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All About World Culture Night

One of the most beautiful things about culture is how easy it is to spread. It can be more fun than sitting through a history lesson, too! If you’ve ever been to the World Showcase at Epcot, you know how fun it can be to experience someone else’s culture! A world culture night is an amazing way to educate others about new ways of life and make money for a good cause. 

What is a World Culture Night?

A world culture night is essentially a showcase of food, music, and customs from around the world. There are several different ways you can structure your event. Here are some recommendations:

  • Have your participants register for a booth ahead of time that they have to decorate and advertise. Then, for more in-depth presentations or demonstrations, have participants book times on the official culture night sign-up. Once everyone has signed up, publish the official schedule of the event so that attendees can attend whichever featured events as they please.
  • Have one main stage where participants present to the audience. Every participant has a certain amount of time to show their chosen cultural element, which they register for ahead of time. Someone will moderate the event as an emcee, providing structure for the proceedings. 

There are more structures than this, but these are two of the most common. The important thing is that you use whichever format best suits your attendees and your fundraising goals.  

What You Need to Know for Your Event

Before you decide on hosting a world culture night, here are some questions you should consider with your team:

  • What supplies do we need? After you determine how many participants are attending, you should determine how many tables and chairs you need to secure. This will also depend on the event format you choose. Also, be sure to find out the dimensions of the table so that you can prescribe dimensions for your participants’ displays.
  • Where would we host the event? Often, a large space is needed for an exposition like this, such as a gymnasium, community center room, or a tented area outdoors. Ideally, your space will be accessible to set up tables and chairs in and has a stage of some sort. If you can’t find a space with a stage, you can rent one from an event supplies company. 
  • How do I monetize the event? There are many ways to monetize your world culture night. One is simple: sell tickets at the door for entry. As long as you don’t make the ticket price inaccessibly expensive, you can set the price based on what your participants are offering and what kind of crowd you’re marketing to. If your participants are bringing cultural food, sell meal tickets to the attendees to make more money.

Another way you can market your event is to make the world culture night like a farmer’s market. Reach out to cultural organizations around you and restaurants with worldly cuisines to see if they would like to participate. They can reserve a booth at your event, sell items to the attendants, and pay back part of their revenue to you for the fundraiser. For example, if a restaurant would like to sell their food at your world culture night, they could pay you 50% of their profit for the evening. This method doesn’t work as well as a school fundraiser, but it would work as a community-wide event.

  • Who should I allow to take part in the event? A general rule of thumb is to offer sign-up on a first-come, first-serve basis. If it’s a school event, you can incentivize your students to enter by offering extra credit. If it’s a community-wide event, you should screen participants to make sure that everyone’s entering to spread their culture in a courteous way, while also being respectful of the other cultures on display. If anyone’s displaying hateful or prejudicial behavior, they should be told to leave immediately. The point of this fundraiser is to promote acceptance and understanding of other practices from around the world. In a similar vein, make sure to allow as many cultural representatives as possible to take part in the event so that you have a well-rounded display.
  • How do I manage the event? That’s easy! Just take into account all of the previous tips, and make your expectations clear to your registrants. On the sign-up form, make note of everything your cultural representatives want to bring. You can even make a survey for all interested parties so that you can tailor your event accordingly. 

However you want to structure your event, it’s sure to be a beautiful show of diverse perspectives, practices, and performances. Embrace difference and promote awareness, all while meeting your fundraising goals with this memorable event!