Some tips and tricks for running an event

Some tips and tricks for those running events

This is only intended as a general guideline for people who might be new to running events. As each Shire or Hamlet will have their own local issues that will dictate location, pricing and administrative concerns this document should not be looked upon as a definitive guide. As with all our how to guides, if you have items that aren’t already listed here that you think it would be helpful to include, please let us know - after all, we want this to be a genuinely useful resource!

Pick your event team

You will need:

An Event Steward (and it’s worth having a deputy in case something happens to stop you attending your own event!) This person/team will look after making sure all the team know what’s happening, will appportion the event budget and will take care of organising the site and equipment and so on.

A head cook. This is a person who will take care of the staff to provide the meals for the event, divide the food budget and make sure everyone gets fed. The head cook will usually decide the menu and keep track of food allergies and special dietary requirements.

A Marshal in charge. This is the person who makes sure any combat activities are conducted in asafe manner and ensure there are line marshals for each event (heavy, rapier, archery and thrown weapons)

A herald who organises heralding for the activities to be done at the event.

A reservations steward - the person who takes care of the booking list and usually the money for the event. This job can be done by the event steward.

Things to consider

The date. This can be tricky as there are so many groups in the Kingdom and there are certain events you cannot clash with. Kingdom Law specifies five weekends that are reserved for Kingdom Events. Although the laws only explicitly forbids other events being held on the same weekend as the Tournaments, it would be considered bad form to clash with any of them. Those weekends are:

  • 12th Night Coronation - closest weekend to 6 January
  • Spring Crown Tournament - first weekend of April
  • Midsummer Coronation - closest weekend to 21 June
  • Autumn Crown - closest weekend to 11 October
  • Kingdom University - closest weekend to 11 November

On the Principality side of things we have two Coronet tourneys a year and you must ensure your event does not clash with those.

Planning ahead is the most important thing. The further ahead you plan, the greater your chance of getting the weekend you want.

Publicising your event

For an event to be recognised as an official SCA event it needs to be published in the Dragon’s Tale at Kingdom level and in the Baelfyr at Principality level. Your group seneschal is responsible for submitting this information.

Once the official announcements have taken place it is usual to publicise your event on various Facebook groups and on the mailing lists.

Maps, Site Directions & Signage

Do people know how to get to the event venue? It’s a really good idea to post the address, a link to a map of the location on your event page, facebook event and group website. If there’s special information that people need to know about getting to your venue (local road access, quirks with parking or useful landmarks to spot o the way you should consider adding this information too.

Event Sign In

People will need to sign in to your event, to record that they are there, so that they are covered by our insurance for the duration of the event.

The Insulae Draconis sign in sheets are available to download

It is really important that everyone signs in so it is worth making sure you always have someone assigned to this task. (The signin and cash taking desk is sometimes called Troll.)

You’ll also want a method for handling the cash. YOu will need to account for all the event payments and this will be part of teh event form the event steward needs to fill in at the end of the event.

Bodies to do things

It is worth considering including a question about voluntering to do tasks at your event in the booking form - we are all volunetters so you will need a vertiable army of people to hand banners, sweep floors, chop veg, give classes, help marshal, lift, carry, fetch and do shop runs.

Meals & Food Buying

Depending on the type of event, you will probably have to provide traveller’s fare on the first evening, two breakfasts, lunch and feast.

Whatever meals you have, and whatever way you deal with this, someone’s going to need to buy the food. Negotiate in advance whether it’s you or the cooks, and discuss with them whether they are happy and able to purchase food out of their own money, or if they need a cash advance to cover it. It’s worth asking previous event cooks for their advise about good places to buy in bulk.

Rubbish Disposal

Where are the bins? What waste needs to be seperated? Where does food waste go and how will you dispose of waste cooking oil? Will you need to take bottles off site to a bottle bank or is there a facility available at your event site?

Candles and Fires

Do make sure you check if your event site is okay with the use of candles! You will also need someone to keep an eye on it and make sure all candles are safely extinguished when the last person finally makes it to bed

Don’t forget to figure out where the tea towels and table cloths are

Most groups will have a supply, you should make sure you know where they are and how they’re going to make it to your event. Also you need to plan who will take them away and wash and dry the for the next event