Simple Steps to Holding an Event

Holding an event can be a great way of generating funds, bringing together your community and raising the profile of your group. This simple step guide will take you to the areas of the Community Toolkit relevant to event planning and management, including any laws or licences you need to consider.

Planning your event

When first planning an event you need to ask a number of questions:

  1. Why are you holding the event?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. When will it be held?
  4. Where will it be held?
  5. How will people find out about it?
  6. Do you want to offer refreshments? If so, can you cater for special diets and allergies?
  7. Is there adequate access for people with disabilities?
  8. What legal regulations do you need to consider?

Follow the steps below to help you plan and organise your event.

Type of event

The type of event you hold will depend on the reason for the event and your target audience. From a fundraising dance to an Annual General Meeting, all event planning is very similar. Applying simple project management methods with specific event planning guidelines will help you arrange a successful event.

Event venue and facilities

When looking at a venue for your event the first thing you need to consider is accessibility:

  1. Is it easy to find? You may want to provide directions
  2. Is there public transport and adequate parking?
  3. Does the venue offer suitable disabled access?

You will also need to consider Health and Safety legislation, including risk assessments, food hygiene and staffing requirements.


Licensing Regulations most likely to affect your event include those associated with the sale of alcohol, public entertainment and public performance.

Publicising an event

Not only will you want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in your event, but you can also use the opportunity to promote your group's other activities. Make full use of the press, printed marketing materials and online services to advertise your event.

Raising funds at an event

Events can also be an opportunity to help your group to raise funds. If you are considering raising funds through raffles or prize draws you need to be aware of the legislation relating to these methods of fundraising.

Evaluating your event

All events have monetary and resource costs associated with them so it is important that you evaluate whether the event was a success. Evaluating your event is essential to help you:

  1. Learn what worked and what did not
  2. Improve your next event
  3. Provide feedback to your committee, funders and other external agencies

What criteria you use to evaluate your event will be determined by the aims of your event. For example, if it was a fundraising exercise, did you reach your target amount? If the event was to engage with your local community- were you successful?

How you evaluate your event will depend on what information you are looking to gather.

  1. Questionnaires will allow you to gather feedback from the widest audience. To maximise this method - try to include a mix of open questions and encourage people to add extended comments
  2. Gathering observations from volunteers and/or paid staff involved in the event is also a good a good way to evaluate an activity - add this to your evaluation to get a different perspective to your 'customers' views.
  3. Individual interviews will give you a very good understanding of people’s different experiences. Bear in mind that realistically you will only be able to reach a limited number of people and that individual interviews take time to carry out.
  4. A focus group will give you a good understanding of people's experiences and take less time than individual interviews.

For more information please visit the HTSI website

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Last Updated 23/11/2015 09:31