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This is a booklet designed to help
small to medium enterprises
organise an event. It is based on
best practice guides for running
events. It will get you started
and hopefully help you avoid
any pitfalls and ensure that your
event runs smoothly and
Dont be afraid to think
outside of the box!
We will take you through from
start to finish providing handy
checklist at the end, just to
make sure that you haven’t
missed anything important.
With that said, let us take you on
a journey through it….
It’s easy. We’ll walk you through it!
The Journey begins...
Where to start?
Step 1. We will begin with what
you will need to do first. The
diagram above shows that
spending time being sure of,
and developing your concept, is
never time badly spent.
Think about it!
What are you trying to do?
Who are you trying to attract?
What message are you sending out?
How are you going to make it safely happen?
Once you have decided this you are ready for….
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Budget - convince yourself before convincing others!
Set your budget
Plan ahead
Be realistic
Control your budget
Budget is nothing more then checking what cash you
have available, projections of your income as well
as expenditure of the event.
Create a spreadsheet for your budget (excel), save
and backup your budget
Ensure you pay attention to VAT regulations (Grants -
no VAT , Commercial Sponsorship - incl VAT)
Make allowance for special offers, rates and group
Include In-kind support / donations
Ensure ONE person enters and controls the budget
Is your event financially viable?
Is your event sustainable?
Sponsorship is your most powerful marketing media, know how to use it !
That's the questions your potential sponsors
will be asking while reviewing your
sponsorship proposal ! Research your target
market, research your potential sponsors,
make your proposal short, catchy, smart,
realistic and unique. Do not overpromise.
Avoid long essays and chaotic structure.
Sponsorship is either provided in cash or in
kind ( product , services) is a central to the
revenue and resources of events. (Allen,
Sponsorship contract must include
Clear description of the project
Money involved/ needed with payment method and
Media coverage
Benefits for sponsors ( freebies / VIP/ media
coverage/profits from merchandise etc)
Cancellation policies (weather, economic sytuation etc)
Restrictions for sponsors in case of company closure or
decision to pull out of contract
Details of all partners/ stakeholders/ appointed person
responsible for the contract
Scheduled deadlines and follow up meeting
Successful sponsorship is built on the long term relationship
between the sponsor and the event organiser.
Your relationship with Sponsors must be maintained at all
times, make sure you make them happy continue to make
them happy throughout the event and acknowledge their input
after. Fulfill your promises and maintain your relationship for
future opportunities of this or other events you be involved in.
Ticket Policy
In early stages of planning decision has
to be made on entry fees to your
Pay in event not only boosts your
revenue but allows you to measure and
control your crowd numbers.
Free event would be appealing to
wider audience but you still have to
take to consideration how to estimate
your crowd numbers.
Research and use online tickets managment services like
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Milestone Dates
Pre-Event To-do List!!!
All event milestones, deadlines, meetings, appointments and booking fees need to be
listed and tracked. This is an effective way to see that your event is on track and that you
have not missed out on any deadlines that could be detrimental to the success of your
event or invite unwanted stresses.
A good tip!!! Have this on-line and accessible to all committee members so that it can be
frequently checked so nothing is missed. Check those boxes people!
Book venue
Event manager
Meet with venue manager, do risk assessment for insurance
Marketing and advertising meeting
Managers and marketing
Pay deposit for venue
Finance manager
Event design meeting
Commitee managers
Event managers, staff, volunteers,
crew arrive on site for health and
safety briefing
Barriers delivered, set up
Production equipment delivered
ensure all promo/ merchandise items
are in place
Signage/sitemaps put up around site
Waste management team arrive set up
Production Schedule
Your To-do list for the day of your event!!
At this stage lists are your best friends…. Have your clipboard at the ready.
A production schedule is essential to have on the day of your event. It will ensure you do
not miss any minor or important tasks which will enable your event to run successfully
and decrease the chance of any extra stresses.
HR, Staffing and Volunteers
These guys are the stars of your event and without them your event will not
Just be sure that you have a team that are trained, motivated and people who are
right for the jobs assigned to them.
Staffing: Also known as paid employees. By employing trained and qualified staff for your event enhances
quality and effectiveness for your event, for example accountants who can advise and monitor finances and
expenditure and keep an eye on your budget, also carpenters for building stages or other fittings and
electricians. Positions can also be filled by services providers such as caterers, event venue and equipment
rental services.
Volunteers: Many tasks can be undertaken by volunteers and they are a great addition to an event and reduce
costs. Many people within local communities like to volunteer, it's their chance to give back, if not you can find
many willing volunteers on When working with a team of volunteers induction and training is vital
for both health and safety purposes but also the success of your event. Training such as Health and Safety,
Child Protection and Garda Vetting. As volunteering is an unpaid job, there are many ways to motivate and
reward them such as recognising achievements, providing opportunities to grow skills and training, free
entrance to event when not working, free merchandise.
Handling Crowds and Queues
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Risk Assessment
Step 2. Do you think that your event will run smoothly?
