I was telling my event management class at Collegium Civitas that charity events are, in my experience, the most creative and high-profile sector of the events industry.
To some, this may sound strange. They assume that charity events must have low budgets because they mustn’t spend. They think every zloty raised must go to the charity. But, to survive on public donations means charities must keep themselves high in the public consciousness. For this, they need publicity. They also need profile. This is where events play their part. This is also why charity events are highly creative and rely on celebrity attendance to get press coverage.
By way of an example, just this week, Jamie Lee Curtis, Heidi Klum, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas were photographed at an event in Los Angeles. The event was in support of the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital (just visible behind Heidi on the left of this picture):
And, at this week’s worldwide premiere for the new James Bond film, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended, which made the Bond premiere a ‘royal premiere’. That means the event must have been in support of charity. Indeed, the Skyfall premiere was supporting the British Intelligence Service charities.
It isn’t that charities don’t want to spend money on events. It is the job of the charity’s trustees or committee members to ensure the money they do spend is spent wisely and will further their cause. Profile and publicity does further their cause.
But, the true value of charity events is with the cash sponsor. Charity events that are supported by celebrities or royalty attract the press. Press coverage means publicity. For a sponsor, this is extremely valuable. That is how the business of charity events works.
It is a win-win-win situation. The charity attracts the celebrities and receives good profile; the celebrity gets to be associated with supporting the good cause and gets their photo in the press; the sponsor also gets to be associated with supporting the good cause and gets their logo in the press, as well. That exposure is worth the sponsorship money. This is why charity events are great fun, highly creative, have press, royalty and celebrities in attendance, and have the highest event budgets.