Planning an Outdoor Community Event
It is heartening that we are becoming more concerned with and committed to events that promote community and celebration. While outdoor community events can be enjoyed by many people and result in a range of positive impacts, (such as the development of new relationships and improved understanding of issues) much time and preparation needs to be invested to ensure their success.
It is no secret that the planning of an outdoor community event needs to begin well in advance of its delivery. An individual cannot do it alone and the support, collaboration and cooperation of a number of different people is crucial. Ultimately, the services and expertise of a professional event hire company will prove invaluable.
Planning needs to begin early and continue right up until the event takes place. Here we look at a timeline leading up to an outdoor community event, and the types of actions that are essential as the event approaches:
- The purpose and intention of the community event needs to be decided and made clear. There are a number of different reasons that community events take place (celebration, to raise funds or increase awareness), but regardless of the type of event, its purpose needs to be well articulated.
- A proposed date for your community event should be nominated and checks should be undertaken to ensure it does not clash with other events and commitments.
- A budget should be established and clearly explained so that the parameters for spending on crucial areas are known, understood and agreed to.
- A theme for the event needs to be selected and potential locations contacted, viewed and decided upon. Early reservation of a venue is paramount in securing the most ideal location.
- Coordinator(s), committee members and/or helpers should be recruited to oversee and guide the development of the event. When deciding on the date of your outdoor event, it is useful to factor in likely weather conditions and consider their influence on your occasion.
- Research should be conducted and recommendations obtained with regard to entertainment, marquee hire, food and drink, audiovisual equipment and any necessary design and printing. A party hire specialist company can provide support and guidance with the majority of these matters and help you to feel in control of the planning and aware of the costs of delivering such an event.
- Decide on whether there will be an admission cost to your event and, if so, how much this will be. At this stage, a draft list of potential invitees should be compiled.
- With just a few months remaining before your event, it is time to ensure that invites are confirmed and sent and RSVPs recorded, as this will assist you with catering and other significant arrangements.
- Arrangements for entertainment and sponsorship (if any) should be confirmed and any necessary permits and insurance should be obtained.
- Decorations, catering, audiovisual equipment and other such matters should be confirmed with your event hire provider and you should consult with them to benefit from their expertise and experience in facilitating such events.
- Confirmation of many different arrangements is needed at this time. Event hire arrangements need to be re-confirmed as does the involvement of participants such as entertainers, invitees, VIPs and celebrities if they are to be involved.
- A walk through of the event should occur with people who are responsible for the event including committee members and site staff. This includes the review and amendments of scripts, plans and the agenda for the day.
- Follow up with invited guests is likely to be necessary and the responsibilities of staff and volunteers on the day of the event need to be locked in.
1 week before:
- Meetings and/or discussions with appropriate people should occur to confirm last minute details such as number of attendees, seating and table arrangements, involvement of staff, risk management plans, coordination of delivery and pickup of equipment and payment for different components of the event.
- Timetables and schedules for the event need to be re-confirmed.
- Final rehearsal needs to take place.
Day of the event:
- Equipment and supplies need to be unpacked and arranged (although a party hire specialist company is likely to provide extensive support with this).
- Final details with relevant staff need to be revisited and volunteers/staff need to be thoroughly briefed on their roles and duties for the day.
- Sound, lighting and entertainment equipment needs to be checked and re-checked.
Outdoor community events can be wonderful and highly successful occasions. Just remember that planning and preparation are key to the success of such events.