If you’re here, it’s probably because you are interested in not just attending an event, but also in running one. If so, congratulations! Running events is what is the lifeblood of Minnesota Furs community. This page is designed to help give you guidance into the kinds of events you may be interested in running, the requirements for them, and other useful resources.
Types of Events
There are three major event types. Each of them has different requirements and are classified as ‘tiers’. These tiers generally correlate to the size and difficulty of events. For a simple explanation, Tier 3 events include small risk and attendance events. A sushi meet, going out to bowling, a movie night, and the furmeets are examples of Tier 3 events. Tier 2 events are larger – they may include things such as space and equipment rental costs, and are for a larger audience. Examples of a Tier 2 event include the Winter Carnival Parade, ZooBoo, and camping events. Lastly, Tier 1 events are the biggest often involving significant expenditure and risk – this includes the picnics and convention style events.
For detailed information and specific requirements for each event, please see the Event Tiers page. Please note that different tier events have different requirements!
Before an Event
There are several elements to consider before hosting an event. Each of these will be part of the event submission you are required to send to the Events staff, in preparation for hosting the event as a Minnesota Furs event. Fortunately, they’re all pretty simple to understand!
The first few requirements are quite simple: You need a Type of Event, a Location for Event, and Time for Event. A type of event is simply what it is – a picnic, a dinner meetup, a picnic outing, a movie night. The location for the event involves not just the physical location, but what part of Minnesota it is in. For example, holding a camping event outside of St. Cloud or a movie night in Rochester might diminish your turnout, if you are expecting people from the central metro area. Lastly, the time for the event – is it to be held on a weekday or weekend, when does it start and end, and how far away is it from the time of submission? Events should be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to event date for submission to the official Minnesota Furs calendars and social media channels, and higher tier events may require longer.
One other consideration is the Scope of Event. How many people are you expecting? That alone may alter the requirements you need to run the event. Closely tied to the scope is the need for Volunteers. This is primarily about if you will need additional resources of manpower to execute your event.
If you aren’t sure on any of these answers, don’t panic! Minnesota Furs has an extremely talented and capable Events department which can help you determine the answer to any of these questions. They will work closely with you to find times and locations, help you determine your scope, and advise on the need for volunteers. Please see the Contacts section below for how to reach them.
Once you’ve figured all that out, you’ll need to submit your event. This is done through the website, using the Event Submission Form page. Here, you will be asked several simple questions about your event, and what media channels you wish it to be advertised on. This submission is the formal launch process for an event, committing you to running it to the best of your ability, and to Minnesota Furs to help you execute a successful event.
While not necessary, it is highly encouraged to attend a Minnesota Furs Community Meeting between the submission of your event, and the date it happens. This will help spread word of the event and provide further assistance from other former event runners and volunteers.
At an Event
At your event, there are two things to take care of. The first involves the logistics – ensuring reservations were made and are good, that everyone is having fun, and that everyone’s behavior is appropriate for the venue. This is very simple for the most common – Tier 3 – events, and usually will consist of simply tracking the efforts of any volunteers. To help with the most common concerns, a simple checklist has been provided below.
It will be recommended, as the event host, to get to the event early. This is good to help confirm any reservations, that any necessary items are present, and that there’s no complications. Additionally, this gives you a chance to double-check your forms and expectations for the event itself.
If the event is being held at a private venue, it is important to keep in contact with the management to ensure everyone has a good time and any relationships, both personal and professional, aren’t damaged. On par with this is keeping an eye out for any ‘trouble’ situations – such as keeping someone from getting too loud, dealing with any issues, and just in general helping the event run smoothly. Also, remember to be a good host – this is your event, but you also are representing Minnesota Furs, so please keep that in mind! You should also be the last to leave, ensuring that necessary items are cleaned up, all items rented or borrowed are accounted for to be returned, and that all volunteers have had their efforts tracked.
Sometimes, despite the best planning, events can get away from us. If at ANY time, you as an event runner feel overwhelmed or need a break, or an emergency comes up and you must leave, do not hesitate to contact the Event staff and the Board of Directors! Their contacts will be part of the information you have for the running of the event, and are available in case of emergencies. The board has made it a directive to have a member present at every Minnesota Furs public event. They can be tapped to help with any situation you may feel out of your depth facing. They will help ensure any difficulties or changes get taken care of swiftly and appropriately.
The single most important act of hosting an event however is to HAVE FUN! You’ve put in the work, and it’d not be worthwhile if you didn’t get to enjoy it. So make sure you have fun at your event.
After an Event
There are a few key things to do after your event is over. The first is very important – remember to thank your attendees for coming! No event is successful without them and it’s good to let them know you appreciate them coming. Closely tied to that is get feedback from the attendees. They can inform you of things they liked about the event, things that they didn’t, things that might have gone better, and so on. Feedback is useful in many forms.
The next important important thing is more logistically related. The first is to write up a post-mortem. This doesn’t need to be very big, just an overview of how the event went, any issues, and future concerns. This doesn’t have to be submitted to the Events staff (though is highly encouraged). Even if you don’t submit it to the Events staff it can be a useful tool for your next event. However, you must submit a brief report of your event and all volunteer tracking information. This will be a simple form that you will be able to submit to the Events staff. In order to receive your own event running hours and reward those whom volunteered to help your event this document must be submitted no later than 1 (one) calendar week after your event.
While optional, it is highly encouraged to attend a Minnesota Furs Community Meeting after your event to report on the event for the rest of the group, and to get further feedback from other event runners and staff who may have attended. You may also be able to ask questions and get advice about situations that arose during your event, so attendance is very useful to you as an event runner.