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There are many factors which contribute to a successful and engaging community event. The following factors are covered in more detail below:

Boroondara Event Permits

If you plan to hold an event on Council land, see Organise an event on Council land.

You can use this to see if an event needs our approval or permits to proceed. Council land includes parks, gardens, sports grounds, footpaths, roads and carparks.

For questions on events held on Council land, contact our Events Officer at [email protected] or on 9278 4595.

Project Plan

Event Aim and Objectives

By writing down the aim and objectives of your event, those who are involved are clear on what needs to be achieved and can refer to it during the planning and evaluation stages to stay focused on goals. It also provides a benchmark for review to determine how successful the event was. 

See our templates below which can be used to plan key details including an event’s aim, objectives, key details, activities and logistics.

Planning and Organisation

Regardless of the size and complexity of an event, start planning early so that you have time to understand every aspect of the event, its requirements, key deadlines. However, making a project plan is not enough - you must follow the timeline and keep track of the work being done.

Event Tasks

A list of event tasks should be detailed in a Task List. Tasks should be allocated to people based on their abilities, as they will be responsible for completing the required work by the due date. Task lists are an important reference document for meetings to help keep track of progress.

See our Planning Tasks Template which provides a list of various tasks for an event and allocated to people.

Choosing a Venue

When choosing a venue, consider the following:

  • Is the event going to be indoors or outdoors?
  • How many guests can be accommodated?
  • Be clear about what is included in the venue hire fee – do they provide chairs, tables, audiovisual equipment, or will you need to pay for these separately?
  • What parking options are there? Will guests have to pay for parking?
  • When can access to the venue be obtained? Consider the time needed to set-up the venue before guests arrive – and allow time to pack up and clean after the event
  • Are there sufficient toilet facilities onsite, or will they need to be hired?
  • The audience you are targeting and whether the venue is accessible for these attendees.

Boroondara has several venues available for hire, such as parks, gardens, sportsgrounds and halls. To find out more, visit Hire a venue.

Marketing the event

If an event is open to the public, consider avenues which broadly promote the event to reach a wide-ranging audience:

  • Use social media 
  • Distribute flyers
  • List the event on websites, particularly those which have “What’s On” pages 
  • With permission, organise posters on shopfronts, offices, local hubs and community spaces 
  • Talk to local media, including newspapers and community radio and engage groups who prepare community newsletters, and offer stories and ideas for them to generate publicity for the event.
  • Advertise the date of the event as early as possible – even if exact plans are still a work in progress consider sending a ‘Save the Date’ email. 
  • Consider inviting other groups to display a poster or share their promotional material (for example, brochures). The benefit is twofold, as it enlivens an event space while also encouraging groups to reciprocate the favour by promoting a group’s event through their own networks.

You can also list the event on our website. Community events in Boroondara are published in the Events Calendar. Find out more at Submit a community event.

Organising committee

Organising a community event can be a big task, so it’s a great idea to have a reliable group of people to form an organising committee. The responsibilities of this committee may include:

  • Hold regular meetings and be responsible for organising all aspects of the event
  • Define roles and responsibilities, review the skills of committee members, and allocate individual tasks accordingly. This will create structure within the committee and assist in identifying skills shortages. An example of an organising committee and associated responsibilities can be found below:
Organising Committee member Skills and responsibilities
Member 1 Coordinate external parties, be primary point of contact for the organising committee and suppliers
Member 2 Finance and budget
Member 3 Sponsorship
Member 4 Entertainment
Member 5 Marketing
Member 6 Risk management
Member 7 Event schedule and timelines
  • Set up a calendar of meetings for the duration of the event program
  • Draft a template agenda, nominate a minute taker and initiate a process to follow up on actions following meetings. 

Volunteers and in-kind support

Volunteer recruitment

Recruit enough volunteers to help run the event. Consider requesting support from:

  • Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre (BVRC). The BVRC is our resource centre which actively encourages and supports volunteering through a variety of free services for volunteers and community organisations seeking volunteers. 
  • Local service clubs and community groups, including sports clubs and associations. Offering these groups the opportunity to raise money for their organisation by providing a service to the event, such as managing the gates, can be helpful in gaining their support. 
  • Local high schools or universities. Volunteer students might want to gain event experience or fundraise for their school or university.

Consider what tasks volunteers can assist with, including budgeting or marketing support, and determine whether these tasks can be conducted in person or remotely.

A task list will help you outline the volunteer roles which may need to be filled. Draft a timeline and roster before a call-out for volunteers. This will also help connect volunteers’ skills and interests with job requirements.

Training

Volunteers will require training to ensure they are well-equipped in their role and the event runs smoothly. Training can be as simple as a briefing with printed handouts regarding their roles and responsibilities. Make sure volunteers are familiar with the event’s emergency plans, communication methods and contacts for the event organisers. 

Retention

One way to keep volunteers returning for an event is to find out what initially motivated them to get involved, and ensure those needs or interests are met. For example, for those who want work experience, connect them with a mentor for skills development, or for those looking for social connection, organise fun volunteer gatherings including lunch events and outings. Remember to thank volunteers, illustrating how their help made a positive difference to an event.

Partnering with other community groups

Partnering with other community groups can be very beneficial for a successful community event. A community partnership can be defined as one or more community organisations, having common goals, agreeing to work together to share and leverage the strengths, resources, talents and knowledge in ways which benefit both the group and the community.

Key factors of partnering

  • Find like-minded organisations in the community
  • Equally divide tasks, so everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities
  • Intently involving group members to serve a purpose
  • Have regular meetings with the group
  • Have fun and celebrate together.

Benefits of Partnering

  • Increased efficiencies by reducing duplication for example both groups not doing same/similar event
  • Save money by sharing costs for example venue, entertainment, security and infrastructure
  • Expanding networking opportunities and building relationships
  • Creating and building awareness of each group's skills and expertise which can be utilised in the planning and delivery of events
  • Sharing information and resources - for example, utilising each other's connections can help groups cross promote marketing activities
  • Increased opportunities to secure grants and funding if partnering with other community groups can be demonstrated
  • Fostering social connection by bringing a cross-section of the community together.

Online tools and websites

To ensure the success of an event, it is crucial to know how many people will be attending. This will ensure sufficient seating and catering for all attendees. The following online suggestions can be used to help plan an event:

  • Create an event page on social media
  • Use online event websites (often free of charge)
  • Set up a dedicated email address and ask people to RSVP. This is a good way to track attendance and other requirements, including dietary requirements, accessibility requirements.