EVENT MANAGEMENT TOOL KIT

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1 EVENT MANAGEMENT TOOL KIT PLAN, DELIVER & EVALUATE A SUCCESSFUL EVENT 20 MAY 2015 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL CORPORATE: EVENTS

2 1. THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN PREPARED BY ALAYNA GLEESON, EVENT COORDINATOR FOR MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL ANY QUESTIONS IN RELATION TO THE CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO: 4. OR (02) DATE OF PUBLICATION: ERROR! REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND. PAGE 2 OF 15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL

3 Table of Contents 1. Event Planning Creating An Event Timeline... Error! Bookmark not defined. 3. Event Promotion Troubleshooter Guide For Event Planning Event Evaluation Appendix 1 Event Planning Checklist Verson Appendix 1 Event Planning Checklist Verson Appendix 2 Sponsorship Proposal Template MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL PAGE 3 OF 15

4 1. Event Planning Event planning can be highly stressful - or extremely energising. Often it s both. Planning a successful event takes time, cooperation, and an eagle eye for detail. Draw up a detailed activity plan, and get started! Get Help Planning Your Event Don't try and plan a big event alone. Form an organising committee to develop ideas for your event planning efforts. If that's not possible, at least recruit colleagues, friends and volunteers to help you. Activity Plan Your Event Planning Checklist Draw up an event activity plan, complete with a to do checklist and deadlines, covering every large and small activity that needs to happen in planning your event. See Appendix 1. Ask Questions When Planning Your Event As you re planning your event and booking venues, hiring caterers and sourcing entertainers, you should be asking yourself a series of questions that will help you make the right decisions. Consider: How will you pay for the event? Do you need funding? Can you seek sponsorship? Do you need permits for your event? Contact Mid-Western Regional Council for advice on this Do you need permission or licenses to use audio-visual materials? Do you need permission to post advertising material such as posters and banners in public areas? Does your venue need to be accessible to older people or people with a disability? Do you need a sign language or other language interpreter? PAGE 4 OF 15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL

5 2. Creating an Event Timeline An effective event planning timeline will keep everyone on track and ensure you do not miss any important deadlines. A conference timeline is not just a long to-do list; it is also a schedule of key tasks and dates that are clearly defined and easy to use. Step 1 Build a Timeline Template Set up your conference or event timeline template in a system that is easy to manipulate such as Microsoft Word or Excel, or use project management software. Whatever system you select, you need to be able to add to the timeline, delete items and insert updates regularly. Step 2 What to Include If you are the only person managing the event, your timeline may be as simple as a list of key dates or milestones such as deposits due, mailing dates, meetings and confirmations of catering, venues and accommodation. If there are others involved in the event production, you may need a more comprehensive list such as tasks to be carried out, completion dates, who is responsible for each task and supplier contact details. Step 3: Enter deadlines Start at the date of your event, and work backwards according to how long each task will take. As early as possible, get deadlines and due dates from venues and other suppliers, and incorporate them into your timeline. You can base other tasks around these dates. Consider highlighting or colour-coding urgent or non-negotiable deadlines in your timeline to make them stand out from the others. MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL PAGE 5 OF 15

6 3. Event Promotion Events are not just an end in themselves: they are also a great way to build relationships, increase leads and move prospects along the sales cycle. But to ensure the ongoing success of your events you need to put effort into promoting them well. Marketing your event Do not rely on one method of communicating about your event. Use a variety of promotional material and an integrated marketing approach that includes post, , telemarketing, websites, social media, advertising, press releases, online calendars and relevant publications. Start promoting your event or conference early Start promoting your event as early as possible. This will allow attendees to get the date/s in to their diary and arrange transport and accommodation needs if required. Encourage event delegate and guest participation Be succinct and to the point, but don t make the invitation so short that it fails to give enough reasons for guests to attend. Ensure your audience knows why they should participate. Be sure the promotional copy includes all the registration, cost, date and address details. Focus on the benefits of your event Focus on selling the benefits of attending your event. Include information about what guests will take home in terms of new knowledge or networking opportunities, or something tangible, such as workbooks, white papers, checklists or certificates of completion. PAGE 6 OF 15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL

