Event Operations Manual
Software for Club Treasurers

Timeframes for Event Management Tasks

The table below includes the majority of tasks that must be carried out in order to successfully stage an event. Some differences may arise where venues are owned and operated by the event organisers and where the scale of the event is very small e.g. an intra-club event (in which case timeframes may be smaller) or very large e.g. The Olympic Games (in which case timeframes will be greater).


Priority Order of Event Management Tasks
Priority Tasks

Months before


Examine feasibility of staging the event - The organisation wishing to stage a special event may need to consult stakeholders, examine the resources needed and develop a budget.

18 - 24


Bid for event - The organisation wishing to stage a special event may be required to develop, document and deliver a proposal to any person or organisation that has the power to determine which club, association or company will have responsibility for staging the event.

18 - 24


Appoint Event Director - The organisation needs to recruit a person with suitable skills, knowledge and personality to take responsibility for managing the event from start to finish. They may be salaried or voluntary and their responsibilities may span a period of 2 years or more.



Form organising committee - not necessary to have a full organising committee in place but a small number of individuals with skills and knowledge to assist with early decision making e.g. choice of venue



Secure venue - Check possible venues and book a venue that is most suitable for the date(s) required. The venue chosen does not have to be the same as the one indicated in the event bid but it should be equally as good. Otherwise there may be concerns on the part of major stakeholders.



Seek government funding - If government funding is a possibility it should be sought early. Organisations applying for government funding need to take note of deadlines for applications in the year before the event. From the time an application is received by a government agency to the time when decisions are announced is often 3 months. Furthermore if the application is successful there may be a delay before funds are received. The combination of these factors mean that an application inside a 12 month period before the event start is probably too late.

12 - 18


Develop a detailed event management plan - The Event Director with the assistance of the organising committee must identify the resources and tasks needed to stage the event. Every aspect must be covered. The work involved in planning the event (after a successful bid) may commence 18 months before the event but will continue to within a few months of the event's start.

3 - 18


Seek major sponsors - It is important to anticipate that commercial organisations may be involved in preparing their budgets in a three month period before the end of the financial year on June 30. Sponsorship proposals need to be received after budgets have been set may have less chance of success.

12 - 18


Obtain specialty equipment - Particularly in sports events there may be a necessity to purchase, hire or borrow equipment that is not manufactured in Australia. Negotiating and transacting with foreign businesses and organisations can be a lengthy process due to the need for document translation, waiting periods for orders to be completed, transmission of funds, transportation of goods and clearance by Customs. Delays should be anticipated.

6 - 12


Select and notify important officials - Important or high-ranking officials may have many demands placed on them to attend many events. It is therefore necessary to seek their involvement as early as possible. Another factor to be considered is if it is necessary to recruit officials who require air travel, then notice should be given to such officials in time for them to obtain the maximum discount on airfares

6 - 12


Book caterers - Where a venue owner allows the event organiser to do their own catering (not all do), it is advisable to obtain cost information early enough. The cost of catering will either be recovered from participants (players and spectators) or written off as a cost of the event i.e. catering for volunteers, hospitality for visiting dignitaries and/or sponsors.

If the cost of catering is to be recovered from participants, information needs to be obtained in time to set participant fees. If catering is part of hospitality for sponsors, the costs should be considered in setting sponsorship prices.

3 - 6


Print promotional materials - Promotional materials include competition entry forms for spectators, posters and fliers to attract public support, and in some cases information kits for the media. Competition entry forms should be sent out to associations, clubs and individuals approximately three months before the start of the event. Therefore printing of entry forms must be completed before this. Inside the last 3 months the usefulness of other forms of promotional material is reduced if printing with every week that passes and printing is not complete.

3 - 6


Invite dignitaries - The term dignitaries may include local politicians, representatives of sponsors and government funding agencies, important sports officials and notable sporting personalities. Particularly with politicians, best results may be achieved with 3 - 6 months notice and with several follow ups. Politicians have very considerable demands placed on their time and may be booked up several months in advanced.

3 - 6


Recruit and train event management team - The event management team (not to be confused with the organising committee) comprises all those individuals that will help on the day(s). Personnel may include people who set-up the venue, supervise entry into the venue, announcers, marshals, crowd controllers, trouble-shooters, cleaners, merchandise sellers, drivers and transporters, and many others. The event management team need to be recruited and provided with training before the event. They may also need to be outfitted with event uniform if such exists. Notice should be given approximately 6 months before the event to allow people to make arrangements for leave from work and to free themselves from other commitments. Training should begin approximately 2 months before the event.

2 - 6


Send invitations (or entry forms) to prospective participants - Invitations and entry forms should be sent 1 or 2 months before the deadline date for the receipt of entries. This may be approximately 3 months before the event. In case where participants may require air travel, event organisers should consider that, generally, the later flights are booked by participants the greater is the cost of the air ticket.

2 - 3


Check venue facilities - Although a through checking of the venue may have taken place at the start of the planning process, there may have been changes. Where the venue is not owned and operated by the event organisers, there needs to be further checks of the venue. These checks serve to familiarise event organisers with the venue, to consider emergency management plans, contingency plans, and discover whether all facilities are in working order.

2 - 3


Finalise event programme - The event programme can be finalised when there is relative certainty as to the number of participants. This may not be known until all entries have been received. It is therefore necessary to set a deadline for the receiving of entries. When there is a good knowledge of who will be participating, the Event Director can make adjustments to the timetable e.g. start times, order of events, presentations, etc. Ideally the event programme should be printed and sent to participating organisations and dignitaries one or two weeks ahead of the event. Other participants may receive their programmes on the day of the event.

1 - 2


Commence media blitz - Although Media Kits may have been developed and sent to the media around 2 months to go, there may be little point in staging a media campaign more than one month before the event. The purpose of the media campaign is generate public support for the event i.e. spectators. Early event publicity may not be effective as the public will tend to forget. The peak period for media activity will be the last two weeks.

½ - 1


Transport equipment to venue - There are usually many items to transfer and these include public address equipment, kitchen equipment, signage and banners, scoreboards, computer equipment, photocopiers, sports or activity equipment, tables and chairs, lecterns, first aid equipment, drinking fountains and more. Drivers for this transportation will have been recruited earlier as part of the event management team. In some cases it may be possible to transport equipment and store at the venue several days in advance. At other times, however, this may not be allowed until the last day.

Last week


Setup venue - In many cases may not be possible to commence setting up a venue until the day before or even the night before. There may be other venue hirers packing up and leaving as your event management team are arriving with the equipment to set up. Where possible, the venue should be completed set up and all equipment tested on the day before. If this is not possible then it may be necessary to work through the night if venue owners allow. Setting up on the day, only hours before the event commences, runs the risk of a delay to the schedule start time and this can effect the whole event dramatically. For example, stress increases exponentially when equipment is found to be missing or does not work. Furthermore the setting up of a venue is a surprisingly lengthy process and there needs to be sufficient time allowed for workers to achieve all tasks comfortably.

Day before

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