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Conference reports

Maximising your Assets - making money from events and festivals

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This seminar took place on 18th and 19th November in Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern. Funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, it was organised by HIE’s Community Assets Team and hosted and co-ordinated by Craignish Community Company.

The seminar was targeted at community organisations that own and manage land, buildings and other assets, to inspire them to host and run events and festivals which generate income thus making them more sustainable. It was also aimed at community groups currently involved in running events. The objective of the seminar was to encourage these organisations to become more business-like and move towards less reliance on public sector grants.

The presentations from this seminar are are available to view online and as audio versions (broadband advised!) Try starting the audio and then view the presentation online - its (almost) like being there yourself!

Presentation (view online) Listen online
Graham Brown (Highland Perthshire CIC): {tiframe linktext:="The Enchanted Forest" width:="800" height:="550" url:="http://www.communityland.org.uk/images/stories/authorpoint/MA-GrahamBrown/index.html"}

Click to download in MP3 format (14.59MB)

Hege Hernaes: {tiframe linktext:="Lochshiel Spring Festival" width:="800" height:="550" url:="http://www.communityland.org.uk/images/stories/authorpoint/MA-HegeHernaes/index.html"}
Click to download in MP3 format (11.52MB)

Eric Dearie (Argyll and Bute Council): {tiframe linktext:="Don't Break the Law - Part 1 Licensing" width:="800" height:="550" url:="http://www.communityland.org.uk/images/stories/authorpoint/MA-EricDearie/index.html"}
Click to download in MP3 format (14.89MB)

Patrick Mackie (Argyll and Bute Council): {tiframe linktext:="Don't Break the Law - Part 2 Event Management" width:="800" height:="550" url:="http://www.communityland.org.uk/images/stories/authorpoint/MA-PatrickMackie/index.html"}
Click to download in MP3 format (20.7MB)

Robert Livingston (HI~Arts): {tiframe linktext:="Marketing and Audience Development" width:="800" height:="550" url:="http://www.communityland.org.uk/images/stories/authorpoint/MA-RobertLivingston/index.html"}
Click to download in MP3 format (21.16MB)

Duncan MacInnes (SEALL Community Arts): {tiframe linktext:="Marketing and Audience Development - a local perspective" width:="800" height:="550" url:="http://www.communityland.org.uk/images/stories/authorpoint/MA-DuncanMacInnes/index.html"}
File don't exists.

Donald Melville (Eilean Easdeil): {tiframe linktext:="How to SKIM a Profit" width:="800" height:="550" url:="http://www.communityland.org.uk/images/stories/authorpoint/MA-DonaldMelville/index.html"} Not Available


During this seminar participants were asked to provide their top tips for running events – here is a summary of them.

IDEAS

  • Don't assume someone else is doing it
  • Try lots of new things but don't try to reinvent the wheel

PLANNING

  • Adopt the mantra "it will all be fine"
  • Don't try to set up systems to solve problems that don't actually exist
  • Be well planned and enthusiastic
  • Fail to plan, plan to fail
  • Take a multi-agency, multi-organisational approach
  • Have a good programme and follow through
  • Keep it friendly and informal
  • Plan, plan, enjoy
  • Preparation, consider every detail and every possibility and if necessary prioritise
  • Use the resources already out there
  • Plan, plan and plan again, passing your plans by different people at each stage

MARKETING

  • Give professionals the time of their life, and they will come back
  • Get yourself a Digital Native
  • Market, publicise, tell everyone, organise, plan - and then do more!
  • Be nice to your sponsors - offer incentives such as discounts or free tickets
  • Use local businesses as far as possible (printing, design, promotion etc)

MONEY

  • Many businesses prefer to make donations rather than sponsorship
  • Share the profits - Work in partnership with other local groups (eg to run the bar)
  • Musicians and artists can stay in volunteers’ homes to save money and improve cohesion
  • When negotiating fees, never accept the first offer!
  • Consider membership with incentives as an income stream
  • Buy raffle prizes instead of asking for donations, good profits can still be realised

PEOPLE

  • Form an efficient and effective committee who can have fun
  • Trust those you are working with - teamwork is vital
  • Have a trustworthy core group with people you can get along with
  • Recruit for attitude; train for skills
  • Don't hold back from asking for help from anyone with relevant experience, even outside the organisation
  • Involve as many people as possible, and try to go wider than the "obvious" people
  • There is a role for everyone, no matter how old or young, able-bodied/disabled, local or visitor

GENERAL

  • Always use magic tape to put up your posters
  • Enthusiasm is the key to success
  • Do everything to make sure your event is unmissable for all in the community
  • Don't be precious, have fun, and show a profit
  • Get to know your audience but don't pander to them - stretch them
  • Engagement is the caterpillar, empowerment is the chrysalis, autonomy the butterfly
  • Have fun!

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