An event is a gathering of people for a purpose. Examples of event purposes include fundraising, celebrating, educating, competing or for social reasons.

A club Annual General Meeting is a form of club event. Running a successful event takes a lot of organisation and volunteer hours so why would you do it?

Events can be a great way to:

  • Raise money
  • Recognise and add value to sponsors
  • Create a positive club culture
  • Celebrate club and season success

It’s a good idea to define why you are holding an event before you start planning one to ensure its success.

Steps for planning a successful event:

Step one - Decide who will organise and run the event.

Depending on how big the event is, consider establishing a subcommittee. The sub-committee should be led by a chair with every member having clear responsibilities which could include:

  • Event entertainment and activities
  • Venue hire and logistics
  • Food and drinks
  • Budget and finance
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Volunteers recruitment and training

The group should meet regularly and provide updates on actions related to their responsibilities

Step two - Create an event budget

A budget is essential and should be set very early in the planning process. Start by listing expenses.

Expenses can include:

  • Venue and equipment hire
  • Food and drinks
  • Fecorating
  • Promotion materials
  • Trophies
  • Permits and insurances.

Once you have a total of the expenses, you know how much income you need to source. Income can come from:

  • Grants
  • Sponsorship
  • Ticket or entry costs
  • Bar or food sales
  • Raffles or other fundraising activities
  • Merchandise sales

Always review the budget to ensure your actuals are close to the forecasts so your event remains on track.

Step three – Create a workplan

A workplan can be created in an excels spreadsheet and will list:

  • Every job needed to be completed
  • Whose responsibility it is
  • Date that the action is to be completed by
  • Comment/updates

This workplan will be your “go-to” in every meeting and will help ensure everyone is held accountable for their area. Be sure to update the document after every meeting as it will be a helpful tool when reporting back to the club committee on event progress.

Step four – Create a Marketing/Coms Plan

A marketing and communications plan will ensure the event is appropriately marketed and the right people know about the event. The better the plan, the more likely people will find out about the event and more likely ticket sales will increase.

Step five – Execute the event and evaluate the success

Follow the plans and track progress to execute the event. The better planned the event is, the less stressful and more successful the event will be.

While you are probably exhausted this is the best time to start considering your event for next year! During the evaluation process, ensure you:

  • Complete a financial review – look at what was under or overbudget to help plan better next time
  • Hold a debrief with stakeholders to find out what worked and what didn’t
  • Survey people that attended
  • Complete a post event review document with recommendations for the next event

A “successful” event is generally an event that achieves your club’s goals and is well planned and executed and participants had a great experience. Organising an event often requires a lot of planning and administrative work. To run a successful event, you need to:

  • Be organised
  • Have strong planning
  • Have support from other volunteers
  • Be creative