- Devoted to the Bertram 31 boats around the world!

Event Planning Guide

All Good events depend heavily on Good Planning and Sound Fiscal Responsibility.

Depending on the size and nature of the event, the work required to make it happen will vary. But even the most casual rendezvous will require a fair amount of effort, and events such as "Shoot Outs" and other tournaments will necessitate a vast amount of advance planning and numerous staff members to cover the various responsibilities required.

All events, save the big commercial ones, are usually staffed by volunteers. Of all the event participants anticipated, you can, at best, figure on only 10% being willing to devote some of their free time and effort to helping out. Of this 10%, only as few as 2 or 3 will really "bust ass above and beyond the call of duty". For these few, keep in mind that the others *ARE* volunteers and not slaves! Be good managers but don't overly set the standard for the rest by your own standards.

Remember that honey attracts more flies than vinegar... Praise your staff for the good work they've done; don't flog them for their failures. Lead, don't Push.

Never forget that your event is supposed to be fun. Do everything within your power to make it so. Rendezvous are the easiest events, tournaments get quite complex.

Here's a simple 18 step guide for rendezvous:
  1. Start with a small group of people with the same kind of boat.

  2. Talk it up on the docks or send out a flyer describing a casual, convenient rendezvous.

  3. Get organized during this outing to approach the boat manufacturer.

  4. Ask your dealer/manufacturer to support an upcoming rendezvous.

  5. Talk to marina operators at boat shows; compare their moorage and services.

  6. Put energy into planning the event. It takes ingenuity to keep rendezvous alive.

  7. Invite all the similar boats you can: Publicize your event through boat shows, newsletters and magazine calendars. The more boats you can attract, the better.

  8. Develop lots of fun activities: dinghy games, kidsí games, food.

  9. Invite manufacturers and vendors to show their wares -- make it a mini-boat show.

  10. Schedule activities throughout the day.

  11. Stick to the schedule -- be on time.

  12. Give away prizes and awards. Everyone loves a T-shirt, a hat or a gag award.

  13. Keep the festival going; consider live bands, entertainment, outside tours and activities.

  14. Fit the atmosphere, casual or more formal and catered, to the group.

  15. Similarly, match the club to the destination.

  16. Remember that some things are worth paying for. If you have an affair catered, hire ALL the work done, so ALL the members can enjoy the event.

  17. Require a reservation commitment. This way, you can plan appropriately for moorage and food.

  18. HAVE FUN!

Tournaments: (No simplicity here...)
The Core Group - At least 3 (Highly Motivated):
The following model of 5 comities would require, at the very minimum, between 10 and 15 volunteers for a simple tournament. If a "Shoot Out" is being planed, Get the other side involved equally. If it's a generic shoot out, (ie: B31 vs. All Comers), enlist staff from the other entrants at large. Remember and remind that it's their tournament too.
Basic Planning - Elect Chairman - Enlist Remaining Members
The Tournament Chairman should be chosen from the available staff as the best one to oversee all aspects of the event, able to fairly delegate responsibilities, preside over all general meetings, steer the the various comities, and at the same time be diplomatic and positive. There will be a vast amount of work to do, but you don't need "Captain Blye" cracking a whip. A Leader, not a Pusher...
Develop a Count Down Calendar:
What has to be done by a particular date - Who's responsible? Mark down key dates for progress reporting - What's done, what needs to be done, what's behind schedule.
Use good meetings procedures. You don't necessarily need to quote "Robert's Rules of Order" but don't let your meetings drift out of focus. There will plenty of time for socializing at the event.
The Event Comities: (Most of the staff will sit on multiple comities, it's just the numbers game of volunteer forces...)
Finance Committee:
Research cost potential, set budgets, etc. Will there be auctions, give always, drawings? Govern expenses, budgets, strict accounting of all moneys received and disbursed.
Tournament Committee:
Tournament date, location, rules, prizes , entry fees, etc Consider factors such as weather patterns, moon phases, what's biting that season. Designate a "Committee Boat". Keep in mind that the Committee Boat is usually not a boat at all, but one single person manning the VHF radio and keeping score on a minute by minute basis. This person is also responsible for hourly reporting over the VHF, calling the start and stop fishing times. They need to be someone with a degree of intensity and not easily distracted.
Remember that Calcutta's within the United States are illegal. The tournament officials and staff must in now way acknowledge or recognize any Calcutta publicly. Shoot Outs in foreign waters are another thing and probably wouldn't be noticed. Still, it wise not to officially be involved.
Sponsorship Committee:
Secure Event Sponsors - Everybody should be a member of this committee. While major contributions and entry fees are necessary to defray most of the expenses, small items are important too. Give aways, auctions, drawings, and the like will round out the social side of your tournament.
Media Committee: (Closely associated w/ Announcement Committee)
Contact Local and National Media. Try to find a specific person to contact. Develop Press Releases, distribute them freely.
Social Committee:
Plan Social Elements, arrange things like banquette equipment, seating, decorations, etc. Often event participants may have items that they are willing to loan; stereo, CDs, tapes, microphones, etc. Somebody needs to be responsible for photography and video. Another needs to be the event scribe. Take brief notes, use a tape recorder, keep an eye open for memorable moments. Don't get hung in one place for too long, mix & mingle. The photographer and scribe should work as a team.
Announcement Committee: (Closely associated w/ Media Committee)
Get the word out to participants - Frequent Contact w/ progress reporting and needs. This committee should also handle printing arrangements for invitations, brochures, banners, etc.
Would you like to contribute your thoughts and comments on this list?  Email me at:

As always...

Best regards,

Patrick McCrary

Capt Patrick McCrary
3640 Investment Ln. #15
West Palm Beach, FL 33404


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