🎬Watch our film about creating a Farewell Event. Enter password: W1ldArt5
There will be a strong demand from the public to see all of the sculptures together and in one place. Coupled with the desire to ‘collect’ sculptures that they may not have had a chance to see on the trail, a finale event is a popular, newsworthy occasion that gives the charity another opportunity to connect with trail enthusiasts and raise significant funds.
Save the date
It’s recommended to have dates of the farewell event confirmed prior to the trail going live. A ‘Save the Date’ in the trail map and website for both the farewell event and auction is recommended. You then have the opportunity to reveal the farewell event details and launch ticket sales during the trail.
Our recommendation is to not promote the farewell event too early as it may detract from the trail and put people off seeing the sculptures on the streets.
Farewell events have become an important part of the fundraising drive for charity partners and are huge occasions in their own right. Ancillary fundraising options include, but are not limited to: sponsorship packages for existing sponsors or new organisations that are now keen to be involved; merchandise sales; farewell event ticket sales; and paid-for activities and collections.
The farewell event is also a fantastic way to raise awareness of and create excitement for the auction. Set up a dedicated space where attendees can find out more about the auction and how to bid by telephone, online, and place advance bids. If the event is the weekend before the auction, all tickets to the auction itself will most likely have been allocated – therefore, make it easy for people to place bids in other ways. It is useful to convey what will be considered as realistic auction bids in order to tactfully dissuade non-serious bidders.
The event is a chance to capture feedback for your evaluation and create some captivating photo, filming, vox pop and social media opportunities.
- Make a lasting impression. The farewell event is an opportunity to promote the charity and to meet trail goers. Make sure the venue looks professional and is well branded. Have a quality, well-briefed team of staff and volunteers on hand to meet and greet guests, answer questions, promote other fundraising activity and take donations.
- Remember merchandise sales. The event is a great opportunity to sell merchandise. Allocate space for a ‘pop up’ shop. An ‘exit through gift shop’ works well. Ensure that there is enough stock and that staff are fully briefed. Snowdogs by the Sea took over £30,000 in merchandise sales at their farewell event alone! If you choose to produce a souvenir guide, your farewell event is a great sales opportunity, so make sure they are produced in time and that they are on sale in a prominent position.
- Your potential bidders. The farewell event will help to promote your auction. Make sure your team is briefed on the details and that the auction is well promoted at your event. You never know, someone coming along to the farewell could go on to pay thousands for a sculpture at the auction!
- Sculpture information. If sculptures are to be displayed off their plinths, you will need to reproduce the sculpture plaques to provide key information to visitors, including the app code. Some may still have a sculpture or two to find and will want to complete their app collection.
- Plentiful PR opportunities. Ensure your Marketing and Communications team are across the opportunities the farewell event offers. Make sure local press, TV and radio are invited. Use social media channels to generate excitement before the event and keep them updated throughout.
- Sponsorship packages. Ensure your Sponsorship Manager considers farewell event sponsorship and partnership options. They can provide additional campaign revenue streams and an opportunity to cover costs. Sponsorship packages can include branding at the event and across all associated marketing and promotional materials. The event is likely to be very popular and deliver impressive footfall, thus providing sponsors with a great opportunity to raise their profile.
- Consider appointing a dedicated person or team to manage the farewell event. While this is a big fundraising opportunity, it will present its own logistical challenges and will require a considerable amount of planning and resource.
- In the event of having two separate venues for the farewell event and the auction, do plan the additional logistics carefully in advance. You will need to have a team of staff (possibly with volunteer support too) to coordinate packing up and moving the sculptures from one venue to another. You might be successful in securing support-in-kind from a transport firm.
- Do bear in mind that the sculptures could get slightly damaged during the farewell event or in transit so your maintenance team will need to be on hand to do ‘touch-ups’ to get the sculptures looking their very best for the auction.
- Example – Bee in the City Farewell and Auction Event production timeline – basic steps needed to help plan. See both sheets.
- Example – Bee in the City Farewell Event briefing bible
- Example – Bee in the City Farewell Weekend postcard
- Example – Bee in the City Farewell Weekend poster
- Case study – Final farewell to Brighton’s Snails
- Case study – A festive farewell for Snowdogs by the Sea
- Case study – Elephants pack their trunks for one last goodbye
- Case study – Owls flock together for one last time