Club Support - How to run & evaluate events
How to run & evaluate events.....

Overview – Events are very useful activities for clubs as they attract a) individuals and families to take part who are involved with the club or b) who are not involved with the club but who live in the community. A wide range of events can be organised by the club which can achieve a range of outcomes, including:


*     Building the club’s brand in the community

*     Building the club’s reputation within the community

*     Attracting new “customers”

*     Generating income

*     Having a social occasion for club members and participants.


Clubs needs to decide why their events are being run (there may be more than one reason and it might not always to be to generate funds) and to plan and deliver them well.


Planning an Event

To run an event well which delivers the outcomes you set out to achieve, takes a huge amount of planning and commitment. It is therefore important that the club decides to only run one or two events each year and runs them well.

There are four phases of planning an event and they are outlined below;

  • Define the event – what are its objective, what is the vision that the stakeholders have, what is the budget and the pricing structure of event.
  • Marketing the event – Who wants the tickets and why, how to contact these individuals, which marketing material to use and how this links into media plan.
  • Operational plan – preparation of the venue and the staff, development of a customer experience and delivery on the day.
  • Review – what went well and what didn’t.


Whilst all aspects of the event are important perhaps the most important aspect is the selling of the tickets. Firstly you need to know who you are attracting to the event and why they would come. Is it for entertainment and if so what are they expecting to see/take part in? Once you know the type of person that you are going to attract you need to create marketing material that tells them why they should come, how it fulfils their “wants and needs” and influences them to buy a ticket. You will also need to know which marketing channel (email, social media, posters, web site etc.) you can use to contact them. The selling needs to be “active” with all club members playing a role in promoting the event. It goes without saying that the experience needs to be good if you expect people to come back again! Finally, don’t forget to collect the data from the individuals who but tickets. This will make the selling of the event next year much easier.


Event Examples

Clontarf RFC

Clontarf run a wide range of events, many of them are well established events such as the ones below;

        ·         Pre match Lunch

        ·         Annual Table quiz

        ·         Club draw

        ·         90’S/Happy hour PRICES NIGHTS

        ·         Golfing society days– BBQ back in club

        ·         St. Stephen’s day father and son game and après party

        ·         PlayStation league night on Monday nights

        ·         “Gathering” match before Xmas

        ·         Ladies day

        ·         Family fun day

However, they also run a series of other events which are aimed at attracting the local community as well as the club members.

Strictly Come Dancing

The club ran a “Strictly Come Dancing” in a local venue and with the support from a local business that runs events. They have interest from all quarters of the community and promoted it through social media, posters, the web site and the local press. The event attracted sponsorship and income generated was e22K. The problems they have were a) finding the right venue b) getting the volunteers to take part.




The Oktoberfest event attracted individuals from across the community. The club used an outside business that brought in the beer, Stein glasses and the food. The cost was e15 per person which included two beers, food and the glass. The tables were hired in and the event promoted via social media, posters, word of mouth and the web site. The result was a 2.5k profit on the tickets and a large bar income.




Sponsored Walk

The Clubs most successful event was the “family sponsored walk” which attracted families and individuals from across the community. It was run at Christmas time and raised 26k



Music Nights

The music nights involve local musicians and attract existing and new members who are aged 22-30 yrs. of age. The income isn’t huge but they have a busy night on the bar and many new individuals are attracted to the club.




Tralee RFC


The Scratch Card Programme; in partnership with MacDonald’s the club has produced a “MacDonald’s Scratch Card” which they sell for e2. Every card wins something even if it is a coffee or a packet of chips but the prizes rise up through burgers to meals to cash prizes. The club paid for the actual cards to be printed (e1700) and MacDonald’s paid for the prizes. The club is well on the way to achieving its financial target and Macdonald’s are extremely satisfied with the increase in their footfall.

Scrap Metal Collection; the club asked all members and others connected to the club to drop off any scrap metal they had. The metal was then sold and an income was generated for the club.

The Club House; a wide range of one off and weekly activities take place at the club house including summer BBQ’s, Birthday parties, a Christmas Fair, business meetings, keep fit classes and the renting of the facilities to a cricket team. These activities generated a substantial sum for the club over the year

Dewathlon; over 250 individuals will take part in a Dewathlon this year (run 4k, cycle 20k, run 3k) which leaves from the club house and returns to the club house. There are prizes, T shirts for all participants, music, BBQ and much more. The club generate funds for the club as well as introducing the club to many individuals who could become “customers” of the club in the future.

Fun Run with minis, youth and adult members before Christmas.   Each child had a 10€ card to fill  and the adults had no limit on their sponsorship.             









A wide range of events are outlined below;

Who wants to be a Thousandaire? – This is very common in Ireland at the moment. A company will come with all of the templates and stage etc. for you to run it. The event can attract a wide range of participants from across the community.

White Collar Boxing - There are companies that will come in and organise this event for the clubs including the training for the participants. Where it can attract a wide audience is when the participants are from different clubs.

Scrap metal collection weekend – this will need to be run in partnership with a reputable dealer. The idea is that the club asks for the community to donate any waste metal it has lying around and the club also volunteers to pick it up. The activity takes place over a weekend.

Furniture Auction – this is a similar idea. The community are asked to donate any furniture and house hold goods that they have finished with. They are collected by the club on a Friday/Saturday and on the Sunday an auction is promoted across the community. This is a fund raising event. Some clubs are doing the same with clothes and are working in partnerships with local Charity shops. This provides the club with a reputation outcome as well as an income.

Disco for under 14/15’s – there are very few discos run for this age group. If you do decide to run one of these then the stewarding needs to be very tight. Sligo RFC run 8 discos a year at their club house to generate income and to attract young people to the club.

 Wine and Art Evening –This fund raising event is run in several towns in Ireland.  The “wine and art” evening is run in one of the local hotels. Regional artists are invited to exhibit their paintings and if any are sold they give a percentage to the fund. The wine is donated and therefore once the entry fee of e15 is paid, the wine is free to all present. There is also an auction of donated paintings from well-known regional artists.

Christmas Fair – before you decide to run a Christmas fair check that the date you have chosen doesn’t already have a Christmas event on it. You will be able to charge for the stalls to be there and/or take a percentage of their takings. The marketing needs to cover all of the community and you can generate further income through food, visits to Santa and Christmas raffles.

Ladies lunch – a good venue, food and drink with a good host are the ingredients for this lunch. It is a great opportunity for all of the ladies involved with the club to get together for a social event but it can be more. It can be a fund raiser but can also be used to promote the club and to attract new people to the club.


“Take me Out” – the most successful event I have seen this year was the “Take me out” evening which was run by the Ladies team at Sligo RFC. They had the videos sponsored, the hair and makeup sponsored and the printing sponsored. Over 500 tickets were sold (many through social media), there was an after event party in a local pub (tickets were also sold for this) and the event was a huge success for income, brand, data bases and reputation.

Modelizer initiative – “Take a Model to the Dance” – this event has been run by Railway Union RFC in Dublin. Its aim was to build up awareness for the club, to build awareness about the Diner Dance and to drive numbers on Facebook. A local model agreed to be taken to the dance by the winner of a web based vote. A selected group of players and members who wanted to compete to take the model to the dance had their photographs and details on the web site.  Anyone could  go onto the Facebook site to vote for which person they thought should win the competition .Within a couple of weeks of being launched it generated a huge amount of publicity, interest and new people linking to the Facebook page.


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