If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that sweatpants are so comfortable they should be considered appropriate out-of-the-house wear. That being said, getting dressed up every now and then is also very fun.
And where better to change up your dress code than at black tie events? It’s the end of the year and in-person events are coming back.
So there’s no doubt a gala event headed your way. But if you need a quick guide on what to expect from this year’s gala dinner or other formal event, consider us your one-stop shopping.
That is if you’re shopping around for a fun-filled evening meant to raise funds for a worthy cause. So follow us and we’ll show you around.
We may even find you a masquerade ball in the back! Or a carousel for rent in the stock room! (Is this bit going on a bit too long, do we think?)
See Related: What’s The Best Virtual Gala Platform?
What is a fundraising gala?
A fundraising gala is a social event geared toward raising funds through donations. You might have heard gala events described as charity balls, a fundraising event, or even just a big party!
And that’s because every gala event is a different event type depending on the organization that’s hosting. But more often than not, every gala event is about raising money while giving sponsors and donors a memorable and exciting night out.
So if you thought a gala was just a grand old ball, you weren’t entirely wrong. But there’s a little bit more to it than that.
What is the purpose of gala events?
Who needs a reason to throw parties? Okay, but seriously, galas aren’t just a night of dancing at a fancy venue with entertainment and live music. It’s much more meaningful than that.
Gives you the opportunity to raise money
Fundraising and asking for donations can be hard. Especially because people like to know where their money is going.
Well, a gala offers attendees the chance to get to know the cause they’re supporting. And they’re more likely to donate money when they’re in a happier mood – which is what most galas tend to do to their guests!
Promotes brand awareness
Another benefit of a gala dinner is being able to promote your charity auction or other cause. When you invite people to your gala dinner, you’re also boosting your organization by default.
And word of mouth is the perfect way for guests to get to know everyone attending your party. So if nothing else, think of your gala event as a great place for conversation starters and greater awareness.
Selling tickets alone helps you raise additional funds
If you’re stuck in the planning process on how much money you want to raise, here’s an important detail you might have missed. Ticket sales alone can contribute to your fundraising goal.
So you won’t have to rely on auction items alone to be the main financial source of your fundraiser! And besides, you could also hire a virtual comedian to draw more people to the event. Not too shabby a deal for those hosting.
Gives guests a social event to look forward to
Formal events happen every once in a blue moon for some folks. So donning long formal gowns at a regal event is a fun way to spend the evening and get out of the house!
Not to mention, it’s the perfect way for an organization to thank guests and attendees for their support throughout the year. Maybe you and your co-workers have seen just how much of a difference guests have made for your charity.
Don’t you think a gala dinner is the best way to say thank you? After all, who turns down an evening full of dinner and dancing? And at a swanky venue, no less!
Bonus: How To Organize A Fundraiser
What to wear to a gala dinner
Something with an elastic waistband. Just kidding. But if food is being served, then we’re definitely not.
You’d have to be crazy not to say yes to free food! But back to the point…
With a black tie dress code
Typically gala events will specify any important details like a dress code beforehand. So this will help you know what to aim for with your attire.
Black tie means guests should be dressed to the nines. That means full out fancy like you’re going to the Oscars. Not the Golden Globes…
With a semi-formal dress code
A semi-formal dress code asks that guests still dress up but with less fanfare. For example, maybe the term “business casual” is something you’re more familiar with.
Either way, the host will always tell you what’s expected in terms of attire. So long as you don’t show up to the venue in jean shorts and a t-shirt, you should be good!
What to expect at a gala event
Still not quite sure what all the event planner has up their sleeve? Well, here are a couple of possibilities that you can expect at your next gala event.
A creative theme
A gala event with a theme acts like a two-for-one. The theme gives people an idea of how they should dress and it gives the evening itself an entire look!
Some events go for a Winter Wonderland theme while others might opt for an Old Hollywood gala event. It really depends on the charity and the venue.
But either way, it’s guaranteed to get guests just as excited as the virtual event host. If not more so!
Typically, there will be food served at a gala event. But whether it’s a full-out dinner or a vendor-style situation will depend on the theme, venue, and more.
Again, you’ll most likely be told beforehand whether this gala event is meant to feed you or not. So you don’t have to hedge your bets and fast the whole day before getting to the charity event and finding only a small cheese plate at your table.
(We’ve all been there. Take it from us – eat before the events of the night and you won’t have hangry thoughts at the gala’s theme after all. Who knew all that wintery decoration could actually drive a person mad?)
This is perhaps the most important element of any gala event: community. Whether it’s a silent auction or simply through conversation, you’re bound to meet like-minded individuals who support the same causes as you.
Of course, a gala event will typically center around a specific organization or charity. But that doesn’t mean networking isn’t involved.
You may find other contacts from similar organizations to support. Or, you might find another way to offer your support in more ways than one.
Either way, a gala event is all about fostering community amongst like-minded folks. So don’t go into the event thinking you’re only there for the food.
Sure, the food is probably great. But the company is probably better.
You know how we said that every gala event will be different? Well, entertainment should be an absolute guarantee across the board.
Whether it’s a corporate entertainer or a clean comedian, a gala event’s entertainment should welcome guests into the space. And give them something to remember once the night is over.
Besides, entertainment is a great draw to get folks to come out to the event itself. Everyone likes the guarantee of a great time.
And entertainment is sure to please everyone who’s in attendance. So if you show up to a gala event and there’s no entertainment whatsoever, double check that you have the date, time, and address right. It just wouldn’t be a gala without some kind of act to entertain!
Your invitation awaits!
A gala event is one of those moments where you can say, “Wow, I’ve officially entered adulthood!” Or maybe you’re just a caterer which, in that case, you’d probably exclaim, “Wow, so this is adulthood…”
Either way, a gala event is a great way to be introduced into a new chapter of your life. One that lets you wine and dine (or serve the wine and dine).
And helps you give back to a greater cause. What could be better than that?
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Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.