Chances are there are a few things that might go wrong…
But don't worry! Our guide is here to help ensure these problems don't ruin your day here is what you need…
A Risk Assessment!
1. It has to be done before your event, 2 or 3 weeks prior.
2. All the potential risks must be examined as whether the risk is a low risk to a high risk. Don't worry we’ll give you
examples on ours,
3. Heres some of the areas you need to monitor from beginning to end..
On the way in,
Crowd control
Staff and volunteers
Fire extinguishers at the ready
Wheelchair access
Welling alcohol
Food preparation
Crowd disturbance
Queues and lastly the breakdown of your event.
Here's an example What if a light fell from the stage and broke? How would you organise it to be fixed straight away? Do you have an
electrician on site? How long may this take to be fixed? All of these things must be taken into account before the event. So you can
prevent this from happening.
Example Risk Assessment
Area of
Person at
Risk Factor
(low medium
Actions To
New risk
Barrier falls over
hurting member of
the public's foot
The member of
the public's foot
Minor Injuries!
Member of public,
Ensure first aid tent is
on site. Have workers
ensure barriers are
correctly laid down
Name Of Event
Date OF Event
Outdoor concert
Health and Safety
This is an important!
The basis of your risk assessment will help make your health and safety statement.
In the event of a claim or a suggestion of a claim, the Insurers will probably ask to
see a copy of the Health & Safety Statement.
Event organisers have a Duty of Care, this is to the staff the team members the
volunteers, general public, all of the event helpers and stalls at the event. This
means that you have to identify risks and try and solve them before they can occur.
It shows you are managing your event in a professional fashion and fulfilling your
duty of care to all involved.
Emergency Procedures
You need an Emergency Procedure Document in place.
What this you may ask? Well, it’s a detailed document with all procedural plans on it incase any emergency was to take place. All the plans in this document
should be discussed with all your emergency helpers like the fire brigade the Gardai and ambulance. This way they will be fully informed on the day and have a
procedure that they have been involved in the planning of, and confidence in.
Your emergency procedures must cover these scenarios:
Evacuation Procedure
Bomb threat
System failures.
Always keep the public aware of any happenings at your event, in the event of an emergency or incident a report must be written straight after it happened with
detailed account of what happened and any witness’s numbers on file.
Next important step is Insurance.
First you must make sure it’s the right type.. Your insurance company can help you with choosing the right cover. If your event is going to run annually make
sure to update your cover as attendee numbers can increase over the years or your event may develop new themes. Get cover for theft/loss. AOIFE the
association of irish festivals and events can help you get a good rate for insurance cover.
Examples of insurance companies;
Eventsure, ChillInsurance.
Work with your insurance company, inform them of any changes to your event, do not hide or avoid any details!
Licences and permissions
You will need the proper Licences and Permissions in place for your event. Here are some of the licences and permissions you may need. Check out with
your County Council and insurance what is right for you!
Planning Permission
Food and drink sales
Entertainment e.g. fairground rides etc.
Outdoor/indoor event licence in some cases up to 16
weeks’ notice may be required.
Performing Rights for music used over a public address
Road closure permits
Car park facilities provided by land owners
Entertainment and alcohol licence
Premises licence
Temporary structures
Waste disposal
For use of photographs not owned by the
Ordnance Survey Permit if using Maps in brochures
or other Publicity materials
Environmental Policy & Signage
You will need an environmental policy. Why, I hear you ask? Well this will help
ensure your event doesn’t have a significant negative impact on the
environment. And in a modern day world not having this, is simply
Here are some typical issues covered by an environmental policy:
Legislative compliance: your compliance with the Waste management act.
Involves litter control, bin provision, poster distribution and clean-up.
Waste management: Signed front and back of house recycling areas.
Recruitment of a green team to monitor all areas.
Food and beverage packaging: Use of reusable, biodegradable or recyclable
food service-supplies, multi-use water bottles, supplying free drinking
Transport: Free transfer buses,car-sharing services
Communication: Promote your environmental objectives using your website
Go Green, It's the way to go!!
Make sure you have correct signs in the correct places to
safely and quickly get people to and from the site in a short
space of time, with as little as possible interference with local
residence or to the free flow of local traffic, this is dependant
on the positioning of signage. AA signs can be useful.
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Marketing Your Event
Did you ever hear of a ‘Marketing Mix’?
No? Well now’s the time to find out.
Physical evidence!
What are these we hear you ask?
Think about what it is, who it is aimed at, suitable
locations, where is the best place to spread the
word to them, how much will they be willing to
pay, how to create excitement, make sure you
understand your event (product), focus the
message and make sure it is seen in everything you
All the P’s people!
Marketing Your Event
Planning Techniques
Use techniques such as a SWOT analysis to help you
identify how your event will work with existing
markets and events… Strengths/ Weaknesses/
Opportunities and Threats
Planning Strategies
Develop Strategies using SMART goals to identify
and achieve
Marketing Your Event
Develop a logo that visually
encapsulates your event. It is
part of your marketing and will
instantly identify who and what
you are. Ensure that it is on all
of your contact material, emails
Marketing Your Event
Public Relations are about your image
and publicity. Who can help you
spread the word and spread it in the
right place. If your event is designed
for under 25’s. Newspapers are
probably not the place you need.
