Important note

Events, gatherings, venues and public spaces in NSW all continue to be affected by COVID-19. We encourage event organisers to stay informed on current rules and guidelines related to gatherings, behaviour and public places. Please visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19 regularly for further details and for general information, news and updates related to COVID-19 in NSW.
(Published 13 May 2020)

Before you begin organising, ask yourself...

Coordinating even the smallest event can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

You could save yourself a great deal of time and money by answering key questions before going ahead with an event.

You may find an event is not the best way to achieve your objectives, or that the resources required to successfully coordinate the event are not available.

Consider the following:

  • Aim/objectives – What is the aim of your event? What do you want to achieve by staging it? For example, do you want to raise money for a charity, create a sense of community, or celebrate a special occasion?
  • Location – Where will your event be held? What costs are associated with hiring the venue or using the public space?
  • Target audience – Who do you want to come to your event? For example, are you targeting a particular demographic such as young people, seniors, families or school children? Or are you hoping to attract people from a particular geographic area such as a suburb or a local government area? Or are you wanting to attract people from a particular interest group such as train enthusiasts, gardeners, volunteers, disability advocates, music lovers? 
  • Communication – 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?
  • Permits and licences – What approvals will you need to run your event, if any? 
  • Plans – What plans do you need to prepare, such as a risk management plan or traffic management plan and/or another type of plan, in order to gain approvals from authorities and effectively manage your event? How much time do you need to develop these plans? Do any notification periods apply? Who should you talk to about implementing them?
  • Resources – What resources will you need to run a well-managed event, and do you have access to these? Consider safety and security, staffing, volunteers, the structure of the organising body (including when and where it will meet) and equipment that will be needed.
  • Total cost – What will the event cost to stage? Do you have a budget for the event, and what are your revenue sources? Have you considered ticketing, sponsorship or fundraising?
  • Competition – What other events are being staged at the time or in the same area/s that you hope to hold your event? Other events can affect the level of media interest in your event, the availability of accommodation, transport and other support services, and the ease of travel to your event, e.g. if there are road closures to stage a bicycle race. For information about future events, contact your local tourism centre or local council.
  • Return on investment and impact on economy – Will the event be scheduled at a time that will bring more people to town during a quiet period? Would holding your event in a non-peak period assist the business community and cement ongoing support for a recurring event? Think strategically about timing to get the most from your event.
  • Visitor economy – Does the event reflect the broader tourism strategy for your region? Local councils or regional tourism organisations may assist with marketing if the event is a good fit with tourism messages.

If you decide you want to go ahead, please use this guide to prepare, plan, implement and evaluate your event

For a more detailed list of the questions that should be considered, please see the Early considerations checklist.