Hannah Song · CEO, Liberty in North Korea | Every year, Liberty in North Korea holds two galas that typically raise $1.5M, funds that go directly to rescuing North Korean refugees. Cue 2020: a year that ravaged nonprofits' ability to fundraise as usual, and LiNK was left with a tough choice—go virtual or go home.
This week's episode of Nonstop Nonprofit is special—listen in as Justin Wheeler, CEO and Co-founder of Funraise, speaks with his close friend and colleague, Hannah Song. Hannah's not just a tenacious leader, she's the CEO of Liberty in North Korea and a dedicated nonprofiteer passionate about changing the world...
...basically, you're gonna love her.
Hannah's here to tell you how LiNK tamed the virtual events beast and raised $1M during their gala: strategically planning every detail of the event, meeting the challenges that online engagement poses, letting go of pre-2020 expectations, and creatively redistributing their event budget.
Going even further, it's not surprising that LiNK found a silver lining to their virtual program. Their 2020 events allowed them to reach a wider audience, rake in the email signups, and relate to supporters on a whole new level. This conversation is one of our favorites; join us in recognizing this high-performing, highly-strategic team's successes despite the setbacks.
And for a deeper understanding of what it took to make this event happen as well as how you can achieve virtual event success, check out this Livestreaming from Beginner to Expert course from Chad Vickers, LiNK's resident filmmaker.
You're gonna be an expert in no time!
- Understand how livestreams work and how to create your own
- Build a simple or advanced livestream using OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
- Go live to one or multiple audiences simultaneously
- Put together a livestream that is engaging, entertaining, and dynamic
Hello, I'm Justin Wheeler, and welcome to this episode of Nonstop Nonprofit!
This week's episode of Nonstop Nonprofit is special—you get to listen in as I speak with a close friend and colleague, not to mention one of the most tenacious leaders I've ever met. Hannah Song is the CEO of Liberty in North Korea and a dedicated nonprofiteer passionate about changing the world......basically, you're gonna love her.
Every year, Liberty in North Korea holds two galas that typically raise $1.5M, funds that go directly to rescuing North Korean refugees. Cue 2020: a year that ravaged nonprofits' ability to fundraise as usual, and LiNK was left with a tough choice—go virtual or go home. And when Hannah and LiNK do something, they don't do it halfway.
Hannah's here to tell you how LiNK tamed the virtual events beast and raised $1M during their gala: strategically planning every detail of the event, meeting the challenges that online engagement poses, letting go of pre-2020 expectations, and creatively redistributing their event budget.
Going even further, it's not surprising that LiNK found a silver lining to their virtual program. Their 2020 events allowed them to reach a wider audience, rake in the email signups, and relate to supporters on a whole new level. So listen in; this conversation is one of my favorites, and I think you'll join me in recognizing this high-performing, highly-strategic team's successes despite the setbacks.
Justin Wheeler Hello, hello, welcome back to the Nonstop Nonprofit live podcast. For those of you tuning in, thank you so much. Very excited for today's guest. We're going to be talking about virtual events. And if you all remember when the pandemic hit back in March, I think the number one question most nonprofits had on their mind was, what are we going to do about our events? And quickly, nonprofits all around the country had to adapt and had to lean more into virtual experiences. And so today's guest is not only an amazing leader in the nonprofit space dedicated to amazing work on behalf of the North Korean people. The organization is called Liberty in North Korea. She's a good friend and they are riding the coattails of two very successful virtual galas after raising over a million dollars between the two. And so please help me welcome Hannah Song to the show. Hannah, how are you doing?
Hannah Song Hello. Thank you so much for having me.
Justin Wheeler Absolutely. Thank you for joining. I'm excited to dig in and talk about the events. But before we do that, love, if you could just share a little bit about yourself and Liberty in North Korea.
