Information provided in this handbook is a guide only. We encourage you to seek further information and to seek advice for the best way forward for your Club

Good planning and organisation will allow your Club event to not only run smoothly on the day but will also allow you to better access funding that Arc offers for such events, including the Clubs Grant and/or the Student Community and Development Grant (SCDG), as well as allowing you to nominate for the Arc Club Event of the Year, and Photo of the Year awards. 

Planning Your Event 

 The first step in planning an event is to establish the idea of the event. It is important to do this as early as possible! During planning, your team should have a clear scope of your purpose, your event details (location, date, timings), your audience and any resources you need.  

Know your purpose! 

The purpose of your event should never be to just make something happen, you should view it as a Club objective or goal. Consider the following: 

  • Why do you want to run an event? 

  • What is the main purpose of your event? What do you want to achieve?  

  • Recruit members?  

    • For members to socialise?  

    • Raise funds? Raise awareness? 

Consider the Location: 

Investigate multiple options (indoor and outdoor venues) and venues that can accommodate the maximum number of people that you expect at your event. You should consider: 

  • Where do you want it to be held? 

  • Confirm if this location inclusive for all attendees 

  • Visit your preferred location spaces

    • Take photos of your space so that you have a reference through planning 

    • Create a map to establish orientation of your site and environment surrounding it. 

    • Put yourself in the position of your audience and visualize how your event would like 

    • Make reference to landmarks or key areas: power, tables/chairs, fixed points, loading zones, doorways, ramps. Consider how this makes your space accessible and anticipate any modifications

Analyse your audience: 

  • How many people are you expecting to attend? 

  • Research similar events and their participants/attendees 

  • Reflect on your past events:  

    • What are the most successful components (venue/location, performance/program, catering, time of the year) of these events? 

  • Make note of the types of characteristics, demographics and interests of the people you would like to attend your event. Profile your target audience:

    • Who are they? What do they have in common? What do they study? Where do they live?  

    • What do your members already enjoy? Will they be interested in this type of event? 

Timing: When to hold your event? 

  • Pick a date and have a backup (or two!) 

  • Think of the student lifecycle/uni calendar (be mindful of breaks, exams, peak periods) 

  • Scope for clashes or convenient times and any potential audience overlap 

  • Consider Public holidays, Weekdays vs Weekend, Weather/Timing in the year

Resources & Budget: 

  • What resources do you have, or do you need? 

  • What sort of budget, if any, do you have to work with? 

  • Do you need to apply for grants or sponsorship? 

Be Inclusive! 

Planning Resources: 

There are many places to connect, communicate or store files. You should have a location that your whole planning team can access. Here are some accessible platforms for you to consider

  • Google Drive 

  • Slack 

  • Trello 

  • Dropbox 

  • Asana 

  • Microsoft To Do 

  • Twobird 

  • Things (Apple) 

  • Todoist 

  • Cortana 

  • Google Hangouts or Skype 

  • Office 365 Applications: OneNote, Sharepoint, Planner, Teams

Booking a Venue and Drawing Up a Schedule 

Once you have planned out these initial aspects, you need to book your venue. Venues should be booked well in advance to secure your event’s date, time and location.  

For on-campus events, refer to Clubs Handbook Section 23 (Location and Equipment Bookings) for information on booking a room or an outdoor space. For off-campus events, you should also approach the venue or relevant booking authority well in advance. This may also include public spaces such as parks, which may have special booking procedures for large groups. Make sure to be aware of any Terms and Conditions of hire and any other important information given during the booking process (including information included in the confirmation email) to avoid any problems! 

Once you have confirmed your event’s time and place, it is advisable to draw up a schedule for the day of the event, starting from before the event at the time you have to set up (or even earlier – from when you will begin promoting your event). This will often highlight the little things that are often forgotten, e.g. iPod and playlist, decorations, signage, etc. It will also allow you to keep an eye on your budget and delegate tasks, especially for large tasks like organising catering and drinks.

Catering is something that will need some research and time in planning. Keep in mind catering for vegetarians/vegans/allergies/other dietary requirements.

WHS, Risk Management and Insurance 

Your group has an obligation to run a safe and inclusive event for yourselves and the public. Make sure that you are aware you of your Club’s Work Health & Safety responsibilities and perform a risk assessment to minimise the risks and the consequences of incidents. 

