ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Organize a Public Event

Updated on April 13, 2017

Getting Started

You are at work and taking part in the mid-week staff meeting when the boss brings up the topic of this year’s Christmas party. Your mind has already begun to drift towards your mid-morning break when you hear your name and it suddenly dawns on you that this year it is your turn to organize the event.

No need to panic, even if you never organized so much as a small potluck dinner, there are a few simple steps you can take that will help ensure the event is a success.

The ability to organize special events can place you in good standing, not only at work but in other aspects of yoru life. In fact, if you are good at event planning you will soon need to employ that all important word, No, as you turn down requests.

The first step is to have the answers to the following:

  1. What, what are you organizing; know exactly what the event is.
  2. Why, why are you doing this event, fundraising, workshop, guest lecturer, celebration, why?
  3. Who do you want to attend?
  4. Where will the event be held?
  5. When will it be held? Be sure to include time.
  6. How will you let people know the event is taking place?

Now that you have a clear and complete understanding of the who, what, when, where, why and how of the event you are ready to begin, well almost.

The office Christmas party will need little promotion outside the company, your potluck with a few friend no problem but the guest speaker and video night demands more.

If you are planning a major social event, you most likely have a budget and a committee to help the event unfold but if you are doing this voluntarily for your local horticultural society the budget may be thin. So how do you run an effective promotional campaign on a very tiny budget? This brings us back to lead time; a long lead time allows that wonderful free advertising technique to work, word of mouth: people telling other people about the event.

Email can be a big help and if you have an email list put it to work.

A Few Tips

A few tips:

Be sure to allow sufficient lead time: email allows us to share information fast but just because you can spread the word quickly does not mean you can make a real world event happen that fast.

If you want a few people to get together for a beer at yoru favourite pub, a text message can get the job, but if you want 100 people to show up at a local community centre for a film and discussion night with an out of town speaker, you may want a somewhat longer lead time.

One reason is you need to book space and it is always possible that the night you really really want is taken so you may need to find an alternative venue. Get this sorted out first.

Book the room as soon as you have answered the six questions and make it for at least eight weeks from that date. This gives you time to get the word out. Now the bigger and more important the event is the longer lead time you will need.

A potluck with friends can be set up within a week or two, a community meeting about starting a community garden, six weeks minimum, a 100 dollar a plate dinner four months is cutting it close.

Okay now you are ready to rock; you know what you are doing and so on so what resources do you need to make it happen?

  1. Do you need to book a room?
  2. Are you serving food?
  3. Are you serving alcohol?
  4. Will there be live music?
  5. Do you need an master of ceremonies?
  6. How will waste be handled?
  7. What will you do with food that is not eaten?
  8. How are you planning to promote the event?
  9. Are you selling tickets or is admission free?
  10. Child care is that a concern?
  11. What if it rains and the event is outdoors?


Now that you understand the basics and know what it is you are organizing it is time to give some thought as to how you are going to get an audience.

The Christmas office party is nor problem, you have a built in audience who are easy to reach, just be sure to let people know six weeks in advance and all should be fine.

However, if you have a guest speaker coming who will show a short film on climate change, hold a discussion and you want the general public to attend then you need promotion.

You can make some posters, easy enough to do but unless you know a good location to put them up, don't bother. If you have places to hang posters do so, some local businesses wiill let you use a window or door space if the event is a community one.

Keep the poster simple, be sure the date, time and place are visible.

One problem you may have is giving out a contact number for those who seek more information.

Do not use your personal phone.

If there is no available phone line, get a free email and use that for contact purposes.

There are two tools that can draw attention to the evening; one is the media or press release, the other is the public service announcement or psa.

The media release is a one pager that informs the local media what is taking place and why it is newsworthy. they may run the release as is; they may send a reporter for a photo op and/or story, they may call or email for more information, or they may ignore the whole thing.

If you want their attention; send the release one week before the event and follow up with a phone call the day before.

The psa is a free announcement that TV, radio and newspapers offer to community organizations. It is short and gives the basics, date, time,place and what's happening.

If your event is free your odds of having the psa run are higher; it is okay to have a donation box at the door.

Tell everyone you know about the event, after all if your are putting it on, it should be something you are excited about and want to share.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)