This is where a media plan will be
of use. Think about who you are
targeting and get in touch with
the people who your audience
listens to.
Media Strategy- Marketing
This is an example of the stages of a
media plan
Whatever your event is you will
need to market it to the correct
target market, if it is going to
attract the audience that you
require. This is a simple plan
that will help you do this...
1.Identify your goals - What do you want your event to be?
2. Who are you in competition with?
3. Identify your Target market?
4. Look for what will make you stand out from the competition and
attract your target market.
5. Identify problems and solutions to these.
6. Develop a plan of action
&. Test it for weaknesses, fix it and do it!
What is out there?...
Here is a list of mediums that you can choose from.
Pick ones suitable to your event and target market.
The’re are many different techniques to increasing
the effectiveness of this.
Do your research on what works best for you!
Print production
Distribution of Event literature
Direct Mail
Press release, lead up
Media coverage, at the event and before it
Photographic library, record of people looking good and get them to share it!
Social Media, live updates, get more people involved. It’s also free
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Event planning Check List
6-12 months before….
Establish Event Goals and Objectives
Recruit Event Committee or event manager
Prepare cost Estimates
Prepare 12 months Plan
Select Venue and Date
Identify Entertainment /Speakers
Identify Sponsors/ Partners
Prepare Risk Assessment
6 months dead-line….
Finalize your contracts with venue/ speakers/
sponsors / entertainment and media
Sponsors -negotiate negotiate negotiate!
Investigate need for permissions / licenses /
permits /insurance
Work closely with garda/ CoCo / First Aid on
delivering event steps
Set up some form of registration or entry rules
for crowd control purposes (online/Ticket)
Prepare your marketing plan
Control your finances and accounts
Adjust your time frame accordingly to size of your event !
Event planning Check List
3 months dead-line….
Establish parking and traffic control
Create publicity plan organise merchandise
Organise your volunteers and staff
Keep regular meetings with all parties involved
partners/sponsors/ authorities/ media/
Create social media pages
Register your event with range of online event
1 months dead-line….
Run trials for traffic control purposes
Review security at the venue
Review risk assessment
Send remainders - online registration if needed
Issue VIP invitation
Request copy of speeches
Press Release
Finalize your staff / volunteers - provide training
where needed
Event planning Check List
1 week to go....
Have all committee meetings and finalize all
details / scripts
Brief staff and volunteers on procedures and on
the day to operations
Confirm Suppliers/ vendors/ subcontractors /
volunteers and entartainers / media etc
Acccounts / finanse check / issue all checks
which needs to be handed on the day of event
Check contractors/ traffic control signage/
sound - video systems
Check times of arrival of all involved
Day of the Event.
Ensure you have copies of all instructions/
directions/ phone numbers/ keys/extra parking
permits for VIP guests/ seating charts/ guest list/
emergency procedures etc.
Follow Production Schedule ( to do list attached
in production section)
Control and monitor your event at all times!
Event planning Check List
Shutdown Procedures
Shut down equipment using specialist staff
Clean and repair
Store or return to rental
Dismantling of barriers, returned to rental
Ensure all work and contracts are complete and
Ensure all payments are finalised
Ask for feedback for final report
Thank yous
Onsite and Staging Area
Lost and found
Asses areas
Collection of signage and promotions
Site/Venue handover
Human resources
Final Payments where applicable
Debrief and next year
Reports and feedback
Thank yous and appreciations
Quotes to be put in relevant areas
Checklist! Checklist! Checklist! - Gail McGibbon, Sligo BID
Be creative, be interactive! Surround yourself with brilliant people! Laura Breheny, Sheil Entertainment
Comfortable shoes! Cathy Tonge, John Brady Event Consultants
It’s what the customer wants, not what you want! – Shea McNelis, 1 plus Security
Innovators, innovate! Imitators, imitate! David Lamb, Studio 1 Designers
Small details make a big difference! Barry Muldowney, The Verve live Agency
C.Y.A!! Cover your ass! Contingencies! Jessy Doyle, Podium Event Productions
It’s all down to personality. Be a man! – Kevin Leonard, Go Sailing
Integrity! Don’t compromise for anyone! - John McGlynn, Trickyfeet Productions
Quotes con’t
Communication, if you don’t have that, everything else falls apart – Aisling Meagher, Teeling Whiskey
Listen! Grainne Brookfield, Nineyards Event Creative
Timing and being aware of your greater environment Adrienne Hughes, Sales Manager, RDS
Different shoes and different tights for day and night Ann McGonagle, The Connection???
Align yourself with a good venue and it will take half the pain away – Jenny O’Conner, The CCD
You are only as good as the power of the collective Nicola McCrane, Connect 16
When you run out of arguments, go for volume! Aidan Phelan, Realta