Event Committee Structure
This is an example of a typical event committee structure, with an executive committee and subcommittee coordinators for various elements of the event. Adjust the positions to suit your event.
- Event Coordinator
- Finance Coordinator
- Operations Coordinator
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Marketing Coordinator
- Merchandise Coordinator
- Market Stall Coordinator
- Kids’ Activities Coordinator
- Music Coordinator
- Event MC
- Sign Coordinator
- Post-Event Review Coordinator
Roles & Responsibilities
Provide leadership and direction to the committee and oversee the master event timeline.
- Chair meetings.
- Face of the event including media spokesperson, etc.
- Manage the planning timeline and ensure coordinators and staff are meeting deadlines.
- Set and manage budget with the Treasurer / Finance coordinator.
- Contact for public enquires e.g. phone, email, etc.
- Manage the overarching program and develop run sheets, MC notes, etc.
- Represent event at meetings and functions with bodies such as regional and state tourism organisations.
Provide financial guidance and advice to the committee.
- Set budget with Event Coordinator.
- Manage accounts receivable and payable.
- Provide financial statements to monthly executive committee meeting
- Prepare quarterly financial reports.
- Manage an accounts email address and ensure this is used for all finance communications.
During The Event
- Ensure each area has adequate cash floats (coordinators are responsible for providing information on their needs prior to event).
- Deliver floats to each area early in the morning.
- Keep records of all floats and cash movements.
- Manage a spare float for extra change.
- Collect and count money once throughout the day, ensuring that each area’s money is kept separate.
- Collect floats at the end of the event and keep them separate.
- Arrange the counting of money and banking.
- Do a summary report of revenue for each area, in preparation for debrief and event report.
- Provide financial reports for reporting.
Provide governance and administrative support to the committee.
- Set agenda items with Event Coordinator.
- Compile agenda and record minutes for meetings.
- Disseminate agenda and minutes to the committee.
- Write letters, emails and other documents
- File committee documents.
- Manage mail.
- Send thank you letters to volunteers and stakeholders.
- Coordinate the committee debrief meeting with the Event Coordinator.
- Update the event manual and ensure coordinators update their checklists in preparation for the following year.
Meet Statutory Requirements
- Compile and submit any necessary development applications.
- Complete risk assessments.
- Confirm event insurance.
- Manage work health and safety requirements.
Coordinate an effective traffic management plan.
- Compile and submit an event management plan.
- Liaise with TRC, Queensland Police and Department of Transport and Main Roads.
- Liaise with the SES on traffic management.
- Manage car parking.
- Liaise with Sign Coordinator.
Ensure necessary infrastructure for the site is ordered, tested and delivered.
- Order necessary infrastructure for the event.
- Coordinate the bump in of infrastructure.
- Liaise with trades.
Ensure the event site is prepared and ready for the event.
- Work with the Executive Committee to develop the site design and plan.
- Liaise with TRC regarding site mowing and anything they can do to support preparation.
- Arrange car parking areas.
Source and coordinate event volunteers for the event.
- Liaise with coordinators to determine how many volunteers they need and when and if they have requests for certain volunteers.
- Regularly recruit new volunteers.
- Develop volunteer recruitment forms.
- Use mailing list database and other means e.g. school newsletters and community groups to call out for volunteers and recruit new volunteers.
- Ensure volunteer rosters are finalised with enough volunteers for set up and post-event clean up.
- Maintain the volunteer roster.
- Complete final rosters and send to each volunteer with an induction pack including exact area where they are working, sign on/off, food handling guidelines, etc. Provide their coordinator’s contacts and encourage them to make contact. Thank all volunteers for their support and attach an invitation to the volunteer thank you party.
- Send coordinators their final roster and contacts for their team, encouraging them to touch base to ensure team members are ready for the event.
- If necessary reallocate volunteers to ensure adequate support.
- Coordinate floaters and roamers and be a support person on event day.
- Coordinate volunteer thank you event with Executive Committee and Operations Coordinator.
- Ensure volunteers receive a formal letter of thanks to recognise their efforts and a link to the volunteers’ feedback survey.
- Provide feedback and a report on numbers of volunteers and what changes need to be made.
Promote the event to target markets to attract people to the event.
- Develop and implement a marketing plan for the event.
- Undertake media activities including public relations, media releases and media liaison.
- Coordinate advertising as approved by the committee.
- Coordinate website updates, newsletter and social media.
- Coordinate the collateral, signs and programs.
- Develop packages and partnerships with accommodation providers and restaurants.
Identify, pursue and secure sponsorship (financial and in-kind) and apply for grant funding.
- Set target sponsorship budget with Treasurer.
- Create a sponsorship proposal.
- Identify and approach sponsors.
- Secure in-kind and cash sponsorship.
- Develop sponsorship partnership contracts and have them signed.
- Manage sponsorship partnerships and communicate with sponsors.
- Liaise with sponsors.
- Write and submit grant applications
- Oversee the development and delivery of event surveys.
- Compile the event review report based on survey results and debrief feedback.
Source and sell merchandise to raise revenue.
- Source relevant products aligned with the event’s brand and values e.g. sustainable products, local products, etc. that can be branded and sold at the event.
- Work with the committee on quantity of products to order.
- Order branded products.
- Coordinate merchandise sales.
- Provide feedback to the committee on sales.
Market Stall Coordinator
Coordinate the event’s markets, ensuring they add value to the event and align with the event’s values and vision.
- Maintain the stallholder database.
- Develop and manage market stall applications.
- Liaison and contact point for market stall enquires.
- Coordinate the site plan for market stalls.
- Manage bump-in and onsite enquires.
- Source post-event feedback from stallholders.
