Heroes Behind the Funds: A Chat with One of AEW’s Finest.
Jordan Campbell - Chief Strategy Officer
What keeps you going at AEW?
Definitely the team! We work together to harness the causes, deliver revenue and create visibility for our clients. AEW is committed to working with non-profit organizations that aim to give back to underprivileged sectors of the society, which allows us to do our fair share of grassroot activism and public action. As a team, we all get along really well, with each of us having a different skill to offer - which makes AEW an awesome organization to work with!
What does “Talent” mean at AEW and what are some of the services included in it?
“Talent” broadly refers to the ability to establish a connection between the message of the non-profit organization and the audience that is listening. More simply, it is all encompassing of the engagement side of things and is the face of the event.
Talent services at AEW include both kinds of support - onstage and offstage. Onstage Talent comprises an Emcee or Auctioneer, whereas offstage support refers to Bidspotters, Clerks and colleagues that manage the flow and financial side of fundraising events.
We take Talent very seriously, due to its ability to create emotional engagement and to ensure that the message gets across as much impact - especially if it is through a virtual medium!
What is the role of Talent in virtual events?
The role of Talent in virtual events is just as crucial to that of physical events. They ensure that the event is not disjointed and work to promote the feeling of togetherness with the audience. In virtual events, the role of the Emcee is even more poignant, as they have the ability to reach across the screen and remind the audience why they are attending the event in the first place. To put it simply, Talent focuses on establishing a human connection that transcends technology!
What is your biggest pet peeve at an event?
When the run-of-show isn't as smooth as it should be. People are likely to lose attention when things are disjointed and the event seems to be confusing. This should be avoided at all costs for fundraising events in particular, as there are a lot of emotions involved - those of the organizers and of the attendees. If the event flow is not properly thought through and seems to be disconnected, then there is the risk of losing the relationship between the guests and the organization.
One way to avoid this is to invest in Talent and to hire experienced professionals who ensure that the audience's attention and hearts are captured at all times. At AEW, we work closely with our clients to make sure that we provide them the best service within their budget. Sometimes, clients tend to opt for cost-effective ways and underestimate the importance of important features - so it’s our job to remind them that there is nothing more important than establishing that connection with the audience!
What is your advice to the readers about virtual events?
Don't be afraid! These uncertain times call for utmost creativity. It is important to ask ourselves that, just because the physical connection is not available anymore, do we need to eliminate the emotional connection as well? Absolutely not. By having the right people on board and making the event as engaging as possible, virtual fundraising events can also be a huge success. At the end of the day, a virtual event is better than no event at all, as it keeps the revenue engine running. So don't be afraid to voice your concerns, but don't let your fear take over completely. That’s what we love to do - navigate our clients through these crazy times!