Eeees and I recently attended a fund-raising event thrown by a well-known school in Brooklyn. Here are some of the things I learned:
1. If you're holding an affair at night, start it on time. If not, you're going to run late and end up serving the main course and clearing it off five minutes later in an effort to get back on time. No one wants to have the main course served at 11:00 and taken away at 11:05.
2. If you're going to have a guest singer (even if it's a surprise) don't have him drowned out by the musicians. Let us hear his voice.
3. Make sure your speakers aren't going to sound stupid. There was actually a politician at the event who spoke and told us that we should spontaneously applaud. Someone needs to look up the word "spontaneous."
4. If you're going to have more than two speakers, serve a course (soup?) so that people can eat. If people have food to eat they won't talk through the speeches and I won't have to sit through the speeches looking at the same scary salad for half an hour.
5. Having an affair in a fancy hotel is fine, but make sure you have enough warm bodies to fill up the place. There were tables there that were over 75% empty.
6. Save some space in the journal. No one really believes that Senators Schumer and Clinton actually wrote a letter to your institution to praise you for the good work you do. It's a form letter and a transparent bid to gain an extra dozen votes. No one is fooling anyone.
7. It's nice to invite the graduating class to the affair, but at least make sure that they meet the dress code of the school. It's embarrassing to see a school that makes a big deal on a strict dress code and yet girls show up to the affair with skirts/dresses that are above the knee.
8. If you're going to give gifts to the attendees, give them the gifts on the way out. This way they don't have to hold them and clutter up the table throughout dinner.
9. Lastly, if you're trying to portray the event as a high-class affair, don't give out plastic cups as gifts. It looks cheap and tacky. Send them home with the kids instead.