“Change is the end result of all true learning.” - Leo Buscaglia
Change is inevitable. But change can also be really, really good. After a conclusion of a Relay season, you should debrief and find things to change. Maybe this was your best event in recent years (congrats!), but there is always something to improve. This change may be something behind the scenes like your committee structure or more external like your entertainment.
Let people know about this change. Tell them in every way. Market your event before your event instead of after. The easiest way for people to know what the big Relay For Life event on campus is about is for you to tell them. And tell them again and again.
Plan and create events leading up to Relay that are lit and memorable to everyone. If people have a good time chances are they will come back for more. These events can be huge or random pop up events. A huge event that is creative and unique yet barely related to Relay was UGA’s Valentine’s Day Date Auction. This was purely a social fundraising event which had a great turnout and left good vibes which translated to many attendees creating a team and joining the fight. A smaller scale idea, could be a “Statue in a Fountain”, years ago a student at Oklahoma University had this idea. Simply put, he stood in a kiddie pool set up in the middle of campus, dressed in a purple morph suit, with a Relay For Life sign. As people walked by he asked them for donations and to attend Relay the next month. Students would make a wish and throw coins into his fountain. While raising a couple hundred dollars, he also promoted their event to many who would not have any idea what Relay For Life is.
People want to know what is going on and what big, new thing will be a part of Relay this year… so tell them! Make it a focus of your committee- especially those focusing on entertainment- to be ahead of their deadlines. Way ahead of them- not only weeks but months. People are more likely to sign up for your event if they know what will be going on! Now don’t make your schedule set in stone, you can still be flexible and make changes and additions; also be careful about promoting entertainment events and then not following through. Cover your bases and put a disclaimer *entertainment subject to change*.
I suggest making a easy to read graphic with your entertainment schedule to hand out as people sign up or as promotional material. This can also be used as your participants check in the day of Relay. ++ Schedule PIC++ Additionally, promoting what is unique to your event will increase interest! If you have a belly dancer perform and teach participants how to belly dance, tell your current and future participants that! If you have an entire night filled with Harry Potter food and trivia, tell people that! Promote aspects of your event that are different than everything else on campus. It will help your event stand out compared to other events on campus!