CategoriesExperience

My Favourite Fair Activity – Performers

One thing I enjoy the more than food at festivals and fairs are the performers. There is always a wide variety of performers performing throughout the day. My personal favorite being K-POP, as a massive K-POP fan. I’m always excited when I hear K-POP songs being played at a restaurant or in public in general. K-POP dance covers are quite popular nowadays due to the complex dances in most K-POP music videos. There is also a large interest in fans dancing to K-POP music videos, learning the choreography that the singers dance to. Thus, whenever I attend fairs, I always see at least 1 K-POP dance workshop where a dance teacher teaches the audience dance choreography to many different K-POP songs.

The type of people I see in the crowd can range from young children to parents having fun with their kids. No experience is required to join these dance workshops, but keeping up will be difficult especially if you don’t have any dance experience. The dance teachers are always very encouraging and very patient, as they don’t expect you to get everything right the first try. It takes many hours of practice to learn a full choreography, thus the teachers just teach the highlights in a dance video. These highlights are usually the parts that are the most memorable or most popular part of the song. These are usually short and easier to teach.

Sometimes, we can also see celebrities, most of the time foreign celebrities coming to these fairs to promote their song and to meet fans. It’s also interesting to see celebrities come to these fairs, as there is usually a large crowd fo people cheering them on and people singing along to their songs as they are fans of their songs. There can also be artists that sing in languages other than English, for example, Indonesian, Japanese, etc. The language barrier doesn’t stop them from singing out their heart and interacting with their fans.

In addition, solo artists are also quite popular. Especially, those that are celebrities and also those that are unique. It’s always interesting to see a solo artist sing a song in a different version.

CategoriesEvents

Foodie Heaven

Having gone to so many different fairs and festivals, I’ve tried a large variety of foods from all countries. These are some of my favorite food vendors to eat from when I’m not busy working at a booth. You can’t go wrong with any of these choices. Sometimes, going to a fair alone just for this yummy food is worth it!

# 1 CURRY UP NOW

With a wide variety of hot, fresh Indian cuisine, there’s bound to be something that will satisfy your hunger.

Curry Up Now food
(C) https://www.instagram.com/p/CB8x2VNlJM/

curryupnow.com

#2 Frozen Kuhsterd

As the pioneers of West Coast Style Frozen Custard, they have so many yummy ice cream flavors to choose from. You can’t go wrong with any of these!

Frozen Kuhsterd Ice Cream
(C) https://www.instagram.com/p/B270ESyH2dz/

https://frozenkuhsterd.com/

#3 Jade Chocolates

Some of the most amazing tasting chocolates come from Jade Chocolates. They’ve won numerous awards, and their chocolates live up to the hype!

jadechocolates.com

 

 

 

CategoriesExperience

My Experiences Working At A Booth

Back in 2017, I had the opportunity to work as a vendor as the Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration, I was responsible for managing the booth setup and anything related to customer service. We were giving out free glucose screenings and also handing out free health promotion items and flyers to promote the company. Working at the vendor was an opportunity that helped us showcase our products and services to the Asian American community located in San Francisco.

teamwork

Getting to the fair was painless, as I had to arrive early to setup everything. This meant that there was no traffic and no distractions, which is always good when I need to concentrate. The first thing I had to do was register and confirm the booking of the booth, I had to find out where our booth was designed to operate. With that out of the way, I helped setup the booth, made sure that everything was ready to go and that nothing was missing. I also had to ensure that there was people on standup so that when I went on break or finished my shift, they could take over without any problem. This involved teaching them the basics and what to do, so that I didn’t need to bother with that once it was their turn. Overall, I worked for around 3 hours, and saw probably 10,000 people pass by. The fair was crazy packed, and every booth was busy, it was amazing to see so much foot traffic and everyone interacting with each other. As the booth was located near the entrance, a lot of people stopped by when they first entered the fair and thus there was always a constant stream of interested people coming up to us to ask questions and receive free samples.

Setting up the booth, we had to prepare and supply our own booth materials. This included bringing in our own tent, tables, chairs, power source, etc. The only thing we had to pay for was the booth space, but we were given the option to rent equipment through the fair.

After finishing my shift, I got to enjoy the fair. I went around to the other booths to see what they were offering and went to interact with a few vendors as they intrigued me. I ended up spending hours wandering around meeting new people, and checking out the booths, musicals, and activities. At the end of the fair, there was also a raffle drawing. There were many prizes being given out.

Unfortunately, I didn’t win anything, but I wasn’t too bothered about it.

