Putting the Special Back in Special Events

by Katie Essner on August 30, 2011

In a competitive marketplace, companies are constantly vying for media space and attention. A great way for organizations to be noticed is through special events. Creative special events can give your organization a public persona and portray it as an active participant in the community. So how can you develop special events that fit your target audience and capture the attention of the media? Ask these questions:

1. What is a typical special event for our organization (a dinner, auction, etc.)?
2. What demographic comes to these events?
3. What does the target audience like about these events?
4. What does the target audience not like about these events?
5. What other special events have captured your interest?
6. How can you take these ideas and incorporate them into a special event that will work for your demographic?
7. What is the newsworthy element? (For something to be newsworthy the event should be either timely, unique, incorporate human interest or have a large group of people involved.)
8. How does the event benefit the organization?
9. How does the event benefit the community?

One great example of a unique event is Special Olympics New York’s “Over the Edge” fundraiser (see a video from this year’s event here). Launched in 2010, Western New Yorkers are invited to rappel the 27-story Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel if they raise $1,000 for Special Olympics as part of the “Over the Edge” fundraiser. All proceeds from the event go directly to local athletes. The community benefit is clear, and with its uniqueness and nearly 100 participants, the media are naturally fascinated by the event. The Special Olympics athletes come out to participate in and support the event; so all angles of a successful special event are covered.

Creating a unique special event will ensure people leave remembering their great experience and the wonderful organization that planned it. Be creative, think outside the box, make it relevant and make it interesting to your audience, community and media.



Blondy September 6, 2011 at 1:24 am

A million thanks for potnisg this information.

Chance Andruss September 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” ~ Peter Ustinov