Today in Washington D.C., thousands of United States citizens are flocking to the nation’s capitol building to witness a time-honored tradition that harkens back to the gilded age. The day promises parades, speeches, concerts, fancy galas, and as much pomp and circumstance as one city can handle. However, much like a wedding, the somewhat somber institution of swearing in the new president of the United States is just the humdrum part of the day people sit through in order to get to the fun stuff: the inaugural balls.

Though previous presidents have attended up to 14 inaugural balls, Trump’s inaugural committee only has three official balls scheduled for the evening following the inauguration ceremony, with tickets ranging from $150 to $1,000. Attendees at these events are typically Washington elite and similarly important government officials rubbing elbows over champagne and cocktail shrimp.

Much like the committees organizing the inaugural balls for the important people attending them, we know that many asset managers pride themselves on the events they throw for financial professionals and hold their guests in just as high regard. In both instances, it is of utmost importance to provide the most prestigious, white glove service to impress your guests and ensure they have an unforgettable time.

There are a surprising amount of similarities between advisor events and inaugural balls so we went ahead and compiled a short list potential challenges and solutions that those planning either might face.

1. Budget

Although both inaugural balls as well as advisor events have a budget to keep in mind, they’re fundamentally different in that the former charges guests for admission and the latter covers the cost of guests in attendance. Either way, it is crucial to maintain a real-time account of the total cost-per-head throughout the event process. This way you can determine the total spend to keep track of your event KPIs and any new AUM invested as a result of the event.

2. Attendance

If you’ve been following the goings on of this years inauguration you are already aware of the attendance issues the inaugural committees are facing. The projected attendance of this year’s inauguration is somewhere between 700K-900K people, which may seem like a solid amount but, compared to Obama’s 2008 inaugural attendance of 1.8 million, its a bit low.

Asset managers everywhere would love to have even a fraction of that number at their events but most would be happy with just a room full of people. To make sure that happens you should be closely monitoring registered attendees through a real-time, automated system, if possible. If, for instance, your event is only 2 weeks away and you see that only 20% of your invitees have registered, you may want to either up your marketing efforts, change rooms within the venue so its more comfortable, or both.

3. Undecideds

“Flip-flopping” is a term used a lot in politics to describe a politician who changes their stance on an issue depending on the views of their constituency but, when it comes to financial event planning, flip-floppers are those who change their mind last minute about attending your event. Because of this you should make sure you have a tight hold on your list management with a real-time attendance monitor so you can more effectively keep the flip-floppers from doing what they do best.

You should also send pre-scheduled event reminders and follow-ups to those who didn’t respond initially to help them make up their minds. If you provide your invitees with valuable information during the registration period, they may be more inclined to attend your event.

4. Crashers

The problem with planning the absolute perfect event is that everyone wants to attend, even the uninvited. In both the financial and government industries, there are high levels of security, and both cut down on party crashers by checking IDs at the door(s). By utilizing a check-in application on a tablet or smart phone, as compared to old fashioned paper check-in, you are able to update in real-time to avoid situations like two people trying to enter from two different entrances using the same name.


We hope these tips help you throw an event as elegant and important as the inaugural balls with only a fraction of the stress. For more information on event planning, check out StoneShot!