Hannah Song Yeah, absolutely. So like you said, my name is Hannah Song. I'm the CEO of Liberty in North Korea and we are an international NGO. We're a nonprofit based here in the US. But our work is really international and we focus on the North Korean people. So oftentimes when we hear the word North Korea, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Kim Jong-un or nuclear weapons. But a big part of what we're working to do is trying to change the narrative around that. And of course, because we are working with the North Korean people in trying to accelerate change in this country on this issue that so often is just seen as being impossible and unchanging. So one of the things that we do is we work directly with the North Korean people. We're on the ground helping North Korean refugees actually escape through a three thousand mile sort of modern-day underground railroad. And so this is a very dangerous and difficult journey but we essentially help them to get from China to Southeast Asia safely and then work with helping them in their resettlement in free countries like the United States or in South Korea. And our goal is really just to work with the North Korean people to accelerate change because we believe that the North Korean people will achieve their liberty. And I firmly believe it's going to be in my lifetime. And so I know that we miss having you work with us toward that mission but it's an honor to be here today and to be able to talk about the work that we're doing, too.
Justin Wheeler Don't worry. You'll never get rid of me. I'll always be around. But no, yeah, we as Hannah mentioned, so her and I work together for over five years, and that's why I'm so excited to have her on today to share about her experiences. So Hannah when the pandemic hit, obviously LiNK does both East Coast and West Coast Gallas every year, what was the initial sort of thought or strategy that you and the team were talking about as you were thinking about the rest of the year and how events would playout for the organization?
Hannah Song Yeah, our Gallas are a pretty big part of our fundraising strategy as they are as it is for most nonprofits. In a typical year, we would usually raise about a million and a half between the two events. We just started our East Coast event in New York just a few years ago, but we typically do it annually in L.A. also. So there was a lot going through our minds. We were in the beginning of the pandemic hopeful that maybe we would be able to do in person. But the tough thing with galas in person is you need to commit to those contracts like months in advance. And so we just didn't feel comfortable making that sort of a commitment. And so we were wondering, do we go online? Should we go virtual? There were at that time so many organizations starting to do that. And we started to test out virtual events as well. Throughout the start of the pandemic, we started to do some of our own online events, just trying to gauge the level of interest from our support base and even especially people that maybe we'd never reached before because most of our events were in-person. And so we really went back and forth for a very long time. And to be very honest, we didn't actually decide to the virtual gala event until probably maybe four, four months or so before the actual event happened. So it really came down to the wire and we were wondering whether to just forgo it altogether and to really just kind of consider it a loss for the year because we didn't know if we had the confidence to pull off an event. One of the things that we really believe in at Liberty North Korea is if we're going to do an event, our donors know that we focus a lot on the experience. The donor experience is also important to us, and especially for our major donors who are typically the ones that will come to our galas and we like to pull off the best events that we can, we want people to truly understand and to be immersed in the issue and the storytelling and be able to meet face to face with our North Korean friends and the impact that they're they're a part of making. And so we just didn't feel like we could communicate that and do that as effectively online, and mostly because we'd never done it. And so I think that's where a lot of the kind of uncertainty came from and why we waited down to the wire to make that decision to actually go in this direction.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, and just to underscore that point, I think this is important for so many nonprofits is just LiNKs commitment to quality. I remember I think one of the favorite, my favorite sort of Galla setups that we did was it was back in New York, I forget the year, but is when we created that and the pieces in the office today. But when we created that wall of all of the North Koreans that had been rescued through LiNK, you would walk by it and you would just be able to visualize and sense the impact the organization was having. This is the type of quality LiNK has committed to from the beginning. And so a lot of nonprofits, when we're talking to organizations and they're trying to make that same decision for Q4, but also for 2021, I think a lot of times the assumption can be that virtual events are so easy to pull off because you don't have all of the normal logistics of an in-person event. And so I was wondering if you could speak to that. Was it easier? Was it harder? What was your experience in pulling off the events?
