HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY
The very first Old Bags® event was a luncheon held in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1999. I conceived and executed the event in a period of just six weeks. That inaugural event attracted about 80 women and netted just about $20,000 for the charity selected.
The event grew every year, as word spread about its uniqueness. Then, in 2003, the event was a sellout— before the invitations were even in the mail! The guest list numbered 600-- and netted several hundred thousand dollars for local charity. Two hundred women were turned away, and of course bought tickets early the next year at an increase in price.
Once your event grows to sellout status (and if you follow this how-to book, it will!) you can raise the ticket price significantly. Some things will change—but your guiding mantra must never waver. Here is what I mean...
You will find that most of the attendees each year do not specifically support your sponsoring charity—they usually have their preferred charities or choice of pet charity.
These women—your Old Bags® guests—are coming solely for this outlandishly fun time! This is critical to keep in mind during all stages of event planning and executing your Old Bags® event.
If you keep that one important principle in mind, you will develop an event that grows year-over-year, and provides a steady base of income for your charity.
So, with that concept in mind, do NOT over-promote
the value of your charity during the event. The charity
will be named on the invitation. The literature and giving opportunities will be placed in the goody bags. Your hostess will greet everyone when they are seated and mention one or two sentences about the good cause that will benefit from the day’s event. That should be all.
Most women feel passionate about the cause for which they donate their time and energy. You must realize that you will be appealing to a lot of women who don’t share your passion or who are passionate for a cause of their own. Don’t waste “party time” telling them why they should feel good about their donations. At this point they have already spent all that they are going to spend. If they have a great time, they will be back again next year. If you parade society’s victims on a video, or worse, in person, you stand a good chance of losing some repeat attendees.
Old Bags® is too unique for that—and here’s why such a “sales pitch” is unnecessary . . . it is the Win-Win-Win of the Old Bags® events:
WIN 1 Most women are guilty of spending too much money on handbags, and the Old Bags® event gives them the opportunity to clean out their closets and recycle these handbags for a good cause, and a tax deduction.
WIN 2 Women love a bargain. You give them
the rare opportunity to purchase designer handbags at a fraction of the original retail cost.
WIN 3 Women love each other’s company. A beautifully arranged luncheon with an interesting speaker or a superb fashion show attracts the stylish women of your community. The good works performed with the proceeds serve as icing on the cake!