Fetes and local fairs are always fun events, everybody loves them. They appeal to a wide cross section of people and it’s no wonder with attractions such as rides for kids, stalls for Mums and Dads, showbags, food and performers.
As a result of their popularity, fete’s and fairs are a great fundraising tool and have the capacity to raise a significant amount for your club. They are also complex to run and manage, requiring lots of volunteer power and significant business acumen to deal with regulatory authorities and suppliers.
There are significant investments clubs needs to make to run this type of fundraiser including:
Fairs and fetes are attractive to the whole community and not just your club, so it is important to promote to the whole community. There are a number of low cost options to do this including:
To promote the event within the club community, clubs should utilise their no-cost resources like:
Revenue opportunities exist in the form of:
Licenses and Permits
It is imperative clubs work with their local authorities when organising the event. Factors such as traffic management, health and safety, security, food handling, liquor licensing, insurance and many more operational considerations need to be taken into account when planning events of this scale and best planned in conjunction with your local council.
Factors to Consider
Terms and ConditionsClubs need to attract people to their fetes and fairs and that usually means bigger, better and more colourful of everything. As a result, clubs increasingly find themselves dealing with third party suppliers for attractions such as rides and specialty foods (Coffee for eg). So it is important that all agreements and understandings are captured in writing including all terms and conditions - for eg, how much of a $2 ride cost does the supplier keep and how much does the club keep. Does the supplier have appropriate insurance? Are they accredited?
Profit MaximisationHaving great attractions supplied by third parties at your club's fair or fete will certainly attract more people but each of those third party suppliers will want to a slice of any takings. The key to maximising profit is to actively promote the activities managed by club volunteers - raffles, food and drink sales, club merchandise and sponsorship - so the club keeps all the revenue.
Organisation Effort and TimeDon't underestimate the time and effort required to organise a successful fate or fair. Planning will take 6 months minimum and it is important clubs allocate people to this process. A governing committee should oversee the event as a whole with sub committees organised to run separate parts, ie market stalls, rides, trash and treasure, carnival attractions/games, showbags, performers and buskers.
Pre SalesA great idea for these type of events is to pre sell as much as possible before the day - tickets, food vouchers, showbags and raffles. This makes sense for several reasons. You are better able to estimate the crowd attending, you can generate cash flow to cover costs before the day and you can minimise the amount of cash holdings on site.
Contingency PlanClubs need to consider a contingency plan in case of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances that allows for a hall or space as a backup venue. Insurance for inclement weather is also available but comes at a cost.
Volunteer ManagementFetes and fairs require considerable volunteer resources to make the event run smoothly. Clubs should ensure they do not leave it to the last minute to sign up volunteers for the day nor should they ask for volunteers without any idea on what they will be used for. Jobs and tasks should be drawn up and assigned well before the event, with a running sheet for the day so that volunteers know what they are required to do and when.
PowerAn electrical contractor/volunteer should be engaged to ensure stalls, PA and power is sufficient to meet work place safety standards.
TimingWhat time of year do you hold the event? Traditionally fetes are held during spring, but this can be possibly altered to early-mid autumn … just make sure your fete isn't slated to clash with a major event. Don't clash with other bigger or well-known regional fetes or festivals.
DesignThink about stall position and layout. Do you want similar stalls together or scattered around? Where do you want your rides positioned? Are there toilets near food and drink stalls?
This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.