Essential planning steps for fetes

Fetes are terrific fun community events and they can be fabulous fundraisers. But what’s really involved? What do you need to get started? Read on…

One word really sums up the secret of a successful fete. Planning.

Before committing to a fete, invest time in research.

  • Ask how an event like this fits with your SMART goals
  • Do some ‘field research’— go other fetes/carnivals in your area. Note who’s there (demographics) and what’s there (stalls/exhibitions/displays). Observe what’s popular and what’s not. Take special note of stall holders/suppliers doing a roaring trade. Would their goods/service be popular at your place too?
  • Many sideshow ride operators report bookings a year in advance.
  • Many seasoned fete convenors start planning the next fete 10 months ahead.
  • Consider what else is on in your area at the time. You don’t want to clash with an established major event (or possible footy grand finals!)
  • Will it be daytime, evening or extended hours?  If it finishes at night time, consider having fireworks so that people have a reason to stay until the end.

Decide on where

  • Where will you hold the fete?   This may sound obvious but think about stall layout, whether you have access for semi-trailers hauling sideshow rides, and how visible your fete will be to passers-by. You’ll find some thought-provoking questions on suitable location in our How to organise a fete guide.

Assemble a fete committee
There are 3 critical roles that need filling to get the show on the road, so to speak:

The other roles —like stall convenors—will need to be filled as plans develop. We have detailed the typical different roles volunteers fill in pulling together a fete: read our stall convenor guidelines

Details you must plan for
Aside from deciding location, timing and what stalls you’ll include, other BIG issues that need to be planned for include:

In talking about stalls, will you invite outside vendors to participate? If so, you’ll need to decide whether you want to take a flat fee or a percentage of their takings.

Our free How to organise a fete ebook is filled with inside secrets from accomplished fete organisers.

Be inspired by our stall ideas—you’ll even find proven yummy sweet recipes and cake recipes—plus lists, forms and templates you can download.

Originally published 14 March, 2012

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