Day in the Life - Nonprofit Gala
A speciality of RJ Whyte Event Production is nonprofit galas. These events are always interesting, so we wanted to give you a day in the life view of an average Gala day. Join us for this adventure.
Night Before - Get ready:
The night before a gala day is busy with some imperative to-dos. This includes making sure we have all the printed materials we need, loading Marge (aka the black SUV we drive), and getting our clothes ready to go. Usually, we wear jeans, our RJ Whyte polos, and comfortable shoes for the load in day, but pack our tuxedos and gowns for the black-tie events.
9:00am - Arrive On Site at the Venue:
Generally speaking, our team has done weeks of preparation and work leading up to the event. With a detailed timeline in hand, we arrive on site with the first vendor’s truck. This way we can make sure that everything is exactly as we had envisioned it. For the first 30 mins or so, we walk around the space, check in with the vendors, and mentally prepare ourselves for the big day.
9:15am - Starbucks run:
As you can imagine, caffeine is important to keep us going. We prioritize a Starbucks run to start our day with energy. Usually, some breakfast sandwiches are included in the order to fuel us for the long day ahead!
9:30am - Set up Staff Office:
To perform our job effectively, we need a well organized and well-stocked office wherever we go. At events, we bring everything that we need to set up a desk for every member of the team including a whole box of extension cords, office supplies, a portable printer, and more! We also bring our event bag which has every single thing you could need for an event emergency.
10:00am - 4:00pm - Set Up:
Throughout the day, we spend most of the time on the floor making sure everything is going well and troubleshooting any issues. During this time, the client will show up. We want to be able to walk them through the space so they can see everything that is set up. If we are able to take a break from the floor, we can be found in our staff office. Here, we are responding to emails and problem solving last minute changes like the seating and editing like scripts.
1:00pm - Lunch:
Around 1 pm, someone on our staff usually reminds us all to take some time for lunch. We tend to get caught up in the process of a load in and forget to take a break. Usually, one member of the team runs out to pick something up while the rest of us stay on the floor. We tend to become hangry when we don’t eat so it is vital we take some time for ourselves midday. (Ask us our hangry names next time you see us!)
4:00 - Volunteer and Staff Walk Thru:
Once most things are set, we illustrate the flow of the event for all staff and volunteers. This way we can answer all questions from those working the event and ensure the event team is all on the same page. This allows everyone, no matter their role, to field questions from the guests.
4:30 - Get Dressed:
One at a time, we sneak away to get ourselves ready. Consequently, we have put on Gowns and Tuxedos in some of the oddest places.
5:30 - PLACES!:
We set ourselves half an hour before the event. Usually, the events begin around 6 pm but we always want to be prepared for guests who arrive early.
6:00 - Event:
From 6 pm until the event concludes, we are on our A game. This usually involves overseeing registration, auctions, directing the program, stage managing, handling all the food & beverage, troubleshooting issues, liaising with the client, and more. It takes managing a lot of logistics to ensure the event runs perfectly!
By the end of the event, we all have a glass of wine to celebrate another successful event. Then, we are back to working pack up the staff office, checking in with the client, and managing vendor load-out. We often have to direct guests to depart to avoid those who linger. After all of the loose ends are tied up, we head home to put our feet up and remember how wonderful the event was and get ready for the next one!