Overall, I had a great day exploring the fair and meeting new people. I got to experience a whole bunch of new experiences and learned a lot about our Asian heritage.

CategoriesTips

Tips Going to A Fair Alone

Have you ever wanted to attend a fair but none of your friends were free or interested in coming along? Well, don’t be afraid of going alone. You may be anxious and be asking yourself all sorts of questions such as:

  • Will I have fun alone?
  • Will I meet new people?
  • How do I handle going alone?
  • Will I enjoy myself?

These are all valid questions that you may ask, and the answer to them will in most cases be “YES”.

Going to a fair sounds scary, but it can be one of the most exciting and adventure experiences if you are really interested in the fair. In the end, you will always be making friends whether you like it or not, you will be talking to other people and sharing experiences.

It can be nerve-wracking, especially for those that are introverted, but taking the first step in making new friends makes it infinitely easier in future scenarios.

Here are some tips that I use when going to a festival alone.

  1. Talk to people when waiting

When waiting in line for something, whether it be getting food or getting a ticket. You can strike up a conversation with the person behind you or even the person in front of you. Since you are both going doing the same thing, there’s already something that you have in common that you can talk about. It is important that you introduce yourself first, ask them about something related to what you’re doing.

  1. Participate

Participate in activities, whether it be yoga sessions, art sessions, or even a dance workshop. Getting involved with other people, creates the opportunity for you to speak with people. There are even activities that require you to be with a  pair, it can be daunting trying to find a partner if you’re alone, but there will be in most cases someone one that is alone and doesn’t have a partner yet, or someone from a group that doesn’t have a partner as there isn’t enough people in the group. Once you meet someone in a group, they are more likely to introduce you to their entire group, which expands your connections and introduces you to more familiar faces and potential friends.

  1. Don’t be nervous

This can be difficult for people that don’t have much experience, but as you build up more experience you become more and more confident in yourself. For some people, making small talk is natural but not so easy for others. There are all kinds of different situations that you’ll encounter, and its important that you adapt as necessary. I’ve met several lifelong friends both at fairs whilst being alone and in a group simply because we shared the same interests.

  1. Read the Signs

When introducing yourself to someone, its important that you guys are on the same length wave. If someone is constantly giving you short answers and doesn’t seem interested in continuing the conversation, then perhaps it may be a sign that they aren’t interested in. In this case, it is better to simply move on and try to find new friends to talk with. If you are constantly hanging around them when they are not interested, then it may bother them and probably wont get you anywhere. It is important that you trust your gut feeling.

CategoriesTips

Fundraising – Going Slow

With a little over 5 years of volunteering and charity experience, I’ve discovered that by rushing things, not only will it cause more pain than good, but the quality is generally much poorer as everything has been rushed and time is of the essence. As a result, things get overlooked, and the quality drops drastically. Not only, is it more likely that something goes wrong, but you’re not 100% sure that something won’t just fail and things won’t go as you had originally planned. That’s why my motto is to always take things slow but smartly. Conducting the proper research beforehand and being organized and prepared helps not only in the long run but also ensures that there is a lower chance of something going wrong. Of course, there are times where you are working with a strict deadline and you cant afford to take things slow, sometimes there’s just no option but going full speed ahead.

hand dropping a coin

One example would be reaching a donation goal. Most non-profit organizations want to reach the fundraising goal as soon as possible, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Receiving big donations is quite rare and quite frankly difficult, especially if you don’t have any connections. The more zero’s at the end of the number, the more frightening and seemingly impossible it becomes. Imagine, reaching a donation goal of $1,000,000. How many years would it take to reach this goal?

The main drivers in reaching the fundraising goals will be the executive directors as they have the biggest vision out of everyone. They know what their organization stands up, and can sell that idea to people that also believe in that cause. Having said that, they aren’t the easiest to convince when you have a brilliant or daring idea. They can be impatient and may even fail to see the big picture which can lead to fundraising difficulties. However, they are your biggest assets in ensuring that the charity is kept floating and that things are running smoothly. They are the one to go to if something bad ever comes up.

To fix any problems with an organization, it’s vital that you take a neutral stance and view the organization whole in the eyes of an investor. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential investor, wanting to invest in the company.

Some questions you may ask as an investor include:

  • What are their goals?
  • How will they utilize your funds?
  • Does the organization file their taxes?
  • Is the organization legitimate?

