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This guide to event management planning was produced by the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI). It is a comprehensive, user-friendly guide that has been created to assist culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) community groups with preparing their event.

Contents

Introduction

Welcome to the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) event management planning guide.

Planning an event can be a very daunting experience for many community groups.

It is important to develop an event management plan for every event and to consider every contingency. Not only does an event management plan provide a clear guide for the planning committee, it is also vital when explaining your event to prospective partners (venue hosts, sponsors) and provide them with reassurances they need that you as the event owner have considered the many elements required to successfully deliver the event.

This guide has been developed to assist you to work successfully through the event management planning process.

It includes practical information and resources to help plan, promote and deliver a successful and safe event.

The aim of this guide is to provide positive advice, knowledge and expertise to ensure that your event succeeds, while maintaining the safety of our community.

This guide to event management Planning was produced by the office of Multicultural Interests (OMI). It is a comprehensive, user-friendly guide that has been created to assist culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) community groups with preparing their event.

This document demonstrates a range of issues to consider and resources to use. It includes a guide to simplify the event management planning process and make your event a complete success.

This document is a reference guide only. There may be additional information or requirements that are not necessarily listed in this document. Ensure you consult with your local government authority and other relevant bodies as part of your event preparation.

An event is an effective way of bringing together the community and showcasing your group and its objectives.

Planning

Establishing a planning committee

Planning is the most important part of running a successful event. Where possible, form a planning committee that will be responsible for organising your event. The committee should be formed before the start of the planning process and meet regularly.

A well-organised committee should:

  • establish clear expectations and responsibilities for all parties involved
  • allocate clear roles to each individual within the committee
  • agree on a detailed outline of the event
  • have clear visibility of the committee’s work and know how and when their responsibilities will be carried out
  • ensure that meetings are well planned with a clear agenda and agreed guidelines for how time, contributions and decisions are managed.

Purpose

Defining the aims and objectives of your event is an essential starting point of the management process, to ensure your event’s success.

As you plan, think about these questions:

  • what is the objective of your event?
  • who would you like to take part in your event?
  • how can you plan the event to achieve your objective and appeal to your participants?

You and your planning committee should brainstorm some aims and objectives of the event and ensure these are:

  • specific – ensure your goal is clear measurable – suggest an indicator of progress
  • achievable – make sure your goals are realistic
  • relevant – make certain your goals support your organisation
  • time-bound – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Research

Before investing a lot of time and money into your event, it is important that you research the idea to evaluate the likelihood of its success. You can do this by researching other similar events to determine what worked or didn’t work and what you may wish to try. For example, if you want to plan a festival aimed at children, it’s a good idea to research what other events aimed at children have been held in the past few years. Your research should include:

  • who organised the event?
  • where was the event held?
  • was the event a one-off or an annual event?
  • what entertainment was provided?
  • what food options were provided?
  • what special guests attended?
  • how was the event promoted?
  • how many people attended the event?
  • what worked?
  • what didn’t work?

Through the process of researching, you will be able to establish the viability of the event for your audience.

Then you can go ahead and plan your event with confidence, implementing and facilitating it in the most appropriate and effective way.

Community and public consultation

Consulting with residents and businesses in the vicinity of your venue can assist with the smooth running of your event. This is especially important if your event directly affects any individual or business.

Child Safeguarding

Every child has the right to feel safe when participating in arts, cultural, sporting, recreation and community activities. Organisations that undertake child-related work or activities have a duty of care to keep children and young people (those aged under 18 years) safe from harm. Protecting children and young people from abuse, discrimination and harassment is both a legal requirement and an ethical obligation. This includes complying with the Working with Children Check (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004.

The following resources may assist your organisation to protect children and young people:

Developing an event brief

Event planning includes all activities and issues associated with the event and how you are going to plan for them.

The size, scope and complexity of an event will determine what elements to include in the event brief

An important part of planning an event is realising and remembering the objectives– what are you trying to achieve and why? If the objectives are set at the start of the planning process, everyone involved has a clear understanding.

