How Do I Put Together an Effective Event Committee?

Sections of this topic

    A couple of questions appeared in my email recently … from an organization getting ready (!!??) to plan an event, ”How do we put together and structure our event committee?” Should our board be the committee?

    The answer to the latter question is an emphatic “No!!” The board should not be the committee.

    Some key members of the board can be on the committee, but an event committee should include a broad, representative segment of your constituency … including major donors, friends and colleagues of the honoree, and some people who have shown an interest in wanting to work with you but for whom you’ve not had a particular role….

    You can construct a Host Committee composed of public figures who only lend their names, not their time/efforts/money – i.e., Members of Congress or state or local government types … Governors, Mayors, etc. Or, you can set up a Host Committee that requires a gift from each member of $5,000 to $10,000 (pick a number) … for the “privilege” of being on the committee.

    To create the right/best kind of committee for your event or how to build an event committee you really need to know your audience.

    A tested and proven event structure is composed of 2 Co-Chairs, 2 Vice-Chairs, a Host Committee, and a Planning Committee (typically, 5 or 6 people) … who will make calls and help raise money and awareness.

    Be sure to include on the planning committee the “assistant” to the honoree – the person who works closest with s/he who will be the event’s star attraction, the draw. It’s that “assistant” who tends to be essential to raising money from the honoree’s friends and colleagues.

    Your board has a job description that includes being part of and supporting your events. But you should not rely on the board to do all the work … that’s what the event leadership and committees are for….

    How Do You Get Your Board to Do What They’re Supposed to Do For Your Event?
    — Coming on July 16 —


    Have a question about creating or expanding your special event? Email me at With over 30 years in conference and event planning, we can help you turn your vision into reality.
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