It’s really no secret; nearly everybody planning or conducting a fundraising event dislikes the registration process. From auction chairs, to event planners, to registration table volunteers. They all hate it. Now, you can add one more group to that list – the guests. Especially your VIPs.
Let me begin by saying – thank heaven for volunteers. In many instances they are the free wind that keeps the event sailing along. They also fulfill a key position that allows the event organizers and executive committee members to mingle with their guests.
But, as much as we appreciate the well-intended volunteer’s participation, they often don’t know who the attendees are – especially when it comes to the top donors.
Those top donors walk up to the registration table and are perplexed when the volunteer says, “Hello, welcome to our event. What’s your name?”
That top donor will look at the volunteer and think to himself or herself. “What? You. Don’t. Even. Know. My. Name. Wow. I thought I was a VIP around here. Maybe I’ll give less if this is the way they’re going to treat me.”
A VIP is exactly what they should be – and treated as – a V.I.P. So here’s a little tip that will make it so much awkward for your VIP’s and less awkward for the volunteers managing the registration table.
On a table, just prior to the registration table, have a table with names tags on it, in alphabetical order. Encourage guests to pick up their name tag and put it on or place the lanyard around their necks prior to reaching the registration table.
Now, when the volunteer looks up and sees them, they’re able to read the person’s name, and call them by name with a warm greeting. “Well, good evening Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. So good to see you here tonight.”
To begin with, there is no awkwardness. Conversations start smoother. The line moves faster. And most importantly, the guest feels like a VIP and heads into the fundraising event feeling positive. It seems like a small thing, but believe me, it’s a big thing. And, it’s simple, fast, easy, and effective.
Remember, a happy top donor, who is recognized and appreciated, is more likely to open up his or her pocketbooks a little wider.