Managing Events

Course CodeBRE209
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Manage Events

Events can be a significant part of the horticultural calendar (eg. Garden Shows, Conferences, Festivals, Competitions, Product Launches). Consider the golf course superintendent who needs to deal with a major tournament, the cut flower grower who is organising an annual open day and charity event on their farm, or the park manager who organises a tree planting day for volunteers.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. The Nature and Scope of Managing Events
    • What is Event Management
    • Planning an Event or Conference
    • When to Run an Event
    • Other factors
    • Where to Hold an Event
    • Event Management Companies
    • Planning Example -A Christmas Party
  2. Developing Event Concepts
    • Naturally Occurring Events
    • Creating New & Original Events
    • Planning a Party in a Home
    • Making Decisions
    • Contingencies
    • Hiring Equipment
    • Fire at Events (BBQ’s, Bonfires, Fire Pits, Braziers, Torches, Fireworks)
    • Safety
    • Planning a Public Event
    • Evaluation Checklist
  3. Managing the Physical and Human Resources
    • Managing Volunteers
    • Managing Staff
    • Leadership
    • Giving Orders & Instructions
    • Communicating Change
    • Forming a Team
    • Types of Team Members
    • Elements of a Team
    • Dealing with Problems in Teams
    • Nurturing a Team
    • Committees
    • Guidelines for Planning a Show or Exhibition
    • Hiring Tradesmen
    • Choosing an Event Location
    • Décor
    • Equipment
    • Entertainment
    • Choosing a User Friendly Site
    • Lighting
    • Car Parking and Transport
  4. Project Logistics
    • Contingencies
    • Traffic Management
    • Toilets and Locker Rooms
    • Security Lighting
    • Legal Liability
    • Understanding Legal Requirements and Controls
    • Negligence
    • Local Government and Liability
    • Minimising Risk
  5. Marketing an Event
    • Target Audience
    • Publicity
    • Public Relations
    • Sponsorship
    • Developing a Business Plan
    • Key Strategy
    • Business Priority
    • Action Plan
    • Marketing Strategy
    • Business Reviews
    • Marketing
    • Advertising
  6. Managing the Finances
    • Budget Types
    • Event Budgeting
    • Cash Flow
    • Controlling Cash
    • Cash Cycle
    • Liquidity
    • Financial Decisions
    • Budget Performance Reports
    • Improving Profit
    • Reducing Costs
    • Controlling Expenditure
  7. Managing Risks
    • Risk Reduction
    • Managing Risk
    • Sensitivity Analysis
    • Quality Systems
    • Contingency Planning
    • Catering for People Overload
    • Managing Slippery Surfaces
    • Identifying Risk
    • Workplace Policy
    • Risk Control Methods
    • Business Law
    • Legal Rights and Obligations
    • Consumer Protection
    • The Law & Employees
    • Dispute Management
    • Duty of Care
  8. Staging Events
    • Theme of an Event
    • Venue Choice
    • Managing the Audience and Guests
    • Ticketing
    • The Stage
    • Power, Lights, Sound
    • Catering
    • Performers
    • Crew
    • Hospitality
    • Recording an Event
    • Contingencies
    • Crowd Control
  9. What to Do After an Event
    • Measuring Success
    • Dealing with Complaints
    • Cleaning Up
    • Repairing Lawns
    • Evaluation Checklist

Shows, Field Days and Exhibitions
Events such as these can be a significant aspect of marketing in the horticulture industry. Garden shows ranging from the well known Chelsea Flower Show, through to local and regional events can offer opportunities to launch products, conduct market research, connect with clientele or direct sell.
Organising exhibitions may be a large undertaking for anyone involved; from the event manager, to the exhibitors who can spend more time preparing their exhibit than actually presenting it. Some events only last for a day, but others may last many days or even weeks.
Some managers work all year long to organise a single event; and many horticulture managers may have the challenge of dealing with at least one event during the course of each year.  For example:
  • A race course superintendent may have a spring carnival to deal with
  • A landscape company may be creating a feature garden at a major garden show each year
  • A plant nursery might run a Family fun day each year to boost sales
  • A parks manager may need to organise an annual festival in the park.
Exhibitions can be small or they can be massive, large-scale events. For example, you might be asked to organise a small art exhibition of local artists in a small town. Alternatively you might be asked to organise something like an exhibition a garden show. The organisation and planning required for events of this size will most probably require a team of organisers and many staff. You need to be aware of how to run and manage large-scale events just as well as how to run and manage smaller events.
What is an exhibition? An exhibition is an organised display or presentation of a selection of items, for example a collection of rare plants. Exhibitions are an opportunity for people to show off something to other people; but also to promote business.
When considering exhibitions, you also have to consider the motives behind it.

For example, landscapers will be wanting to show off their new designs to the world, so that they will be seen in the media, on TV, in publications, and by the public. BUT they also want to sell their new ranges. So they will want buyers there as well, in order to highlight the new range, interest the buyers and get it into the retailers. So the motives here are to gain the limelight and to sell something.

There may be guide books to buy, also a gift stall, so there will undoubtedly be a financial motive as well.

So when planning any exhibition, consider what the motives behind it are.


The planning outline in the earlier chapters covered the broad concepts of the process required to stage an event. Following are additional, practical considerations:

  • All fees (i.e. stand fees to exhibitors, entry fees for the public, etc.) must be realistic for the industry with which the show is related. Consider what both exhibitors and visitors can afford and what they will be prepared to pay. Consider similar events elsewhere and investigate charges relating to those events.
  • Set a date well in advance to allow for adequate preparation (depending on the size of the event, this may be at least 12 months in advance).
  • Plan a date which is clear of competing events and make sure the date is widely known well in advance (before potential exhibitors or competition events can book up the date for something else).
  • Ensure adequate insurance cover.
  • Ensure health and safety requirements (legal and non-legal) are prepared for and adhered to.
  • Arrange first aid facilities to be on hand.
  • Start booking exhibitors at least 6 months in advance! Popular firms may well have diary dates running 12 months ahead, or even longer.
  • Promotions should begin appearing at least 3 months in advance building in intensity to a peak immediately before and during the event. Remember; many publications have a lead-time of 3-4 months. This means they need details of an event 3-4 months before it actually appears in print. 
  • Timing and crowd movements must be considered in planning. There should be space for busy areas also quiet areas.  Consider the logistics of movement when planning traffic flow for people.
  • Post signs to prevent confusion and to direct your traffic. Ensure all signage is clean and precise. Information/instructions in bullet points works better than long sentences.
  • Check any obstacles at outdoor events, such as holes, potholes etc.  Ensure areas are clean. Remove any rubbish prior to and after the event.

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