Events are the main reason for being a SingaporeConnect member. We like to organise good events for our members, and we love to help our members organise great events for their friends.
Why should you come to an event?
• Meet people particularly those with a Singaporean heritage or background, network and have a fun activity
• Convenient within your schedule and worth the price
Why should you host an event?
It is always more satisfying to share than to receive. Here are some things we've learned to give you some ideas. Events should be:
- Have a Singaporean theme
- It ain't Singaporean without a Food component
- Also, an incentive, i.e. lucky draw element
- Plus, as always, good timing (take into account holidays)
They should cater to at least two of these target audiences:
- Singles and couples without kids
As an organiser, you need to consider:
- Geographic Location (East Bay, South Bay, or SF)
- Venue (house - indoors/backyard, park, conference room)
- Cost and funding (sponsorship, grants, volunteer/donations)
- Structure (free-form: bring your own; organised: activity)
- Co-organising (how about working with another organisation or association?)
How can SingaporeConnect help?
We can take care of publicity, ticketing, registration, payments, date recommendations (to avoid potential conflicts), contacting other organisations, and to some extent: providing prizes, finding sponsorship, and roping in other volunteers to help you out.
As an organiser, your main role is to "put things together", be it picking a location, putting together a programme, coming up with key contributors (i.e. instructors, leaders), or just showing up a little earlier at the event to set it up and get it going.
Now, the SGC committee among us, we do come up with ideas on our own or via chatting with you at events. Then, try nominate a committee member to be the leader organiser, while the rest of us all chip in. Certain support functions, such as IT support and publicity (i.e. web site registration system, marketing emails) can be more centralised but chiefly the organiser injects his or her direction to the event.
What do I get out of it?
So with all this help around you, it is easy to host. Imagine you're planning a party or an outing, just for a few more people. The key to any event is an organiser. Within the committee, each of us all have certain thresholds for how often we can take the lead to organise events, maybe twice a year per committee member. All of us also have some sort of interest level for each kind of event, i.e. if we've done one type of event we're less likely to want to do the same thing again the next year. But as a volunteer event organiser, it's especially fun because it's more new. There's some intangible about doing the effort to host. You get to meet people. You get to do things you might not have done before. And you really do get some real payback, like meeting people who could help you later in life and being invited to other events you might not have otherwise gotten into.
I am not ready to host, but can I still help?
Absolutely. Being an event organiser is not everyone's cup of tea. But you should at least like the idea of having events.
So, first, you can offer ideas or event suggestions. Just send them in, any time. You can also "arrow" your friends to be organisers (how you compensate them is outside the scope of this document).
Second, you can help us with a venue.
There are basically three choices for venues:
a) a public space.
b) a private house.
c) a function room.
a) would be like parks and plazas which are open to the public but large and open enough where we can have an event as a group without bothering other people's space.
b) would be someone's house or part of (i.e. garden, backyard)
c) would be a conference/meeting/function room of sorts that usually belongs to a hotel, school, church, company, or condo/apartment but can be rented out.
Sometimes the venue is obvious from the event, i.e. say a tour of a particular company is going to be at that company.
But most often we are flexible on the venues, and more limited by their availability. For example, potlucks and cooking classes tend to be best held in b) or c).
It should be obvious where you can help. If we approach you asking if you have a venue that you can help with, do try and see if you can make something work out, even if it's takes a little legwork, asking around, or creativity. For example, perhaps your condo or company may have availability. In other words, we welcome all "lobang".
By far and large our events have been either run at a loss or break-even. The slight loss comes from incidentals (i.e. utensils for potlucks) and transaction fees (i.e. for accepting credit card payments). To give you an idea it can come up to say a loss of $50 an event, which have been borne so far by the committee members.
A few events in the past have had sponsors, but these have always been done on a per-event basis.
We are acutely aware that the popularity of an event is highly dependent on the price, and that most of our members would prefer to attend an event that is cheaper than what it actually costs to hold. (i.e. you may be interested to come to a luncheon networking session at $2-$5, when in reality the restaurant would charge us $15-$20 per person.) Bear in mind the reason for the $15-20 charge stems from more than the food component only, but because the restaurant is reserving the entire location for our event so they need to recoup back the opportunity cost of having other diners.
Additional funding can go towards subsidising the costs of holding the event, especially the venue and event setup. Obviously, your committee members aren't too keen on subsiding SingaporeConnect to the tune of several hundred dollars a year, as much as we love the idea of SingaporeConnect.
"legwork" > "eye-power"
In the end, events are like a chicken-and-egg situation. You can't have events (the eggs) without organisers (the chickens). So please don't too easily "chicken out" when we reach for you. You know, the committee members also have personal lives. We want to emphasise that the committee will be behind organisers all the way: and frankly we find the opportunity to work with a new person or two very rewarding as well.
Please, feel welcome to reach out to us on your own accord! The more eggs in the basket, the better!