Though KidZone itself ran smoothly, the process was not without incident. In using time wisely for a successful event, I planned, executed, and adjusted.
Planning the Fall Festival
Having coordinated for two years now, I used my prior year’s information and started with the framework, filled in the space, and chose reliable volunteers.
Upon contacting the vendors and deciding on the number of spaces needed for the event, I rearranged the areas considering noise, electrical connections, and curb appeal. With bounce houses and generators, we are talking about a lot of noise. In consideration of our vendors, I worked to fit them in without overpowering them with constant sounds.
Without power on the field, some of the vendors and performers needed electricity. Keeping those areas near a generator limited the amount of cords scattered throughout the event.
The curb appeal focused on attracting the attention of drivers, who may see our event and stop by. This year, I had a giant slide, bounce house, pony rides, and hayride visible from the main road. Though I am not sure how many saw these attractions, we had around 1700 attendees at our event.
Filling the Spaces
Assigning spaces and discovering what each vendor needed, I put together a master supply list, including items from tape to generators. Anything I might have needed was added to the list.
I also worked with our live performers regarding the schedule and addressing their concerns. This year, we had 2 stage areas: main stage in the center and preschool stage to the side. Both areas were very well attended.
Staffing the Event
Though the process for volunteers changed this year, I ended up with the best combination available. I am very protective of my workers, and they do not disappoint. I appreciated their promptness, energy, and time. My setup help saved the day as I needed assistance throughout the event, and they came to the rescue.
Executing the Fall Festival
Setup went lickety-split this year. The crew of volunteers came ready to work, and we finished our preparations early. The first-shift helpers worked hard until the transition.
When the second-shift volunteers arrived, they jumped right in. We had fewer workers, but all areas were covered. The issues from the first shift were resolved, and second shift ran more smoothly through the end of the event.
Clean up was a breeze. I kept all the KidZone items out on the field. We sorted and returned items without any confusion between zones. It was great! I missed my son’s soccer game, but I was not exhausted and utterly worn out this year.
Having a setup schedule, event schedule, and clean up schedule solved most of the issues that occurred last year. Thankfully, I learned from my mistakes, and this year was a grand success netting our school over $12,000.
Adjusting at the Fall Festival
The new issues that arose this year included a falling bounce house. A fuse blew in one of our borrowed generators. Thankfully, a setup helper came to the rescue. He immediately detected the issue, and he rerouted the power. We tried to get power from another generator, but it blew a fuse as well before realizing that the blower to the bounce house was the problem.
After a quick call, the bounce house owner brought a replacement blower, but our generators were not operating at full power. We ended up taking down a donated basketball/soccer combo unit which worked out just fine.
Another small bump in the road was the late arrival of the majority of our second-shift volunteers. The first-shirt workers stayed though some were inconvenienced. I appreciated all their help, and let them go as soon as I could.
With these small adjustments, the day went just as planned. It was a great day. My parents came to help, and I could not have survived without them. They walked around with my kids enjoying all the stations. I took a break and went with them on the hayride which was my favorite part of the day.
In using time wisely to organize our Fall Festival, I planned, executed, and then adjusted. Working from the successes last year, I laid the foundation, tweaked the format, and enjoyed raising money for our school through the KidZone. Happy relaxing!
Question: What type of events did you plan in 2012?