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planning your event

There are a number of useful tools available to assist event coordinators and committees stage a safe and well organised event.

Many local shires have an event package. Smart Events suggests you contact your local shire as the first step in planning your event.

Useful tools

The Department of Health and the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor have produced a helpful guide called 'A Planning Guide for Events Managers'. The guide is comprehensive and aims to assist event managers with all aspects of planning an event, from entertainment considerations, entry and exit plans, lighting, first aid, and the management of alcohol.

Copies can be obtained from: Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor Phone (08) 9425 1888 or at

"Special Events, A Managed Approach" by Eventscorp is a practical guide to event management and is designed around a training workshop. The manual is designed for use by all event organisers, regardless of their experience and expertise. Additionally, EventsCorp assists regional events by providing advice on event management and marketing.

For further information please contact Chris Tate or Saskia Doherty 9791 9400

There is a lot of work involved in planning an event. It is imperative that the organising committee share and understand the primary objectives of the events. Set out your objectives early on by asking some key questions:

  • What do you hope to achieve from the event?
  • What do you want the event to say?
  • Who is the audience?

Organising committees can share the workload by allocating roles. Some individuals may be required to take on more than one role.

Here is a sample of some event committee roles:

1. Coordination
2. Administration
3. Facilities & operations (Map) hyperlink to bottom of page)
4. Shire application
5. Marketing
6. Finance: fundraising, grant & sponsorships
7. Sponsorship service
8. Entertainment Management and scheduling
9. Market Stalls & Food Vans

1. Coordination:


  • Contact Smart Events to check for clashes with other events in the region(link to members only access page of events )
  • Compile rosters for: Information Marquee, survey, security, cleaning up.
  • Contact shire re main road signage
  • Identify the most appropriate parking areas for general activities and special activities
  • Determine signage required
  • Organise map of area and location of marquees
  • Assess requirement of walkie-talkies - availability/ training
  • Organise a special thank you to volunteers

On the Day

  • Liaise with SES and Police during the event
  • Assist with crowd control where necessary
  • Ensure signage is in place to advise public of any road closure or parking
  • Ensure signs are removed at end of the event
  • Ensure parking areas are adequately signposted and manned
  • Signage- Ensure sponsors banners are displayed appropriately
  • Organise delivery of floats
  • Deliver receipt book for merchandising/CD sales
  • Ensure money removed regularly for security purposes
  • Ensure volunteers are provided with cold refreshments/toilet breaks etc
  • Ensure Festival programs are available at Information Marquee
  • Posters and programs are available at Information Marquee
  • Organise PA announcements for lost children

2. Administration:

  • Compile contact details of each committee member
  • Maintain market stall database. (link to members only page of stall holders)
  • Compile performers' database
  • Compile local sporting and Community groups' database
  • Equipment/material suppliers' database (Members only page of business suppliers)
  • Make initial reservation for any accommodation required
  • Provide costing, rules and facility information for inclusion in general performers and stall holders contracts
  • Provide final numbers and names to each accommodation outlet.
  • Organise identification badges for Committee Members, Volunteers, performers, Security Staff, SES, Ambulance and Video Crew.

3. Facilities & operations

  • Book equipment trailer through Smart Events
  • Determine what equipment requires extension cords, powerboards, and plugs
  • Liaise with electrician connecting power
  • Check with Shire for number of adequate toilet facilities
  • Source a suitable central storage point for equipment/banners etc
  • Organise collection of rubbish and provision of bins
  • Source equipment through Shire, in-kind community support, hire or purchase
  • Liaise with all committee members to determine a comprehensive list of equipment requirements (staging, artistic workshops, information marquee, VIP guests, trestles and seating, tents, etc)
  • Organise collection and return of equipment
  • Develop and convey accident emergency procedures to SES, Police, St Johns Ambulance, Committee members, and volunteers.
  • Develop and convey fire emergency procedures to SES, Town Fire Brigade, Police, Committee Members, Volunteers and Briefing
  • Organise contact list for technical staff (sound/lighting etc) in case of emergency (doctors)
  • Liaise with Police Department and Security Firms and shire Ranger to request assistance
  • Liaise with SES, stall holders, equipment suppliers and performers to determine security requirements and time frames.
  • Provide security contact list to all Committee Members


  • Ensure toilets are cleaned and stocked regularly
  • Liaise with Shire for delivery of additional bins and/or multi skip and ensure they are serviced each day
  • Ensure clean up is completed each evening
  • Liaise with Shire to ensure area is adequately cleaned and cleared
  • Ensure marquees are properly located and set up on time
  • Stock staff caravan with tea/coffee/kettle/ milk/ writing equipment/phone books, first aid kit
  • Arrange collection and delivery of equipment to venues
  • Ensure Equipment is collected after the event

4. Shire application

  • Contact Shire with event plans at least 6 months prior to the event.
  • Collect Shire Information Package for Events.
  • Ensure all permits are submitted in time.
  • The Local Shire is the first stop for other Government Department licenses, such as Liquor Licenses and Road Closure Permits.