Hannah Song I will say there were definitely some things that were maybe easier, but some things that were also really difficult and overall just very different. There were so many things that were very different in the sense that even down to the small thing leading up to the event, there's just this energy and this excitement. We're usually in the office packing up or preparing the displays and doing those kinds of things. Were together preparing and doing final details on design and making the placards we use for the auctions. And so it was different to not have to do a lot of those things, but it was incredibly challenging for our team. I'm very grateful that we have an absolutely amazing and scrappy team because, you know, we essentially came together and made this decision to do it. And a lot of that was predicated on the fact that, hey, everybody would go off and kind of in their respective areas, figure out if this was going to be possible and to be able to do it at the standard that we wanted to. So our media manager and also our main filmmaker, he was the one that had to do pretty much all of the production and he had to figure out what platform are we going to use, what type of technology do we want to use? How are we going to actually execute this? I mean, we did it out of our office in Long Beach, California. And so there was a lot of new stuff that we had to figure out how to translate into online and then decide how were we going to make the event as engaging as we usually would. So the night of, and you were there Justin, it was so strange because usually when you're in front of an audience of people, you get an immediate reaction. You see people responding to the stories. Are they responding to the ask? Are they even there watching, paying attention? And so are events in person. You get that energy, you feel that you feed off that momentum, and you can sense when people are really connecting. And that night of you're just staring into a camera with no idea what's going on.
Justin Wheeler And so it's almost more intimidating, right. When you're looking into the camera and not into the audience, you have no idea if people are listening, watching. I mean, you're just all you can see is the camera. It's almost more intimidating to stand in front of a couple other people. But I think that's the investment in the quality front from the beginning there. Right. So it was I mean, for those of you that didn't see, which is probably most of you watching this, there was a huge green screen set up. They had an animator work on graphics so that as different speakers were talking, different transitions were happening. There was these really cool graphics happening. And when Hannah was doing the parts of her speech, you know, there were pictures of Seoul, South Korea, and talking about our work, the run of show was so well organized and it would have been just as powerful... in person you could have run the same show. But you guys did a really great job just turning into a digital experience and really bringing in the audience. But the differences in a virtual event, right where it's just this, I think, the biggest being the night of obviously where you're not in front of people, you're just in front of a camera. How do you think that actually impacts the results or the experience for the people on the other end? Do you did you notice any sort of difference on that regard?
Hannah Song Yeah, absolutely. When you're in person and when you're in a room full of people that are equally as engaged, one of the things I always appreciate about our galas, we're very intentional. We actually don't sell tickets to our galas. It's by invitation only. And I think because of that, we're really able to bring an audience of supporters and people that we know care deeply about this issue. So it's not a type of an event where people are talking during the program. And so I think when people are really laser-focused and there's a speaker there live, and it's just an incredible opportunity to be there in person, and then when there's that energy during the giving part, you really feed off that and you feed off of each other and that energy in the room, you don't really have that online. I think there's a different type of an energy. And I think that through this event, one of the things that we learned and we saw was this platform, this type of an event, I don't think translates well, at least for us or for our specific audience for kind of the gala audience, if that makes so in the future, I probably wouldn't do a virtual gala again. I'd definitely go back to an in-person gala specifically for this part of our kind of our donor base. Where I do think that this type of an event works really well is actually for our much more engaged base of supporters like our grassroots supporters or our supporters who are actually international and all over the world globally, where they're not able to usually fly out and join us at our events when we have them. And I also mentioned that it was really exciting for our grassroots audience because they probably wouldn't otherwise really be able to participate in a gala type event or to sort of hear the stories from our North Korean friends directly in this way, but also because they're so committed to the work, to the issue. A lot of our chapters that tuned in, it was really cool to see that when you're working on a platform like this, we did everything through YouTube and we got all the analytics on the back end. It's pretty rare that you're going to have somebody that sits there and watches your whole program. I think our program clocked in a little over an hour. And as optimistic as we are that people would sit down and be super engaged and would follow through the whole show, I mean, the program was created in that way so that people watch it start to finish and really get this holistic and comprehensive program. It wasn't like that at all. And platforms like YouTube and events like this, unfortunately, you will have a very small segment of your audience that will actually sit through and watch that. Maybe they'll watch it afterwards when it's recorded and all of that. But unless they were at a viewing party, which we also hosted in conjunction, it was rare that people were going to be really focused and paying attention throughout the whole thing.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, and just to kind of piggyback on some of the tax, we have some questions coming in about like, you know, what sort of technology? And LiNK use a combination of different things. So I'm just going to pull up here on screen. There's two Hannah's here all of a sudden. But this was their campaign site. So obviously Funraise customers, this is a YouTube embed on a Funraise site where individuals could click to donate. And as you scroll down, you can see a live progress bar where individuals can make a contribution and then the organization, so the media team essentially ran the program through a software called OBS, which is like a streaming software to help manage live events. It was originally used for gaming, and it's kind of progressed into all sorts of different industries now. But it is what was used to be able to actually run the program itself. And then individuals can make donations online, through this campaign, make pledges through online forms. It was comprehensive in regards to what was used. There was not a single one, kind of one piece of technology that was that could be used to run a virtual event. I don't think that exists today. It was definitely a combination of many different things. And so how was that for the team, would you say? How how how challenging was it for the organization to have all these moving parts, prerecorded videos, live Zoom interviews during the actual stream itself, actual individuals in the studio presenting? So talk to us a little bit about the coordination effort it took to bring all that together into a very smooth one hour program.
