Nelson Mandela at 90 A Guide for Running Events

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1 Nelson Mandela at 90 A Guide for Running Events

2 Running an event for Mandela at 90 So you re planning to run an event for the Mandela at 90 Campaign. The following guide is designed to take you through some simple steps you should consider to make your event a success. The type of event This is rightly highly dependent on your timescale, audience, location and budget but here are a few suggestions from ACTSA: Promote the Mandela at 90 birthday card and get groups, the public and dignitaries to make their pledges towards development in southern Africa. Rededicate a street, building, garden or room after Nelson Mandela or another key figure from the anti apartheid movement. Hold a public lecture or film showing, hosted by a local anti apartheid activist. Hold a cultural event, you could focus on southern African art, photography, fashion, film, music or produce. Run a fundraising event for ACTSA, or for another organisation, working in southern Africa. You could hold an auction, a bring and buy sale, a cake sale, a coffee morning, a craft sale, a workplace collection, a quiz or a raffle. Hold a sponsored event, it could be anything from a readathon to a sponsored cycle, run, swim or row. Hold a commemorative sports event. It could be a football match, 90 minutes for Mandela, or any other game. The right timing When planning an event, one of the first things to think about is the timing. For your Mandela at 90 event you should have quite a large window as ACTSA is promoting activity throughout the year, in particular in the run up to Mandela s birthday on July 18 th. But also before and beyond that so pick a date the best suits you. Think about your target audience, who are they likely to be? What else might be going on that might steal your potential guests? Don t just check for local events but check the calendar for major sporting events too. It s also worth checking whether or not your event clashes with the school holidays and what impact this might have on the turnout. Choosing a location Your location will depend on what you are trying to achieve. You may already have a place in mind that already has a link to Nelson Mandela or the Anti Apartheid Movement. If you are hiring a venue, do make sure you check it out in advance. See if the facilities suit your needs and make sure you won t be faced with lots of hidden charges. Find out who pays for cleaning, staffing and if you are covered by the venues insurance. Check the venue suits your audience, is it accessible, is it convenient and are public transport links and parking facilities good? You might want to go for a venue that s slightly small, rather than too big, this will create the feeling of a fantastic turnout! Make sure you that any booking is confirmed in writing to reduce the risk of a double booking.

3 Get a team With a team to support you, you will get a great deal more done. Get people to help you plan the event with you, Ask people to take responsibility for particular areas, note their responsibilities and their contact details and share regular updates on how tasks are progressing, a spreadsheet can be a useful tool to keep on top of people s progress. You might want to hold regular meetings with your team, but keep these short and focused on what needs to happen. Budgeting When planning your event brainstorm all possible expenditure as well as income.. If you know of another group or organisation that have run a similar event, speak to them first to get an idea of costings. There are often many overheads that are easy to overlook when planning an event, including insurance, deposits, security, ticket printing, special licences and transport. There might be more, dependent on the type of event you are running. If you work out your expenses in advance it will help you look at ways to cut your overheads further and work out areas where you might be able to secure sponsorship. If you are running your event as a fundraiser, try to spend no more than 25% of your expected income on overheads. Rules and regulations Certain charitable activities will require special licences, especially raffles and collections. If you re unsure about this check with your local council. You will also need to consider your duty of care to your attendees and volunteers, including first aid and health and safety requirements. For more information visit or contact your local council. It is best practice to draw up a risk assessment for many events. You will also need to consider obtaining appropriate insurance, usually this will be public liability insurance. However, it will be worth checking if you are covered by the insurance of the venue you are using. Publicising the Event Promoting an event often falls to the bottom of the agenda awaiting a last minute attempt to target an audience that already has plans. You therefore need to plan carefully how you are going to market your event to your audience. Think about your target audience, who are you going to invite to your event and what will make it so great for them. Note down what your unique selling points are and use them in your publicity. Tell everyone you know about your event and get them to tell a few people they know. Word of mouth is the most effective way of getting your message out, so make sure you use it. Use your committee, set them targets, find out which groups they have a relationship with and get them to target them. However, make sure you get regular progress reports and keep a record of who promised to contact who. Make sure you utilise every outlet available to you. For a start have you included: websites, radio stations, newspapers- paid for and free, local publications, community and shop notice boards, local television stations, local groups and local group lists, trade unions branches, trades councils, religious groups, schools,

4 major employers and places of entertainment eg. leisure centres and theatres? Using the media Identify all your local media including, free papers, radio stations and websites. The regional links on the following page note many local media outlets for most parts of England, except London: You might also want to use the directory on Send your local media outlets a press release, but keep it clear and factual. See the ACTSA model press release that you might want to adapt and use for your own event. Make sure you give a contact number and be prepare to give interviews. Invite the media to cover your event, but don t expect a massive turnout. Get someone to take photographs for you as you can t guarantee that every reporter will bring a photographer with them. If the local media do cover your event, make sure you thank them for it afterwards. Printed Publicity Materials If you are producing printed materials you ll need to consider who s going to design them as well as print them and this can naturally put up your costs. Try and obtain at least three quotes for your work to ensure you are getting the best price. Paper weight, colour and even using a supporter of the campaign to do your printing can reduce your costs so make sure you ask about these. You should also check how long it will take to produce your materials. You don t want hundreds of leaflets sent to you after the event! Try to limit the amount of text on leaflets and posters to key messages but make sure you don t forget the crucial date and day, times, places and directions. Supplement text with appropriate pictures to help you get your message across. If you are designing your own publicity, make sure you leave a margin around the edge for cutting and use high resolution photographs. Make sure you carry a supply of posters and flyers with you at all times, you never know when you ll get the opportunity to promote your event. If you are leaving leaflets and flyers anywhere, always tell people what you are promoting, they might promote the event for you too. On the day If your event logistics have been preorganised, then the event should go smoothly. Make sure everyone knows what they are doing and when they are doing it, keep a list of tasks with you so you can make sure everything is on track. Your event provides an ideal opportunity to build a relationship with attendees and develop their interest in southern Africa. Provide sign up sheets giving the people the opportunity to find out more about the Mandela at 90 campaign, ACTSA and the issues effecting southern Africa. You will need to have a tick box to allow people to state whether they are happy for their details to be passed on to ACTSA. Make sure you send a copy back to ACTSA as soon as you can after your event. After the event If you have taken people s contact details then send them an as soon as you can after the event to thank them for attending and let them know about the rest of the campaign.

5 If you have raised funds for ACTSA, or another cause, please remember to send this to the appropriate place as soon as possible. In the case of ACTSA you should send your donations to: ACTSA 231 Vauxhall Bridge Road London SW1V 1EH Finally Thank you for considering running an event for Mandela at 90. Remember to keep in touch with ACTSA about your event, we can promote it on our website, provide you with materials or just give you ideas and advice. You can contact us on or

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