10 Tips for Running a Successful Event

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Many people have great ideas for local charities or causes - but only a small few of these actually become well-attended, safely run (profitable) events. We have seen it all, from the over-organised (but under advertised) ones, to well-attended, poorly planned and (to be honest) quite dangerous ones.

Over the years I have developed a template to follow, this keeps things consistent and ‘stress free’ for me, but you need to develop your own method.

We all want to raise lots of money and awareness for those that really need it, but why does it need to be so difficult? 

Here are my top ten tips to help you run a truly AMAZING event:

1.  Have a great venue
It needs to be easily found, well known, and have plenty of car parking. Consider disabled persons and those with push chairs – can they easily access all areas?

2.  Draw a site plan
Draw this several times over, consider how the stalls will affect each other, for example a penalty shoot out needs clear space around it, not just in front. Run this plan through with the venue and suppliers – are they happy with it?

3.  Electricity
All the big attractions and services need power, and they need it nearby. Don’t stick the PA system or bouncy castle the other side of the field!

4.  Access times
Do not allow any vehicles in the area once the event has started. Inform all suppliers in advance when they can set up / down.

5.  Risk assessment / safety
Simply saying ‘accidents happen’ is not good enough. Get a professional in to assess the event (around £100-£200). If it goes wrong – you’re in court.

6.  Food and drink
Never never never run out of food and drink!! It’s your biggest earner! If you are preparing / serving food, also speak to your local environmental health department.

7.  Not just Facebook
There is more to advertising than Facebook. Get permission from the council, and get some leaflets out, or send a text to all your friends and family. Or advertise in Time for Tots!

8.  Consider neighbours
How will the event affect them? Can they help you? Give them a knock a few weeks before for a chat (this might reduce the chance of traffic or noise complaints).

9.  Spend money to make money
Great events need great attractions. You will never make a lot of money back from a large bouncy castle / inflatable slide or farm yard animal show for example, but you can guarantee high visitor numbers, (who spend money when they are there). Place your attractions strategically to make visitors walk round, keep them at the event as long as possible.

10. Contingency plan
What if your main attraction doesn’t show up, or it rains? What if you have a medical emergency or a fight breaks out? Remember you are dealing with the public, and anything can happen – plan plan plan, then plan some more… Don’t ‘wing it’!!

We hope you have a fantastic event, and it all goes well.  If you would like our assistance please get in touch, we can supply a bouncy castle, with staff, safety barriers and insurance for £25.00 (you even get a share of the event takings).

Dan Folgate, Owner of Bouncy Wouncy


About the author

Dan Folgate is the owner of Bouncy Wouncy, and Director of Folgate Safety, an established Health & Safety company in Northamptonshire.  Previous jobs include running events for the local authority in parks and community centres, and five years as an operational fire fighter. He is a qualified risk assessor and has a diploma in events management.

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