For anyone every wanting to host a pro-life event but unsure how – here is an opportunity to bring a Law of Life Summit to your town or parish! The Summit has existed now for over 10 years! Using our proven system we can help create a program with great speakers and great messaging! Email email@example.com to inquire.
Q: How do I put on a pro-life event?
A: Hosting, organizing and promoting a pro-life event is actually easier than you think! First you need to figure out a few basic questions such as:
- Why am I hosting an event? i.e. what is the purpose and what are the goals? Is it to spread awareness? Educate your community? Raise money for a pro-life ministry? There is no wrong answer but understanding your goal and “the why” will help you as you structure your event and the program.
After you think about the why, it’s time to hit the other who, what, where and when questions. Think about:
- Who: this is a two-sided questions i. who will be your target audience / attendees and ii. who will be your target for sponsors/speakers, etc.
- What: Answering the why will help you answer the what. What is the purpose of the event? But when you write the answer here think about writing it in a way that will help your invitees understand what the event is. Is it a banquet? A concert? A conference? Something else?
- Where and When: Location is important. From the geographic location to the venue. Usually the event will be in your own community. But perhaps you want to think big and go to a nearby city. The venue is sometimes more important than the actual city.
- What is a venue? Venue is where you host the event. Hotels, civic centers and conference or convention halls are common venues for bigger events. For a smaller or lower budget event look for a parish hall, school cafeteria or even a park.
- How much will the venue cost? Is it worth it? Venue costs and requirements can be simple and highly complicated (such as with hotels or convention centers). Larger venues might require things like food and beverage minimums, corkage fees or even union contracts for labor. Smaller venues usually just have a rental fee and from there you can do what you want (in terms of food, drinks, etc).
- How do I know how to pick a venue? If your event is going to be more localized I recommend starting small when picking a venue. Keep it simple. But thinking about your goals and your draw are important factors in addition to your budget.
- What is the draw? The draw is your big speaker or reason for why people are going to be attracted to, or drawn to, your event.
Other important factors to host a pro-life event:
- Programming. Who is your keynote speaker? Or if you can’t afford a keynote can you attract multiple speakers? Will you have food, drinks, entertainment? Whenever thinking about a program I focus on people, places and things that would be interesting to me. In other words I am not good at selling something that I would not buy. Ask yourself: “would I want to attend this event?” Create something unique, exciting and important!
- Money and budget. Renting a parish hall and inviting parishioners to a pro-life prayer group or talk is fairly inexpensive and straightforward. But hosting a banquet or flying in a nationally recognized speaker can be expensive and a bit more complicated.
- How do I raise money for my event? You can raise money for your event through donations, sponsorships and ticket sales. Sometimes you can also barter or offer in-kind sponsorships in exchange for goods or services. Be creative! Think of ways to bridge the gap between what you need to raise and what the expenses are for your event.
- Examples on how to bridge the financial gap: You can bridge the gap by offering variable ticket prices. Variable ticket prices might include several pricing levels from low cost to high cost. Right or wrong I always like to offer a free ticket and premium tickets to my events. My attitude is if someone recognizes the value or if they want to support the event they will. Interestingly when I host the annual Law of Life Summit in DC there are always free general admission tickets. But we also offer a couple of premium levels including a $100+ VIP level that has reserved first row seating. The only real perk for the VIP level is knowing that the money helps to underwrite the event. We sell out of this level ticket every year!
- Sponsors. Think about what you can offer in exchange for sponsorship. Is it a table to promote goods or services? Perhaps it’s a speaking slot? Think about perks and create value for potential sponsors. Sponsorships are a great way to cover costs for your event!
Promotion and marketing. A short answer is you need to promote and market your event! Think about who you know (your sphere of influence) and how you will get the word out. Websites, webpages, bulletins, invitations, radio, public service announcements, advertisements, social media and word of mouth are all valuable ways to promote and market your event. I try not to buy ads unless I have to. Instead I rely on calling people I know, sending emails and personally being enthusiastic about the event. Enthusiasm is contagious! Also as you start to build your program with speakers and sponsors ask for help getting the word out! Sponsors have an interest in helping to promote as a successful event will help them promote their own cause. Free press by way of editorials about your cause and mentions in local media can also be invaluable! Be creative!
I’ll do some more posts about hosting events in the future. In the meantime consider the advantages of bringing a Law of Life Summit to your town or parish. We’ll create a turnkey package based on your budget and needs. Packages includes elements such as speakers, programming, theme, marketing, venue negations and creating sponsorship packages. Really packages depend entirely on your comfort level in terms of promoting an event.
Q: How much does it cost to host a Law of Life Summit? Costs are variable based on factors such as timing, location and goals. I’ve promoted pro-life events for less than $1,000 by being creative with location and programming. But generally smaller events can range from the $2,500 to $5,000+ range. Larger banquets or conference can range from $20,000 to over $100,000 depending on location, venue and keynote speakers.