PLAN YOUR EVENT

A successful event doesn’t materialise overnight. There are many things to consider - your objective in organising it, how many people are helping you, how many tickets you expect to sell, and what kind of space you need for the duration of your event.
If this is your first time organising an event, here’s a quick guide to get you started.
What is your event type?
TARGET AUDIENCE & PROGRAMMING
FINDING A VENUE
STAGING EQUIPMENT
LOGISTICS
GUEST PERFORMER/SPEAKER

What is your event type

The type of event you are running will influence many of your decisions – where to hold it, how much or how little logistics it will require, which demographics to reach out to, whether you’ll need exhibition panels or a professional sound system.

If you are reading this, chances are you already know what your event involves. The next step is just to make sure you communicate your needs to relevant parties.

TARGET AUDIENCE & PROGRAMMING

Your target audience and programming of your event are interconnected. If you want to make it a family event, it needs to be accessible to both parents and children. If it’s a rave party, it won’t be well received if scheduled after Friday prayers. If it’s for children, don’t expect them to sit through boring speeches.

Most people will not be available during work or school hours on a weekday, so don’t do this unless your target audience is not bound by a conventional work schedule or are expected to take time off to attend your event (ie retreat/conference).

Your target audience will determine several things such as venue, ticket prices, and where and when to market your event. No matter who they are, communicate to them why they should attend your event and what they can expect from being a part of it. 
How to ensure a smooth event
  • Plan a detailed work schedule: When does the technical team come in to set up? When is sound check? Who is setting up the ticketing counter? What time do doors open? Who needs to be there? Who is in charge of what?
  • Manage guest expectations: If you invite guests to start arriving by 6pm, make sure someone is there to welcome them. If some guests need to collect pre-booked tickets, set the tickets aside and label them accordingly. If guests need to bring their own material for a workshop, indicate this clearly when they sign up.
  • Give regular updates: You’ll get an official FB event page set up for you by WAK so use it to provide updates. This is especially important if something major happens, such as a change in venue or if you’re opening a second show on a new date. Feel free to set up other social media channels as well.
  • Start on time, end on time: While delays are sometimes inevitable, remember that your guests rely on you to keep reasonably close to your schedule so they can manage theirs. A delay of 10-15 minutes while you solve an unforeseen hiccup is acceptable. A delay because you’re hoping to sell more tickets at the door is unacceptable and an insult to people who came on time.
  • Use your WAKAs: If you get WAKAs at your event, they will be able to help you with some basic tasks such as directing people to the correct place or providing information. Be sure to introduce yourself (or a relevant liaison) to them, find out what they can or cannot do for you, and leave clear instructions on what you need help with. This is especially valuable if you’re a small amateur production.

Finding A Venue

Choosing the right venue for your WAK event is one of the most important decisions you will make. A venue can come in many forms – an auditorium, a café, a function hall, or even a street. It is ideal that you select a venue with the facilities that can support your type of event.

About Kuching Sdn Bhd does not own or operate any of the listed venues. While we may be able to make suggestions, visit or contact these venues to find out if they are suitable for your needs.

If the venue you are eyeing isn’t listed here, feel free to approach them yourself about the possibility of hosting your event.
Tips on Finding and Working with your Venue
  • Do your own research. Look up other events the venue has hosted. Visit these venues to get a feel on what it is like to hold your event there. Speak to the owner or manager to see if they are the right fit for you.
  • Be clear on what kind of logistics and support your event requires. Communicate this to your potential venue. Don’t assume they own a particular piece of equipment or are willing to provide a particular service.
  • Keep everyone in the loop. If you’ve decided on a venue, confirm with them as soon as possible. Notify any others you have spoken to of your decision so they can release that slot to other collaborators.
  • Maintain a strong and communicative relationship with your venue of choice.
  • Be clear on the terms of the agreement; this will be part of your contract. Make sure you read and understand everything on it. If not, get clarification in writing.
  • Get everything in writing. Follow up any WhatsApp or verbal discussion on email. This will help both you and the venue remember what was discussed and agreed upon.
Accessibility
  • We want to make WAK as inclusive as possible for visitors who have access requirements. While it is not possible for every event to meet every requirement right now, About Kuching Sdn Bhd would like collaborators to take this into consideration when organising an event or choosing a venue.
  • Here are some suggestions on where to start:
  • When appointing your venues, find out if there are ramps/lifts and toilets for wheelchair users. Find out where they are and keep them clear during your event.
  • Consider where you can accommodate a wheelchair or people with mobility issues in your seating arrangement.
  • Be prepared to receive pre-booking queries on whether your show can accommodate such guests.
  • Brief your front-of-house crew on how to welcome them at the event and get them settled.
  • With your help, we hope to expand the accessibility of this festival to everyone in the community.
List of potential venues
  • The Old Court House
  • Plaza Merdeka
  • Waterfront Hotel
  • Sadau Bar
  • The Museum Cafe & Shop
  • The Hills
  • Sunnydale 1928 Cafe
  • Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA)

