by Kris Kindelsperger
Are your special events fundraisers? Awareness builders? Ways to advance your mission? Or more?
The Indianapolis Zoo recently executed a special event that was a powerful and transformative combination of many of these special event attributes.
Eight years ago the Indianapolis Prize was created by the Zoo to recognize an individual of international stature in the area of animal conservation. The Zoo has developed it into a truly “special” event, extending their mission and increasing support.
The 2012 Prize Gala was attended by more than 1,000 black tie and evening gown-attired guests, a who’s who of Central Indiana.
They were joined by conservation superstars from around the world – not to mention celebrities such as actor Josh Duhamel (some know him more as the husband of Fergie), BBC correspondent Saba Douglas-Hamilton, movie star/animal rights activist Jane Alexander, and Grammy Award winning singer Sylvia McNair and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Quite a lineup.
But, what was most important, by presenting the 2012 prize to Dr. Steven Amstrup for his research into the potentially devastating consequences of global warming on the world’s polar bear populations, the Gala transcended the great work of the Indianapolis Zoo and the city of Indianapolis, and joined a world-wide community.
President and CEO Michael Crowther positioned the Zoo on a world stage and lifted up animal conservation and those devoting their lives to saving the Earth's endangered species as a cause deserving of everyone’s attention.
It was a “special event” and the panoramic screened National Geographic quality video vignettes and stories of the fight to preserve the biological diversity of our planet left everyone in the crowd saying “Wow, our Zoo is doing amazing things all over the world.”
The Zoo even furthered that impact by sending a follow up email to thank the attendees and advance the mission by providing a list of other actionable ways to impact and support conservation efforts locally and around the globe.
And, those attendees left filled with inspiration and admiration for the Indianapolis Zoo, and wanting to come back for the next Prize Gala.
Well done indeed.