Your event management plan should include the following information:

  • purpose of the event – including key aims and objectives
  • desired outcomes
  • event details – including venue, time, date, format
  • target audience and anticipated numbers key stakeholders
  • budget and expenses – including funding and sponsorship sources
  • resources required – including infrastructure, equipment and personnel required
  • task list – identifying all the tasks required to deliver the event
  • site plan – and other details about the venue
  • insurance details – including public liability certificate
  • marketing and promotions plan – including media release/s
  • risk management plan – including contingency plan and incident reports
  • emergency management plan – including evacuation plan
  • traffic management plan
  • any permits required – including temporary food stall approvals and liquor licence
  • program content
  • program run sheet – including a contact list
  • any limitations that may exist.

For events held annually, a lot of documentation can be saved and utilised for future years.

Creating a project plan is also recommended. A project plan will show what tasks need to be completed, by when and the person responsible for each task.

Sample project plan

ActivityTaskResponsibilityTimeline
Establish planning committee Allocate roles and responsibilities
Organise agenda and procedure for meetings
Organise meeting venue Schedule meetings
Planning committeeMay
PlanningEstablish type of event–purpose and desired outcomes
Obtain quotes
Apply for funding
Establish budget
Planning committee May to June
Coordination and implementation Schedule event – time, date and format
Book venue Invite VIPs/dignitaries
Book equipment/infrastructure
Book entertainment
Book catering
Book photographer
Assess security requirements
Draw up site plan
Organise insurance
Develop marketing and promotions plan
Develop risk management plan and contingencies
Develop emergency management plan
Develop traffic management plan
Assessed access–disability
Obtain any required permits/licenses
Establish signage requirements
Inform emergency services
Develop program content
Develop run sheet
Develop contact list
Finalise budget
Organise staff/volunteer briefing session
Planning committeeJuly to December
EvaluationConduct evaluation and debrief
Send thank you letters
Produce final income and expenditure
Planning committeeDecember to January

Scheduling the event

Confirm the date and time of the event as early as possible. For example, if it is a minor event such as a workshop or seminar, planning may only take a month; however, for a larger event such as a festival or a conference, allow at least three to six months for planning.

The date and time of the event may be specified by the community group running the event, indicated by the nature of the event itself, other event clashes, or determined by the availability of a particular guest or speaker.

It is important to ensure that the following are all available before setting the date and time of the event:

  • dignitaries or VIPs
  • venue
  • event host

If you would like a dignitary or VIP to attend your event, contact the person responsible for their appointments as early as possible to assist with the selection of a date and time.

The sitting dates for Parliament may also be a consideration. The earlier you can confirm the date and time for the event, the earlier you can begin detailed planning.

Once you have identified a date, notify your key stakeholders and make sure it is in their diaries.

Venue selection

It is critical to select the right venue for your event. The event organiser should inspect the venue as early as possible to make sure it is suitable. An early inspection allows the organiser to identify advance set-up requirements such as the positioning of equipment.

Consideration needs to be given to:

  • cost of using the venue
  • the format and size of the event
  • budget
  • indoor/outdoor requirements
  • access for the disabled
  • location and approximate time travel to get there
  • proximity to public transport
  • adequate car parking
  • heating and air conditioning
  • services supplied – power, water, toilets, lighting
  • site layout
  • wet weather options – umbrella and other
  • coverings to enable the event to continue
  • audiovisual options

Addressing cultural issues

The event organiser should determine if specific cultural issues need to be noted.

Cultural issues can have an impact on the success of an event and can affect:

  • where the event is held
  • when the event should be held
  • who should be invited
  • who should speak
  • what food and drinks should be served what cultural protocols should be adhered to.

Customs related to greeting etiquette, seating arrangements, dress and eating can be of great importance. For example, followers of many religions observe particular dietary requirements, and an awareness of these and other cultural customs can prevent embarrassment.

Event organisers can seek advice on cultural issues from local key stakeholders or other agencies such as consular representatives or OMI.

Cultural and religion information sheets are available on the OMI website.

Guest list

Take care to ensure all relevant people are invited to attend.

In particular, give consideration to inviting the Members of Parliament (MPs) in each relevant electorate and surrounding areas, and make sure that both government and opposition MPs are invited.

Representatives from Australian and local government should also be considered.

If you would like a dignitary or VIP to attend your event, contact the person responsible for their appointments as early as possible Dignitary or VIP involvement You may wish to have a dignitary or VIP attend your event.

