Last week wrapped up the final two virtual galas I worked in 2020, finishing up a total of 33 virtual events for the year. Many more virtual galas are already on the calendar for spring 2021.
One question from new clients has been about themes. “What are people doing for themes? Are they doing anything special?”
Over the last few months, 73% of the committees I worked with kept the same theme they’d intended to use for their 2020 in-person event.
The remaining others adopted new themes that were more in line with the virtual nature of their redesigned event.
Last year I wrote a blog post about the nine best auction themes from 2019.
Below are nine themes that were used because of their tie-in to the effects from COVID-19.
Nine clever virtual gala themes
- Beyond the Book (At this library gala, the focus was on the internet-based programs offered to patrons, even while the libraries remained closed.)
- The iBall (changed from The Eye Ball, for an eye tissue bank.)
Cabin Fever (changed from Saturday Night Fever. Lumberjack plaid had its moment.)
- Pajama Party
- MASKerade (changed from Mardi Gras)
- Honoring the Heroes Among Us / Celebrating our Healthcare Heroes (Honoring hospital workers was popular among healthcare nonprofits.)
- A Night
OutIn with ________ [Nonprofit Name]
- The Stay at Home Gala
- Weathering the Storm
In any given year, a percentage of nonprofits celebrate milestone events at their auction gala. Here were some I saw in 2020.
(None of these themes referenced the virtual nature of the gala. Instead, the themes focused on the birthday, anniversary, or year they were honoring.)
Three milestone gala themes
- 2020 – Catch Our Vision! (A 20th celebration)
- The Birthday Bash (A 30th birthday)
- The Ruby Gala (A 40th anniversary)
Did you have a clever 2020 virtual gala theme?
If so, share it below!