Event Operations Manual
Software for Club Treasurers

Ensuring the event runs to schedule

An event program may consist of many activities that have a defined sequence and duration. If the duration of activities is not well planned or controlled the event program may run overtime. It only requires a number of activities to run 10 minutes behind schedule and the whole day's programme will run an hour overtime. The sequential organisation of activities is such that one activity may not start until the preceding activity has finished. Thus timing errors tend to accumulate throughout the day.

Problems caused by delays in the event programme

Delays in the running of the event programme cause considerable frustration and, in some cases, expense. The following are examples:

Factor influencing control of event programme

The key factors that influence whether the event programme runs to schedule are:

Factor Explanation
Accurate time estimation

There needs to be careful calculation of each activity on the programme. Time should be allowed not only for the activity itself but also time for people to move from one location to another, and time to set up additional equipment if needed. Generally it is prudent to leave a little extra time between activities.

Training of event staff

All event staff should receive training and information prior to the event to enable them to efficiently perform their tasks and responsibilities.

Further assistance on
staff training

Positioning and set-up of equipment

If it is not possible to set up equipment prior to the event, it should be stored if possible in close proximity to where it will be required. In outdoor venues this may necessitate providing some protection for the equipment against wind, rain and storm. Event staff need to know how to assemble equipment quickly and to test it before use.

A range of appropriate tools need to be on hand to assemble or repair equipment.

Contingency plans

Even the best made plans are unlikely to be complete. There will always be some surprises (contingencies) that have the potential to delay the event programme. Whilst it may not be possible to forecast the nature all problems it is possible to construct a plan for what might happen if and when something goes wrong.

Contingency plans should include back up systems. For example, if the public address sound equipment fails to work, there should be a backup sound system that can be hastily assembled. It may not be as good but such a backup system is better than none.

Further assistance on contingency plans.


Event staff should be constantly on the look out for any problem that may cause delays to event programme. Troubleshooting should include checking equipment, ensuring people are where they are supposed to be, checking the weather, checking that keys are not lost and checking that safety is not compromised.

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