The basics of planning public events

How do you plan a public event?

Event Management

First ask yourself..


When risk issues are addressed in the community consultation and planning process, ensure you are also well positioned to include the positive benefits and opportunities. Issues that contribute to enjoyment and success are:

•    entertainment and activities

•    good information and communications

•    positive media reporting

•    good coordination

•    safe and secure locations

•    good health and welfare facilities

•    transport arrangements

•    sponsorship

 •     volunteers


Many things can go wrong that are beyond your control. It is your job to think of these things before the event and either prevent them, or prepare for them. Most of us know this, and we know that's why we have plans, schedules and risk assessments. But what about you?

As the event organiser, you can also increase the likelihood of things going wrong when you:

·      tries to do everything themselves

·      forgets people need guidance

·      forgets people can look after themselves

·      assumes things - hope/should be alright

·      isn’t prepared or organised


Then get organised with more questions...


Coordinating even the smallest event can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Save yourself as much time and money as you can by being prepared, planning properly and not wasting time doing things you don't need to do (like creating event management tools from scratch).

And BEFORE deciding to go ahead with an event - ask yourself some key questions...

After answering the questions below, you may find that an event is not the best way to achieve your objectives, or that the resources required to successfully coordinate the event are not available. Or you might feel comfortable that it's all fine and you should proceed. It's about you being confident to go with what is right.


•      What is the aim of your event? What do you want to achieve by staging it (e.g. raise money for a charity; create a sense of community; celebrate a special occasion)?

•      Where will your event be held? Will there be any costs associated with hiring the venue or using a public space?

•      Who do you want to come to your event?

•      Do you know how to reach those people and tell them about your event?

•      Do you have the resources to publicise your event to the right target audience?

•      What approvals will you need to run your event?

•      What plans will you need to prepare such as event management or traffic management plans?

•      What resources will you need to run a well-managed event, and do you have access to these?

•      What will it cost to stage the event? Do you have a budget for the event, and what are your revenue sources?

•      What other events are being staged at the time you propose to hold your event?

•      Will the event pay for itself, for example through ticketing or sponsorship, or will it be free?

•      Is your ideal venue available and if not, do you have a list of alternatives?

•      How will everyone get there? What transport should be arranged?

•      What if it rains? What if it's really hot?

•      What are the crowd management issues? Will security be required? Who can provide security?

•      Are there likely to be any noise issues associated with the event?

•      What can be done to ensure there is minimal impact on the community and area immediately adjacent to the event?

•      Who takes away the waste that will be generated at this event?

•      Who can supply food at the event? How will drinking water be supplied at the event?

•      How will everyone know what their role is?

•      Are there other steps that need to take to ensure appropriate levels of child protection?

•      How will appropriate insurance cover be ensured? What are the risks with volunteers? What insurance is needed for hired equipment?