Hannah Song I mean, it was incredibly stressful. So our filmmaker, Chad, he's like a digital ninja, you could say. The way he pulled all of this together, it was absolutely incredible. And he had never done anything like this before. So this had taken a lot of preparation leading up to it. He had done the research himself, had tried to figure it out, had reached out to get help where he needed to. And like you said, on the fundraising side and on the actual like the side where we embedded the YouTube video on our Funraise page and we actually also connected our Facebook fundraiser, the Funraise fundraising pages, which was really great, too, because a lot of our especially like our board members, when they were creating their kind of virtual tables, that was like their fundraising teams or their personal fundraising pages. And a lot of them preferred to do the fundraising through like Facebook. And so that was really helpful for them too. But again, kind of going back to pulling all of these different elements together, Chad was really a brilliant person in terms of figuring out how to pull all of these elements together. And again, I think it was tough because we had never experienced... done something like this before. And so we're pulling in a bunch of different things that we're using from different softwares, especially free software. We tried to where we could to keep costs down utilizing free software and not only that, but Chad was the one editing and cutting together some of the last-minute videos we ended up having to make and then going into the preproduction and then having to actually run the production of the show during the event. And so we were really fortunate that we had one person that we had hired to help with that, but I think one of his biggest regrets was actually not having more help as well, doing like audio and sound and things like that. And so it did require a full team for sure to run all of this. And there were definitely moments where during the dress rehearsal the day before, we suddenly ran into this moment where we were like, oh, my gosh, we were supposed to do this live call, we were supposed to live calls, and we realized that for some reason the audio wasn't pulling from one of them. We couldn't be logged into the same Zoom. The setup was going to take too long to log out of one and into the next call between like the time frames. And so there was this panicked moment where we thought everything was going to come crashing down and everyone just kind of took a breath and step back and we kind of jimmy-rigged the whole thing where for the live call in, we had him pulling it through, kind of like his main station and then we had to call the speaker through Google Hangouts on my cell phone and then pull audio through my laptop and it was just crazy! And then we ended up just deciding to kind of nix the other call and prerecord a piece for that. And so it was everything felt like it was being held together very delicately.
Justin Wheeler And it was I think the kind of key takeaway here is rehearsal. I mean, this was part of this was discovered in rehearsing the night before. And both events, there were rehearsals, dress rehearsals, things like that. So this is where you really problem solve and are able to work out the kinks before going live in front of your audience. And so I think this is another sort of emphasis on the level of effort that it takes the part on a high-quality virtual event. It's don't just show up the day of and turn your camera on and record. Like you're going to run into problems. And I've been telling people for in-person events that you have like gala coordinators. For like the day of someone that's running it from start to finish, making sure speakers are cued up and so forth. And to a degree, you still need that person for the for the programing side. But I think the biggest additional need here is the tech-savvyness of your team. You need people who understand technology and who can really bring all the elements together in a very professional way.