Children’s Activities Coordinator
Develop and manage children’s activities for the event.
- Consult with the committee to determine what kids’ activities will be required.
- Plan kids’ activities and/or competitions and liaise with local schools.
- Order supplies and equipment, and liaise with the Executive Committee to source donations.
- Manage kids’ competition including promotions and reminders to schools.
- Set up and run the kids’ activities on the day.
Select musicians and manage stage and performances for the event.
- Send an expression of interest to musicians.
- Have quotes assessed by the committee, ensuring performers offer music that fits with the event.
- Book and liaise the sound provider (in conjunction with the Operations Coordinator).
- Develop the music stage program and ensure it is supplied to the Marketing Coordinator for the website, along with musicians’ bios and photos.
- Liaise with the musicians regarding promotional content, requirements, bump in, etc.
- Compile the run sheet for the musicians and provide to the Executive Committee.
- Set up music stage and sound.
- MC the music tent ensuring a good flow of music throughout the day.
Master of Ceremonies (MC)
MC PA announcements
- Liaise with the Executive Committee to finalise the announcer run sheets and notes, including sponsor announcements.
- Set up sound gear.
- Achieve balance between announcements and burdening attendees with noise.
Where To Source Event Volunteers
- Define clear roles. Clearly-defined volunteer roles will make it easy for interested people to see if they have skills for those specific roles. Rather than a generic plea for help, a concise job description can help a volunteer make the decision to get in contact with you. Some people are better at working in the background, some are great with people or with figures. It’s discouraging to be assigned a task that is not a good fit so respect your volunteers by assigning a responsibility that is appropriate, enjoyable and challenging.
- Make the value proposition clear. Why should people spend their free time at your event helping out? Be clear about the benefits they will get from helping out your event.
- Ask people you know. People like being asked and they are more likely to say yes if they know the person asking them.
- Ask your volunteers to bring a friend, especially someone who might be a good fit for the job. Ask your volunteers to promote their volunteering on their social media and to ask if anyone would like to join them. Give them the summary of info they’ll need to spread the word. The easier you make it to share, the more likely they’ll pass the message along.
- Social media. Reach out on social media to ask for volunteers. Search for and connect with Facebook and LinkedIn groups that overlap with the event’s cause or theme.
- Be around town. Set up an information booth for your organisation at your local markets and common areas about town. This helps raise awareness of your need and gets people on your mailing list.
- Maximise your volunteer webpage. Instead of simply listing opportunities to help at your event on the volunteer page of your website, use your webpage and event’s Facebook page to engage your volunteer community. Invite volunteers to:
- post their pictures, videos and stories
- share your photos and videos from past events
- link to your online sign up form
- write blog posts with updated stories and guest posts of how your event is making a difference in the community.
- GoVolunteer and SeekVolunteer. Register at GoVolunteer, which posts your need on their website and SeekVolunteer. This is free for qualifying Australian volunteer-involving organisations with valid insurance only. Qualifying organisations are generally not-for-profit, but exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis for those demonstrating genuine value add roles for volunteers. You can create a page for your organisation, post your event on their community events page, and receive expressions of interest.
- Volunteer Match. Free for non-profits to post volunteering opportunities.
- The Grey Nomads. Email a short paragraph detailing the tasks volunteers would be doing, location of event, dates required and contact details, and it will be posted to The Grey Nomad.
Connect with Groups
- University, TAFE and high school students, especially students in a course of event, tourism or hospitality management or in a field related to your festival such as sports management or arts.
- Service clubs. Search out local service clubs such as the Lions, Apex, Rotary, Rotoract, CWA and progress associations. Ask for their help well in advance, and as personally as possible (i.e. not by email). See if the festival can help their club in return by, for example, displaying their signs, promoting them on social media, providing a fee for running the gate, etc.
- Invite groups. Not only are you filling multiple spots but people can see the day as something fun to do with their friends! Search for scout troops, sports teams, employers, running clubs, women’s clubs, etc,
- Talk to other organisations about their volunteers. You’re not in competition in your community, so talk to other organisations about where they found their volunteers and gather tips to help find your own.
Use Local Resources
- Broadcast via local media. Many radio stations, newspapers and television stations offer free volunteer postings to non-profits.
- Connect with your local or regional tourism organisation. They may have a database of volunteers you can tap into.
Keep Your Volunteers For Next Year
- Build a volunteer community. Create a social group of volunteers and opportunities online and offline for the volunteers to connect. Bringing the group together at a social event can be informational and fun, and will make volunteers feel like they belong to a team. This is a powerful motivator for volunteers to participate year after year.
- Show appreciation. Be sure to show your gratitude early and often — volunteers want acknowledgment and a thank you. It could be a simple thank you pot-event letter, or a free lunch on the day. A simple gesture often makes all the difference.
Event Management Plan
Have a meeting with our Event Coordinator prior to filling out this Event Management Plan template. Council to find out what their requirements are so you understand what you need to include in your Event Management Plan. There may be required inclusions specific to your event or region that are not in this template, such as fireworks, amusement rides, and petting zoos.
There are a number of licenses event committees need to organise in the months prior to an event. Your Council’s website should list all the required licenses and approvals that relate to your event, as well as when these have to be submitted by.
The following information is not exhaustive. Check with your Council for local regulations that apply to your event. State regulations vary from state to state, and you need to check the state regulations that apply to your event. These may be in your Council’s licensing instructions to events.
Your event is likely to need licensing for:
- serving food
- serving or selling alcohol
- traffic and parking management
- road closures
- waste and sanitation management
- security and emergency management
- electrical and gas safety
- noise management
- temporary structures e.g. marquees and stages
- roadside signs
- amusement rides
- animals e.g. petting zoo.
