Your Team is there ready to help answer questions for people, preferably in matching shirts so they look uniform, or close to it.  Who is on your team of volunteers for the night?
2. Team to run credit cards and do cash – are checks ok?  If so, who is check made payable to?  There needs to be a printed sheet indicating such.
3. Cash Box with every kind of bill
4. Square reader or other form of taking electronic payment, as well as log in information readily available for multiple devices going into the same bank account. – This is usually the ONE thing everyone forgets!
5. Access to the building wifi so you can take electronic payments.
6. Table and chairs adequate for these people.
– Toni said there are Ushers with the rental, so that’s great.
– As I’m not sure what you’ve got planned I didn’t know what you were thinking of having happen here.  But this is, in general, what I might suggest.
1. Emcee – someone other than you and me – someone who is confident and can read and project and is energetic, not silly or trying to be a comedian, but competent, stately, and confident.
2. Music playing as people walk in.  What would you like to have the ambiance be as people are coming in to be seated?
3. Projection on screen will be the main focus upon attendees’ arrival – what image would you like to have on there?  Or if not a static image, do you have a video or slideshow of community service photos you’ve done with something like “We Are The World” playing behind you?  That sort of thing really can move people to support you.
– If you have an image on the screen, make sure it sticks with your branding and campaign, but also includes social media suggestions, like Join us on Instagram or #hashtag of your choice.
– Also make sure the image is appropriate to have on the screen the entire night – preferably an image of you – until I’m introduced and we turn off projector and lights wash the stage.
4. Starting on time is very much a thing that makes an audience either stay with you or turn against you, so we really need to shoot for the 7 PM start.
7:00 PM
Talking Points for Emcee:
Emcee walks up, Welcomes everyone, Thanks us for coming, describes tonight –
– Here to support Dawn for Mayor, later in the evening we will enjoy a show as well.  My name is ____ and I’m here because _____
– If you are interested in donating to her campaign above and beyond the ticket price, we would be grateful, and we have our team standing by to take your donations, which are tax deductible.  They are in the foyer after the show.
– Funds raised tonight go toward _______
– From the image on the screen you can see that we have a #hashtag for #DawnforMayor, if you will share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, feel free to take a picture of this slide and post online.
– In a moment I will introduce the star of our evening who will give us a preview of what she plans to do as your Mayor, but before that some housekeeping to keep a nice flow to the evening:
1. Please silence cell phones or put them in airplane mode so they don’t go off during the evening
2. Please no texting, as the theater is dark and intrudes on others’ views of the stage.
3. If you need to text or make a call, please kindly go up the stairs and step out in the hallway.
4. Restrooms are in the foyer.
5. You are free to take photos of the night’s proceedings, however we would ask no video or audio recording, no Facebook LIVE, etc.
– And now, let’s get this show on the road.  Are you excited to be here?  Great.  Please welcome to the stage, a woman who grew up in ______, went to high school at _______, married her sweetheart after they met at _________, have ____ beautiful children, and has even served as a Ma & Pa with Dan on Pioneer Trek a few summers ago, some of you may have been there – please welcome, your next Mayor, Dawn Ramsey!
7:10 PM
– I imagine you will want to speak for 10-15 minutes minimum, that is what people will expect for sure.  If you are willing to take questions from the audience in regard to what you will be doing as Mayor, it would be best to have Emcee on the floor in front of you looking into the audience, pointing to the person raising their hand, since you don’t want to put your hand over your eyes to cover the light, that looks very tacky.  If you can do 20-25 minutes I think that is ideal.  But I don’t know what you have planned so obviously your call.
– Might be a good idea to have a video montage showing people around the community who support you, saying why they want you in office, could be like 1-2 minutes.
– If you can’t get that together in time, then consider inviting those people ahead of time by asking them if they’ll come on stage and say why they are voting for you.  This creates a powerful testimonial in person, and fills time for your speech, if that is an issue.
– Make sure you have said a few things, told some fun stories, tell what you plan on doing as Mayor, and THEN open it up for Questions.  You don’t want to END on questions.  You want to end with a BANG, meaning a funny story, or a motivational one, something that uplifts and inspires.  Leave them on a high note.
7:40 PM
– Upon your conclusion Emcee returns to stage, says “Dawn Ramsey everyone!”  More applause for you.
– Emcee now sums up a few of the points you made and reasons why people are voting for you.  Helps to hear it from another voice and gives people something to think about.
– Emcee gives details as to when and how voting can be done – by mail, in person – when and where?
– Emcee says, “We are so pleased by your attendance and support tonight, we wanted to put together an evening that should inspire but also make us laugh.  Our show tonight is by fellow Daybreak resident, and Dawn’s friend, Jason Hewlett.  He was inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame last year, one of the youngest ever to be included, has performed in every casino in Las Vegas, and is putting on a rare public show here tonight to give us a great night of laughs and inspiration.  Please welcome, Jason Hewlett!”
7:45 PM
– I do my show for about an hour, maybe more if we need to fill the night til the end.
8:45/8:50 PM
– I finish with a big “God Bless The USA” number, Emcee returns to stage and quickly shouts over clapping, “Wow, what a wonderful evening.  Thank you Jason.  Thank you to our next Mayor, Dawn Ramsey, we appreciate your vote on _____ date!  Have a great rest of your evening!”
– Fun happy music plays, houselights come on, everyone exits.  – Who do you want to handle making sure all of this happens?  Someone on your team who is capable of doing a few things at once.
Dawn, this is a very long email.  I hope you’re willing to read it all the way through.  But these types of things are important to go through.  I may have missed something, if so I apologize, but it would be great to PowWow with you on the phone if you have a minute in the next 72 hours.
Thank you.
Jason Hewlett, CSP, CPAE
Speaker Hall of Fame
~ jason


Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is a Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration. Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys. He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite. jasonhewlett.com


Please click here to learn about how Jason Hewlett, Speaker Hall of Fame, introduces the opportunity for you, or someone you love, to have the gift of learning how to create a Career From the Stage and begin moving toward fulfilling a lifelong dream as a full-time speaker, performer, or entertainer.

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