1. Starting Out

You will improve your chances of success if you know what you are trying to achieve.

1.1 Establishing Aims & Objectives

Is it to raise money for a community group or cause? Is it to promote an industry or raise awareness of a particular issue? Give yourself an aim (what it is that you want to happen as a result of having the event). Then ask yourself what has to be done to achieve this (objectives).

1.2. Things to Consider

When developing the objectives and actions for the event, it may be worthwhile to consider:
WHO is the event for?

  • local residents
  • local businesses
  • people from outside the area
  • what age groups?

WHO will be participating?

  • professional theatre groups or performers
  • local schools
  • local youth bands
  • community theatre or cultural groups
  • local performers

WHEN will it be held?

  • what else is happening that day/week/month in the area (or nationally)? (i.e. will it coincide with anything else?)
  • how long will it run for - a day, a week?
  • what time of the day?
  • what month of the year?

WHERE will it be held?

  • a local park
  • a hall or community centre
  • a number of venues
  • the main street

HOW will it be organised?

  • a committee
  • a paid organiser
  • a combination of the above options

WHAT will it include?

  • performances
  • music
  • food stalls
  • craft stalls
  • activities
  • parade

1.3. Getting People Involved

Unless you are a professional event organiser, you will need to organise your event through a community group, preferably an incorporated body, which may be an existing group or one set up for the purpose. A good way to encourage community interest in and support for an event is to contact directly the people and groups who you think might like to be involved, and invite them to a meeting.

In planning this meeting the following will need to be considered:
WHO will be at the meeting?

  • who do you invite to the meeting?
    o local residents and traders
    o businesses
    o local councillors
    o local authority representatives
    o community groups and schools
    o specific interest groups
  • who will take minutes at the meeting? (i.e. not the person who is taking the meeting)
  • will interpreters be needed?
  • will childcare be needed?

WHEN will the meeting be held?

  • is it an appropriate time of day or night?

WHERE will the meeting be held?

  • is the venue accessible to your target communities by public transport, foot and car?
  • is it accessible to disabled people?
  • how many people will it hold?
  • do people feel safe and comfortable at this venue? Is there enough seating?

HOW will you inform people about the meeting? (eg. through leaflets, press releases, word of mouth, advertising in media, phone calls?)

  • how long will the meeting be?

WHAT will be discussed?

  • what will be on the agenda?
  • is there other supporting documentation that needs to be given out?

Things to do at the first meeting:

  • Distribute copies of the agenda.
  • Introduction - explain who called the meeting and briefly explain the reasons for the proposed event.
  • Present the proposal for the event.
  • Invite open discussion and ideas. Be prepared to hear new ideas, differing opinions and possibly some conflict.
  • Ask for nominations for a group to organise the event
  • Set a time for the organising committee to meet.
  • Get everyone's name, address and contact number and confirm their involvement and role (if appropriate).
  • At the end of the meeting you should have an indication as to whether the community wants the event, and suggestions as to how it could be resourced and organised.

Suggestions:

  • If conflicts arise, deal with them outside the meeting.
  • Stick to the allocated time and to the agenda.
  • If topics that are not on the agenda are brought up add them to a future meeting agenda or cover them at the end of the meeting if time allows.

Follow up:

  • Send copies of minutes to everyone who attended.
  • Contact people who were at the meeting, what did they think? Do they have any more ideas?
  • The public meeting will direct the course of organising committee meetings and the nominated committee may decide to hold another public meeting later.

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