If you’ve been paying even cursory attention over the last few weeks, you will likely have seen that my campaign launch was coming up. In fact, it was yesterday. I think it’s important to reflect on events and the lessons learned from what occurred during my launch.
Without question, it’s going to be a good idea in future to offer a discount for early ticket purchases, or at least free tickets to the raffle. The issue I had this time was that I set the ticket price as a flat fee, which meant that someone giving 12 weeks of notice would be paying the same as someone who gave 12 minutes! Economically, this makes little sense, so a staggered pricing that increases towards the deadline makes sense, especially if I retain the flexibility to let someone come along at the standard price.
I definitely made a rod for my own back with this one in terms of catering numbers, and as such I definitely overbought (what a shame!).
Lessons Learned from my Launch #1: consider pricing the tickets so that early birds get a discount.
Location, location, location
What’s a party without a venue? Well, we found out yesterday, when the owners of the venue that we had paid for and turned up to did not themselves turn up to let us in. It seems that they had accidentally put our booking down as a March rather than a February booking. This had been mentioned and corrected by me in January, but apparently it did not manage to get corrected on the community hall’s calendar.
After some drinking in the car park while we waited, we eventually decided that it was just too cold, so we decided that the best bet was to find an alternative venue. I don’t know if you know this (I didn’t) but there was a fairly major football match on yesterday, so most venues just weren’t available. As such, we needed a “volunteer” with a private residence not too far away who would be happy for a large group of political activists to turn up en masse.
Long story short, it was me. I was the “volunteer”. So we had an impromptu party at my house. Which I loved, by the way, so I might volunteer to do again!
Lessons Learned from my Launch #2: don’t deal with any venue unless you have a mobile number for the person who is in charge of letting you in.
The raffle went quite well, notwithstanding the fact that my photography was the least popular prize of all! That said, it makes sense to ensure that the person selling the tickets (thanks again, Sue!) knows the rules of the raffle first rather than asking how it works after selling 30 tickets or so. Luckily this was all sorted long before the problem became permanent.
Of course, it also makes sense to draw the winners before anyone departs, in case they have the winning tickets.
In this instance, I thought that two of our departed guests had one of the winning tickets, so I held it back for them, only to find out the next day that they did not in fact have the winning ticket. Who did?
Sue had the winning ticket. She’d sold it to herself, then forgotten to actually check whether she had won!
Lessons Learned from my Launch #3: Sue is great at persuading people to part with their money for raffle tickets. Sue is not so great at actually claiming the prizes she wins!
In spite of my fairly sarcastic tone in the lessons learned from my launch above, I genuinely had a great time. Having so many friends and family descend unexpectedly on my house was lovely, and it was great to have the Morassi Quartet playing in my lounge! Thanks to them, and also to Dom, who did amazing work in the kitchen to produce food for everyone.
Bring on the next one – maybe next time it will actually be planned as a house party!