Event Kit An event planning guide for Playgroups and community organisations

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1 Event Kit An event planning guide for Playgroups and community organisations

2 National Playgroup Week Serious fun! Discover Playgroup 25 March 1 April 2012 National Playgroup Week is an annual celebration of play and Playgroups enjoyed by thousands of families around Australia. Each year National Playgroup Week celebrates play and Playgroups through a variety of wonderful activities, ranging from the World s Biggest Playgroup events hosted by the State and Territory Playgroup Associations in capital cities around the country, to the good old Sausage Sizzle at local Community Playgroups. Getting involved by hosting your own special event is a great opportunity to promote your Playgroup locally and encourage new families to join. Your event will also help raise the profile of Playgroups and spread the message that Playgroups offer tangible benefits to children, families and communities and are an integral part of early education and care in Australia. All Playgroups or organisations working with families of young children are welcome to take part. Whether you live in a major city or a remote country town, are a thriving Community Playgroup, or a specialised family support service, we encourage you to become involved in National Playgroup Week; to reach out to your local community and showcase the tremendous value Playgroups offer Australian families. This year s theme - Serious fun! Discover Playgroup - recognises the importance of play in the lives of very young children and their families. It also encourages people new to Playgroup to see for themselves how Playgroups help children learn through play and give parents and caregivers valuable opportunities to establish social and support networks. This kit is designed to help you be part of National Playgroup Week. It includes event ideas, checklists, and tips - everything you need to put on a great event to help Australia celebrate National Playgroup Week in Register your event to receive posters, postcards and templates to help you run a successful event. If you need help, or have questions at any stage, please contact us on (07) or This kit contains. 1. Getting started idea inspiration Plan your event Register your event Promote your event Run your event After the event... 8 Page: 2

3 1. Getting started idea inspiration National Playgroup Week 2011 was a huge success! In addition to the State and Territory Playgroup Associations World s Biggest Playgroup events that were attended by around 16,000 people there were more than 60 registered National Playgroup Week events staged across the country, each one drawing its own crowd of happy families. They included open days, teddy bear s picnics, fun days, special outings and Playgroup in the Park. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and we welcome all event ideas that: Encourage families to discover Playgroup and become involved in their community; Offer activities targeted at children under school age, their parents and carers; or Promote/demonstrate the value of play and Playgroups for children, their families and the broader community. Here are some inspirational Playgroup ideas from National Playgroup Week 2011: Family fun day Teddy bear s picnic Open day Sausage sizzle Information stall at local shops Messy play day Water play & bubble day Kids in the kitchen Playgroup goes to school Kid s day out community event Family day barbecue & picnic Playgroup in the park Invite your grandparents to Playgroup week Play, dance & sing celebrations Before you get too far down the planning process, please ensure your planned event will be covered by your public liability insurance, particularly if you are planning to have water play, or visiting a venue other your regular meeting place with the children. Members of a State or Territory Playgroup Association can contact them on to confirm the details of your Playgroup s insurance cover. Inspirational ideas for organisations could include: Launching research, whitepapers, program evaluation reports, resources or new programs relevant to children under school age and their families during National Playgroup Week. Inviting parents in for a Playgroup morning at your childcare centre, pre-school or kindergarten to join in and learn through play. It could become a regular event! Do you have a venue in your workplace that would be great for Playgroup? Make it available as a regular Playgroup meeting venue free of charge. Page: 3

4 2. Plan your event Planning an event is easier than you think! Work together as a team and share the workload. All events vary slightly but still include the same basic format, a format that is vital for the safe and effective implementation of that event. Pay particular attention to items like venue access, legal, insurance and equity issues, food handling requirements, first aid and emergency contacts. Try to plan for all possible scenarios such as higher attendance than anticipated to poor weather conditions and power outages. This simple checklist should help: Pre Event Planning Have a meeting/discuss during Playgroup to decide on your National Playgroup Week event. Set a day, time and location. If you are planning an event somewhere other than your regular meeting venue, go on a site visit to check its suitability for Playgroup (parking, fencing etc.) and check with your council to determine if a permit or special permission is required Apply for any permits that may be required. Agree on the size of the event and the number of people you are expecting. Appoint a coordinator or organising committee. Discuss your idea with your State or Territory Playgroup Association and check your insurance cover. Set a budget, and decide whether you need to charge an attendance fee Identify potential sponsors and approach them well in advance. Local businesses might provide things like tables and chairs, food, prizes or materials for event activities. Register your event at Consider whether you will invite a VIP (your local councillor, MP or community identity). Work out what you will need to bring/hire on the day. Consider wet-weather alternatives for outdoor events and have a back-up plan in place. Promote your event! Prepare an event run-sheet scheduling tasks for set-up, running and pack-up. Page: 4