Although you won’t need a license for accessibility, under Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against people with disability. If your event, venue or service is not as accessible as possible, patrons may lodge complaints with the Anti-Discrimination Commission, which could lead to legal action if their concerns are not addressed. Legalities aside, making your event inclusive for all patrons, including seniors, parents with prams, and people with impairments and disabilities, means you are making it possible for more attendees to come to your event — a win-win!
Food vendors gnerally need a food business license. Even if the food business has a licence for its fixed premises or its manufacturing facility, a separate temporary food stall licence is possibly required for a market stall if the food is unpackaged or if further handling occurs. This includes:
- fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale
- sausage sizzle and barbecue
- unpackaged takeaway foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas, hot chips and curry
- unpackaged food for taste testing.
A not-for-profit organisation that sells meals on only a few days each year may not need a food license. If the food sold does not constitute a meal to eat while sitting down e.g. a sausage sizzle, a not-for-profit organisation may not need a food licence.
For ingredients or food prepared at another location to sell at the market stall then that location is likely to need to be licensed as a food manufacturer. Examples include:
- cutting vegetables and meat
- making dough or batter
- baking cakes
- making jam or chutney
- repackaging food for sale at the stall e.g. packing bulk coffee, herbs or nuts.
You likely do not need a licence for your temporary food stall if only:
- packaged food is handled
- unpackaged snack food is sold
- non-alcoholic drinks are sold
Potentially hazardous foods need to be kept below 5°C or above 60°C to minimise the growth of bacteria in the food. Examples of such foods include:
- raw and cooked meat or foods containing meat
- dairy products
- processed fruits and vegetables
- cooked rice and pasta
- foods containing eggs, beans, nuts, or other protein-rich foods like quiche and soy products
- foods that contain these foods e.g. sandwiches and rolls.
You likely need a liquor licence from your state government if you want to sell or serve alcohol at your even. Find out more.
Traffic & Parking Management
You may need to prepare a traffic management plan for our event and, if it is a large event, it may need to be prepared by an accredited traffic management organisation. The plan must include:
- maps of the event site/s
- proposed signs, barricading and traffic control
- types of traffic devices and positions
- confirmation that traffic direction will only be conducted by police officers or accredited traffic control officers
- proposed road closures and times
- at least one diversionary route for traffic affected by each road closure
- emergency vehicle accesses.
You can contact the Queensland Police Service for further information.
Waste & Sanitation Management
Your event may need a waste and sanitary management plan. Additional toilets must be:
- accessible for people with disabilities
- cleaned and restocked regularly
- located away from food service or food storage areas
- fitted with sharps disposal facilities
- well-lit so as not to become a security or safety risk.
Provide baby change facilities if your event is likely to attract families.
Prepare a cleaning schedule to regularly service the toilets to ensure they are clean and that a continuous supply of water, soap, paper hand towel and toilet paper is available. If you will use portable chemical-type units for events longer than four hours, they must be located where they can be pumped out during the event. Bins must also be emptied.
Security & Emergency Management
Event permit applications will need to include a plan detailing how security will be managed and what procedures are in place to manage an emergency or evacuation.
If your event includes live bands or the use of amplifiers, you will probably need to provide a noise management plan with your application.
Approvals may be required to have temporary buildings and structures at your event e.g. tents, marquees, stages and temporary grandstands.
Gas & Electrical
You need to ensure you follow state electrical and gas safety guidelines and have relevant certification. Mobile food vendors that using gas are required to have a current Gas System Compliance Certificate.
The use of electricity and electrical equipment at your event requires certification from a qualified electrician. Ensure:
- electrical cords are tagged and tested and show no evidence of damage or fraying
- generators are in safe working order and have been checked against the manufacturer’s safety inspection guidelines
- generators are located in a safe place, free from public access
- petrol is stored in a safe location, at a safe distance from ignition sources and away from the public.
Your Council and Department of Transport and Main Roads may have regulations on siting and size of signs.
Fireworks can only be bought, stored, transported and used by professionals licensed by the Queensland Government. You will need to hire a licensed professional to have fireworks at your event, and they will need to submit a fireworks notification form to the Queensland Government prior to the event. You will need to notify the local fire station about the fireworks and provide your Council with a copy of the fireworks notification form and the fireworks contractor’s public liability insurance.
You may need to provide documents to your council if your event has amusement rides. The ride owner will be able to provide you with their Certificate of Registrable Plant for each ride. With the exception of some inflatables and coin-operated amusement devices, the majority of amusement devices are likely to require registration from state Work Health and Safety.
If your event allows or includes animals, check with your Council about regulations if you event allows or includes animals e.g. attendees’ dogs may need to be on a leash. If your event includes animal contact amusement operators e.g. petting zoos, you need to ensure they operate within the state infection control guidelines for animal contact.
A site plan is a map that shows the area/s where your event will be held. It is required when applying for an event permit. It is also used to:
- manage site safety, including how many people can attend the event
- identify the best locations for the event’s temporary elements
- accurately position / set up temporary equipment such as marquees and grandstands
- communicate with suppliers, vendors, performers, participants and spectators
- communicate with emergency services during planning and the event.
A user-friendly version can be used on your website and program, and on signs to help attendees find their way around.
You can calculate how many people can safely attend you event by calculating the square meterage of the site and then subtracting the square meterage of infrastructure and back-of-house areas. The square meterage remaining is the space that is left for attendees. If 1500m2 is left and each person generally needs 1m2 of space, then 1500 people can attend the event at any one time.
