While best practices are emerging in the world of hybrid fundraising events, there is still a lot of opportunity to create something completely new. For their hybrid gala, Boys and Girls Clubs of SW Washington produced a hybrid event that was new, fresh, and fun.
Hosted in a Brand New Venue
Beyond the Horizon: An Evening on the Waterfront was hosted at the new AC Hotel Waterfront by Marriott in Vancouver, Washington. Not only was the hybrid gala the first event to be held at the property, it was held before the official grand opening of the hotel.
Highlights from Beyond the Horizon: An Evening on the Waterfront
Live from the
Red Blue Carpet! A Celebrity-Like Welcome for In-Person Guests
As guests arrived at the AC Hotel for cocktail hour, they were greeted like celebrities walking the red carpet. Live shots of guests waving to the cameras were mixed into the one-hour live stream hosted by Olivia Anthony and Tyler Monk. Olivia is the BGCSW Youth of the Year. Tyler started with BGCSW in 2009 and is now a board member and inspirational speaker. The virtual event featured exclusive live interviews with long-time staff, supporters, and community leaders plus behind-the-scenes commentary from the event.
Pro tip: Even if the majority of your guests are attending in person, adding a live stream to your event is an excellent way to recognize your sponsors, volunteers, and donors as they arrive at the event. The guests watching live from home appreciate the opportunity to participate and learn more about your organization.
Large televisions positioned around the reception area allowed in-person guests to watch the same stream as supporters enjoyed at home.The cameras captured highlights of the event and added excitement for attendees and focused attention on the live interviews.
Announcing the Raffle
During the virtual blue carpet event, Olivia and Tyler made a live announcement naming the winner of the gala raffle. Tickets were sold for $50 each through Auctria. The winner received an overnight stay at the new AC Hotel plus a European breakfast for two.
Promoting the Live Stream
BGCSW placed a link to the live stream landing page on the front page of their website and in social media posts, giving access to everyone to tune in and support the mission and programs of BGCSW.
Moving into the In-Person Event
As the live stream ended, guests on site were invited into the ballroom for dinner and live auction. People interviewed during the virtual segment also spoke during the live program. These special guests included Miss Rainier Kayla Souza with nine-year old club member Archer, who demonstrated his black-belt skills.
Great Futures Start Here
Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington provides a positive and safe environment for kids to have fun and be themselves. Constructive programs lead by trained professionals channel youthful energy into challenging pursuits while supportive relationships help build young people’s self-esteem. Since its beginning in 1999, BGCSW has expanded to serve more than 3,000 youth at eight clubs in Vancouver, WA.