At a Renaissance Faire, the ticket to get in is secondary. Patrons are coming for what they can buy inside the faire, be it a turkey leg or a broad sword. Renaissance Faires are classic examples of cross-selling success, and you have the same opportunity at your Jazz Dinner. Providing period merchandise enhances your guests’ experience of your 1920s dinner theater. Plus, since it is a fundraising event, audience members are more likely to buy merchandise because they know it’s going to a good cause.
So, what can you sell at your fake speakeasy (besides fake booze)?
Displayed on silver trays or in cigar boxes, candy cigars are an easy table vendor item. Alternatively, you can have a volunteer dressed as a flapper or gangster circle the tables with a tray of cigars. Offering cigars at different price points also gives your guests more options. For instance, bubble gum cigars are $3 each, and the chocolate “Cubans” are $5 each.
Having a sketchy character fencing jewelry makes for an entertaining element. The jewel thief can set up in a shady corner of the speakeasy. Or, he can sell items straight out of his coat. Costume jewelry, dazzling feather headbands, or silk gloves are simple items to sell. And you can get some of these costume pieces in bulk from Amazon or a Halloween sale.
Underground Lottery Tickets
In reality, you’re selling raffle tickets. But illicit lotto tickets sound more impressive. Display the lottery prizes on a table so guests know what they might win. Some prize ideas include:
Wine and cheese basket
A date night package
Free tickets to your next Jazz Dinner
Sponsored gift cards to local restaurants
A loot bag (filled with chocolate cigars, pearl necklaces, chocolate gold coins, or real money)
A VIP pass to eat a special dessert course with the Don
Using simple outdoor kennel fencing, set up a jail cell as one of your Jazz Dinner sets. This is another fundraising opportunity. Guests may be sent to jail after a staged “police raid.” Or other guests can bribe cast members to send family members or friends to jail. To get out of jail, the prisoner (or their friends or family) may purchase a bail bond to stay out of jail the rest of the night.
These are just a few creative items to earn more money for your organization or music department throughout the night. Entertaining ways to spend money fosters loyalty and goodwill among your audience members. And who doesn’t love sending a family member to pretend jail?