Developing A Site Plan
Start with a map of your site or venue, such as a Google My Maps. The map should show:
- the immediate area surrounding the event site
- names of surrounding streets
- the site’s permanent infrastructure and the distances between them
- temporary infrastructure and equipment you will put on the site
- square meterage of the site
Your plan should be drawn to scale and include measurements of the site and its structures. Use a legend rather than on-map labels so the map is clear and easy to read. PowerPoint or Microsoft Word can be useful in developing a site plan.
Event organisers must keep the following spaces free of infrastructure:
- footpath — an access path 1.8m from the side of a building must be clear, so people with a vision impairment can use the building as a guide to access the area
- road — a 4m-wide access path from the start of a road closure to the end must be free of infrastructure and equipment for emergency vehicle access.
What To Include In The Site Plan
- North arrow.
- Entries and exits.
- Parking and accessible parking including capacity, accessible drop-off points, bicycle parking including capacity, coach drop-off and turn-around areas, taxi ranks, and supplier parking and access.
- Buildings and structures e.g. stages, sheds and marquees.
- Ticket sales or registration places.
- Operations control centre and communications centre if separate.
- Lost child/property area.
- Paths and accessible paths, steps and ramps (including to stages), barriers to pedestrians, points where temporary paths cross roads and pedestrian crossings.
- Fencing, gates, barriers and barricaded areas, back-of-house areas and bollards.
- Seating and accessible seating, grandstands, rows and aisles of chairs (show distances between rows and of aisles), picnic areas and quiet areas.
- Food service areas and structures.
- Licensed areas, including type of fencing (height and position).
- Water refill stations, drinking fountains, water trailers and taps.
- Bins including recyclables, compostables, general waste bins and skip bins.
- Toilets and portaloo locations including how many are accessible, female and male.
- Public information centre.
- First aid station.
- Restricted or unsafe areas e.g. around fireworks firing area, fuel storage, generators, back-of-house for performers.
- Security locations.
- Emergency assembly areas and evacuation routes including width of exit points (gates).
- Emergency vehicle access, emergency vehicle path (minimum 4m wide) and parking.
- Fire extinguishers and fire blankets, hose reels, water points, dams, temporary firefighting equipment, gas outlets and gas bottles
- Media area.
- Significant trees.
- Sensitive environmental sites e.g. habitat for native plants and animals that need protection.
- Bodies of water.
- Neighbouring properties and businesses.
- Promotional signs e.g. directional, roadside corflutes, etc.
- Amusement rides and animal petting zoo.
- Fireworks firing area and public exclusion zone.
- Start and finish lines, routes and direction of races.
The budget template allows you to compare budgets year on year, set forecasts, manage cash flow, track expenditure, and assess actuals against forecasts at the end of the event.
Update and distribute the budget to your event committee at least one week prior to each meeting. Keeping everyone well informed of how finances are tracking is critical to an event’s success.
Using The Budget Template
- Complete the detailed budget based on your income and expenses from the previous year’s event forecast budget.
- Check the formulas in the file are working correctly.
- Set up tabs for each of the elements within your detailed budget (expenses only). You will need to create new sheets and copy and paste the format from the example. This allows you to insert details of all invoices that are paid so that you can track expenditure.
- Collate and pay all invoices and update the budget once/month or each fortnight. This will make it more efficient for you.
- Reconcile the element tabs against the bank statement each month and ensure it is all accounted for.
- After your event you will need to chase all income and expenses, insert the details into the elements tabs, and populate the data into the actuals in the detailed budget. This will allow you to present your final wash-up budget to the committee and stakeholders.
- Website and Social Media Marketing Checklist template
- Stakeholder Marketing Kit template
- Marketing Schedule and Social Media Content Plan template
- Marketing Action Plan template
Social Media & Website Content
Before You Start
Understand why you are using social media
- Consider how social media fits into your event’s overall marketing plan and budget.
- Social media should be treated no differently to TV advertising or distribution of printed programs — it is one of your marketing tactics.
Understand the event’s key messages, major selling points and milestones
- Spend an hour at a committee meeting brainstorming your key messages and audience before you start event marketing.
Review what stakeholders and partners are on social media and how they are using it
- Audit and follow stakeholders on Facebook and Instagram e.g. TRC, tourism bodies, performers, stallholders, sponsors, businesses and other events.
- The more you engage with these stakeholders, the more opportunity you have for them to engage back.
- Schedule a weekly reminder to spend a half hour engaging with stakeholders on social media.
Ensure your event website is up to date
- Your social media activity will be driving traffic to your website, so before you start you need to ensure that the event’s website is up-to-date.
- Check with your web developer that your website is mobile-friendly!
Set up a blog on your website
- A blog is a great ‘home’ for content about your event and provides an opportunity to link social content back to your website (by sharing a link to a blog article).
- It is also good for search engine optimisation (ranking high in search results). You become a publisher of your own content.
Integrate an email marketing program into your website (subscribe here) and start building your email database
- This should be a priority. If you can capture potential event attendees into an email database, you have a fantastic marketing asset.
- You should have a sign-up section on your website and Facebook page. Mailchimp is free and easy to use.
Determine who will coordinate your social media
- You should have one person responsible for your social media. This may be your marketing coordinator or a paid marketing agency.
- There may is an opportunity for your region’s events to share a resource, possibly a competent school or university student.
What To Post & How Often
Social media is free, but it is also very competitive. Your posts do not automatically appear in the news feeds of all of your fans.
Around 1500 stories compete to appear in the average Facebook user’s newsfeed every day. To actually display that many stories would overwhelm even the most devoted user, so Facebook uses an algorithm to prioritise the top 300 posts, selecting them to match that person’s interests and browsing habits. The organic priority of a post is influenced by a wide range of factors including historical interactions, general popularity and timeliness. This means that you need to be strategic, savvy and relevant with your content or you are wasting your time. Modern marketing should:
- add value to the reader’s life
- inspire an emotion — laughter, empathy, feel good, etc
- proactively break down barriers to conversion e.g. click through to the website to read the whole article, or buy tickets for the event
- answer the questions of attendees
- be a two-way conversation
- not be too polished, and show behind the scenes
- be creative.