Hannah Song I mean, think about how when you do an actual gala, you probably pay thousands and thousands of dollars for an AV team that comes in and does all of that for you. So that's an area we have to invest in. And again, also having a day of person and having all of that prep the same we would in a live event in person, we had a run of show, it was super detailed, down to the minute what's going on, and had an awesome just day of person running point, Chelsea, and just doing a lot of the things that she would do if we were live, like getting everyone hyped and excited and making sure everybody was where they needed to be. And so those are just definitely some of the very key and important roles, I think, in making the event successful.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, totally. How does nonprofit transition non-tech-savvy gala attendees from an in-person to a virtual gala? And you kind of hit on this earlier where you said a lot of the major donors, this wasn't maybe the right channel for them. And so there's maybe less participation on the major donor side. But what was your guys' experience with your audience and how did you, did you have to have to overcome any obstacles to get people to actually log in and watch the show?
Hannah Song Yeah, I think there's definitely obstacles for sure. It's certainly a transition. It's very different from getting dressed up and going live in person and just showing up and just having to be present. It requires a commitment. It requires a commitment to log to your computer, to open up that link, to sit down and watch it and to pay attention to it. And then not only that, it requires at some point in that night to actually click through, donate and to do those kinds of things. And so I think one of the great things was obviously the way that things were set up that people didn't have to navigate away from the page, which was one of the reasons why we decided to build it in the Funraise page so that the donation, the pop would just come up and people didn't have to leave because we didn't want them to miss the program. But it was for sure there were some people where, again, this works better because they actually got to sit down with their families and watch it, whereas they typically would not bring their family to a gala. And for others, I do think it was a little bit different. It was harder to captivate and engage people. I think people some people dropped by and tuned in for parts of it or said that they would come back and watch it later on. And so my director of development did a really excellent job, as he would every year in a regular kind of gala season, following up, making sure people are going to show up, encouraging them, trying to do everything that he could to make it as seamless of an experience to help them to, one, set up their own fundraising page to two be able to invite their all their friends and networks. And by even doing fun things like having a quote on quote virtual table. Hey, do you want to invite people to sit at your virtual table with you? Some of our friends on social media, different sort of influencers and folks like that that really support what we do, it was the same thing, it was really cool that they were like, hey, come sit with me at my virtual table and invited their audience and followers to come and kind of participate or to donate to their personal fundraising pages to I think there was a bit of a definitely it was a bit of a transition to try to get the usual crowd to fully engage in this. But again, I think the trade-off was that we were able to engage a lot more of an audience that typically wouldn't have been able to come to our in-person galas. I think that was really awesome. Because I think even beyond just the dollars raised for this event, another positive outcome from this was, again, reaching people that we usually aren't able to reach. We actually reached a lot of new people. We had over a thousand new email sign ups. I mean, we actually had probably gosh, I'm trying to remember here off the top of my head, a few thousand steps to the event. And then when we look back at the views, there were definitely a few thousand views. But again, it came at different parts of the evening or it came in terms of like afterward, people can watch the video. So that was also a really positive thing, was the opportunity for acquisition to acquire new donors, to acquire new supporters. And we had been doing a lot on our YouTube page to really optimize our YouTube channel. And that was really positive because the algorithm picked up our YouTube live event and that actually brought in a bunch of new viewers as well.
Justin Wheeler Of cool. So did it get featured on YouTube?
Hannah Song It didn't get featured. Happening was it ended up getting recommended, though. I think it was really random. Some of the videos that got recommended off of. And so nonetheless, it was really great because, again, that was where my social media person, she was really dead set on being strategic around how we were reaching out and using social media to try to capture as much reach and eyeballs on the event as possible and to try to just invite as many people as possible to come in and participate.
Justin Wheeler Yeah. Do you know, off the top of your head like how many people from around, like how many different countries throughout the evening and have watched after the fact? Like what was sort of the international reach of the event?
Hannah Song Oh man. I don't know exactly how many countries, but I do remember it was pretty incredible. I mean, we had people from Singapore, Brazil, Australia, Nepal, India, South Korea, Canada, US obviously, it was all over the world. And I think even after the fact. And so, again, those analytics are key. It was really great to be able to go back and to look at analytics and to see kind of where people were coming from, how long were they watching, what was their level of engagement. All of that.
