Fun School Fete Ideas with Narangba Valley State School
- Did you have a theme? Not really, the principal had chosen the theme “Reach for the Stars” as it had been 10 years since it opened but we didn’t really use it other than to say it before the fireworks.
- How did you set a date? Set by previous P&C committee as the fete occurs every two years.
- How many organising committee roles were there and what were they? The P&C president and I organised and managed everything ourselves and delegated everything to a core team of between four to ten people. At the meetings the main objective was to delegate jobs to do between the meetings. We didn’t have any parent stall convenors as no one wanted to do it which made it very hard.
- Have you ever been involved in organising an event like this before? Not as part of the P&C but I have had a paid job in event management previously where I organised expos. I hadn’t ever convened a school/community fundraising event.
- What unique attraction/activity did you have that set you apart from other fetes in your area? Fireworks as other schools in our area don’t have them. We have more rides and more stalls as we are a bigger school.
- How much money did you raise from sponsorship? $3000 – 1 x platinum, 2 x $1000 and 3 x $500 = $6500 all together
- How did you go about it? I designed some flyers which outlined all the benefits of the sponsorships and had them professionally printed (one of the parents at school works for a printing company), along with a general support request letter for donations. We approached bigger companies like Coles and Woolies but they didn’t give much. I found that the smaller businesses were much more approachable and willing to contribute to the fete as they were very happy to support the community and hoped it would bring in new clients. The real estate agents in the area were keen to be the major sponsor but there was only one who could get platinum sponsorship and the fireworks were named after this major sponsor. There was a team of three mums who went into businesses and asked for prize donations and I did the major sponsorship seeking along with another person.
- How does this compare to previous years? They only had one sponsor for $1000 last time so it was much better this year.
- Do you have a sponsors’ tent? Part of the sponsorship deal was to set up their own marquee. They were very particular about the position of stall to make sure that they got their value for money.
- Do you have any advice for others seeking sponsorship? Look at your local area and identify where the real competition is for the businesses.
- How many rides did you have? 10 + petting zoo
- Did you buy your rides outright or have a split percentage? Bought them outright.
- What was the price of your rides? $5
- What was the price of your arm bands? $25 before the day and $30 on the day.
- Did you allow outside stall holders? Yes
- If yes, how many did you have? 30 – outside stalls including 7 food stalls – Dominos Pizza, Slushies, Gourmet Dumplings, hot chips, Mexican, Fairy Floss & Snow Cones (split with rides company), coffee van, candy and licorice Internal: strawberries and ice cream, bake stall, lolly bar, jams, pickles and chutneys, soft drinks and the tuckshop food.
- How much was your stall fee? Money and a donation for non-food stalls. Non food vendor – $60 for 3×3 site (no power) and donation worth $40+ to go to the chocolate wheel. Food vendor – $150 for 3×3 with power . Food vendor –- $200 for 6×3 per site with power. Some did a percentage split as they hadn’t been there before: 20% which was better than $200.
- List of side show alley stalls and prices Provided by rides company and we received a 20% cut: Laughing Clowns and knock ems. Our mascot for the school is a frog so one of the parents made a frog out of mdf and cut holes in it. We put lollipops through the holes and some lollipops had a mark on the end of them which meant that they got a special prize. We had about 20 major prizes.
- Most profitable stalls: BBQ, soft drinks, chocolate wheel – prizes including tavern vouchers and donated wine. We also hired a dunking machine and that was paid for by the local politician. Face painting (professional), jams, pickles and chutneys (vegie provider for tuckshop donated all fruit and vegies so the only cost to us was the jars – Two ladies and I spent the weekend before making all the jams, chutneys and relishes.
- Stalls you wouldn’t run again: Lolly bar – a parent did it at the last minute and had way too much. We sold the left overs at the twilight market and Christmas stall. Cupcake decorating on the day – lots of cupcakes left over. Badge making – hired it but unfortunately it wasn’t used properly. School merchandise – We had tattoos created and also had water bottles printed for our 10 year anniversary. Café (tuckshop) – facing the wrong way, I would move it to another location.
- What is the best way that you have found to get people to volunteer their time? Fete meetings were held at the coffee shop originally but we decided to have them at the Tavern instead which was much better – a more relaxed atmosphere which made people attend each one. Meetings were announced on Facebook but no one extra came other than the core team of people. One on one asking is the best way to recruit volunteers. We had enough volunteers on the day but didn’t have any convenors as mentioned previously which made it extremely difficult. The principal in the week before took over this mission to make sure that there were enough people and rosters were printed showing the left over times and put up all around the school by the admin staff. This got people moving with volunteering their time.
- Did you use an online roster? No
- Do you have a thank you dinner/party for your convenors? We talked about it but it never eventuated as it was the week before school holidays.
- How did you thank your volunteers? Face to face thanks and on Facebook. Because of the lack of volunteers there wasn’t a need to do anything other than face to face thank yous.
- Describe any success you had with your publicity I did press releases and sent them to the local newspapers and the radio stations. We paid $500 for 96.5fm to come and do live reads 3 times on fete day and they bought their mascot. We put in on the What’s on website and on the local council event calendar, in the families magazine, kids to do website, and flyers were handed out around local areas by parents. Facebook promotions were extremely successful. Most interaction on Facebook was when we were giving away ride bands as a competition and also for the drawing competition. It was drawn on the day that the rides passes were available to buy so this got people motivated to buy their passes.
- How did you promote your fundraiser? Social Media including Facebook Letter Box drop – platinum sponsor was a real estate agent and they printed their information on one side and then printed fete info on the other side. Her husband then delivered them on a postie bike. Flyers / Posters Local Newspaper Your own organisation’s newsletter/ email Press release to radio
- Did you co-ordinate bulk supplies centrally? Eg. napkins, plates, cutlery, etc… Yes the tuckshop convenor organised it through her normal suppliers.
- What was your fundraising goal? $30,000
- How much money did you raise? $20,000 which was double what had been raised previously.
- What would you do differently in two years’ time?
- I would have convenors for all stalls as it just gets out of control.
- I wouldn’t name the outside stall holders on the map just let them know where they will be on the day. Some of them wanted to change positions which was very difficult to rearrange everything.
- I would liaise more with the rides guys on ride positioning so that this wasn’t moved on the day.
- Our Holiday raffle was almost cancelled as we felt it didn’t follow the P&C guidelines but it turns out that they are not as clear as they should be, we interpreted them differently. I would do the holiday raffle separately to the fete as it is a big job to do it together.
- I would start planning in the year before the fete. We can do this as our fete is biennial.
- Is there anything you wish you had known before you started? I was lucky enough to speak to a convenor from another school who so generously give us tips and hints about what to do, what not to do, things that worked well, things that didn’t work, information on suppliers, outside stall holders and anything else that I needed. Because I didn’t have a handover from our previous convenor this proved to be invaluable information. I think that all new convenors should speak to fete convenors from another school to gather information such as this.
- What is the best advice that you can give a fete convenor? Ask for help, allow plenty of time to do things and don’t forget your family!
Originally published 17 February, 2015
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