12 easy steps to Plan a Community Event
Planning an event can be a very stressful activity. If you haven’t already planned many events, then you probably are stressed because you don’t even know where to start. Don’t worry, as stressing about events is perfectly normal and not knowing a lot is perfectly normal as well. In the 12 Easy Steps for Planning a Community Event ,we are going to help you out by consolidating all the things you need to do in one place. If you follow these steps, you will have an event planned in no time.
1) What type of an event are you planning?
The first thing you need to pin down is that type of event you need to plan. If you have been told to plan the event by someone else, make sure you understand their idea properly. There are many different types of events and they need different items. Fundraisers, for example, need to be specially designed to facilitate fundraising. Yearly get-togethers need to facilitate open conversations. If it is a onetime fun event then it needs to have some exciting options. Identify the type of event, so you can start planning.
You also need to identify the best time to have an event. Generally, summer months are great because children are at home and are itching for something to do. Summer events are a bad idea though if you have scorching hot summers. Plan the event for the month with the most pleasant weather.
2) Your community event needs a business plan
A business plan is very different from a plan of action or from the whole event plan. A business plan doesn’t just explain the logistics but also outlines the financial sources and expenses. You need to know from where you will generate the funds, what marketing expenses you will undertake, and also how much you expect to earn from the event. If you manage to create a proper business plan you will end up being stress free about the financial side of the event.
3) Get your team ready
It doesn’t matter how good you are, you cannot run the whole event yourself. When things don’t go well or as planned, even Iron-Man knows he needs all the Avengers. You need to create a team that will be able to undertake all the responsibilities of the event. If your event is big then you need to create multiple teams. Here is what you need in order to have the right team:
Size of the Team
Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibility. If the project is big, add more people to your team, so you can effectively overcome all the obstacles.
The easiest way to make a team stop cooperating with each other is not defining roles. Make sure you define responsibilities clearly so that all the work gets done and there are no discrepancies. If people know their limits and responsibilities, no one feels like they are being overlooked.
You may need to get volunteers from the community. Make sure you have a plan to attract volunteers and make sure you have a plan to thank them after the event ends.
You need to know how much you can plan. Without a budget, it is impossible to plan an event. You may have great ideas but you may find out later that they are unaffordable. There is nothing more stressing than not having enough money for the plan you have made. Plan the budget first, and then lay out the rest of the plan accordingly.
You need to talk to all the stakeholders about the budget. Remember, this is one point about which there should be no confusion. Do not accept just verbal assurances because if the budget is changed at the last moment you will be left with a lot of disappointed people.
5) Do you need to get a license or insurance?
We have experience with many events and these two things are the most overlooked parts of event planning. Trust us, you do not want to find out on the day of the event that you aren’t allowed to hold the event without a license. Local laws vary from place to place so we cannot tell you whether you will need a municipal license or not; we would highly recommend calling your local government and asking if you need a license.
You also do not want to be uninsured. In some places, you aren’t even allowed to host a large event without public liability insurance. It is also a great way to ensure that you don’t end up paying a lot of money due to an accident or any mishap.
6) Know your attendance
Just as important as knowing the budget is, have a clear idea of how many people you can realistically expect to be at the event. If the event is for a specific company or group then you will be able to get a realistic estimate of event attendees. If the attendees are going to be from the general public then you shouldn’t assume a number. Instead, define that your target will be and then work hard to ensure that many people show up.
7) Know your venue
Okay, you have your budget and you have your attendance. Now we move on to the actual physical place where you event will be held. This doesn’t just mean the size of the place, but the layout, the entrances and exits, everything. If you are planning the event then you need to know the space and know about every nook and cranny. In the 12 Easy Steps for Planning a Community Event, you need to know if there are areas that need to be closed off or areas that need safety warnings.
8) Have something there for the kids
No community event is complete without having something for the kids. Most people who come to community events have families and making a special fun area for kids is the best way to make them attend your event. This is our forte so here are some fantastic ideas to make your event memorable for the kids:
Let them play
You need to make sure that the children have something to play with. Our mobile rock climbing walls and inflatable courses are perfect for kids. They let the kids have exhilarating fun without being dangerous, since they are inflatable and soft. The parents will be at ease knowing their kids are having fun and the kids will be begging their parents to stay longer at the event.
one of the 12 Easy Steps for Planning a Community Event: Provide entertainment!
The fun zones equipped with our equipment always result in great entertainment for the kids. Other things you can do include face painting, hire some clowns, balloon artists, and place popcorn and candies stalls. Some children’s music will also help keep the kids calm. Bouncy castles are also a must.
Have a Mascot
If you are planning to send a message out then having a mascot is a great idea. Children love getting their pictures taken with mascots. If you want the mascot to be truly fun we would highly recommend getting someone who is an important part of the community to be the mascot.
9) Plan the day’s events
You need to create a plan which states all the things that will happen at the event. This totally depends of the type of event you are holding so your agenda will need to be customized. Make sure you know if keynote speakers are needed. You will also need to think about ways to keep people at the event till the event ends. Having a raffle at the end is a fantastic way to make people stay at the event.
10) Get the equipment
Once you know the events, the budget, and the venue, you should know what equipment you are going to need. There are many companies which provide tents, stages, generators, lights, P.A. system, children’s entertainments like inflatable obstacle courses, and much more. You need to make sure you have all the equipment when needed. You don’t need to worry at all about the tent required or the children’s entertainment required as we have got that covered for you.
11) Getting the word out
You also need to know how you will get the word out. There are several things you can do:
Put it online
Create a website and a social media page where people can follow updates and learn about the activities at the event. Creating an event on Facebook can increase the reach of your message tenfold. You also need to create a website which people can share and visit for information.
Work with the community
The community you are planning the event for is a great way to reach other people. Ask the main community organizers to help you out and partner with them.
Publicity and Outreach
Talk to your local daily or weekly publications. Publishing a notice in magazines focused on your industry or location is also a great way to market such events.
12) Plan ways to earn and expend
Will you be charging a fee to attend the event? Do you need to ask for donations to raise funds for the event? Or are you just planning to generate the funds by renting space to local vendors at the event? Personally, we are big fans of renting space to local vendors. You get money from the rent you charge, local vendors get publicity and sales, and the attendees get something more to do. Seems like a win-win-win situation.