It's the biggest event of the year—and you're in charge. The charity organization that benefits from the annual gala is relying on you to create a fabulous evening that inspires participants to give generously. The date has been picked, the venue is booked, and the board of directors has chosen a theme that is bound to entertain and motivate guests to open their pocketbooks for a worthy cause. Your role as the organizer is to make sure all the vendors are on board to provide excellent food, decor and entertainment. Choosing the caterers, the band, the audio services and the security staffing are all important priorities. But at the top of the list, it's the lighting design company you choose that is vitally important for setting the mood and atmosphere to bring all the other elements together for a successful special event. Together, you and the lighting designers will focus on creating a plan that illuminates the features that make your well-organized fundraising gala bright, beautiful, and record-breaking.
Wow your guests when they arrive with a fabulous entrance lighting design. Go for big drama with Hollywood-style searchlights outside casting their beams up to the sky. Or keep the exterior simple with soft lighting and make the interior glamorous with tiny sparkling lights and color-wash illumination from floor to ceiling. An experienced event lighting company can set up unobtrusive equipment that will transform even the most mundane entryway and lobby into a fancy, festive, welcoming space.
The Main Hall
Impressive architectural lighting will set the tone for the theme of your non-profit organization's event. Lighting designs for a fundraiser range from glitzy and theatrical to low-key and charming to match popular themes such as:
- Monte Carlo/Casino Night – spotlights highlight gaming tables and sparkling chandeliers add graceful elegance
- Tropical Paradise – warm, sunny colors with additional lighting accents to evoke the sea, sand and tropical sunsets.
- Medieval Castles– arcs of light cast upward on the walls create the feel of a fortress from the Middle Ages, and flickering pinpoint light arrangements make an aura of candlelight
- Winter Wonderland – sparkling strings of white lights overhead bring fairytale excitement enhanced by glimmering accent lights in the colorful shades of the aurora borealis
The focal point of the gala fundraiser centers on the stage. Careful coordination of the schedule with your event lighting specialist will help draw attention to speakers, presenters, and musicians at just the right moments to be most effective. Spotlights will get the job done, but their use needs to be coordinated to match the activity on stage which may include:
- a single spotlight to focus on individuals giving thanks and asking for funds for the charity organization
- a spotlight with a broad pool of light to cover additional individuals at the podium during acknowledgments and group presentations
- spotlights and side lighting to showcase the musical entertainment
The Dance Floor
No gala fundraising event is complete without dancing. The band or DJ you choose will have on-stage lighting preferences that are best coordinated during a meeting with your event lighting specialists. But when it comes to the dance floor, you can rely on the event lighting company for awesome ideas of their own that will enhance the evening's overall theme. These may include:
- an overhead array of tiny mirrors that rotate to cast sparkling gleams of light across the dance floor
- a lighted dance floor installation, illuminated by LED lights installed beneath translucent floor panels
- overhead or side-mounted spotlights filtered through colored gels to create patterns of lush, vibrant illumination.
When the evening's event is over and the funds flow in to support your charity's work toward its goals, many will remember the lovely environment that your vendors, your lighting team, and your smooth organization created for everyone to enjoy. Contact a company like Orange Frog Productions to get started on creating the perfect lighting for your event.