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Your Expert Guide to Planning a Virtual Gala with Bryan Rafanelli [Recap & Video]

PartySlate Founder and CEO Julie Roth Novack sat down with Bryan Rafanelli, Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Rafanelli Events, as well as PartySlate Managing Editor Pamela Rothbard to discuss how to plan virtual galas and nonprofit events. Although Rafanelli Events plans all types of events, this conversation focused on the importance of supporting charities in their effort to raise much needed funds during the pandemic.

The digital event began by discussing Rafanelli’s quick move to virtual events and the importance of creating an authentic virtual experience. Rafanelli stated that building relationships and trust through your brand is now more important than ever in raising crucial funds. 

When it comes to maximizing fundraising and engagement, it’s essential to stand out with great storytelling and content throughout your event. Some ways to elevate your event include sending event gift boxes, incorporating talent and entertainment, live auctions, and creating virtual table experiences. 

Rafanelli also discussed what to consider when selecting a technology platform, built-in giving platforms, and production companies for your virtual or hybrid event. All panelists agreed that hybrid events are here to stay, and companies will need to learn how to produce a live and virtual show that feels like attendees are in the room. “The future is hybrid,” said Rafanelli. 

Rafanelli concluded by sharing three key takeaways when planning a nonprofit event or gala: Anything is possible, change the way you think, and don’t get caught up in the technology. “We have a story to tell, we have money to raise, we need to affect people,” Rafanelli said. “We have to bring it through the screen and make it as exciting as possible.”

PartySlate is here to help you optimize your PartySlate profile page. If you are interested in receiving a PartySlate profile review or the virtual gala resource guide, please email us.

You can watch the full digital event recording below or open the recording in YouTube.