Advice on Organising an Event
Develop a Clear Proposition
Ideas for social events can be generated by the Social Committee or suggested by members. The ideas are discussed at the Social Committee meeting and the appointed Organiser will research the detail, particularly an indication of event cost and timing, and the Social Committee Chairman will take this information along to a Club Lunch to get an indication of likely numbers before progressing further.
Transport to/from the event must be considered.
If it is agreed that personal transport is best, then parking information should be provided where possible.
If a coach is used it is particularly important to have a good indication of interest as this can add greatly to the cost of the event. It is sometimes useful to send out an interim flyer to gauge interest to aid coach booking.
The organiser should also consider how much walking may be involved so that this can be made clear to members.
Food may also be a significant element in the decision to proceed. A meal may be part of the event or a more informal approach may be taken with members agreeing to meet for a meal after the event and pay individually.
The Event Flyer
The Organiser may find it useful to test all of the above against the Club’s standard Event Flyer which is a useful check that all aspects of the event have been taken into consideration.
The Open to section is included as there are occasionally instances when only members may attend. An example of this was Rick Borrett’s Live Target Shooting Event (Sept 19). The norm is for events to be open to Members, Associates, and their Partners/guests. In some instances, the event may be open to friends/relatives/non Chanctonbury Probus members, but this should first be agreed with the Social Committee Chairman, however an event should not have to depend on non Chanctonbury Probus members to make it viable.
The principal headings (in bold) should all be completed to ensure consistency, however each event is different and in some cases extra pages for example for maps or itineraries may need to be included. In others the flyer will be very short and simple.
Information on the Club’s insurance can be found on the Club website Insurance Page. Where appropriate, Members should be advised to carry their own Travel Insurance.
This can be the most difficult part of the exercise, particularly if a coach is involved as the objective is the event to break even. A contingency allowance should be built in in cases where unexpected costs may arise, and it is prudent to be conservative about likely numbers.
When a coach is used, or in other instances where gratuities are appropriate, these should be included in the cost of the Event.
The Organiser can get advice on costings from the Social Committee and SC Chairman. The cost needs to be clearly stated on the Flyer together with what would be refundable in cases of cancellation by members. The Club Cancellation Policy (see Club Rules number 8) states that “All events must be paid for at the time of booking. In the event of cancellation and if the booking can be resold, a refund can be given. If it cannot be resold, payment for the booked event must be made.
If the Organiser is concerned that the event may make a loss due to insufficient take up, this should be raised with the Social Committee Chairman, who may talk to members of the Management Committee if appropriate, and a decision will be made as to whether the Event should proceed or whether it should be cancelled.
When the flyer is ready the Organiser sends it to the Social Committee Chairman who will check it over and forward it to the Secretary for distribution to Members and Associates.
All cheques must be made out to the “Chanctonbury Probus Club”. The Organiser will liaise with the Treasurer, passing his cheques for banking and requesting a club cheque for any payments to be made, e.g. deposit/final payment.
All financial transactions relating to the Event should be handled by the Treasurer. The Organiser should not use his own money to pay for Events. At the time of writing the Club can only make payments by cheque. Where an Event provider only accepts card or online payment (e.g. for deposit) the Organiser must make the Treasurer aware before using his own card and must obtain an immediate reimbursement from the Treasurer.
The Organiser will keep the Social Committee Chairman and Committee updated on progress.
After the Event
The Organiser will write a short piece about the Event for the Club Website and for the Annual Journal.
Ted Hooker, Jan 2020
Below is a downloadable file that examples the formating of a flyer for Chanctonbury Probus Club Events.