Justin Wheeler Totally. Makes sense. So let's talk about the goal. So going into the event, both galas, what was sort of the financial goal and what was actually achieved when it was all said and done?
Hannah Song Going into the event, we actually had sort of an internal goal of what we wanted to raise. And so our internal goal was about eight hundred thousand. And we were kind of looking at that. We were saying, hey, you know what, let's really just go for it and let's try to hit a million. And so that was really ambitious for us again, because we had never done a virtual event. And so I think that we said, you know what, let's really try our best. And so a big part of what we tried to do that helped make the event successful, by no means did we raise all of that the night of. Again, our director of development, he was really busy behind the scenes. We still reached out and got sponsors like we usually would. He was definitely talking to our our some of our biggest donors and supporters to make sure that he could talk about getting pledge commitments up front and things like that. The same things he would usually do when we would have an in-person gala. And then the other additional element was we were really grateful. Our board really stepped up in a huge way, you know, yourself included but our board members really were just so committed to helping us in every way possible to make this event successful. So not only did some of them host in-person events and I had a chance to go to one where we all did covid tests at the front door before we walked in, and it was a small group of us but doing these live events to hosting their own personal virtual tables and fundraising pages to some of them committing pretty large gifts that were matches, saying if people were giving, they wanted us to use those dollars to be able to match what our chapters were fundraising or what people were giving the night of or what people were raising on their personal fundraising pages. So I have to say that I think that we were able to raise what we did, which dollars are still slowly kind of trickling in. But it was a little bit over a million, a little over a million dollars. And I think that was because we had various fundraising strategies that we had to put in place and we did not rely on just the night of fundraising. Not at all. We had to have a bunch of different things in place to help us to ensure we were going to to reach that goal.
Justin Wheeler That makes sense. And so across the West Coast, events which raised over five hundred thousand and had over six hundred donors to the campaign and then the East Coast was around that as well. So, something that I thought was really clever that Brian and the gala team did at LiNK was to create a sense of competition between the West Coast and East Coast. And so the board was on a WhatsApp channel where Brian was giving weekly updates on the West and East Coast sort of progress. And so that was... I think that helped bring the whole board together and engage in the event and take it seriously. So a million bucks! That's not bad at all, especially during a time of what we're living in today with the pandemic and lots of, lots of questions around are we going to hit fundraising goals this year and so forth. So it sounds like all things considering, this was a success for you. And it sounds like what you had mentioned at the beginning is, this isn't, the virtual gala isn't something we want to replace our normal galas with but eventually thinking as we think about a life where in-person events can happen again, the idea of virtual events could be something used for more engagement with donors, especially donors that can't attend the events. So more as like an engagement outreach versus a fundraiser. Is that how you guys are thinking about it moving forward?
Hannah Song Yeah, I think so. I think the biggest thing for us is kind of as we're evaluating whether we would do another virtual kind of gala or a large event like this, the biggest thing for me is that I think it really comes down to who is the audience that we're trying to target? And I think that that's definitely what my biggest, I guess, suggestion would be for anyone that's thinking about whether or not to move forward with this. Again, I think making sure that you have the right team that can actually execute, that's the most important thing. Right. You have to decide if you're going to do this in-house or out of house. And so if you're doing it in-house, obviously, you save a lot of money. You still have to invest in different resources and tools. But of course, doing it in-house, you have to make sure you have the right team, the people that can execute and there are so many different roles to be played. And then the other important thing is really who is the audience you're trying to target? Because if your audience are major gift donors, is this a place that they'll naturally be? Do you know whether or not they're going to be willing to sit down and watch an our program, or are they excited about something like that? And I think every audience is different. Our experience may be different from the next nonprofits. So what my suggestion would be is actually tap into your board and tap into maybe a few major donors that you're close to or people whatever group that you're interested in kind of targeting for this in this type of an event. And just ask them tell them this is what we're thinking. This is the kind of event we want to pull off. Here's the content we're thinking and how like what the format would be and then see what they think. And if they're not excited, then that might be a decent barometer for whether or not this is the right platform, the right type of an event for you to do.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, that's great. My my last question was going to be what advice would you give to nonprofits? But you just jump straight ahead and provided excellent advice. The last question I want to ask is just your favorite moment. I definitely have my favorite moment, which I'm definitely going to share. But before I do that, and you better not take my moment, what was your favorite moment when looking back on the the virtual galas.