Dignitary or VIP involvement

You may wish to have a dignitary or VIP attend your event.

A dignitary or VIP is someone who holds a high rank or office and who should be treated with special courtesy

Dignitary or VIP categories include:

  • Government – Members of Parliament including State or Federal Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Foreign Government Ministers or official representatives
  • Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Governors or Consul Generals
  • relevant senior public servants
  • Chancellors or Vice-Chancellors or equivalent  community and religious leaders.

It is important to invite the dignitary or VIP as early as possible to ensure that they are available.

Considerations that may affect their availability include:

  • the nature and purpose of the event
  • the importance of the event
  • the availability of officials
  • competing events.

When inviting special guests:

  • send a written letter of invitation
  • give plenty of advance notice
  • provide the details of the event, including date, time and venue
  • outline the details of their role at the event
  • provide contact details
  • request that they RSVP by a certain date.

When the Premier, the Minister or their representative has confirmed that they will attend the event:

  • the event organiser must provide information about the event to the officer who will prepare briefing notes for the Premier or the Minister. See sample A1 for an example
  • someone from OMI will contact the event organiser to request the information. It is important that your invitation to the Premier or the Minister include the contact details of someone who is able and available to provide the required information. Make sure to include both during and after-hours telephone numbers (including a mobile number) as well as preferred times for contact.

Protocol

Protocol is the customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence and etiquette.

It means following correct procedures to make sure that official (and unofficial) events are planned and conducted in accordance with a set of rules that are accepted and expected by the people involved.

Following protocol helps to create positive relations and outcomes. For example, the most senior person from the host organisation should meet any dignitaries or VIPs when they arrive, and a parking space should be provided for them.

Protocols during the event

If you have invited the Premier, the Minister or their representative to your event, there are several protocols that you need to observe during the event:

The Western Australian Government has a Protocol Branch to ensure correct protocol is applied at State occasions, visits, ceremonies and official functions. The branch is located within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and can be contacted on 61 8 6552 6333.

Catering

The food and drinks selected for the event will be determined by:

  • budget
  • format of the event
  • type and purpose of the occasion venue
  • any cultural or religious considerations.

Cultural or religious considerations include whether members of some religions and cultures cannot consume particular food or drinks. Dietary requirements for guests should also be determined.

Audio visual

If your event requires audiovisual, you must consider the type of equipment you will need. In doing so, you need to consider:

  • the venue size
  • anticipated size of the audience
  • if the event is held indoors or outdoors
  • access to power
  • requirements for entertainment/performers.

Make sure to test all equipment before your event commences.

Equipment

Depending on the event and venue selected, you may need to hire special equipment. This could include:

  • lectern, microphone, audiovisual system, and stage
  • marquee
  • tables
  • chairs
  • umbrellas and shade cover

When a dignitary or VIP is speaking at your event, it is strongly recommended that a lectern and microphone are provided.

The venue chosen may already provide some or all of the equipment you need for your event, so it is advisable to check before you confirm the venue. Otherwise you may need to source equipment from an external supplier.

Photography

You may want to hire a photographer to record the occasion. This is especially important for events that are of historical significance, such as building openings.

If photographs are being taken:

  • advise relevant people where they need to be, and at what time they need to be there
  • note that you may need to ask people in the photos to sign a photography consent form so that the photos can be used for publicity purposes
  • consider providing photos taken of guests on the day as mementos.

Security

Security is a major consideration for government and public events, particularly if dignitaries and VIPs are attending.

It is the host’s responsibility to ascertain the level of security required.

Dependent on the venue and event, the event organiser might have to engage security staff or crowd controllers.

Site plan

A site plan is a map of the event and is essential for event planning and management. The site plan must be easy to interpret, and can be distributed to key stakeholders for setting up the event. It is also an invaluable tool in an emergency

It is a good idea to draft a site plan for your event identifying the utilities and services. Use the checklist below to determine the items you need.

