What is the time that you are starting your benefit event? What time are you stating that it will end? Is it a weekday event or a weekend event? Are you still at the same starting and ending times as usual? I have seen a change with my clients event times and some other entertainment changes. The most noticeable is the starting time. I have seen a number of clients now starting their Friday and Saturday events at 5:30pm. They used to start at 6pm. What amazes me is that people are starting to walk into the event even earlier at like 5pm while the client is trying to complete preparations. Registration is just trying to be ready and guests are walking in early looking to register. In addition, more and more clients are ending their events by 10pm. I still have a few ending at 11pm but most of them now end at 10pm and sometimes its 9:30pm. I have seen a diminishing interest in bands that play after the program and the auctions have ended. Clients are watching their guests walk out at the end of the program and not many are staying to dance and enjoy the music in the after party. Again, this is not across the board. I have a number of clients whose crowd stays for the fun after the event, but it is becoming noticeable that crowds are leaving after the program ends and there are only 4 couples on the dance floor for a few dances. What are you starting to see at your events? In a poll conducted years ago by the National Auctioneers Association at benefit auctions, the number one thing that guests wanted was that the event ended at the time it was stated that it would end. The number two thing was a smooth check-out. Your event should be succinct and entertaining and end at the time you said it would end. Pay attention to what your attending guests want. They may want to start a little earlier. They also may want to leave a bit earlier. Use your funds wisely for your event and be a specular fundraising event within your timeframe.