FAQs for Running an Event

1. How do I contact a venue for hire?

Venues usually have their contact details listed on their website or Facebook page. It is highly recommended that you organise a face to face meeting with the events booking manager of the said venue.  This allows you to both discuss and inspect the venue to ensure that its capacity, stage size, toilet number, etc. are suitable for the purposes of your event. It is important that you act professionally and courteously without coming across as too eager/pushy as this sort of behaviour is off-putting for most events co-ordinators.

2. How do I obtain a grant?

There are a limited amount of grants available from various ACT government bodies. However it is most unlikely that they will award a grant to you if you are putting on a small one-off event at a night club. As such, it’s important to do your research when applying for grants.  Nonetheless, artsACT offer a number of categories for grants which include: Projects, Communities Working With Artists, Program and Key Arts Organisation Funding, as well as the ACT Creative Arts Fellowship, Out of Round Funding, Start-Up Grants for Young Artists and the ACT Book of the Year Award. If you require more information you can take a look at the ACT Arts Fund: General Information Pack. (link to http://www.arts.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/293804/2013_ACTArtsFundGeneralInfo.pdf)

3. Do I require an ABN?


In order to run events on the books it is important that your events management business has a registered ABN (Australian Business Number). This is a relatively quick and easy process. Just head to: https://abr.gov.au/ABRWeb/Homepage

4. Do I require a liquor license?

If the venue you hire is not licensed and you wish to supply alcohol, you are required to have a Liquor License under the ACT Liquor Act 2010. A Special License can be obtained for a one off event. The costs involved in this vary according to the proposed retail value of the liquor at the event. For a full list of fees please visit: http://www.ors.act.gov.au/community/liquor/forms_and_fees. For more information contact the ACT Office of Regulatory Services on 02 6207 3000.

5. Do I need to pay GST as a promoter?

If your business is earning over $75 000 then you will be required to be registered for GST. You must have an ABN in order to register for GST. Registering for GST is also quite easy – you can do it over the phone by calling the Australian Business Register on 13 28 66 between 8am and 6pm Monday-Friday. Alternatively, you can complete a paper form called ‘Add a new business account’. You can grab a copy of the form by ordering it online (link: http://www.ato.gov.au/content.aspx?doc=/content/34875.htm) or by calling 1300 720 092 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ABR has stated that it will introduce online GST registration in the near future so make sure you keep an eye out for that as well.

6. What are the sound restrictions in the ACT?

The sound restrictions legislation is contained in the Environment Protection Regulation 2005 Schedule 2, Part 2.1 It states that sound restrictions vary according to different noise zones. Please refer to the table below:

7. Am I required to have Insurance?

Insurance requirements vary from venue to venue. It is important that you ask them about this because if an artist’s equipment gets damaged or someone gets hurt and you are not insured – you’ll find yourself in a lot of strife. Some venues include insurance in their hire fees, other venues will offer you a one off insurance package at a nominal sum, whilst others will expect you to have your own public liability insurance.

If the venue expects you to have your own public liability insurance, the industry standard is usually a minimum level of $20 000 000.

8. Where/how do I hire Audio Visual Equipment?

Hiring AV equipment is generally quite straightforward. Just contact one of the many AV companies to get a quote. Each addition of BMA Magazine contains a list of a number of AV companies which you can contact. However it is a good idea to ask around and get a general idea of how much a certain AV set up will cost so that you can avoid getting ripped off.

9. Do I need to register my event with the Police?

Depending on the scale of the event you are planning to promote you may need to register your event with the ACT Emergency Services Agency. This is only necessary if the event you are running is not at a concert hall, night club or functions centre. As such, you may need to complete documentation with either the Office of Regulatory Service (for ACT managed lands) or the National Capital Authority (for Federally managed lands). For more information please e-mail esaeventplanning@act.gov.au and you will be contacted by a risk and planning officer to obtain more detailed information.

10. How do I hire portable toilets?

Portaloos are only required if there are not sufficient toilet facilities available at your venue. There are a number of companies that hire out portaloos in the ACT, a quick internet search and you’ll be able to find a hand full.

11. Do I need to hire photographers?

Hiring photographers is always a great idea so that you can show people how good your last event was and subsequently build up some hype for your next one. Most venues do not have their own in-house photographers so it would be a good idea to hire your own.

12. Do venues generally advertise/promote events?

Unless the event you are running is taking place at a theatre/concert hall, it is unlikely that venues will do the advertising or promoting for you. This however does depend from venue to venue so it is important that you find out as soon as possible.

13. How do I go about setting up a ticketing service?

The easiest ways of setting up ticketing services are online. There are a whole host of website that do this for you such as Moshtix, Eventbrite, Ticketek, Ticketmaster etc.

14. Do venues provide cleaning services?

This depends from venue to venue. All scout halls and most community centres expect you to clean up after yourselves however most function centres, concert halls, theatres and nightclubs provide a cleaning services as long as there is no excessive damage or mess.

15. Am I required to pay a deposit to venues?

Again this depends from venue to venue, however if deposits are expected it is a good idea that you try and negotiate the fee to a sum that does not financially overburden you.

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