Sample site plan checklist

CriteriaNotesYesNo
Entrances and exits   
Evacuation points   
Toilets   
Disabled access   
Rubbish bins   
Drinking water    
First aid   
Fire extinguishers   
Availability of power/water   
Telephone access   
Parking areas   
Vehicle access routes   
Pedestrian routes   
Proximity to public transport   
Directional signage location   
Registration area   
Staff/volunteer area   
Event administration area   
Stages/marquees   
Emergency access routes   
Information booths   
Performance/entertainment sites   
Food vendors/stalls   
Seating/shade   
Licenced liquor consumption area   
Restricted areas   

Sample site plan

Sample site plan

Contact list

It is necessary to put together a contact list of all your key contacts for the event, including staff, volunteers, partners, suppliers and stakeholders. It is also handy to include emergency authority contact details such as local police, fire brigade and ambulance service.

Sample contact list

OrganisationContact namePositionContact details
Cafe’ YumTing LoCatering1234 567 890 cafe.yum@example.com
AV TechsAdnan AddullahAudiovisual1234 567 890 audio.tech@example.com
Staff/volunteer memberMaria IraciRegistration Table1234 567 890 maria.i@exmple.com
Staff/volunteer memberMary SmithMC1234 567 890 mary.s@exmple.com

Budget

In order to plan your event successfully, you need to develop an accurate and comprehensive budget.

Creating and maintaining a realistic budget throughout the event planning process is essential to ensure you do not overspend.

You may have a great idea for an event, but you need to make sure it is financially viable. A budget helps you plan this out.

When balancing your budget, your total income should be equal to or greater than your total expenditure. If your total expenditure is more than your total income then you have overspent, and you need to look at cutting some of your costs, or finding additional sources of income.

Sample budget

IncomeIncome amountExpenditureExpenditure amount
Organisations cash contribution$Administration costs (office costs, postage)$
Grants/sponsorships$Operating costs (venue hire, equipment hire, entertainment, catering) $
Ticket sales$Other costs (marketing/promotion costs)$
Donations/in-kind contributions$ $
Total income$Total expenditure$


Expenses

It is important to account for all costs associated with your event’s activities. Be sure that you do not overspend on this amount, unless you have income to cover the expense.

When considering your budget, don’t forget to include the following where appropriate:

  • venue costs
  • equipment and infrastructure hire – staging, marquee, trestle table, toilets, bins
  • audiovisual – equipment, technicians
  • entertainers and performers – performers’ fees, travel, instrument hire
  • marketing and promotion – design, print, advertisements, website
  • signage
  • catering – food, beverages, wait staff
  • power – consumption at venue and generator hire
  • permit fees
  • security
  • photographer
  • traffic management fees
  • salaries and fees
  • travel and accommodation
  • overheads – administration costs, telephone use
  • first aid
  • contingency – at least 10 per cent is recommended as a guide.

To obtain the best possible price, contact several suppliers with your event requirements and arrange a quote.

Funding and sponsorship

Sourcing funding and sponsorship is essential for many groups running community events.

Before applying for funding or seeking sponsorship it is vital that all core elements of your event management plan have been considered and, where possible, addressed.

It is a good idea to pursue several funding options and not rely on just one.

Grant funding sources

Government departments and various organisations fund community events for different purposes. Finding and applying for grants funding can be a complex and time-consuming process. Each funding body has different criteria and conditions of funding and it is important that your group is aware of these before submitting an application for funding.

Some tips for submitting funding applications include:

  • allow enough time – some grants take up to six months to process
  • be aware of deadlines for submissions and ensure your application is submitted before the closing date
  • read the guidelines carefully – make note of assessment criteria and conditions of funding
  • propose a realistic budget – be as detailed as possible
  • ask for assistance from the funding body if required.

Many funding bodies deliver grant writing workshops to assist you in writing your application.

Grant and funding information can be found at:

Sponsorship

A sponsor is a business or organisation that supports your group’s event either financially or in-kind in return for acknowledgement or publicity

Potential sponsors you may like to approach for support include:

  • local businesses
  • local shopping centres
  • local service clubs
  • local sporting groups.

A sponsor should share similar ideas, objectives or target audience as your organisation and the proposed event.

By researching their priorities and guidelines for sponsorship in advance, you can align your approach and submission to these goals.

Donations and in-kind contribution

Donations and in-kind contribution refers to goods, services, and transactions not involving money or not measured in monetary terms.

For example, services such as a café offering to cater for your event or a professional event planner offering to donate their time to assist with the event planning.

Before applying for funding or seeking sponsorship it is vital that all core elements of your event management plan have been considered.

