Chapter Spotlight on Theta Delta (Creighton)! In preparation for their 3rd Annual Red Dress Gala, the chapter worked to boost their social media presence and heighten their member engagement in all aspects of the event!
Event Name: Red Dress Gala
Location: Omaha Hilton Hotel
How many times have you held this event?
Who attended the event?
We had a mix of parents, families, friends, alumnae, and students attend our gala.
How long did it take to plan the event?
Take us through your event schedule.
Our night-of program began with Check-in and Cocktail hour from 6pm-7pm. This was also the hour for Silent Auction bidding, playing a game of putt-putt for a chance at winning a bottle of wine, and the purchasing of raffle tickets.
Around 6:45, our guests were welcomed into the ballroom and seated at their tables. The program began with a welcome statement from our Red Dress Gala chair, and dinner was served at 7pm. Around 7:45pm, while our guests were finishing up dessert, we returned to our program and our President did a speech on the Foundation and showed our senior video. Immediately following, we invited a cardiologist to give a speech on the importance of heart health, which led directly into our live auction facilitated by our auctioneer and then into the Open Your Heart, raffle winners and Simon Says. To wrap up, we had a DJ, so guests and members could dance to end the night!
How did you encourage member participation?
Each member is placed on a Red Dress Gala committee. The committees ranged from sponsorship, live auction, raffle, thank you’s, data entry, silent auction, clean up, advertising, printing/forms, entertainment/hostess, and table seating/check-in committee. We offer a survey so each chapter member can indicate which committee they would like to be on.
We also encourage each member in our chapter to write 2 personalized sponsorship letters to friends/family who would likely sponsor the Gala. During our Red Dress Gala chapter meeting, we have each member write their first letter right then and there, and the Red Dress Gala team mails off those personalized letters and a sponsorship/donation form the very next day. This really helped with securing sponsorships early on. We then encouraged our members to send their second letter on their own and to continuously search for local businesses, friends and family who would want to sponsor or donate to the Gala.
How did you secure more than 60 silent auction baskets for your event?
We utilize Phi families in Silent Auction basket planning. We assigned a minimum of two baskets to each Phi family, determine a theme and potential items, and families were responsible for soliciting the items. Using Phi families for Silent Auction basket groups was new for us this year and we found it to be our most successful strategy yet.
How did you promote your event this year?
We boosted our social media presence this year by having a Red Dress Gala photo shoot with members of the marketing and recruitment department a few weeks in advance of the event. A lot of our pictures from our past Galas were not very high quality, so we decided to have a planned photo shoot where we could get the quality shots we needed. We used these pictures and videos to make a Red Dress Gala promotional video and our week-long event countdown on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – we had over 1,500 views on our Red Dress Gala video! These pictures really made our event look classy and exciting. This photo shoot was a new idea for us this year and it proved to be a great addition.