It’s important that you take a step back and view your organisations as objectively as possible. If you have any doubts of your organization, its best that you bring them up and resolve the issue as soon as possible rather than leaving it to the last minute. It’s important that you also have a backup plan, if materials or gear suddenly went missing or caught on fire, what happens next? Do you have a contingency plan set in place, to alleviate the stress and offset costs. These are the kinds of issue, that may people don’t think of enough as statistically speaking, they would only happen once in a lifetime.  Most of the time, things go to plan and nothing bad happens.

One non-profit organization I worked at, was afraid of upsetting their donors as they had invested quite a big chunk of money into the organization, and truthfully speaking losing them would be a huge loss on the organization as donations were far and scarce. They were the biggest contributors to our funds, and the executive director was on excellent terms with them. We had to make sure that we treated them with utmost respect at all times, and asking unnecessary questions was forbidden. We weren’t allowed to ask questions that may potentially endanger the sponsorship. As time went on, they eventually grew closer to the organization and the team behind it. They would treat us out to dinner and bought lunch packages for the company every few weeks. As time went on, the restrictions were a lot loose as we were on very friendly terms. In the end, we achieved our quarterly goals, and the investor was more than pleased with our efforts. We made sure to keep him up to date with everything we were doing, and we were upfront and transparent throughout the entire process. We had a solid plan set up beforehand that no only gave the investor confidence and but also made them believe in our organization. They believed that we were able to achieve our goals and thus they provided utmost support and encouraged us throughout the way. Not only was it an amazing experience, but everyone on the team had a great time, and we also learned a lot from the investor themselves.

CategoriesHow To

Writing A Grand Fund

I began my journey back in 2015, where I worked for a small nonprofit sector at a small art museum in Austin, Texas. I worked there as a volunteer for about 2 years, before moving to a part time employer and eventually a full-time employer. The organization not only helped me buy my first game console, but taught me a lot in regards to employment. In addition, I also entered a writing contest whilst working there. The organization was kind enough to offer me a grant for which I will be forever grateful of. This helped kickstart my love for reading and writing, during my spare time, I like to read books and write a little bit of science fiction. I gained a thorough understanding of how to write, and how to compose documents to attract potential donors. This was all taught during a small workshop which the organization held when I first started, they taught me the ins and outs of securing investors.  At the organization, I have written probably close to a hundred different grant proposals for foundations, government agencies, corporations and individuals.

Through these life experience, I have developed my own unique writing style, and have trained my writing style to be the best it can be. My attention to detail was my highest priority when writing these proposal grants, as they were typically seen by the most important person. I had to ensure that there was absolutely zero grammatical error, and that everything I had written was the truth. I couldn’t say make up anything to make it sound better, and had to ensure that the proposal was attractive and interesting to them. If it was just another proposal, then they wouldn’t bat an eye, and just move on with their day. That’s why I had to make it interesting, keep them hooked on the idea.

Some of my tips on how to write grants.

  • Ensure that you know what you are talking about. If you do not have enough experience at the organization, then it may not be at your best interest to sell the idea to someone else. If you don’t understand something, its better to ask questions than be silent. You must also thoroughly understand the reasoning behind why you need this grant funding.
  • Understand the constraints and limitations. Know how much budget you are working with, and ask plenty of questions when in doubt.
  • If you can’t secure a fund on your first try, don’t just give up. Give it a second try, but try a different approach. Perhaps, pay them a visit personally, or submit an application directly to someone of higher status. Perhaps even set the groundwork to secure funding the next year or sometime in the future.
  • Asses whether the project would be a good fit for your organizations mission. Check that your leadership approves of your proposal, you don’t want to be getting in trouble later on for submitting a proposal that isn’t aligned with your organizations values.
  • Feel confident and do your research thoroughly. Ensure that you have checked every cranny and nook twice. If a question is asked, be sure to come up with a satisfactory answer.
  • Don’t give up. Competition will be tough, as there will be hundreds if not thousands of other applicants also competing against you trying to win the bid. Try to stand out as much as possible, and you must grab the readers attention whether it be via an interesting story or pitch.
  • Say Thanks: If you are lucky enough to secure a funding from a vendor, then it’s important that you stay in good terms with them. This can include sending them a thank you letter or better yet paying them a visit with a small gift to show your appreciation for them. This will not only help in the long run but will also present a better image of you to them. This could be the beginning of a long term relationship between them and your organization.
  • Don’t take their money and run. Give them frequent updates, invite them to meetings and get involved with them. They’re investing in your organization as they believe in your values, and it’s your job to ensure that they know how their money is being utilized.