Public health

Safety

When setting up a venue, equipment and fixtures should not impact on emergency access, block fire-fighting equipment or obscure any emergency procedure signage.

Consider the likely attendance when booking a venue to ensure that visitors do not exceed the venue’s maximum capacity.

Event activities need to be assessed for health and safety risks and appropriate actions taken to reduce identified risks.

Temporary food stalls

Local government authorities will often send their health services team to conduct inspections at events to ensure that all food stalls are approved and food is handled safely, protected from contamination and labelled correctly.

As an event organiser, you must ensure that the food stalls operating at your event are practising safe food handling procedures and complying with your local government authority requirements for the operation of a temporary food stall.

If you want to sell or provide food and drink at your event, you need to seek approval from your local government authority

Alcohol

If you intend to sell or supply alcohol at your event, a liquor license must be obtained from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and from your local government authority.

The event organiser will also be required to provide adequate segregated areas for the sale and consumption of alcohol if the event is open to all age groups. Ensure to mark this on your site plan.

Event safety and access

Traffic management

If your event impacts on any road, public transport or the flow of local traffic, you will need to notify your local government authority of your event.

They will be able to explain how your event may affect the road network and traffic flow, and elements required for a traffic management plan.

Traffic management plans will require approval from your local government authority and possibly Main Roads Western Australia.

For more information regarding traffic management for your event, please contact the local government authority for your event site.

The event organiser must also consider the following traffic requirements:

  • adequate car parking space, including overflow parking
  • access for people with disabilities
  • preferred access routes to the venue.

Parking

If it is a large event with a high projected number of visitors you should ascertain if parking attenants are required or the area needs to be reserved. Ensure your visitors are notified of parking information.

Disability access

When organising your event you should ensure that you provide adequate disability access in order to make your event accessible and inclusive of all people in the community.

The event organiser must consider accessibility as an important part of their planning and put measures in place to ensure that the event site is accessible to everyone.

Consider the following points to ensure that all disability factors have been considered:

  • wheelchair access
  • if an external venue is used, availability of a lift or appropriate ramps
  • the entrance to the event is wide enough for wheelchair access
  • seats are reserved at the front of the event to allow for people with hearing impairments
  • reading material may be available on request for people with other disabilities.

Signage

Appropriate signage must be used to direct people to amenities and locations at your event. Signs should be installed to provide safe, easy access and movement. It is recommended that the following signage be used to provide information about:

  • entrances and exits
  • toilets
  • drinking water
  • information booths
  • first aid
  • parking
  • lost and found
  • ticketing

Note that if you are using signs that are anchored by pickets/pegs you should obtain permission from your local government authority to ensure that council-owned land is not affected.

Emergency management

It is important to inform emergency authorities including local police, fire brigade and ambulance service of your event

If your event is large scale (more than 500 people), the provision of first aid facilities is essential. Ambulance services can be contracted to provide first aid requirements. For smaller events, you need to ensure there is a first aid kit available and an event staff/ volunteer member who has been trained in senior first aid.

If your event is operating food stalls, you must ensure that the appropriate fire extinguishers are available in any high-risk areas.

It is also vital to identify and record details of local emergency services, in case you need to call them for assistance. These details can be recorded on your contact list.

It is recommended that you have an emergency management plan in place. This plan will outline your response in the event of an emergency. It should consider:

  • possible emergency interruptions
  • evacuation procedures
  • emergency authority vehicle access
  • person responsible in case of emergency and evacuation.

Your emergency management plan can help form part of your risk management strategy.

Incident management

Risk management plan

Risk management is the effective management of potential factors or hazards that may happen before or during your event that could negatively impact on the event, your organisation or its objectives.

Before your event, it is vital that you make an informed assessment of all possible risks and opportunities associated with the event. You must identify any potential hazards that could pose a risk to anyone involved in the event and potential opportunities for improvements

Hazards may include:

  • inclement weather
  • suppliers or staff/volunteers falling ill
  • technical faults
  • slips, trips and falls
  • uneven ground
  • fit outs within buildings
  • temporary structures
  • proximity to water bodies
  • fire
  • chemicals stored onsite

This list is not exhaustive. The event organiser must ensure that all hazards appropriate to the event are addressed.

