IBM Club Warwick

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How to organise an IBM Club Warwick event

Research
Before you can organise an event you need to contact the venue to establish availability and prices. If there is a group discount available find out how much and what the minimum number for the discount is. From this information decide on a date and time, and create an event document in the events database. Fill in as much information as possible. Reserve an appropriate number of tickets with the venue and agree a deadline with the venue for when final confirmation and payment is due.

  1. Choosing a subsidy level
    There are two aspects to an event that influence the subsidy level: the opportunity for group socialisation, and the availability of child prices. We favour events with a social element and that cater for families. The following table show how these aspects combine to set three levels of subsidy. The events database will show what the current subsidy is for each level, and help you to set appropriate member prices. If places are not limited then they may be offered to non-members at cost price.
    Adult prices onlyChild prices available
    Group activityMedium subsidyHigh subsidy
    Ticket onlyLow subsidyMedium subsidy
  2. Committee approval
    Once you are satisfied that all event details are in place in the database, change the event status to Proposed. This will trigger the committee to examine the event at the next committee meeting and to grant approval if all is in order. In exceptional circumstances where time is of the essence then interim committee approval may be obtained using the discussion database.
  3. Advertising
    Once committee approval is obtained the event may be advertised to the distribution list using a note in the form recommended in the Controls section of the Committee Handbook. The example note is carefully phrased to avoid ambiguity and to elicit the required information from members. Set a deadline for payment that is at least a few days before the venue deadline.
  4. Processing requests
    As member requests come in, check that they have provided all required information, and if they have create a booking record for the event to track the request, receipt of payment, and despatch of tickets. Reply to each requestor using a note in the form recommended in the Controls section of the Committee Handbook, reiterating the payment deadline.
  5. Processing payments
    Payment by cheque is required in order to provide an audit trail. As cheques arrive, record the date it arrived and the cheque number in the appropriate booking record.
  6. Purchasing tickets
    The event should be closed once you reach your deadline for payment. Only tickets for which payment has been received should be purchased. Late payers may be given a reminder if you wish to indulge them, but if they have missed a clearly advertised deadline you are under no obligation to purchase tickets on their behalf. Change the event status to 'Closed for bookings' and make the purchase with the venue. Payment may be made by personal credit card, or you may ask the treasurer to raise a cheque direct to the venue. Always request a receipt from the venue. This should be a VAT receipt if there is a VAT element in the cost.
  7. Completing the finance
    Forward the receipt and member cheques to the treasurer. If you paid by credit card tell the treasurer the date by which you will require a cheque in order to settle your statement. If you have trouble obtaining an appropriate VAT you can use a standard letter as detailed here Database 'IBM Club Warwick', View 'Operations \ Information', Document 'Obtaining a VAT Receipt'.
  8. Distributing tickets
    Use the envelopes provided by members to distribute their tickets, recording the date and ticket/seat numbers in the appropriate booking records in the database.
  9. Polling for interest
    Some venues will not reserve tickets, requiring immediate payment to secure tickets. In these cases the level of demand must be established by a poll for interest. Advance purchases may be made up to a maximum of 70% of the demand indicated by the poll. This is to minimise the risk of exposing the club to a loss due to unsold tickets.
  10. Transport
    Providing transport such as a coach may make an event more attractive to members, but adds complexity to the planning. A coach adds a fixed cost to an event that has to be spread amongst attendees, but until the number of attendees is known the cost per person is unknown. Usually an educated guess or a poll for interest is used to predict numbers and set a member price.


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