How To - Running an Event

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An event planning “how to” list:

  1. Have a great team of people with whom to work. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
    • Something WILL go wrong; you can't control everything, but you can try and set up everyone for success.
  2. Communication is ESSENTIAL. Make sure that all of your “department heads” are all on the same page at all times.
  3. Keep it simple. Don’t try to overdo it your first time.
  4. Have a good solid realistic schedule that you can stick to, and make sure that everyone knows WHERE they must be and WHEN they must be there.
  5. Make sure that your site meets all of your required needs for what you have planned.
  6. Stay on target, budget-wise. Make a realistic budget and stick to it.
    • Be ready for some small, unexpected expenses. A roll of duct tape, a package of toilet paper, etc. May need to be purchased at the last minute.
  7. Have an event website up right away; websites can be updated. This is in addition to a Facebook Event page; event pages are great for publicizing and discussion, but important information can be buried and lost.
    • Put the essentially needed event information on the front page of your website. Don’t make people have to search multiple layers of the site to find cost, gatekeeper info, reservation deadline, event activities that will make people want to come to your event, etc.
  8. Road signs to direct attendees to your event are ESSENTIAL. Helps folks like me to actually find the site.
  9. Lunch taverns, while not required, are a very welcome thing. As is a “breakfast bar” of coffee, tea, hot chocolate and donuts/pastry for the early birds. Those are both things that really make an event for me.
  10. Make sure that gate is in a place where people can easily move around. Don’t put it in a tiny foyer or anywhere really small or tight. Have two separate lines: pre-registered guests and not pre-registered. Makes things go much faster checking people in.
  11. Have a “populace lounge” of some sort for people to hang out for the day and put all of their things.
  12. Make sure that your site offers accessibility. We want EVERYBODY to feel welcome, not just the able bodied.
  13. A good feast can make or break an event. Don’t try anything too elaborate, unrecognizable or too fancy. Give people relatively familiar fare, stuff ‘em to the helm and send ‘em home happy and full.
  14. Offer plenty of non-martial things to do for those who don’t partake of the Arts Martial.
  15. Make sure you have adequate parking and loading/unloading ability for fighters, fencers, merchants and others who need to be able to do that. Have ample space for merchants to come in and set up and for shoppers to have plenty of space, too.
  16. When choosing your event site, make sure that your entire staff: gate staff, feast and lunch tavern stewards, marshals, class coordinator, merchant liaison, scribes, royalty liaison if royalty is attending, youth activity coordinator and anyone else that I am forgetting can do a site walk-through with you to figure out how and if the site will best work for everyone involved. Everyone ought to know the site particulars for their jobs for the day BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Nobody volunteering to be on an event staff wants any unexpected surprises, trust me!
  17. If your event is going to have a Royal Court:
    • You need a published ad in the Kingdom Newsletter The Pale
    • You will want a private space for Royalty and a space for the scribes and signing of scrolls (Ideally two separate spaces)

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