Not Easy Tasks

Posted on July 31, 2019 by

Blog post by JMM intern Megan Orbach. To read more posts from JMM interns, past and present, click here.


This week, in my second in-depth blog post, as a development intern, I would like to discuss my experiences attending two different fundraising events.

The first event took place at the museum. It was for the upcoming, Jews in Space exhibit and featured numerous speakers. I enjoyed seeing how people interacted with each other and how the event was set up and prepared for. I have been to a couple events before interning at the Museum, but I appreciated observing and helping out with the physical preparation. It showed me that a lot more goes into planning an event than I realized; inviting people, confirming attendance, planning the structure and timing of the event itself, recruiting and confirming speakers, confirming catering, setting up the tables and chairs, just to name a few, are not easy tasks. The second event I went to was at Duke Zimmerman’s (former JMM board president) house and included dinner and multiple speakers. The speakers discussed the museum’s expansion plans and let the guests ask questions.

I liked how I was able to attend two different types of events because it taught me a lot about the range of possible events a museum could host. However, even though they were different, they still had their similarities; time to network and interact, time to eat and time to listen to speakers.

In a quest to find out more about museum events I read an article titled, “7 Registration Essentials for Seamless Museum Event Planning” by Elissa K. Miller. One thing that stuck out to me in this article was Elissa’s suggestion to use custom registration forms because each museum may want different information to confirm attendance. I found this interesting, again, because it demonstrates just how much is put into planning events. Another part of the article I found interesting was a piece that encouraged readers and event planners to try to understand who their target audience or potential donors are – this is important because it can help to determine the best way to fundraise and reach out to guests for help. I feel the all-encompassing point of the article was, as stated, “A sometimes-overlooked part of museum event planning is choosing an integrated event management solution.”

Overall, after attending the two events and reading this article, I learned that it takes a lot of people, not only to plan the event but also to participate in it and to make sure it is going well while it happens.

Outside of the events that I attended, I was also fortunate enough to attend and learn from Trillion’s event planning workshop. Trillion taught all about what goes into event planning and I even got to plan my own event, along with the other interns and her guidance. We were each given a budget and an event theme, and we were tasked with coming up with an idea of how we were going to use all of the money to make the best event we could. Even though I was already shown how much goes into planning when I attended the two events, this exercise really gave me a grasp of what it is actually like.

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