...for Table Designers
How do I choose a theme?
There are dozens of themes that have been chosen over the years, and just as many strategies from designers on how to choose one. Here are a few ideas.
One of the most popular choices is holidays, like Christmas or Saint Patrick's Day. These themes offer an easy way to keep all your components matching; there are lots of Halloween-themed dishes and other items if you shop at the right time of year. In addition, clearance sales just after a holiday offer a way to keep your costs low. On the other hand, these designs don't sell for as much at the event, since few attendees want a Valentine's design on display year 'round.
Another approach is to appeal to a particular culture or subgroup. A table targeting cigar lovers, Yankees fans, or Coca-Cola collectors is sure to find a few die-hard bidders at the event. Plus, any easily recognizable brand will offer a ready color scheme to coordinate with. If your centerpiece is a Harley-Davidson package, your linens can all be simple black and orange. The downside is that for every fan who wants this table, twenty will pass it by.
Perhaps the most common approach is to just go out and start shopping! Wait to be inspired by one item you fall in love with. Maybe it's a mocha-colored serving platter, and that inspires your Coffee Break theme. You could get an amazing deal on a blue crystal vase, and build a She Sells Seashells table around it. Maybe a business donates a golf bag, and Dinner for Fore! is the result. Who knows?
Whatever theme you choose, just make sure you're excited about it. This design isn't just a fundraiser. It's also a work of art, and a labor of love. You should enjoy every minute of making it.
How do I manage the costs?
Some of our designers "sponsor" themselves, paying the entire cost out of pocket. While this is a large expense to carry, it does allow you complete control over the table design. To ease the expense a little, most of our table design submissions have multiple designers working as a team. Not only does this increase the number of people working to contribute funds, but it also provides an additional source of ideas, time, and talent for the design. As a bonus, the table design can become a fun project for a group of friends to work on over the course of a few months.
Another option is to solicit sponsors for your entry. While The Peacemaker Program does not provide a listing of potential sponsors, you can ask that we e-mail you a customizable Table Sponsorship letter to ease the process of "making the ask". We can also provide Discount Cards as a way to "sweeten the deal," allowing your Sponsors to attend the event for less. Table sponsors can be family, friends, employers, or local businesses. They can contribute cash to the purchase of supplies, or donate items such as flatware and gift certificates that add value to the table design. Many of our most successful designs in past years have been those that included a high degree of "loot"; valuable items donated by local businesses, which fitted with the theme of the design and presented an excellent value to bidders.
There is a benefit to anyone who sponsors your table design. All sponsors will receive recognition at the event. You are also encouraged to leave business cards on the table for further advertisement. Your design is a tax deductible donation that will benefit programs for abused and neglected children, and families in conflict within our community.
What are important dates and deadlines?
By FEBRUARY 15th, all our primary Table Designer slots will be filled. If you want to ensure a place in the event, please complete the Table Design Commitment Form by this date. Why so early? We need to know exactly how many designers we will have in order to plan the event; placement of tables, printed materials, and so on.
- By MARCH 15th, you must have turned in ALL of your information, so that we can include it in the program book and other printed materials. This should include the TABLE NAME/THEME, DESIGNERS NAMES, and SPONSORS. If we do not have this information, we cannot promote your design or your sponsors.
- By MARCH 28th, we will need your Table Value Sheets; this will tell us your table's DESIGNER COST (what you spent, do not include donations) and RETAIL VALUE (what the components would sell for, full price). This helps us price and place your table correctly, maximizing the return on your investment and the benefit to the program. By this time, you should have completed and staged your table design.
- By APRIL 1st at 3:00 PM, your design must be set up at Hart's Hill Inn. You can begin setup at 9:00 AM. Table judging begins at 3:00 PM sharp.