Your Guide to Organising a Cultural Fest!

Cultural fests are something we always wait eagerly for every year. As a college goer, we all love attending cultural fests, chilling with the squad, clicking and sharing selfies, exploring new fun things and getting the chance to meet different people from various other colleges.
But, have you ever thought what it takes to organise such a huge event and that too by a bunch of regular college going kids?
Well, if you are curious or someone planning to organise a cultural fest, here are few things you would need to keep in mind while organizing a cultural fest:

1. Know Your Resources

The first and foremost thing that you need to do is to evaluate what are all the resources that you have at your disposal and which ones you don’t. After evaluation of the resources, your next step is to gain support from the faculty members and get all the necessary permissions to hold the fest. Once you have successfully gained their support, keep them in the loop about your further activities and take their advice if you hit a roadblock!

2. Team Up

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Organising a cultural fest is not at all a one-man show, you need to have people managing various aspects of the event. You can start by estimating the number of members you would need to form a core team and then, assign to each one of the members a particular department to lead. Some of the departments which are common to all cultural fests are –

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • HR
  • Sponsorship
  • Security, etc

Remember, organising a cultural fest isn’t a child’s play and demands experienced core team members with a specific skill set and knowledge related to the department they are leading. Although, this doesn’t mean amateurs can’t contribute. You can take volunteers, freshers and amateurs for non-specialised activities and make sure you have a defined selection procedure.

3. Planning the right way!

Once the dream team is ready, start with the planning of the event, like regarding its theme, any particular social cause which will be associated, pre-fest activities, duration of the fest, the line-up of the fest and the most important, budget. Take cues from other college fests but, don’t forget to come up with out of the box ideas of your own. Don’t forget to begin the planning few months before the event as the blueprints prepared will take time to get approved by the concerned college authority.

4. Connect with your Audience

You need to spread the word about the cultural fest and get them excited about the event. Make social media your best friend and make them aware of the exciting line-up of the festival, enticing them to attend it. Try to come up with a social media strategy with the online sponsors and strike a chord with the people who may not be within your reach.

Here’s an interesting story of Gunjan Mudgal, a member of the PR and Sponsorship team for IIT- Madras’ annual cultural festival Saraang (the biggest student organised fest ) shared his side of the story of organising a huge event like Saraang. He shared how preparations for the fest started six months earlier with a huge 400-member team of coordinators. Their biggest hurdle was getting the money. But, with an online sponsor like The College Fever gave them an ideal opportunity not only, to promote the sales of their tickets to various musical nights but also, expanded their reach to people all over the nation, otherwise, it’s reach was limited to southern part of the country only. The five-day long event was a huge success and he counts the experience of being a member of the organising committee as an unforgettable one and the best of his IIT days till date.

5. Spend Wisely!

Spend the money wisely. Call in favours wherever you can and make sure you are holding up your end of the deal with the sponsors. Try to be realistic and don’t go overboard with the jizz and jazz. For instance, if the venue of the fest is far from bus or train station, try to strike a deal with local transport companies and save a great deal of money and foster partnerships which are will last for coming years, with greater benefits. And here is a quick guide to help you in selecting the venue for the event.

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6. Serve them Variety

Yes! cultural fests are events where people want more than just same old quizzes and debates. You can organise a classical night on day one, go for Bollywood the next day and EDM the other. Keeping in mind event’s budget and duration of the event, try to add as much variety as you can.

7. Tell people what you’ve done

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The weeks after the fest aren’t just to sell early bird tickets for next year. Your audience will be checking back to make the good feeling last that little bit longer. So, don’t disappoint and use this opportunity to celebrate what they achieved and make those looking for a new festival pick you over anyone else next year. Again, use your social media to full advantage.

Organising a cultural fest not only adds up to your resume but also gives you a hands-on experience regarding event management. On a personal level, it enables you to expand your skill set, polishes the which you already have and you end up learning a thing or two about teamwork, coordination, leadership and management.