In order to run a successful event it is essential that you carefully plan and prepare it. This guide will give you some advice on elements to consider when planning your National Skills Week event. Please note that this guide will give you a foundation for your event planning, the details of each event vary depending on its size, ideas and objectives.

Initial Ideas

National Skills Week aims to showcase and highlight the diversity of vocational education, the opportunities,
career pathways and success stories. You have complete freedom to be creative and innovative when planning
your event, however the event should aim to fulfil the objectives of National Skills Week, outlined below:

  • Raise the status of practical and vocational learning, enabling all Australians to gain a greater understanding of
    the opportunities, their potential, and how they can contribute to a successful, modern economy.
  • To articulate and advocate – “learning by doing is as important as academic learning”.
  • To showcase examples of the many pathways to success and to dispel some of the out-dated myths often
    associated with vocational training.
  • To shine a spotlight on the achievements and success stories of practical learners.
  • Highlight opportunities for minority groups such as Indigenous Australians and workers with disabilities or
    encourage women to get into non-traditional trades such as building and construction or automotive.
  • To highlight the talent and skills of apprentices to the wider public and employers- i.e. through WorldSkills
    competitors, Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors etc.
  • Profile RTO’s, Trade Training Centres in schools (VETiS), GTO’s and employers.
  • Showcase the vocational landscape, its diversity and the opportunities for young and old.

Define who, what & why?

We suggest starting your planning with the following initial thoughts

  • Who is the event going to be for (audience, i.e. students, teachers, employers, etc.)?
  • What type of event will I host (format, i.e. Open Day, competition, online or on campus etc.)?
  • Why am I going to hold this event (objectives, i.e. what do I want to promote, what outcome do I wish to
    achieve)?

Audience

Identifying your target audience is essential in developing your event. When defining your target audience and
ensuring it is consistent with your event objectives and format, you may want to consider the following:

  • Age;
  • Location;
  • Interests
  • Experience in the subject area of your event; and • Why they would want to attend your
    event

Type and format

Considering the subject matter, theme and format of your event will determine the type of event you host.
Also you need to consider your audience when developing your event’s type and format. What type of event
would they be interested in? Inspiration for event ideas can be found almost anywhere. A few suggestions
are:

  • Consider topical issues in the media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, internet);
  • Research other festivals and events; or
  • Brainstorm with your colleagues and get inspired by previous National Skills Week events.

Some popular event formats include:

  • Hands-on activities;
  • Displays or exhibitions;
  • Public discussions or debates;
  • Demonstrations;
  • Online activities like competitions etc. or
  • talks and presentations

Objectives

Along with defining your target audience and your event format and type, you will need to consider your
objectives. Over the period of planning, implementing and evaluating your event, the objectives will always be a
strong reference point to keep you on track, and can be used as a guideline by others involved. Make sure your
objectives are written down clear and concise for future reference. To determine your objectives, think about
what you hope to achieve for your organisation and your participants.

Gather a team

No matter the scale of your event, you will most probably need to work with others to run it. Consider how many
people you will need to:

  • Plan the event;
  • Publicise the event; and
  • Set up and run the event on the day (presenting, chairing, helping, catering, and cleaning up).

The number of people required will largely depend on the size and scope of the event. When bringing a team
together, consider that each member of the event team should have a skills that will contribute to the event, this
could be in event management, media relations, skills to display at the event etc. You can also consider working
with a partner organisation to allow you to share best practice, combine resources and optimise both your
audiences. Consider what types of organisations might make a good partner for your event (i.e. schools, RTOs,
industry, business etc.).

Prepare the budget

A budget for your event is imperative and it is important to plan carefully and be diligent with your budget. To
prepare your budget you will need to consider the income and expenses of the
event.

Whatever your maximum budget, always allow some contingency for unseen incidental costs as these will
inevitably occur. When preparing your budget, be aware of the following:

  • Identify all items of expenditure early in the event planning e.g. administration, event delivery, marketing
    and communication;
  • Make sure the budget represents true costs. Hidden costs, such as hiring extra equipment that was
    originally under-estimated can be significant.
  • Most events will attract some income, whether it’s direct (such as tickets, catering, car parking) or
    indirect (such as advertising, sponsorships, sales, donations); and
  • Show all sponsorships as income. It is best not to overestimate the amount. Remember that it may cost
    money to obtain a sponsorship and this cost should also be included in expenditure.

The number of people required will largely depend on the size and scope of the event. When bringing a team
together, consider that each member of the event team should have a skills that will contribute to the event, this
could be in event management, media relations, skills to display at the event etc.

You can also consider working with a partner organisation to allow you to share best practice, combine
resources and optimise both your audiences. Consider what types of organisation might make a good partner for
your event (i.e. schools, RTOs, industry, business etc.).

Planning & implementing

By now you should have:

  • Defined the who, what and why of the event;
  • Gathered a team; and
  • Prepared the budget.

This is your foundation to the structure of your event; now you can start detailed preparations for your event.

For more information: Please contact Anne Cazar 0438 808 848 or email anne.cazar@skillsone.com.au.