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Mercy Health is a regional hospital and healthcare provider with locations in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and beyond. Their Foundation impacts communities as far South as the U.S. Border. These efforts would not be possible if it weren’t for the generous giving of the communities in which their foundation operates. This giving has an annual climax of their December “Mercy Ball” events. We’re proud that on their biggest day of the year, Mercy entrusts their messaging in the hands of the avad3 A/V Production team.

Spending More Brings in More

Traditional thinking at a lot of non-profits endangers the purpose of events. The purpose of non-profit fundraising events is to bring in as much money for the non-profit mission as possible. 364 days a year, non-profits wisely operate a cost-saving budgeted operations approach. Unfortunately, on their biggest day of the year, that does not contribute to the mission. With Mercy, this is their one major event for the entire upcoming calendar year. They spend more to bring in more.

Making a Splash in a City that Deserves It

Fort Smith Arkansas has a legacy of hard work. As one of the first cities in the state, there is a lot established in the city. However, events like the Mercy Ball don’t happen every day. This is the largest non-profit fundraising event in the city, and it only happens once each year, in December. This is a gala that we’re told the people of Ft Smith look forward to all year long.

Our event space is unique, in a bad way. We’re tasked with transforming a cinderblock room into an elegant winter wonderland. This wouldn’t have been possible without avad3. Their talent shines through their creativity and use of technology in a new and exciting ways. We pushed them to provide creative solutions and they met high expectations.
Taylor Martinez
Mercy Health Foundation
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Transforming a plain room into a Winter Wonderland

With this being their one main fundraising event of the year, Mercy likes when we go big. And we did, with our 110ft-wide projection mapping screen. This surface is incredible. At 20ft tall, it dominates even the largest of rooms. More than just having our projectionist do a projection blend and make the screen possible, we maximize it’s impact with the content we fill it with.

Creating Content that supports her Vision

We met with Taylor about six months beforehand to sit down and hear what she pictured when she imagined this year’s gala. Their audience draws on a lot of repeat donors, which is a positive metric of success, but also demands innovation. Her vision for the decor of this year’s event was evergreens. In years past we had made it snow in the venue using our snow machines, this year we wanted to bring that snow to the big screen. So, with the help of our Creative Services team, a 4K digital backdrop was designed and custom built for the event. It’s amazing how affordably we accomplished this transformation. If not kept in check, custom built pieces can blow budgets in a hurry. We insist on every budget dollar being a positive ROI, so we pushed our visual content creators to think of innovative ways to edit the components together. The result was a stunning, larger than life, realistic evergreen forest that transformed the room. We treat production as an extension of decor. The rentals she filled the room with were an extension of our design, making one, seamless decor design.

The ASK Video

When we do non-profit fundraiser galas and dinners, the evening culminates into one moment: the Ask. This is the critical moment. The climax before the relief of the dance floor. All momentum built up from first impressions in the lobby to special guest appearances builds to this peak. Do don’t take that lightly, and we don’t leave it to chance. We’ve learned that “open mic night” is not the treatment for these moments in the event. This has to be carefully recorded video that captures the remarkable of your organization and translates it into a narrative storytelling video your audience resonates with. That’s why Mercy went to avad3 to have this done right. All the efforts of the night, all the budget dollars and everything we contribute to builds up to this moment. Our creative team knocked the storytelling out of the park. Our projectors and sound system made sure every second was heard loud and clear by the 1000+ guests seated in the room.

Why Gather Everyone at your event if they can’t Hear?

Audio clarity is everything. This is a challenging venue, and our audio techs rise to the occasion every time. The space is nearly the size of a football field. It’s hard concrete floors and reflective walls make it sound like a bathtub when we first arrive to begin load-in. Thankfully, we have incredible people. They push our equipment to the limit and provide crystal-clear audio so everyone from the VIP seats in the front to the latecomers in the back hear every word from stage.

Setting up the Talent to Energize the Room

We supported two separate music acts for the event. Up first was a recording artist who performed during dinner. To close out the night, a dance party band performed for the after party. We handled the talent from the time the contract was signed until load-out. Our client didn’t have to spend any time in planning worrying about their riders, advancing the band on conference calls, or coordinating their backline needs.

Bringing Energy to a Seated Elegant Dinner

Non-profit fundraiser events are often elegant, nice formal evenings. And that’s great! Attendees get dressed up, it’s a special occasion for a great cause. But, we know it takes extra care to get them engaged. The posture and poise of formal attire subconsciously can make some people reserved. We want to bring the energy. From the moment guests entered the lobby, to adding uplighting life around the room, we brightened up the night with our lighting. We worked with a decor vendor that’s a local favorite for this client who decorated the space beautifully. We then layered on our lighting to compliment that decor. This brought out the best of their floral arrangements which the florist appreciated and the table decor done by Francisco. At the end of the night we transform the room into an afterparty with the dance floor coming to life. What had been a bright but elegant evening becomes the party of the year with lighting fixtures like our movers adding moving texture and getting the movement from rounds to dance floor started with exciting energy.

The Recurring Metric

It pays to go big. How do we know? Mercy has brought us back multiple years in a row. They consistently sign our proposal and have us begin work earlier and earlier in the year. This year they’ve signed and we’ll spend eight months planning for their event in December. If they weren’t receiving a positive ROI on their event they wouldn’t be able to keep having it. We’re proud to be a contributing factor to what continues to be a successful, profitable event for their organization.