November 07 Organising An Event When you first try to organise an event you must take into consideration the following: Committee It is normally usual for one person to be the instigator of the idea of organising an event. It is essential that a proper committee is elected, ideally a minimum of 10 people plus a chairperson. With this amount of people involved the workload is spread about. Ideally it is best to work in pairs on whatever tasks are designated. This is very helpful at committee meetings, should one person be not available to report back. Constitution As with any organisation it is right and proper that there should be a constitution, outlining the type of the event, and the purpose for such an event, and who the beneficiaries may be. Type of event There are a number of types of events you can organise ranging from car boot sales, fetes, shows or sports events. The one that take the least organising is obviously the car boot sale. All you have to do is to set up a lay out and charge for each car as they set up. The other three events are covered further in this paper. Venue It is very important to have a good venue for any event. Should you just be concentrating on your local area, a spot as central as possible is ideal. Most areas have a local park, which can be hired from Reading Borough Council Parks Department. Price on application. How to finance the event There are several ways to finance the event. Apply for a grant Try to get a company to sponsor it Raise money by getting local businesses to advertise in a program Hold local raffles or draws The first option of applying for a grant is not very often successful, although it is possible to get help in filling any necessary forms correctly in an effort to be successful. With so many different groups trying to get sponsorship from companies is a very hard challenge, but is possible if the person designated with this task can be convincing. The most successful way of raising money in Volunteers the experience of the writer has been in getting local businesses to advertise in a At the event itself you will require further programme. Explain to them it is not only a volunteers, other than committee members, way of promoting their business, but also to man things like the gate, sell draw or sponsoring the local community for the raffle tickets and to act as stewards should event. If you set your prices at a level that you be putting on events such as children’s are affordable to them, whilst you have the races. cost of printing there is a good profit to be made. Site Facilities Holding local raffles and draws, with getting If you are hoping to charge an admission fee, local shops to donate prizes is another way to you must ensure that all entrances are raise money but can be very time consuming. manned to ensure that everyone pays to enter the site. If it is a Reading Borough Programming Council Parks Department ground, whilst officially you cannot refuse entry to anyone, Most events take a long time to organise so it you will find that people will pay to take part is essential that you formulate a programme in the event. of priorities. Listed below is a suggested list. Stage 1 – Apply for grant and look for First Aid sponsors There is no legal obligation to have first aid Stage 2 – Start doing raffles or draws in attendance but it is advisable in the event Stage 3 – Start getting advertisers for of an accident, as again there could be a programme claim against the organisers for damages, as Stage 4 – Start advertising with flyers and the insurance would invalidate any claim. posters Stage 5 – If running an event that will Toilet Facilities include stalls, advertise in local media This is another must, although most public Stage 6 – As the date nears, advertise in grounds have them on site. Please do not local media forget about Disabled Toilet Facilities. If Publicity there are none available on site they can be hired. Publicity plays a very big part in whether the event is a successor or not. The local papers and radio stations are always willing to The TRACA Experience announce events in their community news sections free of charge. Posters and flyers For a number of years TRACA (Tilehurst are also another way of letting the local Resident And Community Association) worked community know. with other groups in running the Tilehurst Insurance Show (previously known as the Tilehurst Village Fete/Show). One of the most important items you must In 2004 for a number of reasons, TRACA consider when organising any event is that of organised the Show on its own. This show Public Liability Insurance. This is required by was held on 12th June, but work started on it law, because in the event of an accident, any in September 2003. claim would be covered by the insurance. If Initially we booked the Victoria Recreation there were no insurance cover, claims would Ground in Tilehurst from Reading Borough be made against the person/s running the Council Parks Department. We then started event. to tout for sponsors. We had no success in getting financial sponsorship but we did get a We also booked at this time the tentage that £2,200 advertising sponsorship from Reading we required, the PA system, The Bird in Hand Evening Post, Brandon Equipment hire and to run the Beer Tent (he gives us a V.M. Day & Co sponsored the arena fencing percentage of his takings). and two generators, whilst Adrian Truck Hire One big thing I learned this year, is that sponsored a large van (we only had to pay the publicans can be very useful people to know. insurance cover). I found this out at too late a date to do Another thing I did was to visit other shows; anything about it this year, but next year the most useful one was the Newbury Show. I because of his contacts we hope to make the was able to make contact with a number of show bigger and better than ever. arena events such as Dog Agility Club, a March is the time when we start to Falcon & Kestrel Display, the Meridian Mouse programme our arena events and put the (a coach with a number of computers on show programme together ready for the board which people could try their luck on). printers. `Another was the Butlins Road Show. Public Liability Insurance is due for renewal Unfortunately the last two told me that in March, so this is done covering us for £5 2004’s program was dependent on whether million, but as we expect well over 500 they got lottery funding, which unfortunately people in attendance on the day we are did not materialise. required to take out a top up insurance for Further visits to other events yielded contacts this one day, to cover us for £10 million. for stall bookings for 2004. TRACA has the normal PLI for the year, which November and December we used to gather costs us £300, but the show funds pay the our thoughts and build up a picture of top-up insurance of £270. financial requirements. April - programme and poster requirements as January 2004 – now is the time to start well as flyers given to the printers. sending out invitations for stall bookings May – site facilities are checked and just (most of which have been regulars for some generally checking that everything is as it time, plus a few new ones) and also to start should be, that is confirming that sponsors pounding the streets for advertisers for the have timings when their things are required programme. Over the past three years I have and when to collect them. built a good relationship with most of our June 12th – the big day, weather is good, most advertisers, and they have no hesitation in things have gone to plan, open the gates and supporting us. This is also the time to let the people in. confirm with the contacts we made for the arena events (most of this part is done by End result – a very successful day. telephone). When confirmed on the phone The one thing that I have learned during the contracts are then posted and signed by both 5 years I have been involved in helping to run parties. the show is that no two years are the same. By the end of February we were able to say Yes, the stalls are basically the same, that we had a total of £1,100 coming in from although new ones come on board with each advertisers and about £600 coming in from succeeding year. New faces mean new stalls. Printing cost of the program has been contacts. Talking to new people gives new estimated at £700 so you can see that we are ideas. This has helped us tremendously, and well on our way with about £1,000, in hand at will make next year’s bigger and better. the moment. That will soon be swallowed up when paying for the arena events. We decided that this year we would also purchase a barbeque, which we would run ourselves, and also a couple of large gazebos.
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