You should always conduct a risk assessment prior to your event. This will help you when things potentially go wrong, and also enables you to foresee, minimise or mitigate and potential risks.  

You should also have a contingency plan established, as well as a clear sense of any site inspections licenses, permits, insurance, grants, security that may delay your planning. A contingency plan is your plan of action if an identified risk eventuates (training, planning, staffing, equipment, procedures). 

Some financial risks are covered by existing UNSW insurance, however you and your Club may want to purchase additional insurance to cover other risks. 

Event Waivers / Terms & Conditions  

Clubs can use an Event Waiver form when there is no online registration for your event. If you do have online registration, use should use the Arc Clubs template Club Events Terms & Conditions document instead:

  • Club Event Waivers Template - Use this waiver template where there is no online registration for this event. If you do have online registration, use our template Club Events Terms & Conditions instead.
  • Club Event Terms and Conditions Template - Use these Terms & Conditions on the online registration system for your event. If your event doesn’t have one, use the waiver form template instead.

COVID-19 Safety 

It is your club’s responsibility to stay up to date with NSW Government guidelines and restrictions, as well as any parameters provided by UNSW Safe Return. The Arc Clubs team will provide updates via email and our Club Newsletter where relevant. 

Clubs should explore running online or hybrid events to ensure they are creating accessible and inclusive events. Additionally, events should be prepared to factor in safety guidelines such as Physical Distancing or Mask wearing throughout in person events. Be prepared to adapt to rapid changes in Government requirements, including having a cancellation or rescheduling plan. Familiarise yourself with the COVID-19 guidelines available on the Forms & Files page, and don’t forget to nominate yourself a COVID Safety Officer for each event.  

Have a Back-Up Plan 

It is important to remember that it is highly unlikely that everything will go according to your schedule or plan. If something does go wrong, do you: 

  • Have a contingency plan?  

  • Have a wet weather plan?  

  • Know where to get first aid help? 

If you have to book additional venues to accommodate for these situations, make sure you do it with your initial venue booking.


After this initial planning, you can then begin to implement your plan. If you are planning to promote your event (especially if you promoting to a wider audience than your members), develop a plan and start early. Remember, good promotions often make all the difference in how many people turn out. If it’s a big ticketed event, Facebook and Arc Website/Newsletters promotions will not be enough. 

Consider handing out flyers or giving away free stuff with your information attached. Increase your event promotions closer to the date, both online and offline. See Clubs Handbook Section 25 (Promoting your Club) for more ideas about promoting events. 

On the Day 

On the day of your event remember to bring: 

  • Any booking confirmations received (having it accessible in your email is usually fine) 

  • All the necessary items to help you apply for an Arc Clubs Grant. These include: 

    • An attendance form from the Arc Clubs Space 

    • Your Club Banner OR a generic Arc Banner 

    • A camera to take a photo at your event with the banner. The photos we need are the ones that show the event in motion, not posed group shots with the banner - these tell us nothing about the event! 

Remember to take the logistics behind packing up your event into consideration! The best way to ensure an event that runs smoothly is to plan well in advance, and to always have a back-up plan

Post Event Consideration 

  • Thank those involved (no matter what their contributions) 

  • Follow up on any issues or feedback – this may be injuries, conflicts, lost and found, late arrivals/early departures 

  • Share photos or testimonials with your online community 

  • Begin processing necessary payments and follow up on outstanding invoices 

  • Send out any surveys if relevant 

  • Begin reporting while details are fresh in your mind 

  • Archive your event in a logical and consolidated way 

  • Provide your event report or any acquittals on time 

Your Wellbeing  

Planning events takes a lot of work and sometimes can be stressful. Here are some tips to look after yourself during planning: 

  • Have time for yourself and take regular breaks 

  • Manage your workload by creating realistic timelines and goals, or delegating throughout your team 

  • Switch off distractions – set yourself times to check in with your club or your email and turn off your notifications when you are working or studying 

  • Have a back-up plan – prepare your contingencies in case things go wrong 

  • Give yourself realistic expectations based on your planning time 

  • Speak up – if you are struggling, talk to someone 

  • Keep a healthy lifestyle – have proper meals, exercise, get fresh air, sleep and hydrate yourself. You can become easily overwhelmed when working on events, but your mental health or wellbeing should always come first. 

Where can I find out more information? 

Arc Clubs Office

P:02 9065 0930

H:10am to 5pm

A:Level 2 Basser Steps, Gate 5 on High St, UNSW