Always sell tickets before hand if you have splashed out a lot on entertainment and make sure to price them so that you only need to sell 50%-60% of them to break even. People tend to come out when theyve paid up front. Its easy to say on the night, Ill not bother tonight if you havent had any outlay.
Be careful not to make social events your only source of funding because they almost always exclude some people. Dances exclude people who dont like the noise; casino nights exclude non-gamblers and so on. You should ensure that your fundraising is varied enough to enable your entire community to support you.
If you find an event that is successful for you make sure you repeat it at the same time each year so that people will begin to look forward to it each year. As fundraising events go, social events are good relationship building opportunities.