7 4. Trouble-shooter Guide for Event Planning Remember, something usually does and probably will go wrong at your event. However, it s often only the event organiser who knows about the problem. Keep a running sheet handy and try to stay one or two steps ahead of the schedule. And most importantly, don t drink too much Mudgee wine! Prepare for your event - checklist everything A week before your event, recheck everything, from attendees to suppliers. Make notes of things that could possibly go wrong, and develop a contingency plan. Arrive early at your conference or event Arrange for all your event organiser team-members to arrive early. This will buy you some extra time if changes need to be communicated. Arrange a meeting room in which you can brief the team. Post clear signs for event guests and suppliers Hang up visible signs for event guests, team-members and suppliers. Ensure there are signs everywhere people go, from bus stops and parking areas to the location itself. Write a list to minimise event problems Write up a contact list of everyone involved in the event, and hand it out to your event team. This includes team-members, vendors, suppliers, the venue-staff members, and speakers. Include everybody you may need to speak with during the event. Keep in contact with your event team and venue staff If possible, use a CB radio system to stay in touch with venue staff and your team-members. This gives you immediate access to help when you need it. If that s not possible use the mobile phone list above. Stay calm when problems arise If there s a positive and relaxed atmosphere at an event, smaller mistakes tend to go unnoticed. If things do go wrong, try not to panic. You won t help anyone if you try to solve problems while you re emotionally strung-out. Before making a major decision to rectify a problem, share it with the onsite manager, to gain a fresh perspective on your solution. MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL PAGE 7 OF 15

8 5. Event Evaluation Evaluation is an important part of running an event or conference, and you shouldn t skip it just because you re exhausted. Evaluating your event helps you (and future event-planners) learn from your experiences. It s also the time to finalise guest communications and count the profit. Step 1: Request feedback - conference or event surveys Wherever possible, ask guests who attended your event to provide feedback. To gather this data, prepare a short survey. Ask the survey questions either at the end of the event, or send an invitation to guests asking them to participate in the survey. Combine this with event photos on your website to increase responses. Step 2: Meet with your team post-event About a week after the event, schedule a meeting with your event team. Discuss what went well, and where there was room for improvement. Write up notes from this meeting or put together a post-event evaluation form so that you or your successor have a good guide for the next event. Step 3: Thank conference and event guests It s a good idea to thank all the guests and participants in your event. Write letters or s to all the guests thanking them for attending. Write to all the speakers, entertainers and venues thanking them for their contribution: this will create a good lasting impression, and ease matters if you wish to use them again. Step 4: Tell the media about your event Write a media release and let the media know what happened at your event. Now that your event has actually happened, you ll have more to say (and photographs), which will make it more likely for them to pick the story up. This is invaluable exposure to help make your event a success next time, and to promote your company. PAGE 8 OF 15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL

9 6. Appendix 1 Event Planning Checklist Version 1 Not all items may apply to your event but could be worth considering. EVENT DATE TIME LOCATION TASK WHO DATE DONE Planning Set up planning team Decide on event theme Write Budget Prepare written strategy (who, what, why, when and how?) Plan evaluation strategy Guest Speakers Confirm MC Confirm guest speaker Brief Speakers Provide Speech notes if required Provide copy of running order Invitations Finalise invitation design Prepare Guest list Organise RSVP arrangements Print Invitations Mail Out or out invitations Finalise guest list and numbers Prepare name tags- if required Venue Choose and book venue Organise Catering Confirm menu (and service times) Finalise table layouts Prepare seating arrangement Organise table for registration Confirm VIP car parking Organise water for guest speakers Book photographer/ videographer Check toilet facilities Organise power to site Determine car parking facilities for other guests Media Write media release Prepare media kit Send media release for approval if required Send press release to local paper and arrange photo and interview time Prizes and Donations Prepare letter to send to potential sponsors Allocate team to follow up Collect prizes Record business and individuals who make financial or in-kind contributions Prepare Auction or raffle procedures MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL PAGE 9 OF 15

10 Allocate staff duties at event Record names of all sponsors and donors Signage Prepare stage display Organise lectern sign Prepare foyer display Arrange other display material Finalise directional signage Create street signage At Event Prepare running sheet Prepare contact list of all relevant stakeholders Distribute running sheet to organizing team, guest speakers, venue manager and caterer Prepare Biography of guest speakers and provide to MC Allocate roles and responsibilities for team: Registration table Auction items Display area Meet and Greet Collecting Money VIP meet and greet Allocate seating for VIP and guest speakers Acknowledge Sponsors Information Materials Organise table numbers Print place cards Organise table display or information Finalise show bags or other giveaway materials Follow up Prepare thank you letter- guest speakers, VIP, Sponsors and venue Send thank you letters PAGE 10 OF 15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL

11 7. Appendix 1 Event Planning Checklist Version 2 EVENT: DATE: TIME: LOCATION: TASK WHO DATE DONE Pre Event site Preparation Seek availability of venue and confirm booking Seek necessary approval from other regulatory authorities for special licenses and approvals. Example: Liquor license, Public liability Insurance. Identify the facilities available: Toilets, Change rooms, running water, bins, seating, BBQ's, electricity. Etc Select a main contact or leading person to oversee all event operations and final decision making. Site Layout and Control Create a site layout map outlining all activities to be held on the day. Outline access points and confirm entry of vehicles on site with property management. Outline Emergency Exit points Provide a layout for all equipment and structures Sponsorship Develop a sponsorship proposal Develop a sponsorship agreement Carry out agreement and fulfill all sponsorship recognition Budget Control Develop a budget Monitor and maintain budget Committee Meeting Seek expressions of interest from the community Minute taking and distribution Publicity and Media Develop Media Plan Develop Promotional Material: DL's, posters, banners, signage, flyers etc. Executive Protocol Event Brief Speeches VIP and Dignitary Invitations Business / Town Centre and Community Liaison Notification to surrounding businesses affected by event. Consider: Delivery and collection of goods and services Notification to surrounding residents Traffic Management Develop Traffic plan: Consider: barricades, signage, parking, maps. Notify residents and businesses. Seek approval from RTA for road closures TASK WHO DATE DONE Identify traffic coordination and controllers on the day Provide public notification in the newspapers. Provide signage to inform commuters of changing traffic conditions. Event Documentation Event brief Contact lists Set up Schedule Incident Reports MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL PAGE 11 OF 15

12 Provide release permission form for photography Event Production Equipment Hire and staging coordination Audio and power coordination Provide adequate signage at your event. Such as: Parking, first aid, entrances, exits, toilets, reserved, evacuation area, no access, lost children, program. Entertainment Research and book entertainment Compile performance & stage requirements and liaise with production supplier. Seek approval for an APRA license (Australian Performing Right Association) for live or pre recorded music at your event. Identify performer requirements before confirming the booking, consider appropriate facilities in which your performer/s need to change their clothes or do their make-up. Risk Management Pre-event risk identification - ensure any hazards are fixed or taped off to commuters on event day. Security - obtain quote & book OH & S and risk management plan Establish crowd control measures throughout event. Book first aid and emergency services Notify local Emergency Services Environmental Compliance liaison - event day Provide Insurance to cover your event. Example: Public Liability insurance. Waste Management Develop waste management plan: Bins, amenities operational, adequate rolls of paper, litter and waste collection Volunteer Coordination Seek expression of interest from the community and volunteer organizations Volunteer liaison and registration Compile tasks and duties and brief volunteers prior to event. Event Evaluation Conduct a visitor survey Conduct a debrief post event with key people involved in running the event Evaluate your success against the objectives you set. Use these towards your planning process for your next event. PAGE 12 OF 15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL

13 8. Appendix 2 Sponsorship Proposal Template Overview of the club offering or event Background of the club Details about the event or the club offering Sponsor benefits Sponsor investment Brief background on the rights holder Evaluation Other considerations One or two sentences describing the sponsorship deal. Information on the organisation and its history Dates, times and location Demographics how many people will attend the event? where are they from? how old are they? Who will manage the sponsorship? Current and past sponsors. How will the event or offering help improve the sponsor's bottom line? Possible headings include: Media coverage television, radio, press, signage Networking opportunities Enhancement of sponsor s image Client entertainment. Cost or description of goods and/or services Mission statement Experience Long term goals these are based on your club s strategic business plan. How will you measure the success of the event and delivery of promised benefits? Make the length of the document proportional to the value of the sponsorship. Try to keep it under 10 pages Ensure headings are clear Don t include any items you might want returned ( e.g. photos, videotapes, certificates) Images are well worthwhile to include Use statistical information - helps the reader identify cost benefit and demographic fit in relation to their own target audiences. MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL PAGE 13 OF 15

14 Corporate: Events CORPORATE: EVENTS EVENT MANAGEMENT TOOL KIT PAGE 14 OF 15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL

15 MID-WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL PAGE 15 OF 15

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