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What does it take to run a successful event?

14 Feb 2024

An Event Manager once said that “it may seem like you are headless chickens backstage – but as long as the audience doesn’t suspect anything is wrong – then you have done your job right!”

This is a great iceberg analogy as it demonstrates that what goes on underneath the surface is important, but people will only see the beauty of what it becomes and not the hard work before it.

Organising an event often requires a lot of planning and administrative work. And, whilst it is always anticipated that you and the event will be as organised as possible, you do need to be honest and realistic as well.

On event day, anything can happen. Often you have to think on your feet and all the organisation you have done can feel like it goes out the window, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, you are adding variables beyond your control on the day; participants and volunteers are involved, the weather plays a part, contractors and suppliers and you may have to go into a reactive mode rather than proactive (which you have been throughout the entire planning phase).

With all this in mind, a “successful” event is generally an event that achieves your club’s goals and is well planned and executed and participants had a great experience. To run a successful event there are a number of basic things you need:

Be Organised
It is important to ensure that on the day of your event you are free to deal with anything that may come up during the event and not organising things that could have been done prior to the day.

Strong Planning
While you need to be organised you also need to ensure that your event is planned out well. For example ensuring there are no bottleneck areas where participants and attendees will have problems, that there are enough toilets and that you have all of the licences and permits required.

Engage volunteers to help you to plan, prepare and run your event. Your volunteers will be your greatest support and resource. They will fill your subcommittees as well as help with running the event on the day. Don’t underestimate how much help your event will need and ensure you consider gathering support early in the planning process.

Be creative
You will find that using your creativity will help your event’s success. Whether it is coming up with a unique event idea, clever marketing or creativity in sourcing equipment, when raising money for clubs being creative is always helpful.