I’m going to guess that the majority of us have attended at least one rock concert in our lifetime. Of those I’ve attended, I’ve always noticed one thing – they always save their rockingest song for last.
I’m not talking about the encore – or encores as the case may be. I’m talking about the last song of their regularly scheduled set list. The one that has all attendees on their feet – swaying to the beat – shouting at the top of their lungs – and clapping with unbridled enthusiasm as the band’s lead singer yells out: “THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT NIGHT!!!”
Rock bands always Finish with a Flourish. And so should your fundraising event.
This means your entertainment should be set up ahead of the event starting so they can hit the stage the second the live auction is completed and the thank you’s have been said. Nothing ruins the festive mood of an event like a momentum killer.
Here’s another way to look at it.
If you were watching the Oscars on TV and there was a 10 to 15 minute gap between an award presentation and the start of a live musical performance – and the camera stayed on the stage shot the entire time while they were setting up – you’d be thinking, “What the heck is going on?” You’d probably get bored – change the channel – or even worst – decide to go to bed.
Transitional momentum is key to having your guests enjoy the entire evening you took so long to plan.
With that said, if you are a reader of my articles and/or attend my seminars you know that I am a big proponent of saving the “thank yous” to the end. This can all be done while maintaining momentum.
So, let the appropriate people say thank you and let them count down the band. If the auction doesn’t have a band, the event still needs to end with a planned upbeat moment, such as playing energetic pre-programmed music.
Never end with a whimper. There’s nothing worse than having guests staring at each other with a “What’s Next?!?” look on their faces.
So Finish with a Flourish. And that means short but sincere thank yous followed immediately by the entertainment or upbeat exit music.
Either way the transition should be smooth and leave people feeling good about the event and the charity they just helped to fund. What doesn’t work is silence and confusion.