Developing a financially sustainable event
To ensure your event is sustainable, a budget that captures all costs must be put together before you commit to hosting an event so that the financial picture is clear and so that as the organiser you know how much (if any) additional finance you are seeking from potential sponsors or investors.
Consider whether you will need to dispose of assets after the event or what the cost of storing these assets will be if you intend to use them again. Consider partnerships with other event organisers or sporting organisations to share assets and find out exactly what is available from the venue or council as you develop your budget.
It is very important to build in contingencies to your budget to ensure that when the unexpected happens, this does not de-rail the event or the planning.
To enlist the support of other organisations, it is helpful to be able to demonstrate the anticipated benefits for each organisation you approach and the community in general.
Strategic Plans to consider when planning your event
- Council Event Strategies
- Destination Management Plans
- State Sporting Organisation and National Sporting Organisation Strategic Plans
- Office of Sport Regional Sport and Active Recreation Plans
Most events seek sponsorship from the business community. The Office of Sport website provides some useful tips on developing a sponsorship strategy and what to include in your sponsorship proposals.
A sponsorship proposal is a formal offer to do business. It needs to be well presented and contain enough information for a company to gain a thorough understanding of what it is being offered. You need to understand what you are offering to your potential sponsor, it could be naming rights or a brand presence at the event and promotional material. Whatever your offer, it should be tailored specifically for the company and identify some form of link or synergy between the company goals and your event.
Do your research on the organisations that you approach for support, if the values of your event do not align with those of the company then do not offer a sponsorship opportunity.
Reporting results to sponsors and investors before, during and after the event, will increase the chances of reinvestment in the future.
Government Investment in Events
Office of Sport
The Local Sport Grant Program aims to increase regular and on-going participation opportunities in sport and active recreation. Incorporated, not for profit grass roots sporting clubs can apply for grant funding up to $5,000 for events.
Recognised State Sporting Organisations can apply for funding for their events through the Sport Development Grant Program.
The Regional Flagship Events Program identifies and supports events in regional NSW that have the potential to act as a ‘cornerstone’ or flagship tourism event for their area by attracting overnight visitation and delivering long term benefits to the region.
The program has three funds:
- Incubator Event Fund - supports the establishment of new events
- Flagship Event Fund - supports the marketing of emerging events to increase their profile and encourage visitation
- Event Development Fund – supports the strategic development of proven flagship events as drivers of tourism.
Many local councils have grants programs that may include funding for community organisations to host events. If you are considering hosting an event, it is worthwhile approaching the local council in which the event is to be hosted to discuss any funding opportunities that may be available.
Some local councils have published information on events or tourism strategies for the area. Event organisers should consider the local strategies in the development of their event plan. Many local councils have dedicated staff who can assist you in the planning and assessment of your event.