Developing the Event Concept

It is important when staging an event to be clear and articulate up front WHY it is that you are conducting your event.  There may be a number of reasons for conducting an event such as:
  • To inform and educate the community about a cause
  • To obtain media coverage for an activity or organisation
  • To raise funds
  • To celebrate a community’s strength and cohesiveness
  • An awards or presentation ceremony

The key questions to ask at this early developmental stage are:

  • What is this event for?
  • What form will it take?
  • When and where will it be held?
  • How will the event benefit participants?
  • What could be barriers?

Scope of the event

Organisers should also clarify WHO the event is for.  Most events will cater for a variety of interest groups such as:

  • The local community
  • A national audience
  • Organisation members
  • Current and potential sponsors
  • Media
  • Potential members

To some extent the answers to why you want to run the event and who for, will dictate the type of events you will conduct.  For example, if you are conducting an event to thank your current members / volunteers for activities throughout the year, you may decide for a small dinner / BBQ / cocktail party.  If though, the aim of your event is to thank current members or try and attract new members, you may choose to have a larger, more public event with invitations going to the media as well.

Feasibility of the event

In helping you to determine the feasibility of your event, some key questions to ask include:

  • What physical resources are available (facilities and equipment) or accessible to support the event?
  • What are the rough costs?  (time, personnel, money)
  • How can any potential barriers be overcome?
  • Is there sufficient time for planning?

Once it has been ascertained that you do have the necessary resources and it is feasible to undertake the event, planning can begin.

Check the timing of your event does not clash with any other key events.

Planning & Preparation

It’s crucial to put in the necessary time and effort into planning and preparation for your event to ensure that it’s a successful one.

Event coordination

Regardless of the type and size of your event, you should establish a formal “event committee” consisting of committed members who are clear about their skills and what they are prepared to contribute.  One person should lead the project as the Event Coordinator.

The event coordinator will need to be well organised, a good leader with great communication skills and able to generate enthusiasm.  It is their responsibility to keep track of the event as a whole and to assign tasks to the event committee.

The event committee may consist of other members of your organisation, members of other organisation if it is a joint event, volunteers and other interested parties.  The size of the committee is dependent on the size and complexity of the event.

One person needs to lead and make the final call on all decisions and take on the overall responsibility of the event and should be clear to all that are involved with the event.  (This should be the Event Coordinator).

Delegation of duties and tasks is crucial.  As early as possible outline the responsibilities of each member, their tasks, their deadlines, the resources available to them, reliance on other members for support and any interdependency of tasks.  Open and clear communication is necessary to ensure tasks are completed.