Be yourself… or the least offensive version of yourself

On Thursday I woke early again to work my second Hands on Hundred session of the week, at the Masters’ Brunch. This event was taking place at The Rosewall, a new event venue in Nashville. I wasn’t prepared for how lovely the venue would be, even aside from the beautiful decor the planning committee had put together. We were told that the Rosewall was where Taylor Swift’s CMA after-party was hosted – pretty cool to be in a venue like that!

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I spent a couple hours polishing glasses, setting tables, and doing whatever needed to be done to pull the last pieces of the event together. The event itself was short and sweet – there were a couple speeches, and a brunch which smelled delicious (but which we volunteers did not get to eat). We did, however, get to sit at the bar chairs so that we had a view of the speakers, so that was pretty neat.

On the bus back to the hotel, I made friends with a girl from Arkansas that I had been volunteering with all morning. We chatted about events and our jobs and which sessions we had been to so far. When we arrived at the hotel, she and I grabbed a quick lunch together prior to heading to our separate courses. I now have someone to look up whenever I’m in Arkansas!

My first session of the day was “How to Sell Out Your Next Fundraising Event” with Shanon Doolittle. Shanon was a great speaker, and had so many creative marketing ideas to share, that in some cases were specific to fundraising events. I found her session just full of tips and tricks and best practices that I can totally see myself using in the events I currently plan. From business card inserts, to event and auction trailers (a novel idea you can check out here!), I can’t wait to start putting some of these things to use!

My second and last session of the day was “Networking: The Most Important Marketing Tool to Growing Your Business” with Kevin Molesworth. This may have been my favourite session of the entire conference. Kevin was funny, real, likeable, honest and knowledgeable. I laughed and I cried, and he provided some great examples of why networking is important, as well as some tools to become better at it. Networking is not easy, and he knows it, but now I have some ideas of how to take a step in the right direction.

After my last session, I hopped on the shuttle to downtown Nashville to meet KP and go for dinner/take in the local live music scene. You can read about our evening in her post You Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em.

My learnings for today:

1. Be consistent.
2. Focus on the experience – not on the event. Focus on the donor, not on the charity.
3. Branding is not a logo. It’s a feeling – an experience.
4. When networking, be the best version of yourself… or the least offensive version.
5. Write your own eulogy, then live it.

Love KG

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