Creating an Event Vision
Defining an Event:
The first step in creating an event is to define it. All members of the event management
team must have a clear understanding of the vision, purpose, and objectives of the event. Most
events are defined by the broad criteria outlined below:
Who are your participants going to be?
Soap Box Derby:
o High school students
o Middle school students
o Specific categories brainstormed:
High school competition
Middle school competition
Local sports teams/organizations
o Could have competitors make the cars themselves or drive cars that
are provided by the event staff (ordered off the internet and put
together - $70 + kits can be ordered)
o Wild Wing, Tom and Jerry’s, CW Coops, St. Louis, etc.
o At least 3 wing joints – aim for 5, York region establishments
o Potential categories for both professionals (restaurants) and amateurs
o Major concern – the preparation of the wings?!
What are their demographics/psychographics?
See above for demographics…
Soap Box Derby:
Prizes for the winner, providing cars, enter the race to win/try
something new, some sort of risk taker/thrill seeker, trophy with
engraved name ex. Fastest Parent/Best School Girls: girls category,
How are they going to be recruited to participate in the event?
Soap Box Derby:
o go around to schools and pitch our idea, advertising alone may not be
sufficient, assembly at schools, elementary schools, Middle School,
o Woodshop classes/Science classes, classes could team up ex. Science
works on aerodynamics and tech/woodshop works on something else,
keep it to close schools,
o What time of day(?), possible beer tent for parents (need to look into
Is the event recreational, competitive, amateur, professional, etc.?
o Recreational event with an element of prizes, all in good fun.
Does the event have local, regional, national, or international impact?
o Primarily local with possibility to expand into York Region
Where will your participants be from?
o St. Andrew’s, students, faculty, alumni (race from the class of ’60),
Aurora/Newmarket, mainly high schools
Where will your spectators be from?
o If coming from outside they should be associated with a particular
group, hesitant to allow anyone from Newmarket/Aurora, battle of
breaking even makes more spectators a necessity, Derby is controlled
then wingfest is the opportunity for profit, increase security and move
it to Friday?
Where will your sponsors, corporate partners, etc. be from?
o Sponsors of cars, specific races, different events within wingfest,
Canadian tire, any restaurant that has sponsored hockey/soccer
teams, Boston Pizza, GMC, Olympian appearances, energy drinks,
coca-cola, sponsor in every category – repair, beverages, etc, go right
to alumni, parents, Aurora Cable, Auroran, Starbucks.
Often, there is a specific organization that governs the operation of events within a
certain sport/activity. The sanctioning organization dictates rules and regulations,
eligibility, qualification for future events, etc. A sanctioned event for elite amateurs or
professionals is often more important and more recognized by the sporting public than a
nonsanctioned event. However, nonsanctioned events have much more flexibility
regarding their design, rules, regulations, and implementation.
Is there a specific organization that sanctions events for your sport/activity?
o Our own sanction to make it humourous
What is the process for applying for sanction and approval from that
o Not needed
Do you want your event to be sanctioned? If so, what is the process? If not, why
o Do a lot of research on how Soap Box derbies are typically ran.
Knowing Your Mission:
Understanding the motivation for running an event is key because that will, in some
cases, provide you with a ‘road map’ that guides the answers to other questions you will face
about your event’s structure.
To create a mission statement for your event, you should strive to define your event by
describing all of your motives. If you can capture your event mission in one sentence
(which may be difficult), you will be off to a great start.
Sample Mission Statements:
To put on a profitable elite professional event that has national and international
implications and functions under the highest official sanction available.
Create a fund-raising all-star game that showcases the talent of local kids, the
proceeds of which will go toward enabling the team to participate in statewide
summer leagues for the purpose of gaining additional playing and educational
Create or acquire a ladies’ professional golf tournament that will attract the top
players in the world. The event must be profitable after two years by attracting
major corporate sponsorship from local businesses. The event must have
television opportunities and be geared towards having a long-term existence in
What is the mission statement for your event?
Profitability and Philanthropy:
On the most basic level, your primary objective for being in the event management
business may simply be to earn profits. Even if your event is designed to raise money for
charity, you must still be ‘profitable’ so that you have some funds to donate!
What will be your sources of income for the event? (Entrance fees, tickets,
o Different people monitoring different areas
o Low nominal fee for basic admission
o Extra price paid for wing ‘coupons’ for which you receive a certain
type of wings
o Sponsorship revenue
o Charitable donations
Could be recruited prior to the event (solicit a specific amount
to take part in the event?)
Could be requested at the event itself
A portion of the proceeds could go to the charity
What will be your expenses for the event? (Marketing, operations, equipment,
food and beverage, etc.)
How profitable do you expect your event to be?
What will be done with the profits? (Donated to charity, kept by organizing
committee, donated to school programs, etc.)
o Operational profits of the event could be split between McEwen
Program and students
o Donations to the charity kept completely separate
o Use the philanthropic nature of the event in all promotional material
to increase the ‘image’ of the event
Many successful events are also good corporate citizens, and the operation of the event
benefits the community and a specific cause.
What will be the specific cause/charity supported by your event?
How will running your event benefit the surrounding community?
You should also define your event’s personality, which admittedly is very intangible and
sometimes difficult to define. Essentially, your event will have a certain image attached to it,
and will be described by people using certain adjectives and will be viewed in a certain light.
Your event will be judged from every conceivable angle!
People will be asking:
Did people know about it? Were the tickets too expensive? Was parking
adequate? Was the competition entertaining? How was the food? Were the
washrooms clean? Did it start and end on time? And on and on…
In determining your event’s personality, try to answer the following questions:
What do you want your event’s image to be?
How do you want people to describe your event?
What do you want people to say about your event, before and after it has
o A big hoedown, southern vibe, country, cowboy hats, festival, fair,
organized, personality would be fun, exciting, a little competitive for
fun, more entertainment from friendly competition, hopes for a next
one, focus on fun