Friday, June 26, 2009

Non-Profit "event planning"

My friend Amy is the Board Chair of Boulder Pride, and in February I helped to bartend at their Valentine's day Red Party. I had so much fun it was ridiculous, and when at the end of the night Amy expressed how difficult it was to plan the party, I offered my event coordination services. She took me up on this for their 2nd annual women's Pparty. It was an interesting and fun experience, but whoa WAY more work than traditional event planning is.
In 2008 they had about 125 women attend + volunteers + entertainers, and they made $900. This year we had 85 paying guests, 20 volunteers, 15 entertainers and 15 on the guest list. And we made $3k. YES! It was really quite a surprise to me to see how much local vendors came forward and donated. I was very proud to have party be sponsored bylocally owned businesses event.
And so the set-up began and WOW I had scheduled my volunteers wrong. What I didn't realize until after four hours of us cleaning up after the rager Sunday night was that non-profit equals you do EVERYTHING. Friday I got really stressed out by running around picking up all the donated items. It never occurred to me to have volunteers doing that run-around, and certainly having two volunteers to set-up Friday night and two on Saturday was NOT enough. Nor was two cleaning up at 1:30am.
Either way, I was SO proud of the outrageous success of the party. It was a sexy party and a safe space for gay women to come together. And when I say sexy (kids cover your eyes), I mean a kissing booth, lap dancing, body shots and burlesque dancers/performances. Let's just say it was a RAGER.
Oh, and *I* had a lot of fun too. At 9pm exactly, when we opened doors, women poured in. The front room was PACKED at about 9:30pm, and as Amy said, who shows up on time for a party? That's just geeky! But the buzz about the party was so good that people didn't want to miss a minute. At about 10pm I decided to get lost and stop answering everyone's questions. I went straight upstairs to the blackjack room and took a total of 5 tequila shots, Kearney fashion! Since I don't drink let's just say I was wasted! It was fun though. It's been a long time since I drank more than one or two drinks. The party was supposed to end at 1am, but by 1:30am we did last call, and by 2am threw up our hands and decided there was no way we were going to clean up. So off to Aim & Ronica's for the after-party of hilariousness. Lots of performances by Amy & Larz, lots of dancing. When I went to leave the sun was coming up. Oh, Sunday was tough!

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