5. Marketing

  • Design and proof read posters and programs
  • Print and deliver posters
  • Design and proof read flyer
  • Print and deliver flyers
  • Formulate copy for radio advertisements and/or community announcements
  • Send details of event to free website listings
  • Send out regular media releases


  • Liaise with any media representatives during the event
  • Distribute flyers to market stalls, food stalls, information marquee and local business
  • Distribute flyers to crowd during the event

6. Finance: fundraising, grant & sponsorships

  • Allow at least 4 months for most grant applications
  • Review budget and actuals for projections
  • Source funding and sponsorship opportunities
  • Offer local business sponsorship opportunities


  • Ensure adequate change is provided to information marquee, market stalls etc
  • Ensure coordinator is provided with cheques for performers' payments and minimal cash for incidentals
  • Ensure final cheques to performers are sent out after the event
  • Finalise Income/Expense report

7. Sponsorship Service

  • Liaise with all committee members on sponsorship approval conditions which need to be met
  • Make invitations to sponsors and VIP's including name badges
  • Compile lists of thankyous' for inclusion in Newspaper advertisement
  • Write thankyou speech for sponsors


  • Meet and assist sponsors on weekend
  • Organise sponsors drinks/entertainment
  • Provide 'Welcome Kit' to sponsors on arrival
  • Assist in official Opening and Announcements
  • Arrange collection /delivery/return of sponsors info display material


  • Organise sponsors gifts, thanksyous photos, T-shirts etc
  • Forward thank you letters in week following The Festival to sponsors ,in kind, community service clubs, volunteers, support services

8. Entertainment Management and Scheduling

  • Arrange an Expression of Interest Notice for performers
  • Contact Smart Events for performers database
  • Sign contracts with performers. (Smart Events has samples)
  • Determine power and staging requirements and advise facilities personnel.
  • Provide final details of performers for design of posters and tickets
  • Provide details of performers to marketing personnel
  • Liaise with other venues for on selling of performers
  • Finalise performance schedule for inclusion in program
  • Provide a roster for a representative to meet and assist musicians
  • Provide vehicle area for equipment to be dropped off
  • Notify performers of suitable parking area
  • Liaise with artists to compile comprehensive list of items for sale (ie CD's, T shirts, posters, tapes)
  • Ensure cheques are forwarded to each artist/performer


  • Ensure refreshments are provided for performers where necessary
  • Liaise with performers for sound and lighting requirements
  • Meet all acts 30 minutes prior to performance and ensure ready
  • Introduce acts when necessary
  • Ensure all stage equipment is delivered and returned
  • Ensure power and adequate extension cords and adaptors are available.
  • Check for noise problems with surrounding business or event
  • Provide a blackboard notice stating when promotional material can be signed by participating artists
  • Arrange collection/delivery/return of goods to artists

9. Market Stalls & Food Vans

  • Contact Smart Events for market stall database (hyperlink to members only page) from Smart Events
  • Organise an Expressions of Interest notice for market stall holders, with deadline for responses.
  • Coordinate mail out letter and update of database
  • Check equipment requirements (ie extension leads/adaptors)
  • Locate available power supply and access
  • Determine if generator required and advise to Facilities
  • Discuss alternative grass and car park areas for market stall use
  • Compile Market and food stall holders registrations list
  • Produce map of market stall bays and provide copy to other stall holders and Information Marquee
  • Organise banking of cash collected from market stall holders.


  • Ensure special markings are provided for trades/emergency access/disable parking (roped off/red tape)
  • Direct market stall holders to bays
  • Check if overnight security is required in market stall area and advise security
  • Collect any additional last minute stall holder fees if required
  • Handle any queries/complaints regarding location of stall holders
  • Control roaming sellers

Planning Timeline

ACTIVITY One year to 4 months before the event 12 weeks 11 weeks 10 weeks 9 weeks 8 weeks 7 weeks 6 weeks 5 weeks 4 weeks 3 weeks 2 weeks 1 week
Set objectives for the event                          
Consider date and venue                        
Draft programme                        
Liaise with local shire for approval process                        
Lodge shire application                          
Contact local police services                  
Contact emergencies services                  
Submit liquor licence      
Traffic management plan                          
Purchase public liability                          
Draw up staff/volunteer rosters                          
Brief volunteers                          
Prepare budget                          
Submit grant applications                          
Approach possible sponsors                          
review budget    
Book equipment                  
Approach entertainers                          
Sign performers contracts                          
Send stall holders site maps & details                      
Send finalised programme to print                          
Send media release to magazine print                          
Send media release to local newspapers            
Send community announcement to radio stations                      
Place posters                
Send out fliers                    
Erect banners                      
Send information to free website listings              

Click here for print version of this Planning Timeline
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