Contingency plan

A contingency plan is created after you have conducted a risk assessment, and should be developed in case of unforeseen disruptions. This involves identifying all possible scenarios that could have a negative impact on the event, such as weather conditions.

Once the possible disruptions have been identified, develop a set of actions that can be implemented to reduce the anticipated negative impacts on the event, if or when challenges arise.

Sample contingency plan

Hazards identifiedAction to minimise risk
Hot weather predicted Ensure there are adequate shade areas, sunscreen and drinking water available
Staff/volunteer member falls illEnsure there are back- up staff available to work and that they have been briefed on their responsibilities
A child trips and falls while running in the playground and grazes his kneeEnsure there is a first aid kit available and a staff/volunteer member with senior first aid qualifications

Incident report

It is also important to ensure that you have an incident report form available in order to record details of an incident if one occurs, such as an injury. The purpose of an incident report is to document the exact details of the occurrence while it is fresh in the minds of those who witnessed the event.

Sample incident report

DateDescription of incidentPerson involved (name, phone)Action taken
22/10/2015 10.10am Staff/volunteer member dropped glass on ground and cut finger while picking up glass Said Ismael 1234 567 890Said was taken to the first aid post. His finger was assessed and treated.
22/10/2015 12.55pm Member of the public fainted due to the hot weatherMaria Iraci 1234 567 890Maria was taken to the first aid post. She was assessed and treated.
22/10/2015 1.25pm Child fell over and grazed his elbow David Reilly 1234 567 890David was taken to the first aid post. He was assessed and treated.

Legal issues

Insurance

Managing an event includes ensuring the safety of event organisers, contract staff, event/volunteer staff and the public.

It is important that groups running events have sufficient insurance to cover them if something goes wrong during the event.

Public liability

It is highly recommended that event organisers have comprehensive public liability insurance as part of their risk management strategy.

Other insurance cover available for groups running events includes product liability insurance, volunteer workers’ insurance and property insurance.

It is recommended that you consult with an insurance broker about your group’s specific needs.

For more information or advice on insurance for your group visit Local Community Insurance Services (LCIS) at www.localcommunityinsurance.com.au

Program

Program content

You need to define clearly the reason for hosting your event, giving careful consideration to your target audience.

The program content should be selected to support the concept underpinning your event.

Activities should be tailored to meet these requirements.

A range of entertainment to keep people interested from the event’s start to finish should be chosen to complement activities. For example, if your event is targeted towards children, remember to also cater for parents and carers in the programming.

An Acknowledgement of Country is a means by which all people can show respect for Aboriginal culture and heritage and the ongoing relationship traditional custodians have with the land.

At minor events, such as seminars, workshops and meetings, a master of ceremonies or speaker may begin by acknowledging that the meeting is taking place in the country of the traditional custodians.

For example: “I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present.”

At major events, such as conferences, exhibitions and opening ceremonies where official guests and dignitaries are in attendance, it is important that an Elder be asked to conduct the ‘Welcome’. In addition, other welcoming activities such as music and dance may be used under the direction of the Elder

Acknowledgement of Country

Welcome to Country information can be found at:

Program run sheet

Run sheets are critical to ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening and whose responsibility it is to make it happen.

The smooth running of an event is dependent upon the people involved knowing what, where and when activities are occurring.

A run sheet sets the timing and sequence of the event, so that you and other key stakeholders know what is happening and when.

Your run sheet should include:

  • what time all suppliers/performers/organisers/volunteers will arrive/set-up (bump in)
  • what time all dignitaries/VIPs will arrive
  • what time every activity is occurring
  • all on-stage and off-stage entertainment
  • what time all suppliers/performers/organisers/volunteers will pack up (bump out).

Be realistic with your time. Try to schedule some elbow room so that the program has room to stretch if you need it. Always be flexible.

