Organising a Fete takes time and effort, however the event can be very rewarding in terms of funds raised, and the goodwill generated amongst the school and local community.
If your Fete is an annual event, convening becomes a process of following the various procedures that are in place, with a few new ideas included to spice things up a little. If the Fundraising committee is starting from scratch, with little or no information available from previous Fetes, then there's much work to be done.
Start by forming a Committee, which should be a group of active and enthusiastic people responsibile for co-ordinating the event. The committee may be divided into areas of responsibility such as finance, risk management, marketing, sponsorship and donations, venue and facilities, entertainment and activities, stalls, catering, and volunteers. Positions should be selected on the basis of experience and ability i.e accounants make good Treasurers.
Put together a Fete file, which will include everything about the Fete - financials, checklists, contact details, site plans, WH&S etc.
Decide on a date. Try to avoid major sporting events and the busy Spring Fair season, as a premium will be paid for sub-contracted services; your event will be competing against others in the area, and donations will be hard to come by.Check availability with your ride provider, before confirming the date.
Book essential equipment early, including amusement rides, stage & audio, food providers. ATM, and entertainers.
Develop a list of Stalls and Activities, then assign a class to each. Each Stall should be allocated a Co-ordinator. Each Stall Co-ordinator should have a volonteer base to assist in collecting or making the goods for sale and setting up and running the stall on the day.
Draw a map of the school grounds and plan out where the Fete will be held on a Mud Map. Atmosphere is the key, so don't spread the Fete out too much. Access to power is a determining factor. As the amusement rides operators normally have their own power, they tend to be positioned with Sideshow Games and Carnival Food at one end of the oval, with the stage & entertainment at the other. Locate your stalls selling Cakes & Food in the shade with plenty of seating. Raffle Ticket sellers & Chocolate wheel ticket sellers work best near the food & drink queue. Ensure there's sufficient tables/seating in the food area.
A good sound system will be required, which will add to the carnival atmosphere and ensure all announcements can be heard.
Start forming an Entertainment Program. Committing the children to attend the event via peformances is vital. If every student at the school is scheduled to perform on the day, you can be assured that at least 90% of children enrolled at the school will come along on the day - plus their parents, sibling etc. The next step is to provide the entertainment, stalls and food that will keep the families there to the finish. The longer people stay at the event, the more they spend!
Fill any gaps in the Entertainment Program with outside performers - Dance Groups, Martial Arts Displays, Cheerleading Squads etc.
The School Newletter has always been an effective form of advertising, though if your school has gone "electronic", a hard copy Fete newsletter may be needed. Research indicates 80-90% of parents read hard copy school newsletters whereas only 30-40% of parents go online to read their newsletter.
To spread the word amongst the community, use banners, posters, online special events websites, local newspaper articles, radio and the Fete Flyer - which is letterbox dropped just before the day.
A Fete Facebook page is a fabulous way of keeping all committee members, volunteers and the general public up to date with the latest Fete news. Make requests for donations and help. Promote school businesses who have offered to help.
Local businesses can be approached for potential sponsorship. This is not just limited to donating money or prizes; businesses may also be a source of equipment or expertise. A professionally designed Sponsorhip proposal is needed, along with a marketing program listing how the sponsors will be promoted. Effective forms of sponsor promotion include a Fete website, Fete Newsletter and Fete flyer.
Start selling Raffle tickets as early as possible. Send them home with students before the fete and sell them on the gate when people walk in.
Invite Community Organisations to set up displays and activities, which comes free of charge and adds to the atmosphere.
Enure the Groundsman is present on the day, as access to certain facilities, gates, power switchboards etc may be needed.
Organise a First-Aid Safety officer for the day, such as St Johns Ambulance Service.
On the day of the event, Fete Convenors should be wearing High Visibility shirts or uniforms that stand out from the crowd.
When collecting from Stalls, clearly mark the bag with the stall name you are collecting from and collect regularly.
After the event, reward all volunteers and helpers with a BBQ and drinks. Mail Certificates of appreciation to all Sponsors, and those that have given financial assistance
We wish you an enjoyable and successful day!