Event Operations Manual
Software for Club Treasurers

Feasibility: What to assess?

Factors that contribute to event feasibilityIf you are considering the feasibility of hosting an event, you will need to assess a number of factors including: (more details below)

Risks feasibility

The staging of events has risks for the organisers that should be analysed and understood. The organisers need to have a relative degree of confidence that:

(See more about risks associated with events)

Time feasibility

There are a number of crucial factors that determine whether there is sufficient time to make all the necessary plans and arrangements to stage a special event. In particular, the two most important factors are:

Venues, whether they are ovals, sports centers, theatres, pools or other types of facility, must be booked months in advance. The most popular venues may be booked more than one year in advance. This has a direct bearing on the feasibility of staging an event. It is not possible to organise an event unless the hosting organisation has a venue booked. The time needed to plan and organise the event must be sufficient to ensure that a venue can be booked.

The second factor is having sufficient time to promote the event and ensure that competitors are able to attend. Imagine staging an event and finding that a very few competitors were able to attend. If insufficient notice is given to competitors (and officials) they may be unable to book air flights or arrange for leave. Furthermore they may NOT attend because they have other engagements that they cannot change or simply because they have had not time to prepare for the event. There needs to be sufficient planning time to enable the event date to be inserted on to a great many event calendars. This is especially so when there is a likelihood of competitors traveling large distances to attend (even from overseas).

The sheer number of tasks to be performed when organising an event also suggest that would-be organisers should look very closely at the time allowed to complete such tasks.

Funding feasibility

The feasibility study needs to be able to predict the financial outcome of staging an event to a reasonable degree of accuracy. This entails developing a budget where all expected revenues and all known costs are listed. It is most important that would-be organisers exercise a high degree of realism when estimating possible revenues. Furthermore, it is vital to ensure that all costs are included. Two typical situations can spell disaster:

  1. The event goes ahead despite the loss of a major source of income i.e. sponsorship is not as much as planned, a funding submission to government fails or only half as many participants enter
  2. An unexpected cost arises but it is too late to cancel or change the event i.e. venue costs escalate, errors are made in calculating the cost of officials, or extra equipment has to bought at the last moment

History shows numerous organisations large and small that have run into financial difficulty and even bankruptcy as a result of staging an event. A general rule for running events is that they must not run at a loss except in special and planned circumstances. Therefore it would be prudent to ensure the initial budgeting processes are accurate and to aim for substantial profit.

See also

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Support feasibility

The feasibility study must gauge whether there is support for the event from within the organisation. This is vital as an event is generally work and many helpers must be found. Organisational meetings and numerous one-to-one consultations will usually provide evidence whether support exists.

Events often need support from outside the hosting organisation if they are to be successful. Some of the reasons to contact and consult other organisations include:

If the support that an event needs for participants, officials, helpers, sponsors and other interested parties is not forthcoming then there must be considerable doubt about the feasibility of this organisation to stage this event at this time.

Staffing feasibility

The human resources required to plan, organise and stage an event includes everyone from the Event Director down to volunteers who serve at the food stall. It is necessary to assess whether the organisation has or is likely to have sufficient personnel for all event management tasks. If no-one is willing to offer themselves as a event director or there is no-one with appropriate experience who is affordable, then it must be assumed that the organisation is unlikely to be successful at staging the event. Furthermore, at the feasibility assessment stage, it is important to count, analyse and understand the myriad of tasks required and to determine whether there is sufficient number of available personnel. Provided there is sufficient time, inexperienced personnel can be trained.

Venue and Equipment Feasibility

Those are responsible for assessing the feasibility of an event must consider whether there is access to a suitable venue. The venue should be equal to or better than the standard expected by all participants and other stakeholders. There are dangers for the organisation and sport/recreation activity if the venue is substandard. Therefore a lack of a suitable venue has a major effect on event feasibility.

Some categories of equipment such as personal sports apparatus are the responsibility of the competitor. Other types of equipment such as scoreboards, lighting and timing equipment are the responsibility of the organiser. If the organisation does not own sufficient equipment to stage an event it can be bought, borrowed or hired provided there is time and funds available. There may be a feasibility problem if sufficient equipment does not exist locally and it is too difficult or expensive to transport equipment from other places.

Environmental Management

The staging of events generally has some environmental impact. This may range from traffic congestion and parking problems to damage sustained by the environment. The following are some examples of the environmental impact of an event:

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