Sample run sheet

TimeActivityWho is responsible?
10.00amStaff/volunteers arrive at venue – Set-up chairs and tables Staff/volunteer – Said, Louise, Nguyen
11.30amCaterers arrive at venue – Set up food and beverageExternal supplier – Café Yum
12.30pmGuests arrive at venue – GreetStaff/volunteer – Said
12.45pmEvent starts – MC welcomes guestsMC
12.50pmVIP delivers speechVIP
1.00pmPresentationStaff/volunteer – Louise
1.20pmEvent ends – Wrap up eventMC
1.25pmPack up venue – Tables and chairs CateringStaff/volunteer – Said, Louise, Nguyen Café Yum

Order of speakers

The order of speakers at most events is:

  • Welcome to Country
  • introduction by the master of ceremonies (MC)
  • welcome by the host
  • introduction of the principal speaker – the dignitary or VIP – by the MC
  • main speech by the dignitary or VIP
  • speeches or presentations by other speakers in the program
  • conclusion by the MC.

As a general rule of protocol, the Premier, the Minister or their representative should speak after the host and before any other speakers in the program.

Sample A2 provides an example of an order of proceedings.

Before the event–Staff/volunteer briefing

Hold a briefing session for everybody involved with the event to go through the program run sheet.

Ensure that all members of the event team are briefed of their duties and responsibilities. Make sure that audiovisual equipment has been tested and that the MC is fully briefed.

Marketing and promotion

As an event organiser, you will be required to promote your event to the community and key stakeholders.

Marketing and promoting your event correctly is essential to ensure you reach your target audience and have a high attendance on the day.

You will need to consider the best and most cost-effective way of advertising and promoting your event to keep to the event budget.

A list of promotional tools you can use to circulate your message include:

  • posters
  • flyers
  • brochures
  • personal invitations
  • word of mouth
  • social media
  • mail drops
  • media releases
  • signage and banners
  • websites
  • online event calendars
  • online tourism and event websites
  • mail outs/ email distribution lists
  • noticeboards
  • local newspapers
  • local radio.

For effective promotion, utilise a combination of the above.

Media

Media coverage is a great way to let people know about your group and your event.

It’s important to make your event newsworthy, as your objective is for journalists and editors to be interested enough in your event that they give it media coverage.

Ways to use the media

Send out a media release. Call a radio show and talk about your event. Write a story about your event and publish it online–many organisations with an online presence have calendars that you can use to advertise your event.

Media release

A media release is a great way to inform the media of your event. Some tips for writing effective media releases are:

  • keep it short and to the point, preferably no more than one A4 page
  • ensure you include all relevant information – name, time, date, venue, purpose of event, key activities, special guests, food, entry fee
  • include contact details for media enquiries
  • send your media release to as many relevant media contacts as possible to increase your chances of the story being printed.

Evaluation

It is important to carry out a thorough assessment to measure whether you have achieved the event’s purpose. 

Successful aspects of the event need to be documented along with areas that need improvement.

Seek feedback from both staff/volunteers and guests to make an informed assessment of the event’s overall impact.

Debrief

After the event is over, it is important to organise a debrief to review all aspects of the experience.

Debriefing is a process where event stakeholders have the opportunity to discuss what worked, what didn’t, why it didn’t work and how it could be improved.

It should be viewed as a worthwhile experience. It will allow for constructive criticism and feedback that helps build on improvements for other events.

Some questions you may want to consider in the event debrief are:

  • was the event within budget?
  • how many people attended the event?
  • did you allow enough planning time?
  • did you reach your target audience?
  • were the theme and timing appropriate?
  • were the venue facilities adequate?
  • were your suppliers professional and did they give value for money?
  • what promotion or media attention did the event receive?
  • what was successful?
  • what improvements would you make next time?

After the event – Thanks

After your event, formal written thank you letters should be issued to speakers, sponsors and people who worked extensively on the event, to show your appreciation. This is an important factor for relationship building and future events. Thank you letters should be sent out as soon as possible following the event, usually in the week after the event.

Event checklist

Have you:

  • established a planning committee and allocated roles and responsibilities?
  • established the purpose of your event – including the aims and objectives?
  • established the desired outcomes?
  • developed an event management plan?
  • established the target audience and anticipated numbers?
  • established the key stakeholders – including advising them of the event?
  • established the resources required?
  • established a task list – including responsibilities and deadlines?
  • established a budget and secured funding? sourced and booked a venue?
  • scheduled event – time, date and format?
  • invited VIPs and dignitaries?
  • obtained quotes and secured suppliers – equipment and infrastructure?
  • developed a site plan?
  • organised public liability insurance?
  • developed a marketing and promotions plan?
  • developed a risk management plan – including contingencies?
  • developed an emergency plan?
  • developed a traffic management plan?
  • catered for disability access?
  • obtained any necessary permits/licences?

