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A Planning Guide for Successful School Carnivals

Apr 24, 2008
Carnivals are one of the most popular fundraising events that schools hold. The difference between a "blah" carnival and a wildly successful one is often a matter of proper organization. Winning events involve more than setting up a couple of inflatable rentals and ordering pizza. Marketing and recruiting in particular are critical if you want the carnival to meet your fundraising goals.

Creating the Plan:

Carnivals involve a lot people and activity, so it's easy for everyone to get confused about their roles. It is important to have a clear strategy so that everyone involved knows what to do.

Start by creating committees that are responsible for different events and duties. A large event can easily have half a dozen or more separate groups of people, each focusing on a particular part of the carnival. Separate teams would handle food, facilities, ticket sales, advertising, recruiting volunteers, and so on. There also needs to be a coordinating committee that oversees all the others.

Come up with a unifying theme for the event. A theme makes the event more fun and can make planning easier. Popular themes could be 50s Sock Hop, Alien Invasion, Renaissance Fair, and lots of others. Before committing to the date, check out what other activities are planned in the community. You'd hate to end up competing against a popular city festival or, worse yet, another school.

Recruit Vendors and Volunteers:

Some schools provide their own carnival food while others get refreshments from a third-party vendor. When it comes to games and activities, rental agencies are the best way to go.

Inflatable rentals are an inexpensive way to add exciting and entertaining diversions for the guests. Adults and kids alike have fun with inflatable rentals and they are much safer than some other carnival activities. There are lots of options from traditional inflatable slides to sumo wrestling and human bowling. After all, what's a carnival without games?

Don't forget to recruit plenty of volunteers. A good rule of thumb is to get twice the number of people you think you'll need. You can expect at least a quarter of them to be no-shows and you'd much rather have too many than too few.

Think About Next Year:

School fund raisers aren't a one-time thing and it is never too early to start planning for the next one. Soon after you've held your carnival, evaluate the event from numerous angles. What went right? What went wrong and how can you prevent the same problems? What food didn't seem popular and which of the inflatable rentals had the most activity?

One of the most important and yet most overlooked steps in event planning is expressing thanks. Make sure to show your gratitude to the volunteers, sponsors, and donors or you will find them reluctant to help in the future. They are the backbone of your fund raiser, so be sure to let them know that.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on inflatable
rentals in California
, please visit http://www.allforfunrentals.com.
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