A Culmination Event
For this capstone event to celebrate the unparalleled success of the ambitious nine-year "Campaign for Hawaii's Children," which raised funds to rebuild the state's only full-service children's specialty hospital, we staged a dinner that not only entertained 500 VIP donors, but inspired them for lifelong commitment.
At Blake Entertainment we are keenly aware of the potential for donor recognition events to go beyond just thanking supporters. When done well, they can elevate awareness of the cause, build relationships and reinforce the commitment to give. To that end, we centered our efforts for this event around the tagline, "Journey of a Lifetime." It signified both the unprecedented, decade-long journey of the campaign, and the journey that Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children helps our community make every day as we begin our families, when we need healing, and as we make our way through generations.
Telling the story
How did we transform a standard event ballroom into a showcase for the future of pediatric healthcare in Hawaii? For maximum impact, given the vastness of the Hawaii Convention Center, we chose to give no hint of the wow factor until guests entered the room itself. As soon as they stepped through the doors, their journey began through a hybrid of entertainment, interaction and emotion. Working with our environment vendor HONBLUE, we devised a meandering pathway that drew guests along a series of 10' high by 4' square pods. Each panel celebrated a milestone on the journey, with display design and lighting worthy of a museum installation. A multi-media combination of nostalgia and hard news (baby beanies hand-crocheted by Kapiolani's volunteers, hardhats and o'o sticks from a construction site, video news loops, a letter from the father of a dangerously premature baby who is now a volleyball standout) enticed guests to stop, mingle and reminisce on their role the legacy of this hospital.
This event allowed our client to communicate with 500 of Hawaii's most influential donors
And that was just the cocktail hour. Drinks in hand, guests continued their journey into the ballroom proper for a stunning, formal seated dinner. In addition to a moving video that showcased the miracles happening every day at the hospital, we orchestrated a grand finale to unveil the true measure of this extraordinarily successful campaign. Members of lead donor families helped unfurl a 16-foot banner from the right: a tantalizing zero after zero after zero appeared as the roar from the crowd intensified, then 500 generous souls leapt cheering to their feet as the last bit of scroll revealed a whopping $34 million raised.
We are especially proud of the way this event allowed our client to communicate with 500 of Hawaii's most influential donors. Blake Entertainment founder Melissa Blake says, "We know how important it is for the client to be able to relax and talk meaningfully to donors, make sure they are happy, share information on the next phase of campaign. Instead of having their staff run around worrying about logistics, they knew we had everything taken care of down to the tiniest detail, so they could take advantage of this rare opportunity to be face to face with their donors."
PS: Kapiolani's guests were so inspired that night, they brought campaign total to an even $35 million.