Event checklist

  • assessed signage requirements?
  • informed emergency services?
  • are first aid and fire extinguishers required?
  • developed the program content?
  • developed a run sheet?
  • developed a key contacts list?
  • conducted a staff/volunteers briefing session prior to the event?
  • conducted an evaluation/debrief session after the event?
  • sent thank you letters to speakers and sponsors?
  • produced final income and expenditure report?

Sample A1

See below for an example of the information required if the Premier, Minister or representative is attending an event. Event organisers need to supply the following details to the officer responsible for preparing briefing notes for the Premier or Minister.

Event name: Perth Multicultural Concert and Celebration 
Location: Supreme Court Gardens, Riverside Drive 
Arrival time and date: 5.30pm, Saturday 3 October 2014 
Contact on the day: Mr John Citizen, Secretary, Perth Multicultural Association Inc (PMA) 
Mobile: 0400 123 456 
Audience: Approximately 2000 people will attend the event 
Dress: Smart attire 
Met by: Ms Jane Doe, President, Multicultural Association Inc (PMA)

Order of proceedings:

5.30pm Arrival of Hon Paul Papalia CSC, MLA, Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests 
6.00pm Welcome by President, PMA 
6.05pm Speech by Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests 
6.10pm Speech by representative of the Opposition 
6.15pm Performance begins 
7.45pm Interval 
8.00pm Performance resumes 
9.00pm Refreshments 
9.55pm Event concludes

Minister’s role: To open the event and give a short speech 
Speech duration: Three to five minutes 
Introduced by: Ms Sheila Ozzie, Master of Ceremonies and Chairperson of PMA 
Logistics:

  • Microphone: Yes No N/A
  • Lectern: Yes No N/A
  • Parking: Reserved Public N/A 
    A parking space has been reserved for the Minister in the car park at the front of the venue

Cultural protocols: There are no cultural protocols for this event 
Acknowledgements: Event organisers need to supply a list of names of VIPs attending the event

Sample A2

See below for an example of an order of proceedings for an event. This information should be given to the officer responsible for preparing briefing notes for the Premier or Minister, as part of the information contained in Sample A1.

The details and length of the order of proceedings will vary according to the complexity of the event, how many speeches there are, and how long the event runs for.

The order of proceedings should always include the following:

  • the time that the Premier, Minister or representative is requested to arrive
  • the time that the Premier, Minister or representative should give a speech (if applicable)
  • the time that the event finishes
  • if times are approximate, make a note of this in the order of proceedings.

Order of proceedings:

10.00am Guests arrive 
10.15am Welcome by Mr Said Smith, President, Multicultural Association Vice President, Multicultural Association, introduces Premier’s representative 
10.25am Speech by representative of Premer of WA 
10.30am Speech by Mayor of Fremantle 
10.38am Thank you by Mr Said Smith, President, Multicultural Association 
10.40am Introductory video on Multicultural Association Inc 
10.50am Dance performance: Sirocco Dancers 
11.00am Musical interlude: A Night in Perth 
11.15am Dance performance: Perth Central School pupils 
11.25am Performance by students from Perth Multicultural Drama School 
12.00noon Entertainment concludes 
12.15pm Lunch is served Talent show (runs through afternoon) Raffle 
2.45pm Presentation of talent show prizes 
3.00pm Event concludes

See also the order of proceedings in Sample A1.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The information and advice within this document is provided voluntarily by the Office of Multicultural Interests as a public service. The information and advice is provided in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of this document. The reader of this document should satisfy him or herself concerning its application to their situation. The State of Western Australia, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, the Office of Multicultural Interests, and their officers expressly disclaim liability for any act or omission occurring in reliance on this document or for any consequences of such act or omission. Current as at August 2020.

For more information

Office of Multicultural Interests, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries 
Gordon Stephenson House, 140 William Street, Perth WA 6000 
GPO Box 8349, Perth WA 6849

Telephone 61 8 6551 8700 
Freecall 1800 620 511 (Country only) 
Email harmony@omi.wa.gov.au 
Website www.omi.wa.gov.au 
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) telephone 13 14 50

Page reviewed 20 August 2020