Get your attendees to help create content
Have someone sharing live social media posts when your event is on. This person should also encourage visitors to share their content about their experience at the event e.g. by using the event’s hashtag.
How to encourage visitors to generate content
- Simple props do wonders for encouraging visitors to take photos and share on social media.
- Signs around the venue (especially on the back of toilet doors) asking visitors to share and hashtag their event experience on social media.
- A photo competition with an incentive is a little more complex but very effective. Source a prize from a sponsor and promote to visitors that share and hashtag event photos. You will need simple terms and conditions and will need to include that use of the hashtag provides permission for the event organisers to use the photos for marketing purposes.
- Your event’s ‘why’ — why are the organisers holding it?
- Meet the committee
- Behind the scenes
- frequently asked questions
- Profile food and beverage vendors and stallholders
- Blog article
- Testimonials / good feedback from attendees
- User-generated content
- Request user-generated content
- Inspirational quotes e.g. from your event’s guest speakers, musicians or influencers
- News articles and videos about the event
- Ticket sales
- Giveaways/competitions including merchandise, tickets, discount codes
- Event’s hashtag
- Countdown e.g. one month to go, one week, etc.
- Cross-promote platforms e.g. sign up to our newsletter
- Ask for recommendations
- Create relevant memes
- Encourage use of your hashtag
Inspire — Your Destination
- Link to local tourism businesses
- Best spots in your destination to take photos
- Itineraries e.g. what to do while in your destination
- Maps and guides
- Packages e.g. event tickets and accommodation
- Link with, share and engage with your stakeholders, sponsors, other local events and other tourism businesses
- Sponsor thank yous
- Who else loves …?
- We need your recommendations on …
- Q&A time!
- Which do you prefer?
- We’ve just come across …
- Here are three things to think about …
- Ever wanted to know how to …
- Hot tip!
- We are loving …
- Here’s a funny story …
- It all started when …
- Introducing …
- What’s your favourite …?
- Want to know where it all started?
- Yes to this! Hands up if you agree!
- We love what we do …
- Letting the cat out of the bag …
- Behind the scenes! Here’s a sneak peek of …
- A few highlights from the week that was …
- This is (name) and …
- Let’s talk about purpose …
- Loving this feedback from …
- A day in the life of …
- Throwback Thursday
- A shout-out to …
- Five quick facts!
- Sharing the love to another business
- What gets us out of bed every day is …
- Winning! Here’s something great that happened …
- Tag a friend who needs xxx in their life!
Days of the Year to Leverage
There are many days of the year relevant to your event that you may be able to leverage. You don’t have to acknowledge everything, but ensure you pick up on any opportunities that relate to your event. There are many online calendars and lists that you can source local, state, national and international.
Tips for Facebook & Instagram
- Plan. Use a content calendar to help organise your content and so you remember to use all of your key messages.
- Schedule. Use Meta Business Suite’s free planner to schedule a month or more in advance. Then add in ad hoc posts around these.
- Get help. Social media can be complex and daunting. If you can factor it into your budget, get a marketing agency or freelancer to help you plan, create content, schedule and measure outcomes — it’s worth it!
- Paid advertising. Advertising is essential! Add it to your budget.
- Think ahead. Collect content (photos and videos) at this year’s event that can be used for future posts and marketing.
- Encourage user-generated content. Many hands make light work. Use a hashtag to encourage sharing by attendees and stakeholders, and to collate content. Always tag/acknowledge the photographer if you use someone else’s photo.
- Emojis are your friend. Use them to emphasise points and add personality to posts.
- Interact with followers. Respond to comments, answer questions, acknowledge someone’s contribution, etc.
- Quality. Ensure content is on brand and high quality.
- Balance. Never sell, sell, sell — build your event’s personality, showcase achievements, inform, inspire, educate … and then ask for a purchase.
- Collaborate. Build an audience by leveraging your community and committee. Invite people to like your page and share your posts and Facebook event. Ask performers and stallholders to promote their attendance at the event, and share the Facebook event and posts to local groups.
- Timing. Use your social media analytics to find out what time of day your users are on social media, and publish your posts accordingly.
- Recycle. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel — repurpose content that has worked well for you in the past. Republish content from your blogs and newsletters.
- Engage. Consider simple Facebook contests and giveaways to grow awareness of your event, though be sure to read up on the rules of Facebook competitions. Personal timelines and friend connections must not be used as ways to enter competitions e.g. Tag your friends in this post to enter, Share on your timeline to enter, and Share on your friends’ timelines to get additional entries.
- Get Creative. Think outside the box. There’s no formula for getting high engagement, but creativity and personality go a long way!
Tips for Facebook Ads
- Consider a Facebook ad at each of the key event milestones e.g. save the date, program launch, early bird ticket sales open, etc.
- An integrated and targeted approach to marketing requires a well-thought-out marketing budget. Allow a minimum of $500 for Facebook ads.
- Promote orders of event merchandise via Facebook ads.
- Ensure paid posts are directing traffic to your website for conversion e.g. ticket or merchandise sales.
- Have a clear call to action e.g. Register here or Subscribe to our newsletter.
- Review your Facebook Insights regularly to see when your audience is online and active, and schedule ads accordingly.
- Set up custom audiences so your ads reach people with similar interests, and more potential to convert.
- Professional and high-quality images and content will always get better results.
- Do not be afraid to get professional assistance in preparing ads for each milestone.
