Celebrating as a Community: Essentials for Planning a Hugely-Successful Public Event

So, you want to have a party, do you?

It can be an amazing experience but also very humbling. Being the head honcho organizer is something that requires a lot of responsibility. Here’s how to manage it all and have a successful event.

Celebrating as a Community: Essentials for Planning a Hugely-Successful Public Event
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About Insurance

Before you plan out anything, think about some of the liability and risks you’re taking on. If it’s a small block or street party, you might be able to manage it OK without insurance. But, if it’s a rather large party, the risk is that public or private property might get damaged. And, if it does, you’re on the hook for it.
So, you’d better pick up insurance if you’re going to have anything but a small gathering of friends. Most local councils do not require you to carry insurance for a small party. But, you will need to check because larger events, including commercial ones, do require insurance. And, if you have activities, like bouncy castles, sporting events, or fireworks, you almost certainly will need public liability insurance.

This type of insurance will cover you in case anything happens at your party. Insurance cover doesn’t need to be expensive. In most cases, it runs just £50 for cover up to £5 million of damages.

The Association of British Insurers can help you decide what kinds of risks you’d be taking on by not buying coverage and how much you should expect to pay for your specific event.

Your Duty Of Care

If you have people on your property, you have a basic “duty of care” which says that you are responsible for people’s basic safety. If someone injures themselves, it is your responsibility so you must make sure that any hazards are clearly marked and that your property has sufficient safety measures in place so that people do not trip, slip, or fall on unsafe surfaces.

Charging Fees For An Event

If you’re holding a community event, you shouldn’t be charging admission for it. It’s not considered a profit making venture. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot ask for donations to help cover things like food and drinks. You just can’t demand people pay for admittance.


This is something that’s on most people’s minds. You generally don’t need a license if it’s a local street party. If you’re not selling alcohol, food, or using a mobile food vendor, or selling raffle tickets, playing amplified live or pre-recorded music, or holding a sporting event, then you’re fine.

If you are doing any of these things, you may need a license or special permission from the local Council for these activities. The good news is that it’s not too difficult to get a license for these kinds of things.

Music And Copyright Infringement

This is a legitimate issue for people wanting to obey the law and respect copyright laws. If you’re planning on playing pre-recorded music to anyone outside of your immediate friends, then you will need to get permission for broadcasting from the Performing Rights Society via www.prs.co.uk and the Phonographic Performance Limited via www.ppluk.com.

These are the licensing organizations responsible for copyrights on music performances where the music is copyright protected. These are commercial outfits that will normally charge you a fee for re-broadcasting for your event. If your event is small enough, the fee may be waived.

What About Fireworks?

Celebrating as a Community: Essentials for Planning a Hugely-Successful Public Event
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What’s a celebration without fireworks? Many people get a nice display from pyrotechnic specialists like fireworksinternational.co.uk. Fireworks suppliers will provide information on the best ways to use the fireworks as a first port of call, however you should not stop there.

You’ll need to abide by the Health and Safety Executive’s guide, and get the proper insurance for it. And, even then, category 4 fireworks are off-limits for private citizens in many jurisdictions. You should also know about the risks and hazards with using fireworks and become aware of the regulations in your locality. Contact local officials and make sure you stay on the right side of the law.


Celebrating as a Community: Essentials for Planning a Hugely-Successful Public Event
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When you’re done with the event, don’t forget about cleanup. Normally, this will consist of cleaning up all rubbish from the area and disposing of it. If it’s a large party, you might need some professional help. Fortunately, this is not a difficult problem to solve.

You can contact a professional waste management company and have them take care of everything for a fee.

If you don’t want to pay for garbage removal, gather up your friends for a cleanup party. You could even ask your neighbors (politely, of course) for help. However you get it done, make sure that all materials are disposed of appropriately and that you sort recyclables from everything else.

Riley Kelly is an events planner and consultant. Beyond planning business branding and product launch events, she also volunteers her expertise to community and charitable events. Her articles mainly appear on business, community and lifestyle websites.

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