Staging equipment

Everyone’s needs are different. If you are new to organising an event, you might not really know what type of technical support pairs well with the type of event you are organising. You may not know how many microphones or lights you need in your venue of choice. You will have an opportunity to sit down and discuss it with us once your event is confirmed.

If you already know what you are doing, you can go ahead and fill in the support form when it is available. Staging equipment will be provided by our appointed staging contractor. Our inhouse sound and light technicians will work with you to refine what you actually need in that venue.

Logistics

Logistics covers the management of site preparation, technical support services and the management of the flow of visitors during the event itself. It’s about knowing what happens, what time it happens, who is handling what task, which door the staff will be using to move equipment in and out, where the concession stalls are, who is handling the ticketing, who is managing the talent, and so on.

Please note that more complicated logistics will require more time or money so be sure you can afford this before you move forward.

Here are some of the things you need to create an effective event logistics plan:
  • Event goal and strategy
  • Budget
  • Target audience
  • Theme
  • Number of attendees
  • Programme
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Catering / Concession stands
Your logistics plan will depend on the type of event you are holding. If it is an outdoor event, your list will look different: canopies, outdoor staging, etc. Planning ahead will help you make sure you have your bases covered.

Here’s a checklist to give you an idea of things to look out for:
  • Map out the site for your event
  • Plan for entry and exit flow
  • Make sure your crew members are adequately trained
  • Create contingency plans
  • Set up escalation paths
  • Use technology to streamline logistics
  • Make sure your venue is set up according to specifications 

Guest performer/speaker

Guest performers or speakers can potentially bring a lot to your event and the community in Kuching. 

Here’s some questions to ask yourself when bringing in guests:
  • Do they require a work permit? (If so, please contact About Kuching Sdn Bhd for further information.)
  • Is their act/material suitable for our audiences?
  • Do they need a visa?
  • Do they charge a fee to perform?
  • How will they get around once in Kuching?
  • Will you be providing travel expenses and/or meals?
  • Do they have large equipment/instruments that they need to bring?
  • Do they need to set up the venue and/or rehearse?
Please check your relevant collaborator tier to see what kind of support WAK can provide you. Everything else will be borne by you or be based on your agreement with your guest(s). 

Promoting your event(s)

Once your event is confirmed for WAK, it’s time to think about getting the right material together and getting the word out!
  • Finalise your event description our Programme Booklet and web listing (50 words). Ask someone who has not been to your event to read it and see if they understand what it’s about.
  • Select an image (square, 1080 x 1080 px, 300 dpi) to represent your event. Photographs showing past events will be the most suitable. Make sure you have the rights to the image you are sending in and/or it is appropriately credited. Make sure you have permission from the owner.
  • Create a database of photographs of any of your past events, performers/speakers, etc.
  • Prepare your press release. If you have not done one before, use this [guide].
  • Look out for press opportunities. WAK PR will be announcing these periodically, but you are also free to approach your favourite media outlet for additional coverage.
  • Set up your social media presence. Start posting with our hashtags. Don’t forget to tag @aboutkuching.
  • Assign someone to handle the publicity material and act as the spokesperson.
  • Don’t rely entirely on WAK to promote your events. Approach relevant interest groups to tell them about your event, or run your own publicity stunts or campaigns.
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