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FAQ for Event Stewards
- Can I be an Event Steward?
- What is an "official event"?
- What is a Kingdom event?
- What should an event proposal include?
- Who can get complimentary passes to an event?
- What officers are supposed to help with the event?
- What other resources are available for me?
- How do I handle the money for the event?
- What about Cancellations or Postponements?
- What information do I need to gather at the event?
- What information should be provided by the steward after the event?
- What venues are available?
- Canterbury Faire resources
Can I be an Event Steward?
If you have an SCA membership, you can be an event steward. Memberships are required because as an event steward you are organising things on behalf of the Society and to be a legal representative of the Society you need to be a member.
Here is the SCA NZ Membership page.
What is an "official event"?
An official event is any event sponsored by a local branch that has been advertised in the Kingdom newsletter, Pegasus. Official events must be approved by the local branch. Official court business, such as the handing out of Kingdom awards, can only be done at "official" events, so if your event will include such business it must be made "official".
To do this fill out an event information form, have it signed by the local Seneschal, then send it to the Kingdom Chronicler. Advertising should also go to your local and neighbouring branch chroniclers. Individual households, Guilds, and other unofficial SCA groups may host events without group sponsorship, but these would be "unofficial", and should be advertised as such.
What is a Kingdom event?
A kingdom event is an event sponsored by the Kingdom of Lochac and hosted by a local branch, as opposed to being sponsored and hosted by a local branch. Lochac has four annual Kingdom Events:
- 12th Night Coronation
- May Crown Tournament
- Mid-winter Coronation
- November Crown Tournament
The dates of local events may not clash with these four events without special dispensation from the Crown, however, such dispensation is generally available for the asking. Dates for the upcoming Kingdom events are available on the Lochac Kingdom Calendar. The Stewards and locations of Kingdom Events are determined by a bid system. Bids for Kingdom events are submitted to the Kingdom Seneschal and approved by the Financial Committee and by the Crown. Profits from a Kingdom Event are split 50/50 with the local branch that hosts the event.
What should an event proposal include?
At minimum, an event proposal should include the following:
Your Event Plan
Your event plan should include proposed site for the event, along with an explanation of:
- Hours it is available for set up and the event
- The capacity of the site
- Rental costs and terms, reservation fees, and deposits
- Whether the site allows alcohol, animals, or camping
- Whether special fire, parking, alcohol, security restrictions are needed
- Major features and drawbacks of the site (e.g. where are the toilets??)
- Timeline (and dates) for reserving the site
Your full contact details: SCA name and modern name, email and phone; include these details for the Feast Steward as well, if a feast is scheduled.
Feast planning as appropriate; this should include a description of the feast arrangements, and the minimum and maximum number of people for which you can cater. Consider issues such as whether people should bring their own candles/holders, or you will use the good-quality Baronial stocks (allow $3/table in your budget if the latter, so we can keep the clean-burning beeswax candles replenished).
A proposed budget using a event budget form, which should include a 10% contingency factor in case of unforeseen costs. You should stick as close as possible to your budget and it's a good idea to work out a break-even level of attendance. Ideally your break-even should be at about 2/3 of the numbers actually anticipated. Don't forget to include the Kingdom Surcharge and Event Membership charge in your event fees; these are not charged if the event has no fee involved.
Who can get complementary passes to an event?
The King and Queen of Lochac are traditionally comped to all events (but not their family or court).
"Southron Gaard's Baron and/or Baroness will be exempt from standard entry fees to events held in the Barony, though not those hosted by a dependent group unless its own Council so decides. Such exemptions will include feast costs but not optional meal plans or other "extras", and will apply to the Baron and/or Baroness only, not to members of their family or entourage." Baronial policy decision passed September 2008.
In general we do not give any other complimentary passes. If you wish to comp anybody or give any discounts e.g. for the head cook at a feast then these should be included in your event proposal and agreed on by council.
What officers are supposed to help with the event?
All local Officers should assist the Event Steward in their areas of responsibility, or see that someone is delegated to do so. However, the Event Steward must contact those Officers well in advance and ask for their assistance. Stewards should not assume an Officer plans to do anything at the event unless the Officer is contacted beforehand and suitable arrangements are made.
Example: Stewards generally require Baronial goods stored by the Quartermaster. Contact the QM well in advance via their contact details in Regnum. Give them a list of what you want (see the Inventory list - 3MB Word document including photos) and arrange a mutually convenient time to come and get them. It may be possible for the QM to bring the items to the event, but more likely you will be taking care of this. Similarly, pre-arrange an appropriate time to return the goods and be sure they are passed into the hands of the QM, not simply "left" somewhere or casually routed back to them via a third party. If someone else does the returning, be sure the QM knows to expect this, including when.
Think about the nature and location of the event too, e.g. whether you will need a Chatelaine to bring hire garb, or to talk to interested non-SCA onlookers at a non-private venue.
Clear and early communications with the various Baronial Officers will maximise the chances of a good and trouble-free event for all concerned.
How do I handle the money for the event?
