How AAE Pivoted and Adapted to Help Shine Initiative Hold a Successful Virtual Event with Sean Astin

Shine Initiative Case Study Download

During October 2020, the Shine Initiative hosted a virtual event with celebrity guest speaker, Sean Astin. The event was hosted on Vimeo and was the organization’s first pivot to virtual events.

Shine Initiative Overview

The Shine Initiative works with and empowers youth on mental health, and combat discrimination and stigmatization of mental health conditions. They work with middle and high school students to create greater awareness, education, and comfort with mental health topics. Their annual nonprofit gala helps promote World Mental Health Day, as well as general mental well-being.
Shine Initiative Logo
“We worked with AAE last year and were so pleased. That experience was important to give us the confidence and trust to work through all the changes and questions that 2020 brought.”
Fred Kaelin, Executive Director, Shine Initiative

Shine Initiative’s Challenge

The initial challenge was to find a speaker who could be thoughtful and candid about mental health advocacy and has name recognition across multiple generations, while also fitting their budget. Then, as with so many fundraising events in 2020, they had to pivot from a live plan to a virtual one without having any prior experience with virtual events. Changing the event to virtual meant revisiting the speaker agreement, reassessing the budget, and finding the right style and platform.

AAE’s Approach

AAE’s team of logistics experts helped our client think through all of their options as they simultaneously considered pivoting to a virtual event or postponing the live event to later in the year.
AAE also helped to find Sean Astin, the perfect speaker for both their cause and their broad demographic. Sean was an ideal choice to appeal to their diverse age range, which consisted of high school students, sponsors, and supporters more than 40 years older. Throughout the entire process, communication was more essential than ever and AAE strived to be a reliable point of contact.
Sarah Miller, AAE
“Sarah Miller was a positive partner in the success of our event from day one. She makes an effort to truly understand our needs and to be responsive, thoughtful, and encouraging.”
Fred Kaelin, Executive Director, Shine Initiative

The Results

Shine Initiative rated their virtual event 5/5 stars for meeting their expectations.
Shine Initiative Rated AAE 5 Stars
Shine Initiative's Target Achieved
Finding the right speaker was an important goal for this event and Shine Initiative shared that Sean Astin hit it out of the park as their guest speaker. Their experience with their first virtual event gave them the confidence and trust to work through all of the changes and questions that 2020 brought.

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