Summer fair checklist
Is there anything more satisfying than crossing items
off a to-do list? We've created a checklist to help your summer
fair run smoothly.
Before the event...
- Make sure your lottery licence is up to date if
selling raffle tickets prior to the event itself. Secure prizes as
far in advance as possible.
- Start publicising the event at least six weeks in advance.
Place posters in libraries, doctors' surgeries, leisure centres,
etc. Send a media release to local newspapers and radio stations.
If using street banners to advertise your event, seek permission
from your local authority. Contact them early to
establish any criteria, i.e. you will need proof of your public
liability insurance. If getting a new sign made, use 'This
Saturday' rather than a specific date - that way you can use it
again next year (most councils will only let you put your sign up
for one week anyway).
- Charity Print Shop produce editable posters and
flyers at extremely low prices... 10 A3 posters for under £10!
Visit the shop online to see their summer fair designs.
- Refreshments are guaranteed to make a profit. If selling
alcohol, you will need to complete a TEN at least 10 working days before
- If inviting your local ice-cream van along to the event, charge
a pitch price for them to be on-site, as opposed to a percentage of
takings. Check that they have their own public liability
- Find an MC/announcer and appoint a few 'runners' who can
provide details and updates about particular attractions throughout
the event. Give them a schedule - of performances, the raffle draw,
etc. Provide them with identification badges so people at the fair
can go to them if they need help.
- Create a ground plan, outlining where each activity will go,
bearing in mind the need for power/proximity to water, etc.
- If providing a programme, sell advertising slots
to local businesses.
Use this to publicise event timings and to
give particular thanks to key supporters.
- Do a leaflet-drop to residents in the area just prior to the
event. Offer them free entrance into your event and, if
appropriate, give them contact details
for booking any specific
attractions. If producing a programme, consider distributing this
to residents prior to your event.
- Finalise your volunteer list and rotas. Distribute a
spreadsheet listing each stall, with time slots, outlining who is
signed up to help out where and when. Identify gaps and initiate a
final recruitment drive.
- Ask volunteers to check whether their employers offer match funding as this can really help
boost your profits.
- Consider first aid requirements by conducting a 'needs
assessment'. If your event is quite large, you may need to enlist
the help of a local ambulance service.
- Risk assessments will need to be carried out for each element
of your fair, as well as for the overall event itself. Ask
individual stallholders to complete these, using guidance from the
Health & Safety Executive.
- Have a wet weather contingency plan in place and
if any changes need to be implemented based on a poor forecast,
allow enough time to let everyone know.
- Make signs for the basics - toilets, first aid, refreshments -
as well as for each stall.
- Based on previous experience, put together running notes for
each stall, with details of costs per go, rules, instructions and
advice. Laminate these and stick them on each stall - they'll
reassure any new volunteers!
- Finally, work out how much float each stall requires and order
this from the bank.
On the day...
- Prepare a box containing essentials such as marker pens, sticky
tape, scissors, string, drawing pins and paper, as well as specific
items, such as a mallet for hammering in gazebo pegs!
- Have a list of jobs ready for volunteers who turn up to help
set up, so that they can be put to good use as soon as they
- Once your event opens, keep checking that stallholders have
everything they need - that stalls are well-staffed and
well-stocked - and offer to take refreshments to them if they have
no chance of a break.
- Safe collection and storage of cash during your event is
essential. Appoint at least two people to be responsible for
floats, collection and counting of cash and safe storage during the
event. Have a book listing each stall, with details of the float
they started with. Each time cash is collected, a note should be
- Food hygiene is key, so if using charcoal BBQs, make
sure these are lit in advance, ensuring that coals have reached
maximum temperature before cooking begins. Read our guide to catering at events.
- Remember that clearing up is the event organisers'
responsibility, so have plenty of bin bags at the ready!
After the event...
- Thank all your volunteers and write to the businesses who gave
donations or supported your event - let them know how much was
raised and what you plan to use the money for.
- Ask stallholders and external contractors to complete a
feedback form, so you will know if anything needs to be changed for
next year. You can download our 'Knowledge Capsule' template.
Download the summer fair checklist and take it
to your summer fair planning meeting.
Have we forgotten anything? Email the Let's Get
Fundraising team if you think there's more to add!
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