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									                                                                                     November 07

            Organising An Event

When you first try to organise an event you must take into consideration the following:
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.
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.
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
                                                   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
                                                    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
                                                    claim against the organisers for damages, as
   Stage 4 – Start advertising with flyers and
                                                    the insurance would invalidate any claim.
   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
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
                                                    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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