So you're thinking about running an event?
That’s great news. We want to help make your event a success.
Whether it’s a small private event, such as a wedding or family celebration, a community event, like a fun run or a car rally, or a large public event, for example a music festival, garden show or a farming expo, having a plan of action is the key to turning your event ideas into reality.
Events largely fall into one of three categories:
Small private events (involving under 100 people);
Small community events (100-500 people); and
Large public events (1,000 + people).
Depending upon which category your events fall into, there are different rules and regulations that apply. As a general rule, smaller events don’t require a lot of paperwork. Larger events may require council consents, though as long as you allow adequate time to submit your event plans the consenting process isn’t difficult.
Who’s coming to your event?
What’s the purpose of your event; is it a private, invite only event, a community event or will you sell tickets to the public? Once you know the size of your event you can start thinking about the venue you’ll need to hold your event, which leads on to other important factors such as traffic management, catering, toilets and safety.
Where will you hold your event?
If you haven’t chosen a venue, there are many venues available for hire, including council owned halls and reserves. Many privately owned facilities are available for hire, such as hotels and restaurants, and even privately owned houses, gardens and farm buildings. If you’re planning to set up a marquee or other temporary buildings, such as stages, you may need a building consent
How will people travel to your event?
If people are driving to your event they’ll need somewhere to safely park. Small private events that provide off-road parking don’t usually require any special permits. If you’re planning for 1,000 people to drive to your event you may need a traffic management plan, especially if your event is held at a location on a main road and disrupts traffic. You might want to consider arranging buses .
Will you be feeding people or supplying them with beverages?
Providing food and beverages can be an important part of an event. If you need a caterer, check out the lists of caterers in your area. If you plan to sell food your caterers may need to be registered under the Food Act, though there are exceptions. To sell alcohol you must be licensed and have a certified manager at your event.
Will people have access to toilets?
Small events of fewer than 100 people held over a short time period seldom require organisers to provide toilets. If your event will attract over 1,000 people and runs all day you’ll need to ensure there are adequate toilets (one per hundred people is required). Toilets can be hired along with other facilities you may need.
What will keep visitors entertained during the event?
Sometimes it’s necessary for event organisers to provide entertainment, such as music, fireworks or a children’s play area. Some forms of entertainment do require consent, or have limitations around their use, such as fireworks being restricted during a fire ban
How will people find out about your event?
If you’re planning a public event and want to attract people to attend, you’ll need to publicise your event. That could involve a range of promotions such as signage, posters, brochures, websites, social media and media releasing.
How will people pay to attend your event?
If you’re running a free event you won’t need to worry about ticketing, cash transactions and receipts. Fund-raising events and events that charge an admission fee will need to organise advance payments or prepare to take cash or process electronic transactions on the day.
Who will maintain security and keep people and vehicles safe?
For larger events it may be important for someone to supervise parking and keep an eye on parked vehicles. Stage and ‘out-of-bounds’ areas may need to be monitored, so security staff, either professional or a team of volunteers may be essential.
Who will pack up and clean up??
It’s important to leave venues as you found them, clean and tidy for the next event with all rubbish removed. Larger events may need rubbish receptacles provided during the event, particularly where there’s food and drink containers that need to be disposed of safely.
What if someone gets sick or injured?
It’s a good plan to have first aid available at every event and make someone responsible for first aid or arranging medical help if required. All events should prepare a health and safety plan identifying potential problems and stating how issues will be managed. Most events occur without incident, though cuts and grazes or a bee-sting can spoil a visitor’s enjoyment of your event if first aid isn’t available.