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Fete Planning and Meeting for the first time
Your first fete planning and meeting will set the agenda for the whole planning process of your fete. The convenor needs to outline a clear plan that lists all the elements of the fete and the dollar target.
If this is your school’s first fete, it is a good idea for your fete secretary to implement a comprehensive filing system (paper or online) now. This will assist in planning this fete as well as those you hold in future years.
At the outset, every committee member should receive an information folder or access to a shared online folder, providing as much detail as possible about their tasks. Encourage them to keep notes. These will prove invaluable reference points for subsequent committees.
Set the expectation early that everybody will be required to contribute to the handover process once the fete is over.
Another thing to get right from the start relates to money. Aside from inclement weather, extravagant spending by well-meaning stall holders is a fete’s NUMBER ONE profit-muncher! Be clear about your committee’s accounting practices from the start. Money handling procedures should be included in the information folder given to all
committee members. Establish how goods can be purchased for stalls; even include an approval form for the reimbursement of expenses.
In addition, make certain you know where the up-front money will be coming from. Do you have reserves and do you require authority to access them? Revenue will most often go down before it goes up, so make certain you provide for this.
Initially, monthly meetings will be fine but as your event gets closer, be prepared to meet fortnightly: even weekly.
Meetings need to be in a location that is easy and convenient for everyone. Light refreshments add a nice touch: ask everyone to bring a plate of food or bottle of something to share. The most productive atmosphere will be one that’s warm and friendly. But that doesn’t mean forgetting about business! No-one — least of all busy fete volunteers
with families at home and other aspects of life requiring attention — has time for meetings that go off on tangents or around in the circles.
Your fete convenor needs to have the strength of character to keep discussion on track. Your fete secretary will have distributed an agenda well before the meeting to allow members to gather their thoughts and make considered responses.
Minutes of the meeting will not only be distributed to committee members but to the P&C (or its equivalent). Such transparency gives confidence to those outside your committee, can help identify any problem areas as they arise and invite ideas from the ‘outside’. The fete secretary is responsible for maintaining all paperwork, including meeting minutes, in the fete file.
Tip: Consider using an online solution, such as Dropbox or Google Docs, to store and share all of your documents.
Go to next chapter: The fete file
Go to previous chapter: Appoint a fete treasurer
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