The past couple of months I’ve been working on an event in my spare time, Say Kimchi’s K-pop Halloween Party which happened on Thursday November 1. It was a lot of fun and I have a lot of people to thank for that! So welcome to my “thank you post”.
For those of you who didn’t read my earlier posts, Say Kimchi is the Korean-English language exchange group I run. We meet three Sundays a month to practice our Korean and English, both through one-on-one structured language exchange and group-based free talking. We also do fun, social events to introduce Canadian culture to our Korean members and Korean culture to our Canadian members. Plus it’s a fun place to make friends. I joined the group after I moved back to Canada because I was going through reverse-culture shock and missed hearing Korean all the time and it’s since become one of my passions.
Every year – or at least from the past three years – we hold a K-pop Halloween party, which serves our group a double purpose. First, it showcases the fabulous K-pop music to our Canadian members and it introduces Halloween – such a fun part of North American culture – to our Korean members. But the party also serves as a fundraiser for our group – a non-profit language exchange group.
Last year our party was so successful, we decided to take it to the next level. We moved to a bigger venue – The Annex WreckRoom – and made the commitment to donate 50% of our profits to HanVoice, a non-profit that supports North Korean refugees in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), on-the-ground humanitarian initiatives in North Korea and works to promote the human rights agenda (paraphrased from their website).
I was so happy with all the fabulous support I found in the community for prize sponsors and donations of services. I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the following wonderful people, businesses and organizations:
- DJ Jaybe and VJ Gee – Jaybe and Gerald, you guys rock!! Thanks so much for donating your time and DJ services!! And for promoting the event via Pop! Goes the World!
- Bulgogi Brothers – who donated two prize packs, one of which went to the winner of our Gangnam Style dance competition and the other which was our first costume prize!
- Sushi Making for the Soul – run by Sang Kim, who donated a pass for two to one of his sushi-making classes.
- Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival – who donated two 4-pak passes to this year’s festival and listed our event on their blog with a contest for two tickets. Special thanks to Terence for not only sharing his pictures of the event but being my contact person with Reel Asian.
- Momomango – who donated a Korean cosmetics prize pack
- Origami Paper Monster – who donated an origami/hanji paper prize pack.
- Korean Tourism Organization – who donated three traditional Korean jewelry boxes.
- Toronto Korean Film Festival – for helping us promote our event on Facebook and giving away two tickets for us.
I couldn’t have pulled of the party without your support, thank you all so much!
There were so many great costumes that it was a very difficult decision to make to determine the winners so I’d also like to thank those who helped me select them. This year’s winner – Brian, who was also last year’s first place winner – was the only person who was in all but one person’s top three so that was an easy choice. It was a little harder to determine the other four winners but we finally came up with five great costumes! Congrats to all the winners, plus the dance winner and the two door prize winners!!
But the final thanks need to go to all those fabulous people who came out on the cold, wet night! THANK YOU!!! Because of all you delightful people we raised over $500 for both Say Kimchi and HanVoice. Thanks, thanks, thanks!! I really can’t say it enough. ^^
And since for other events I generally say what was done well and what could be improved upon… here’s my take on our event!
What we did well
- We had amazing DJs! The music rocked all night long, even when I was at the door taking people’s money I was dancing. Seriously, if you are looking for DJs – K-pop or otherwise – in Toronto, I would highly recommend both DJ Jaybe and VJ Gee! In fact, I have! ^^
- Fabulous prizes! We had some amazing prizes and all the winners were super happy. Yay, thanks again to all the prize sponsors!
- Learn from last year’s mistakes. I had a good sized float to start the evening with lots of $5 bills as the at-the-door price was $15.
- Great venue. Yeah, it was a little big for the crowd size but the people at The Annex WreckRoom were great beforehand and during the night. I’d both recommend them and use them again. Want to see their pictures of our event, check out their Facebook page.
- Encourage people to come in costumes. Some of the highlights of my night – other than dancing to Big Bang – was to see Korean friends who had never attended a Halloween party before, rock cool costumes. Simply amazing!
Things to improve on for next year
- More people! While everyone who attended had a blast, we did fall short of my attendance goal of 300 people. Now, that was an ambitious goal considering last year’s party had about 100 people but I went with the “go big or go home” philosophy. Attendance ended up being a little less than 150 people which in our bigger venue, looked small. This was by far my biggest – well, only – disappointment of the evening and we’ll definitely have to work on getting more people there next year.
- Sell more advance tickets. We did sell some of course, and some of the people who volunteered to sell them did fabulous jobs but this is one area we need to work on.
- Marketing. We promoted it fairly well on Facebook and Twitter but I think we need to work on more off-line marketing for our next one.
That being said, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and am seeing issues that others didn’t see. Everyone who attended had fun and we did raise money for two good causes… it was a great night.^^ Did you come out to our party? What did you think?