- Always test and review so that you are only paying for what works.
There are certain people you want to see more of at your event. These are the most profitable attendees who adore your event and talk about it and leave positive reviews on social media. They become advocates and promote your event for you.
Who Are These Ideal Attendees?
Ideal attendee profiling helps you better understand who they are so you can focus your marketing activities and program development on attracting more of these kinds of attendees.
Personas are fictional, generalised characters who represent the needs and behaviours of your ideal attendees, helping you to better understand your visitors. The personas outline the common behaviours of ideal attendees, their pain points, wishes and demographic and biographic information.
You might come up with a couple of different ideal attendee personas, such as a couple on a self-driving weekend break, a parent with his young children, a retired couple on a tour around Australia who are travelling with a little dog and have accessibility requirements, keen fishermen, food and wine lovers, escapists/adventurers in their 30s and 40s, and even the local hosts of visiting friends and relatives!
Knowing Your Ideal Attendees
Having someone clearly in mind when you’re planning marketing activities will help make sure that you’re hitting the mark and planning to get the most bang from your marketing budget. Customer profiling helps you to intimately understand the disposition and emotional reasoning of a single person who represents your ideal attendee, and how they experience travel and events, so that you can attract and delight more of the people you want to come to your event.
Personas help identify audience needs, wants and pain points that will inform and guide the marketing content you create and share on various channels.
Now that search engines are based on semantic search, search engines are trying to understand what your event represents. When you are consistent in what you’re saying and who you’re talking to in your marketing, then search engines will know who your event is for and be confident to present your event in a search.
You probably know a lot about your ideal attendees already, and probably more than you think, including their lifestyles, attitudes, interests, internet habits, purchasing habits, where they live, where they travel, what’s important to them in life, and what they are seeking e.g. to educate themselves, rest, connect with their families, or get immersed in your culture. Do some brainstorming and take notes.
Talk to your attendees face-to-face and ask them what they’re interested in, and send a survey to previous attendees. It shows you are trying to improve your event to suit them, and that you care about their needs and the quality of your event.
Listen to chatter about your event and its theme on social media.
Research with Google on statistics for your niche market/s and their preferred social media platform.
Use your website’s Google Analytics to find information on your website’s visitors e.g. where they live, types of devices they’re using and what keywords they’re searching for.
Ask your local or regional tourism organisation for information on their target markets for the destination.
And combine all of your sources of information into a persona.
Influencers & Event Promotion
Influencers can help you:
- reach a targeted demographic and different audiences
- grow your social media following
- provide quality new content with a different perspective
- strengthen your brand by having the right influencer alignment.
Check that an influencer brings something to the table other than just followers and reach, such as a unique perspective or impeccable content creation skills. You may have untapped talent in your own team or community that could be used before considering an influencer.
The audiences of influencers connect with them and trust what they have to say. When influencers share about an event it comes across as a genuine recommendation.
Be sure to maximise the entirety of their visit, track success, share their awesome content everywhere and use their content (photos, videos, and blog and social media posts) to produce your own content.
Pricing can be:
- performance-based / based on engagement (likes, shares, comments)
- flat rate per post
- free — some influencers will collaborate with your event to help build their own brand
How to Choose Influencers
- Find an influencer who speaks to and is followed by your target market. One who is similar to your ideal visitor or talks about a specific niche topic e.g. if you are a craft beer event, team up with a craft beer influencer). This will help the influencer tell your story and encourage your ideal attendee to visit.
- Check if their followers engage on their posts and if the influencer engages with their followers.
- Check how many followers they have. Choose experts in your region or ideal target market even if they do not have many followers. Choose quality (engagement by nearby ideal attendees) rather than quantity. It would be better for your campaign to reach 1000 followers who are likely to attend your event, than reach 10,000 of whom only a tiny fraction would realistically attend.
- Check their content is of a high-quality.
- Ensure they would make a good spokesperson for your event i.e. do your values align? Would you feel proud to have this person represent your event?
- It will help if the influencer understands how the tourism industry works, and knows about your destination and what your visitors would engage with.
- Take a look at the content they have created for other events and ask for testimonials and evidence of results from their past event clients. Ask if the influencer is timely, easy to work with and dependable.
- Do a background check on your shortlist of influencers.
While you may hope to attract visitors from outside your region, the best influencers for your event may not be travel writers but writers who engage audiences of families, motocross riders, food lovers, art lovers, triathlon runners, or even nearby residents who like to get away for the weekend.
Remember to search out your local influencers and spend time to find out who is speaking to your ideal attendees (target markets).
Follow relevant influencers on Facebook (as your event’s Facebook page) and Instagram and engage on their posts with comments (which will be seen by their followers).
Clarify Your Expectations
Clearly communicate and agree on:
- measurable campaign objectives i.e. how success is defined
- how they will report on progress and outcomes
- your brand’s messaging
- content to be delivered, over what period of time, and how it will be distributed
- that the AANA Clearly Distinguishable Advertising Guidelines for disclosure will be followed when posting content
- the rights to reuse the influencer’s content such as photos, videos, blogs and social media posts in the future without needing to credit the photographer every time the content is used. Be sure you can include content on your website, blogs, social channels and print materials. There may be an additional cost to purchase photos or videos.
Have an influencer and deliverables agreement in place from the start to save massive headaches and ensure your expectations are documented and signed off on.
Using An Influencer
- Show them around but also let them explore on their own. Give them some direction but let their creativity run wild — it produces the best results!
- Introduce them to members of the community who are passionate about telling the story of your event.
- Feature the influencer on your social media channels or have them do a takeover. If the influencer is not using your channels, share their posts on your social media accounts.
- Have the influencer provide content for/on your channels and encourage them to engage with comments and followers.
