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Creative Ways to Address Your Live Audience's Comfort Levels

To keep up with our march into fundraising theme, let’s march right on up to the elephant in the room and put it to work. That’s right! Let’s utilize the changing covid precautions to get the best out of your live event.

We’ve spoken to a lot of clients, colleagues, and staff who all have different input about variant levels in their area, how people are gathering, their comfort levels, and what precautions they’re taking. We like to err on the side of caution along with a soupçon of science. At Artisan Auctions, we’re rule followers, so what does that mean for your organization if you’re considering a live event? When the rules are ambiguous or fluid, you know I like to get creative!

Our colleagues in Oregon have seen the end of mask mandates, as have many other states. It’s been a long two years and there’s going to be a lot of mixed feelings. How can you still help your event guests feel safe? Some guests may have compromised family at home and still want six feet of distance, others may be quadruple vaccinated and ready to hug every stranger they meet (consensually). This, my friends, is where the fun comes in!

Contact Comfort Indicators: The possibilities are endless!

By using contact comfort indicators, your guests can take the reins in regards to their comfort levels for interpersonal contact, and you can focus on the tasks of the night. Comfort contact indication is just a fancy way for us to say let’s color code this shindig! There are a lot of great opportunities to get creative and have fun.

Wearables: Utilizing a company like Wristband, your org can inexpensively and with some awesome flair help your guests show their contact comfort level for your in-person gala. This is a great way to make your gala theme and colors for the event pop while boosting the fun and everyone gets a little piece of event swag. Say your event colors are green, purple, and white. Have different colored bands made up with your logo or event theme, and designate colors:

Green: Handshake

Purple: High-five

White: Wave from Across The Room

This allows your guests to decide how they want to interact with the crowd while still enjoying one another’s company. And you don’t need to stop there! You can have some fun with glowing accessories like glow sticks and necklaces, give a little pop to 80s night, add some bioluminescence to under the sea.

We even have some comfort indicators in action! Check out Sierra from Friends of the Children Portland helping a Friend Raiser guest with their contact indicator wristband!

Sierra helping a guest with their comfort indicator band at the Friends of the Children Portland Friend Raiser

Seating/Tables: Centerpieces that fit your theme, indicate contact levels, can be color-coded, donated, and auctioned or raffled off? Sign me up! Centerpieces could be the Swiss Army Knife of contact indicators without hitting your budget too hard while still indicating contact preferences and vibing with the theme of your event. Several large vases like the one here filled with colored ornaments, glass pieces, sand, confetti, or even colored twinkle lights could help you indicate the comfort of those at the table. If you want to raffle it off, you can load those suckers up with gift cards and other goodies.

Get the community involved!

Fundraising for a school or youth program? Ask your little helpers to create comfort indicators like tissue paper corsages, boutonnieres, pins, bandanas, scarves or even hats. If your event is a little more sophisticated, you can always reach out to the community and check with artists, florists, and other artisans to see if they'd like to donate a fitting centerpiece that could be auctioned or raffled off.

Black Tie? No Problem!

If your audience is a little more black tie and a little less glow stick necklace or they might want more sustainable options, this is a great opportunity to explore boutonnieres and corsages, drink charms, and more. Keeping your budget in mind, companies like Amazon, Zazzle, and Etsy are a good place to start.

We've had to pivot and change course a lot the last two years. Going to in-person events is going to be a big deal for a lot of us. Use color coded contact indicators to let your guests and donors meet you where they’re at while enjoying your live or hybrid event so you can focus on raising funds.

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