Finding a Kick-off & Fundraising Venues

Organizing a successful campaign kickoff or a large fundraiser requires careful consideration of the venue, as it sets the tone for your campaign and can significantly influence its initial perception. Here’s a guide to finding the perfect place for these events:

For Campaign Kick-Off:

  1. Parks: Outdoor spaces like parks offer a natural, open environment that can accommodate large crowds. Ensure you check for necessary permits and consider the weather forecast.
  2. Educational Institutions: Your alma mater, whether a college, high school, or grammar school, can be a symbolic choice, especially if it’s in your district or state. It connects your personal history to your political journey. Coordinate with the institution for availability and any required permissions.
  3. Family Homes or Childhood Home: These locations add a personal touch, showcasing your roots and family values. They work well for smaller, more intimate gatherings. Make sure the space can handle the number of guests you expect.
  4. Private Rooms in Restaurants are ideal for smaller, more controlled events. They offer a formal setting and take care of catering needs. Look for restaurants that align with your campaign’s image.
  5. American Legion or VFW Halls: These venues are excellent for connecting with veterans and their families, and they resonate particularly well if military or veterans’ affairs are part of your platform.

For Large Fundraisers:

  1. Event Halls and Banquet Rooms: These traditional choices are equipped for large gatherings and often have in-house catering and AV support.
  2. Arenas or Large Venues: If you’re expecting a very large crowd, consider sports arenas or concert halls. These venues make a statement and can handle extensive logistical needs.
  3. Luxury Hotels: Offering elegant ballrooms and professional event services, they’re ideal for upscale fundraisers. They also provide convenience for guests who may travel from out of town.
  4. Unique Venues: Museums, historic homes, or unique local landmarks can provide a memorable backdrop for your event.

General Tips:

  • Budget: Always keep your budget in mind. Expensive venues might impress, but they can also be perceived as extravagant.
  • Accessibility: Ensure the venue is accessible for all guests, including those with disabilities.
  • Location: Consider the convenience of the location for your guests in terms of travel, parking, and nearby accommodations.
  • Capacity and Facilities: The venue should comfortably accommodate your guests and provide necessary facilities (restrooms, seating, AV equipment).
  • Permits and Insurance: Ensure you have all the necessary permits, especially for public spaces, and check if you need additional insurance.
  • Reservations: Book well in advance, especially if your event coincides with peak seasons or other local events.
  • Branding and Customization: Check how much you can customize the space to reflect your campaign’s branding.

Don’t forget about Parking

parking is a crucial aspect when selecting a venue for your campaign kickoff or large fundraiser. Adequate parking ensures that your event is accessible and convenient for attendees, contributing significantly to the event’s overall success. Here are some additional points to consider regarding parking:

  1. Ample Parking Space: Ensure the venue has enough parking spaces to accommodate all your guests. This is especially important for large events where a significant number of attendees will be driving.
  2. Accessibility: The parking area should be easily accessible from major roads and highways. Clear signage to direct guests to the parking area is also beneficial.
  3. Parking Fees: Check if the venue charges for parking. If so, consider whether you will cover the cost for your guests or if they will need to pay. If it’s the latter, make sure to inform them in advance.
  4. Valet Service: For more upscale events, consider arranging valet parking to add a touch of luxury and convenience for your guests.
  5. Overflow Parking: In case your main parking area fills up, have a plan for overflow parking. This might involve nearby parking lots or street parking. Ensure any overflow parking areas are safe and well-lit.
  6. Shuttle Services: If the best venue has limited parking, you might arrange for shuttle services from a nearby larger parking lot. This can be particularly effective for very large events.
  7. Disabled Parking: Ensure that there are sufficient handicapped-accessible parking spaces close to the entrance of the venue.
  8. Parking Staff: For larger events, consider having staff or volunteers to manage the parking lot. They can assist with directing traffic, finding empty spots, and ensuring a smooth arrival and departure process for your guests.
  9. Safety and Security: Make sure the parking area is safe. Consider hiring security personnel, especially if the event extends into the evening.
  10. Communication with Guests: Include parking information in your event invitations and communications. Details about location, costs, and any shuttle services will help your guests plan their arrival.

By addressing these parking considerations, you can greatly enhance the guest experience, making your campaign kickoff or fundraiser a more enjoyable and hassle-free event.

Final Thoughts:

The choice of venue speaks volumes about your campaign. It should align with your campaign’s values and message. Always visit potential venues in person to get a true feel for the space, and consider how your potential supporters and the media will perceive your choice of venue.

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