- Have the influencer go live by themselves or interview them.
- Engage with their followers by commenting on their posts, answering questions, and following some of the people who seem interested in your event (as the event’s page/account).
- Get the influence to write at least one blog article about their visit, include their content, and promote the post with paid advertising.
Use these Google Analytics data to measure your return on investment:
- Click-throughs to your website from the influencer’s website and posts.
- Search engine referrals to content about the event on the influencer’s website (provided by the influencer). This is an indication of how well their posts are performing in search results.
- Conversion rates from referred visitors i.e. of your website users who came from the influencer’s website or posts and convert e.g. buy tickets or subscribe to your email newsletter.
- Social shares of their blog posts.
- Numbers of comments on the influencer’s blog posts on their website.
Measurable social network engagement statistics include:
- the number of likes, comments, shares, etc on the influencer’s posts
- the increase in followers of your social media accounts or email newsletter subscribers during the campaign (above and beyond your usual growth for this time period)
- click-throughs from the call to action in the influencer’s posts to your website’s landing page. To measure this in Instagram, the influencer’s URL in their profile during the campaign would need to click through either to your website or to a page on their website about your event, which would click through to your website.
- profile impressions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- the number of times the influencer’s content has been distributed
- the number of times your event’s hashtag has been used
- the number of times your event’s video has been viewed.
There are grants to support a wide range of projects and events can often take advantage of grants for tourism, arts, education, heritage, sports, resilient communities, youth, seniors, Indigenous peoples, mental health, multiculturalism and more.
Grants are likely to support an aspect of an event such as its marketing, training for the committee, or an arts performance, rather than provide cash for the event to use at its discretion. For example, if you will have live entertainment at your event, then you could apply for an arts grant to pay the travel and hiring costs of the musicians or performers.
Some grants require matched funding so, when planning on investing in a project, research if a grant is available to double your budget. A financial reserve is idealfor opportunities as they arise, particularly one-off opportunities. Also consider who might be able to partner with you to provide matched funding.
Add opening and closing dates of grant rounds to your calendar, even if the exact date hasn’t been set.
Grant rounds, one-off grants and new grant opportunities crop up regularly. Where possible, subscribe to be notified when recurring grant rounds open.
Search by keywords in grant finders to find funding related to your event. The list below is just the beginning. Finding suitable grants for your event does require research time. Follow TRC on socials and subscribe to Local Matters and Arts on Track to hear about event opportunities.
We can help you with letters of support for grants.
- TRC event funding
- TRC community grants — for cash support, remittance of TRC fees (e.g. hall hire) and in-kind support
- TRC Regional Arts Development Fund — for arts, culture and historic projects
- Mount Emerald Windfarm Community Grant Program
- Australian Government Community Grants Hub — subscribe for email updates
- Australian Government Grant Connect
- Funding Centre for not-for-profits
- Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewals grant calendar
- Australian Council for the Arts
- Regional Arts Australia
- Festivals Australia
- Australian Sports Commission
- Office for the Arts
Grant Funding Tracker
Use this grant funding tracker to keep records of grant opening and closing dates. Make sure to also add them to your online calendar with notifications.
- Sponsorship Tracker template.
- Sponsorship Prospectus and Agreement template. Have your prospectus professionally designed using your event’s brand and images. Ensure you have a signed sponsorship agreement for all sponsors, regardless of size and/or commitment. Being extremely clear on expectations and deliverables will prevent confrontation and issues. Have your draft agreement checked by a solicitor.
Spreadsheet 1 — Sponsorship Wishlist
The Sponsorship Wishlist spreadsheet is an overview of what support (cash and in-kind) you would like to receive from sponsors for your event.
Answer these questions:
- How much cash support does the event need?
- What items, products and/or in-kind support could reduce the event’s expenses?
- What areas or elements of your event could a sponsor use for beneficial exposure to attendees? Cost each area according to the value of its exposure for a sponsor.
Once you know those things this spreadsheet is your plan for how to achieve what you need. It is an overview of what you need and your plan to get it.
Spreadsheet 2 — Sponsorship Hit List
The Sponsorship Hit List spreadsheet is an overview of who you are going to contact to ask for a sponsorship relationship with your event (with benefits for both the event and the company).
Answer these questions:
- Which companies would benefit from exposure to the event’s target market?
- Which companies have similar values as our event?
Don’t only consider local businesses, but think of businesses that are aligned with your attendees e.g. if you attract families think about companies that sell products and services to families. Fill out this spreadsheet in a brainstorming way, identify which companies offer the most realistic opportunities and research their sponsorship policy (if they have a public one). If suitable, then research contact details, names of who best to contact (often a marketing manager or CEO). Identify ways the event could benefit the company.
Use the drop-down arrows to sort your data e.g. by business name or by the notes you have written. Notes should be updated regularly and include information on where you are up to with your communication, and what area of sponsorship you are aiming to target.
Spreadsheet 3 — Confirmed
Move sponsors from the Sponsorship Hit List to this spreadsheet when they are confirmed. This spreadsheet becomes your one-stop shop for all your confirmed sponsors.
Spreadsheet 4 — Benefits Tracking
Your confirmed sponsors will have a list of benefits that you have mutually agreed upon in exchange for the cash or in-kind support. Use this spreadsheet to keep tabs on what you have promised and when you have delivered it. Delivering on your promises is essential to maintaining long-term sponsorship relationships.
Spreadsheet 5 — Marketing Tracking
Your confirmed sponsors will have a list of marketing benefits that you have agreed to give them in exchange for the cash or in-kind support. Keep tabs on what you have promised them in this spreadsheet. It gives you the option to outline all benefits like social media posts, ad space in your program, interviews with media, etc. Keep a record of everything you have provided to the sponsor and the date and content of posts.
