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How to organise a karaoke night

How to make the most of a karaoke night for charity.

Karaoke night by Anna Earl

Before you commit to a set date, check if there are any major sport or cultural events taking place close to or at the same time as your event. If people have other commitments, they might not sign up.

If you’re thinking about hiring a venue, it’s best to enquire in advance of the event. This gives you a better chance of the venue being available, and at a cheaper price.

Your venue has to be fit for purpose. Before enquiring, think about how many people will be attending and how much space will be needed. The easiest option may be to host this from your local pub, as they already serve food and drinks.

As it’s an event to raise money for charity, the venue may be able to offer you a discount for its hire. Check with your local authority at an early stage, whether you need to apply for any licenses.

Budget

List and track your expenses. Whether you’re hiring a venue or hosting from home, think about the cost of - and the setup of - equipment. You’ll also need to consider the cost of refreshments. Include extra money in your budget for any unexpected expenses.

Tickets

Firstly, establish a realistic fundraising target. Once calculating the total cost your expenses, divide it by the number of people you believe will attend. At the very least, your ticket price should cover overheads.

For those selling tickets, we suggest making them available online and in advance of the event. Once people register, they will be more committed to attend and will help spread awareness of the event.

Having online registrations and issuing e-tickets can simplify the process of checking people in on the day. Also, by knowing how many people have registered, you will have greater insight into how many people you will be accommodating. Eventbrite (eventbrite.co.uk) offer a really straight-forward ticketing service for a small fee.

If you don’t want to produce tickets, you could charge people on the door. Alternatively, you can charge a set price per song.

Generally, you can hire karaoke equipment for approximately £150. There are loads of services to choose from online, so do your own research and find the best value for money.

There should be someone to host and encourage people to take part in the karaoke. It doesn’t necessarily have to be you. Get a friend or family member involved so that you can divide and conquer different tasks.

To encourage greater participation, consider hosting a competition for the best singer. The reward could be a donated prize, or one that you provide (include this in your budget).

Promote your event well in advance and across as many social media channels, in person, and in as many places as possible. Awareness is key to the success of your event. If people don’t hear about it, they won’t come.

Use the materials in our fundraising pack to reach out online and to your local community. We’ve got social media templates, press release templates, posters and invites for you to download!

You can fundraise even further by including a raffle or auction, or by selling some merchandise.

Encourage your team to apply for matched giving, if possible. This is when an organisation matches the amount of fundraising an employee does for charity using their own resource, up to a pre-determined level.

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare on the day. By setting up early, you can sort out any last-minute tasks, as well as greet your guests.

Don’t forget to decorate your home or venue using our Blood Cancer UK material, found in your fundraising pack.

The key to the success of your next fundraising event lies in thanking everyone who helped. A nice gesture could be to send a handwritten thank you note – with the total amount raised - to your sponsors and event team.

It’s also good to inform your guests, and those who expressed an interest to attend but didn’t, on how much money was raised. You can do this on social media, your JustGiving / Eventbrite page. This will make everyone feel proud and involved in its success, as well as enthusiastic to get involved next time.

Make sure you toast to the success of your event. Give yourself some well-deserved relaxation time. Appreciate the amazing difference you’ve made to those affected by blood cancer.

Thank you so much for your hard work and contribution!