Hannah Song Is your favorite moment gonna be...
Justin Wheeler Don't take it!
Hannah Song Ok, alright. That's not my favorite moment, but I think that was a very, yeah, a moment that showed that we were live. My favorite moment, honestly, I think it was really just after the fact. There is just this sense, it was like, the event ended and I think it felt very strange because usually after a gala we're like, yay, we hit this goal. We're excited. We're like hanging out. But there was also this sense afterward when I kind of looked around at this very small but mighty team that we had. And I was just so proud. I was like, yeah, we had some mess ups and everything wasn't perfect. Of course not. But I was just so, so incredibly proud of the team. I was so proud of our team out in South Korea as well. They had poured so much into helping us to with with content and stories and even helping our speakers out there to get set up for the live call. And I was just really grateful to our movement. I think for me, especially in the kind of year we've had in 2020, none of us knew what to expect and for me, I was just filled with just so much gratitude for our team, for our supporters, for our North Korean friends who are part of this. I felt like it was something really special, didn't they? I don't know if we would be able to pull it off again in the same way, but I think that was it was just kind of like the calm after the storm, I guess, or just kind of after everything ended and just sort of reflecting on all of it.
Justin Wheeler Now, you're gonna make me look like, you know, I've got to share something more a little bit more funny, such a such a serious amount, which is good. Maybe I'll have to share two now. I guess I'll use this as an advice to is don't forget that you're your live and you're on camera. I forget what the moment was where you thought you weren't on camera, but you did like a karate kick and like I think your headphones fell out or something happened. What was it that made you do the karate kick? Do you remember?
Hannah Song Of course I remember! You know it was so funny because we did our East Coast event the week before and our West Coast event, a week after. Our East Coast event, I think it was like technically flawless. It was at the end of that event, we were like, oh my gosh, we're like, it's crazy that. We got through everything, and so we were like feeling really good going into the West Coast, we made a lot of tweaks to the program, but then coming into the West Coast, we ran into a few technical issues. And one of the problems was during one part, there was some feedback coming in. And again, this is why I know that Chad really regretted not getting a separate sound person to focus on this because like a thousand things going on. So when we cut to a video, it was chaos. It was like everyone was like, turn off your phones, airplane mode! Where is the feedback coming from? And we had probably like thirty, forty five seconds for the video running and everyone's like running to their phones, turning it off. And then we came back and then we were live. And then I don't think, I knew we were back live and then on the one of our teleprompters it was like totally off and so and then we're back. And so it was a karate kick, which was actually a very gentle nudge with my toe.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, that's right.
Hannah Song Yeah.
Justin Wheeler You're kicking the teleprompter, the person running the teleprompter to wake up.
Hannah Song I didn't kick him. It was just, I was trying to do it very subtly because I realized if I reached over with my hand, it would be very unusual because I knew we were live. So yeah, not my finest moment.
Justin Wheeler Like it was awesome though. But Hannah seriously, thank you for for joining us today and sharing your experience. I know it was a huge team effort on top of the great success, raising a million bucks, doing something I've never done before. It was coming right off of maternity leave. Hannah is a is a new mom with the cutest boy in the world. I don't know if you'll ever see pictures, but that's that. But amazing job working, pulling this off under the conditions of being a new mom and being in a pandemic and just having to adapt quickly. For organizations listening and are looking for help, feel free to leave comments. Feel free to reach out. You could find us funraise.org. We can help with your virtual events. If you need help as you think about your strategy for 2021. But again, Hannah, thank you so much. And until next time, which hopefully is wine at your house tonight, right?
Hannah Song Yep. I'll see you there.
Justin Wheeler All right. See you there. Thanks Hannah.
Hannah Song Bye.
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