Spreadsheet 6 — Declined
Move sponsor details from the Sponsorship Hit List to this spreadsheet when a business declines your sponsorship invitation. Include a reason why — this is useful data for your post-event reporting.
Post Event Surveys
Post Event Checklist
- Clean up the site. Arrange site clean-up, rubbish removal, dismantling and removal of hired equipment, return of signs to sponsors, etc.
- Pack up signs and equipment so it’s all in order and easy to use next year. Repair damaged items.
- Store merchandise. Prepare a report of leftover stock, determine what sold best and what didn’t sell well, and identify the bestselling time.
- Continue to interact on social media.
- Share thank you posts to sponsors and volunteers.
- Share a photo gallery and ask attendees to tag themselves and share their photos using the event’s hashtag.
- Share news articles about the event.
- Ask stakeholders to share about attending the event.
- Leverage competition prizes by publicising the prize and the winner.
- Keep listening for feedback and engagement.
- Schedule future posts e.g. promoting nearby events (to support their benefits for your community).
- If possible, start pre-selling your next event.
- Offer an early bird discount.
- Email a save the date to your database and stakeholders e.g. stallholders who might want to return next year.
- Write an event wrap-up article. Write a media release of how successful the event was, and its positive impacts on the community and local economy. Once published by media, reuse the content as a blog article, then share your article in your newsletter and via your social media. This will help the community understand the value of the event.
- Host a thank you event for volunteers and other stakeholders.
- Send surveys to attendees, volunteers, sponsors, stallholders, performers,and the committee to get demographic information on attendees, and feedback on the event about what worked well and what needs improvement.
- Send thank you messages to volunteers, sponsors, partners, funders, performers, the committee, celebrities and other key stakeholders.
- Update your website.
- Add an event photo gallery and event wrap-up blog article.
- Make any changes to the site so it is generic for the coming year.
- Add the new date for next year.
- Update event listings on third-party websites.
- After the bills are paid, sit down with your original event budget to compare actual figures with budgeted/forecast figures. Identify which areas didn’t meet targets, and which stayed under.
- Balance budgets and invoices.
- Write acquittal reports for grants.
- Prepare a financial report.
- Gather feedback from as many avenues/sources as possible.
- Debrief with subcontractors e.g. traffic management, SES, TMR, first aid, sound technicians, etc. to learn what needs to be improved.
- Share a post on social media that encourages feedback from attendees, stakeholders, etc. Ensure you monitor this and respond to all feedback. Don’t be afraid of criticism — it is a great opportunity to address it in a public forum.
- Talk with sponsors and ask for feedback on the partnership and the event. Aim to meet larger sponsors face-to-face and call the others.
- Book and facilitate a wider community meeting for general feedback.
- Collate attendee feedback and summarise in preparation for the committee debrief meeting.
- Review social media and collate comments.
- Collate news and media clippings about the event.
- Gather feedback from suppliers e.g. hire company, stallholders, presenters, AV technicians, etc.
- Touch base with funding bodies and source feedback.
- Book a debrief meeting with Council to discuss compliance, site and general feedback and their recommended improvements for next year.
- Debrief with your committee.
- Celebrate the victories and constructively and positively fix the glaring problems. Discuss what worked, what didn’t, why it didn’t work, and how it could be improved. The debrief meeting should aim to answer:
- Were goals and objectives achieved?
- Were nsors and stakeholders get the outcomes they wanted?
- attendance targets met?
- Which aspects of the event worked best?
- What should be revised before a repeat event?
- Did outsourced services and materials meet needs and expectations e.g. caterers, security, decorations, etc?
- Which services would you consider using again?
- Did staffing/volunteers meet needs?
- Did the event receive positive feedback?
- Was the event worthwhile in relation to the amount of work required?
- Were budgetary targets (income and expenditure) met?
- Did spo
- Were goals and objectives achieved?
- Have each committee member responsible for an element of the event provide this information for their element:
- What was successful or worked well.
- What was not successful or did not work well.
- Recommendations for their element.
- Recommendations for the whole event.
- Celebrate the victories and constructively and positively fix the glaring problems. Discuss what worked, what didn’t, why it didn’t work, and how it could be improved. The debrief meeting should aim to answer:
- Prepare a post-event report to provide to sponsors, funders and the committee. Include responses and analysis of surveys, and information from the debrief meeting.
- Gather event assessment information.
- Number of attendees/spectators, competitors and exhibitors and their residence.
- Revenue from ticket sales.
- Number of programs distributed.
- Estimates of revenue received by stallholders, food retailers and fundraising community groups.
- Number of vehicles parked.
- Percentage who used non-personal-vehicle transport e.g. bicycles, buses, etc.
- Number of visits to the event’s website and other website analytics
- Estimate attendance. Ticket sales data or an entrance counter provide exact attendee numbers. If you need to estimate attendance, don’t over-estimate but seek estimates from several different sources, particularly anyone with experience in special events e.g. police. You can ascertain a range by using multiple sources.
- Economic impact. Estimate the economic benefit gained by local businesses because of your event using Economy ID. Most business activity information will be based on trends because businesses are likely to be reluctant to provide actual revenue details. A pattern will usually emerge without infringing confidentiality by asking operators these questions:
- Did the business experience an increase in patronage and revenue during the event?
- If so, by what percentage compared to the week prior?
- How did this compare with during last year’s event?
- Update event planning documents with improvements based on the recommendations from the debrief meeting.
- Book site/venue for next year, and anything else that needs to be booked now.
The Secretary should take the minutes, agenda and macro planning timeline to each meeting. The agenda should be emailed prior to the meeting.