5 3. Register your event Register your event so we can help promote your activity and showcase the many, varied and fantastic National Playgroup Week activities taking place across Australia. When you register your event with Playgroup Australia: Your event will be listed on our dedicated National Playgroup Week web site and Facebook page; You will be authorised to use the official National Playgroup Week logo on your promotional material; We will supply you with posters you can customise with the details of your event; We will list your event in promotions through 3 rd party calendar listings, such as bubhub.com.au; We may contact you about including your event in our media and PR activities; You will receive access to a range of templates to help you plan and promote your event, including: Date claimers Posters Media releases VIP invitations Photo consent forms We can provide you with contact details for your local newspaper/radio station to help with promotion of your event. It s as simple as clicking on the Register Your Event link at and entering your details. Page: 5

6 4. Promote your event There are many effective and free ways to promote your event in your community: 1. Media At least one month in advance send in your event details to the Community Service Announcements section of your local newspapers and radio stations. If you have a regular entry about your Playgroup in a local newspaper, amend it to promote your event. Call and ask for the editor or news desk and tell them about your event. Send them your media release and Playgroup factsheet after you have spoken with them. *Most media will not open attachments to unsolicited s so put your main information in the body of the . Arrange to have some of your families on standby for media photographs. Invite the media to your events using this media invitation template. It is a good idea not to send the invitation out too far in advance the week prior is generally enough time for it to go in the news diary. If a photographer or journalist attends, look after them. Offer food and drink! If a local politician or VIP attends give them a chance to be in some (but not all) of the photos. 2. Get visual Put National Playgroup Week posters up around where your Playgroup meets and where you will be holding the event. Post flyers on community noticeboards. Visit your local council, public library, shopping centres, doctors/health centres and banks to see if they can display your poster or flyer. Tell people! The best way for people to find out about your event is by word of mouth. 3. Invite VIPs Inviting a VIP can be a great way to get extra publicity and interest in your event. Ask your local politician or a celebrity you know who lives in your area (eg. a football player). VIPs with children who are Playgroup age are the best people to approach, but most will be happy to come regardless. Use the invitation template via or post to approach the VIP you would like to invite. Most politicians will have their on their website, or you can visit their local office. 4. Social media Facebook and Twitter are a great way to promote your Playgroup. If you have not already done so, think about creating a page for your Playgroup on Facebook. That way you can share updates and news on your event with your followers. Don t forget to Like your State and Territory Playgroup Association and Playgroup Australia to increase your audience! Create a Facebook event which advertises the date, time, location, costs, and activities. Invite your Facebook friends, and other Playgroup members to your event. Encourage them to invite their friends and spread the word that way. Page: 6

7 Make regular posts on your Facebook wall about your event so your likers and their friends will see what you are saying. This way, people will hear about your Playgroup even if they are not connected with you. 5. Online There are many online events listings available free of charge. We can also help with information and links to these when you register your event with us. Check with your local council and government representatives for on-line calendars you can access. Most media organisations offer free online event listings. When you contact them about the event, enquire about this service as well. Promotion check list Contact local media with information on the event. Also invite them to attend. Post up flyers and posters in prominent locations to promote to event community. If you use social media create an event and post regular updates. Like your State or Territory Playgroup Association and Playgroup Australia Are you inviting a VIP? If so, send out the invitation in good time. List your event in on-line event guides. Include a contact name and number and any costs. 5. Run your event Your careful planning means the event is sure to run smoothly. You can check weather forecast up to five days in advance at to see if the wet-weather back-up plan will be needed! Here are a few other helpful points: On the Day Make sure all volunteer helpers have a copy of the run-sheet and understand their jobs. If you are making a speech, acknowledge Playgroups, National Playgroup Week and any visiting VIPs or sponsors. Have information about your Playgroup freely available for everyone who attends. Where possible collect their contact details for follow-up. Take photos! Make sure you get consent from anyone you photograph if you plan to use the photo in a newspaper, on your Facebook page or on a flyer in future. Page: 7

8 6. After the event We recommend you evaluate the success of your event by providing a feedback form for everyone at your event to fill out. If you are planning to hold a similar event again next year this is a great planning document. Make sure you contact everyone who attended your event so you can encourage them to join your Playgroup. If they are not local but are interested give them the number so they can find locations of Playgroups elsewhere in Australia. Please complete our on-line survey and tell us how your event went so we can help where necessary next year. If you would like, send any photos you took which you obtained consent for to Playgroup Australia for use in promoting next year s National Playgroup Week Event. And most of all HAVE SOME SERIOUS FUN!! Page: 8

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