If you need a cheque for venue or other expenses, use this form (small PDF) to send a cheque request to the Reeve, preferably a few days in advance of when it is needed.
All cheques in payment for events are to be made out to "SCANZ Inc - Barony of Southron Gaard". This should be noted on your event advertising.
All money that you take in for the event needs to be given to the Reeve to bank.
All money you spend needs to come out of the group bank account either as advances or final payment cheques.
Write receipts for everything you receive, and keep clear records of everything that comes in.
Collect receipts for everything you spend and keep clear records of everything that goes out.
Do not spend any of the money you take in from bookings or site fees without it first going through the Reeve.
Keep a record book and receipt book with your gate cash box. Have gate keepers count the cash on hand and sign their name when ever shifts are changed.
Remove large sums to somewhere secure and record that you have done so.
If you cannot get an advance cheque in time, you can make small payments out of your own pocket and reclaim these later (showing appropriate receipts).
We can accept payments for events via the internet directly into our event holding account. If doing so, it is essential that you ask people booking to submit the following information when they make the funds transfer:
- Our account number : 03 0855 0256124 00
- First Information Field: Their Surname
- Second Information Field: The Event they are booking for
- Third Information Field (where exists): numbers of adults and children payment is for
(a slightly different format involving a booking number is used for CF and other large events which use the online booking process - this is documented as part of the process).
The person booking must also contact you with a completed booking form or other information, also stating their surname and the date the transfer was made.
Please ask the Reeve or the Seneschal to check the account for these payments. We suggest you close internet bookings several working days prior to any booking deadline so that you will have time to check and confirm the internet payment have been made correctly.
The more people that are involved in cash handling, the more important clear record keeping is. This Gate Reconciliation Form (Word document) is helpful in keeping track of who is at the event, who has paid and so forth.
What about Cancellations or Postponements?
Outdoor events are often weather dependent though, if you have an indoor option, this should be mentioned to Council and especially to any marshals involved in the event.
These days, the Metservice site also has traffic webcams, most of which are updated by the minute. These are a really handy way of getting a feel for immediate weather across the city, e.g. on the morning of the event. For example, the sun might be shining over your place right now, but the webcams elsewhere can tell a different story for the event site (or in the direction the predicted weather is coming from).
Example: Metservice Webcam
Be sure to check the date/time in each photo though, as some may be out of date.
As well as the expected weather, you may need to consider ground conditions (fine weather today may be no good if yesterday's rain made the site a quagmire). When in doubt, you'll need to go and check, or ask a trusted person who lives nearby to do so.
Ordinarily, you wouldn't postpone (as opposed to cancel) an event unless the event plan approved by Council had a fallback date for such a situation. However, if you explicitly check with the Seneschal first, they may give approval for a postponement.
Send cancellation or postponement notices to SGAnnounce (and your local list, if applicable) as early as possible, and follow up if need be. Also advise the Webwright if any major notices on the website need updating, especially the home page if this event has been publicised outside the SCA community.
Remember, it's impossible to get all weather calls right. Sometimes a cancellation is followed by sunshine. Other times, archers or fighters and spectators may have to suffer some rain, strong wind or cold for an hour or two.That's life. By all means consult a little by phone beforehand with those most affected (especially people bringing important infrastructure, or those who will be most exposed to the elements), and perhaps err on the side of "going ahead" if it is a very important event, widely publicised, or one with pre-paid bookings.
But regardless, don't fret too much it -- make a firm decision as soon as you have enough confidence to do so, and live with it.
What information do I need to gather at the event?
Members and event members need to sign-in at an event to be covered by SCANZ insurance (this doesn't include people who just happen to be watching from a public area not directly controlled as part of the event). The required sign-in sheets, and further details regarding event memberships, are available in this PDF. These need to be filled in by anyone attending (note, this does not include members of the general public spectating or members of the press), and the forms returned to the Seneschal as part of the post-event report.
To make life easier for attendees, you can obtain a full list of current members from the SCANZ registrar by emailing them a week or so ahead of the event. Specify whether you need all SCANZ members (e.g. for events with many out of town attendees) or just Southron Gaard and its subgroups.
Within 30 days of the event, the Event Steward should provide the Reeve and Seneschal (or Kingdom Exchequer and Seneschal for a Kingdom event) with:
- An Event Financial Report showing the amounts actually received and spent for each item on the budget that was approved for the event. Include all receipts and invoices adding to the totals for each item. Areas where the event was over or under budgeted should be identified, and reasons for the variances shown. Advances, and how these were spent should be shown and any unused advanced funds returned at the same time. Use this Final Budget Report Form (Word document).
- An Event Summary Report completed by the Event Steward. This may be a narrative or just use this Event Report form (Word document). The report should give an overview of the things that worked, things that could have been improved, and lessons learned at the event.
- Venue Information Update -- optionally completed by the Event Steward, especially if the venue has not been previously used, or you have different opinions or information about it from what is currently recorded. Completing this simple form will help make life much easier for future stewards. See the details below.