The first step in planning your fete or fundraiser is getting a committee together. Every great event needs a great team behind it.
There are 3 primary roles you need to cover to make sure your fete is a success:
You’ll need more than 3 people to organise your fete, and we cover this in more detail in our Fete Committee tips.
The committee should meet regularly leading up to the fete with meetings becoming more frequent as the date approaches. It’s worth planning a summary meeting after the event to reflect on the day.
Picking a date for your fete can be harder than it initially seems. You should consider what tasks may be required for planning and have ample time to get everything organised. When picking a date for your fete, consider what other events are on in your community at the same time. For school fetes, it’s best to run them on a school day if possible to get the best possible turnout.
Consider what the weather might be like on the day of the fete, too hot or too cold and you’ll deter attendees. Be prepared for the weather to change and have plans in place for if there’s a dramatic change on the day.
Where will your fete be held? If it’s a community event, consider a local sporting club or community hall that can accommodate your expected turnout. For school fetes, it’s always best to run them at school. When picking a location, make sure there’s enough room for attendees to move around comfortably. You’ll also need to consider how suppliers of rides, food trucks, and stalls will access the grounds safely.
By now you should have a committee in place, and designated the treasurer role. Budgeting for an event takes careful planning and consideration, as there’ll be a lot of moving parts leading up to your special day. Start by setting a goal for the event (how much do we aim to fundraise?), and then checking that all expenses will be covered.
It’s likely you’ve got a community around you, whether that’s students/parents/teachers, local businesses or clubs, or other community groups. Consider how they might be involved in the fete other than just attending. You might be able to access a local sporting club to run a handball competition, or your local Lions club may like to run the BBQ. Utilising the community can be a great cost-saving method, and they’ll typically have access to the infrastructure you might need. Fetes/events can be a great way for others to promote themselves, so they’ll likely get involved IF they know about your event.
There’s nothing worse than running a fete where no one attends. It’s important to promote your event through all stages; pre-planning, leading up to the fete, and the day of the fete. Aim to work with local suppliers you’ve previously worked with to help with printing posters, flyers, etc. You can utilise any digital platforms in place; like your schools Facebook page, or newsletters.
Trying something new at your fete may just be the difference between 100 attendees and 2,000. Consider what you could offer that’s different to other fetes in the area. Could it be a fashion show, a local stunt performance, or a scavenger hunt?
It’s important to utilise time and tried methods at your event to keep patrons there. Having local performers and activities scattered throughout the day can be a great way to keep the attendees around. Stalls can be a great way to keep people walking through the event, but make sure they’re stocked for the full day. Having empty stalls before mid-day is sure to lose some attendees. We typically suggest offering all-day wristbands for amusement rides, and these can be sold leading up to the event at a discounted rate. Holding a raffle, and drawing it at the end of the day often keeps crowds around - with prizes only handed out to those who are there.
While the day will typically move extremely fast, keeping an eye out for what is and isn’t working is a great way to plan further success next year. The committee will likely be tired at the end of the event, but having a short meeting directly afterwards can help find the flaws/successes of the day. Usually, a few pizzas and some wine can be a nice way for the committee to wind down together and reflect on the day.