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If you’re planning a live fundraiser, your charity deserves to be part of something special. After all, once you’ve decided to stage an in-person occasion, your guests will need a good reason to dress up and hire the babysitter when they could have donated from the comfort of their own sofa. This is a much easier sell when the promise of something fresh and fun is there as motivation to hit the town. But, to reach this point, you’ll need to outright oppose the ordinary and rigorously reject the routine. 

One of the UK’s leading names for live and virtual occasions alike, ConnectIn Events knows what it takes to excel at charity event production. We’ve applied our extensive industry experience to compile the five most important factors for any fundraising planner. We can almost guarantee that, if you build it (this way), they will come!

1 – The Event’s Theme

Is it appropriate to have a fun theme at a charity event? In the vast majority of cases, it absolutely is! Although there’s a serious message at the heart of your gathering, there’s no reason why guests shouldn’t be able to have a good time, leave with some priceless memories, and do their bit for a good cause to boot. 

Choosing a fun theme is a big part of a charity event production. The theme influences the style and ‘feel’ of the event and should ideally find its way into every possible nook and cranny, from invitations to table dressing. It also ties everything together into a more neat, satisfying, and cohesive whole.

At ConnectIn Events, we love getting the creative juices flowing, and events for charity are the perfect excuse to dive in. Here are just a small number of themes we’re sure will engage guests and make the whole experience more memorable:

  • Casino Royale: Black tie only for a trip around the tables, with winnings being donated to your good cause.
  • Amazing Auction: Auctions are a great way to mix the fun of beating the auctioneer’s hammer with music, refreshments, and a range of charity event entertainment.

Family-Friendly Carnival: Are you expecting your charity event production to be a family affair? In that case, everyone will enjoy trading in their pre-bought charity tokens for traditional carnival games like hook-a-duck, coconut shies, and feats of strength. Just don’t let the little ones see you taking it too seriously!  

crowd of people from the rear at outdoor charity event production

2 – The Charity Event Venue

Once you’ve calculated your budget, you’ll quickly realise that a fair chunk of it goes towards the charity event venue alone — and for good reason. The location should be financially-viable, while also making a proud visual statement. After all, this is the scene for the whole show, so you want people to be wide-eyed with admiration as they take their first look around.

It’s really important that your charity event venue ties in with both your technical plans and the themes we’ve discussed. If, for example, you’ve chosen to stage an auction, ask yourself:

  • Does the building have a loud enough sound system for the auctioneer? 
  • Is the main room open plan, or will the stage be obscured by pillars and walls for some parts of the crowd? 
  • Is the kitchen big enough to prepare food for all of your guests?
  • Is there an in-house technician for lighting, sound and effects, or will you need to source them separately? 

These are just a small taste of the kind of questions that you should be asking all the way through the process.  If you manage to tick every box, it’s safe to say you’re on your way to finding the ultimate charity event venue.

3 – Atmosphere and Ambience

There are a few ways that you can set the right tone in charity event production. These range from music and lighting to seating arrangements and easy-to-follow signage. For anyone who has taken the time to tick off those essential venue requirements, this decision becomes much more straightforward, as you’ll already know what kind of space, budget and technical requirements are available.  

When it comes to ambience, nothing influences the mood quite like music. However, have you thought about what kind of songs will get everyone bouncing, and whether they’ll be played by a live band or DJ? Is there a dance floor for the revellers, or have you not been able to make the space in your seating plans? Will you play music continuously, or just in-and-around the on-stage action? 

Aside from audio, you will also need to think about making the experience as relaxed as possible for attendees. Nobody wants to feel confused or overwhelmed when they enter an unfamiliar space, so make sure that signage is clear, tables are neatly-arranged, any background music is restrained, and that there’s enough room for people to mill around and chat when they’re not sitting down.

i love manchester awards winner

4 – Stage Design and Styling

Once the charity events theme and venue have been decided, you can start to apply your vision to the overall style of the occasion. Thinking about this from the guests’ point of view, make sure that your branding is visible outside the venue and that this continues throughout the building and onto the stage. It’s important that the theme is obvious in every facet of the occasion, from dazzling decorations and lighting down to smaller features like the colour and style of your menus.

In any charity event production, the stage design will need to land right in the sweet spot between visual appeal and functionality. There should be ample room for speakers and plenty of space for your chosen entertainment to catch the eye from every angle. You can also use props, backdrops, and lighting to focus attention and subtly switch the mood.

Ultimately, your stage design and styling are much more than aesthetic choices — they also showcase the consummate professionalism that has gone into amazing your lucky attendees. All-encompassing excellence is much more impressive than all sizzle, no steak.

5 – A/V and Effects

So much of planning successful events for charity hinges upon your mastery of the audio-visual features. At the most basic possible level, you’ll need to ensure that videos are smooth; spotlights, screens, and effects work seamlessly; and that interactive elements are quickly navigated and reliable. The last thing you want is to find that your specially-designed app is unusable because nobody thought to check if the building has decent WiFi.


Here are some of the most popular technical elements you should ask about when considering charity event venues:

  • Sound System: The higher the quality of your sound system, the easier it will be for everyone to feel fully-immersed in the speeches and music that play such important roles in live occasions. 
  • Lighting: You can use a mixture of ambient and accent lighting to set the mood and focus attention. Beyond the basics of spotlights, you could even consider bolder ideas like LED walls and revolving lights to inject some dynamism into proceedings. 
  • Visual Effects: Use high-res videos during segments to highlight the importance of your charity and show guests how their contributions will help. If you have a suitable venue, you could consider projection mapping to bring the walls to life, or pyrotechnics to top off the grand finale.

Interactive Elements: Engagement is essential when you’re planning events for charity. You can make sure that everyone is actively involved, and not just bystanders, by installing touch screens, using mobile phone apps, and installing photo booths to leave lasting reminders from a special day.

Finally, don’t forget to check with venues to see how many of your requirements are included in their package. If your venue doesn’t provide charity event entertainment, technical assistance, catering, etc., an experienced event management team will be able to offer in-house solutions for as much, or as little as you need.

An Experienced Organiser of Events For Charity

As the team behind the I Love MCR Awards and Ric Moylan’s Charity Boxing Nights, ConnectIn Events knows what’s required to stage live fundraisers. These occasions are fitting platforms for us to demonstrate the range and depth of skills that have made us a favourite among big-name brands like Microsoft, Boohoo, and Dr Oetker. These events often require everything from theme-building and script writing to AV production, stage design, catering, and much more. In each instance, we ensure that the importance of the charity’s message is the focal point of a fun experience. 

Planning a charity event is a challenging process with a broad range of moving parts. Our service is designed to provide as much or as little guidance and expertise as you want and need. Whether you only need us to create an ad hoc website and source props, or to handle everything from designs to on-the-day management, we can adapt to you.

Fundraising efforts deserve the best possible platform to help the charity shine and reap the benefits. We can make sure that yours is a flawless showcase of everything good about your organisation.

To speak to one of our team about your plans, get in touch today.