Hosting an event can be an exciting and easy way to connect your networks and community with the information they need to ensure no young person is left without a place to go. Since the start of YHMD, community events have been the core way parents, neighbours and community members learn how to identify, address and refer a young person in need.
1. Pick a size
#1 Small - Small events are most appropriate for time-poor and new event hosts. Small events can be a great way to share the stories of young people with your friends and family while also having a great laugh, dinner or BBQ. Small events typically require only three weeks planning and no outsourcing or cost.
#2 Medium - If you're a social butterfly and thrive at hosting satisfying and enjoyable experiences for your networks and their friends, a medium size event could be just for you. Small businesses can also be a great fit for medium events, in that they require little commitment and give employees the chance to socialise while giving back. Medium events require some prior planning, usually 2-1.5 months. Depending on the type of event, it will require some outside negotiations and partnerships.
#3 Large - Go big or go home right? For those with either a large event budget or great networks for sponsorship, a large event provides the opportunity to chance the face of youth homelessness in Australia. By hosting a public awareness event, fun run or fundraising gala, your efforts could not only improve the ability of our community to recognise young people in crisis, but it could also have a flow on affect that impacts young people for years to come. Planning a large event will take at least four months planning and require several planners who can devote significant time to the event.
2. Choose the type
After choosing size, the next step to decide what kind of event you would like to put on. When deciding the type of the event, keep in mind your target guests (what would they like to do, where are they most likely to do it and how can it be most satisfying for them to contribute to raising awareness and ending youth homelessness).
Also think about your resources, while you might want to host a eating competition in the Sydney Star Casino for free, is it realistic? Identify what resources you have and what potential strengths or resources you could leverage from your network.
3. Identify time & location
Location, location, location. The key to any successful event is hosting it at a time that fits guestsí schedules and location. Although #YHMD2015 falls on a Wednesday during National Youth Week in April, this might not be an appropriate day to host an event if you're inviting mainly people with M-F 9-5 jobs. Instead, why not host your event the weekend before, perhaps in the park if thatís somewhere your networks frequent in April.
If you're a business or organisation hosting an event for your employees, Wednesday afternoon could be a perfect time to help them get over the week hump in a fun way.
When deciding when and where, take into account your guests' habits and lifestyle, and the type of event your hosting (a family fun run probably shouldnít be held at 8pm on a Saturday night).
4. Find helpers
If you're hosting anything larger than a backyard BBQ or potluck dinner, it's best to enlist helpers as soon as possible. Helpers are typically people who you enjoy spending time with and who agree to help out according to their strengths. We all love helping out friends so enlisting helpers can strengthen your relationships and provide your friends with a satisfying activity outside of the daily routine.
Identify how many helpers you'll need to have a no-stress event & identify why you're seeking their help when you ask if their interested.
5. Plan the day in detail
Shortly before the event, you need to run through the day in detail with the organising team.
You can ask yourself questions like:
#1 where will everybody be on the day - does everyone know their roles and responsibilities, including if something goes wrong.
#2 is the rota full, or do you need to do a last-minute ring round to fill some gaps.
#3 how will equipment and volunteers get to the venue - and away again.
#4 will you be able to take hired equipment directly to and from the event, or will it need to be stored.
#5 how close to the event site can organisers' vehicles get, you may have to consider using a trolley or volunteers to help carry equipment closer to the site.
#6 who is responsible for money on the day (if you if you think you may raise a large amount, consider arranging for someone to collect the money throughout the day).
#7 will you need a lot of change; if so, contact your bank (at least a week in advance) and ask them to put some aside for you.
#8 will you have enough activities - long queues will spoil people's day.
#9 what will happen if the weather is bad.
#10 do you have enough time, materials and people for setting up and clearing away.