Wolverhampton | Sandwell | Dudley | Walsall
4 - 15 October 2021
Event Host FAQs
What type of event can I put on?
Your event can take any shape or form physically or digitally, from a seminar, webinar, roadshow, workshop, through to a trade show, exhibition or major conference.
To meet the objectives of the festival, every event should aim to meet at least two of the following criteria:
- Benefit the local business community (such as interact, engage, promote, share best practice, learn new skills and network).
- Aim to increase economic growth and drive inward investment for the region.
- Showcase what the Black Country has to offer, demonstrating to the wider world prominence within the region.
- Strengthen ongoing partnerships or develop new collaborations between research and academic institutions, local authorities and businesses.
- Help to increase employability and grow talent within the region, raise aspirations, cultivate future stars and show opportunities and progression.
- Drive business engagement and cross-sector collaboration.
- Have potential to attract interest from businesses/individuals from outside of the region, to cultivate a range of local, national and international links.
- Focus on wider issues or controversial topics (for example new technologies, innovation, economic issues or address challenges facing the local economy.
- Offer support and educate businesses coming out from the pandemic.
- Organisers will need to agree to the BCBF Terms & Conditions (see www.blackcountrybusinessfestival.com/apply)
- Business Festival events may not be used purely as a self-promotional platform. (Although hosting an event will provide a natural showcase and further incremental business opportunities.)
Each event will be slotted into one of the following themes (some may fit into more than one):
- Inclusive Growth
- Business Growth
- This is the Black Country
About your Event
How long should your event be?
Your event can take any length of time from 1 hour to a full day.
How many people should attend?
With a physical or hybrid event, you can open up your event to as many or as few people as possible within limitations of your chosen venue, as well as any social distancing requirements that may exist at the time.
With a digital event, the number depends on the restrictions of your digital platform you are using. Please bear this in mind when submitting the number of tickets to be put ‘on sale’ on your final event application form.
We also recommend being realistic on the number of attendees expected. This is a busy fortnight, so there may be similar events taking place over the fortnight which might compete with yours (a good promotional strategy will also help!).
Do I have to pay to put on an event?
There is no application fee to put on an event as part of the festival, however other charges may apply including:
- Venue Hire (although many BCBF venue partners are offering venue space for free or at a heavily discounted rate – see the BCBF venue partners web page for details)
- AV equipment – cameras etc if you are hosting a hybrid event
- Promotional and marketing materials
- Speaker Fees
- Any administration costs such as delegate badges
Please note all of the above inclusions are completely on an individual basis as required/agreed with your chosen venue/event and are not a requirement of the festival.
Is there any sponsorship available?
The BCBF cannot offer any individual sponsorship for you to host your event, however you are welcome to obtain your own event sponsorship if necessary.
Can I charge for my event?
Events should be free to attend where possible. If you wish to charge a fee this must be agreed by the festival organisers at the time of application, stating why a fee is necessary.
The festival organisers may wish to list your event as a ‘featured’ event. Featured events are selected from each theme for their relevance and impact on the region and are chosen by the BCBF Board.
Can I cancel my event?
Once an event has been approved into the Business Festival, it cannot be cancelled unless
there is a viable reason and the cancellation has been agreed to in advance by the Business
Festival event management company (Associate Events). Cancellation of events reflects
poorly on your business as well as being detrimental to the overall Business Festival.
What happens once I have submitted my application form?
Once you have submitted your application form, you will receive an automatic email to advise you that we have received your application. It will start to be processed by the Board/Programming Committee using the below point system and we will get back to you within two weeks after the date you submitted it.
WEIGHTING POINT SYSTEM
Title of the event – 10%
The amount of detail and information about the event that has been provided -15%
Whether the event meets at least TWO of the BCBF criteria/objectives and how - 25%
How well the event and topics covered reflect the theme - 25%
The benefit businesses will gain out of attending this event - 25%
Marked out of 100%
Each application will be marked based on the above weighting system and given a mark out of 5 on each of the above points. Each section in the application must be completed in full for your application to be processed. Should you have an agenda and speakers at your event, we appreciate it may be too early to confirm these details, therefore we will allow an extension on this information to be submitted to us, should your application be successful. We will require these details to be sent to us no later than Friday 20th August.
70% + - All events that achieve 70% and above will be accepted into the BCBF programme providing that each question has been answered in full.
50% - 69% - Any events which score between 50% – 69% will be provisionally accepted with the condition of the event host providing the required missing detail/information from their application form. We shall hold your provisional event date/time slot, but any missing information must be provided prior to the final deadline of Friday 13th August.
Less than 50% - Any event application scoring less than 50% will be declined from the BCBF programme with a detailed explanation from the BCBF Team, giving event hosts the opportunity to amend and re submit their application before the final application form deadline of Friday 13th August. If received after this date, the application will not be accepted. Unfortunately, your provisional event date and time slot will not be held for you.
POINT SYSTEM – TO BE USED IN CONJUCTION WITH THE WEIGHTING PERCENTAGES ACROSS THE OVERALL APPLICATION FORM
0 – Not completed
1 – Insufficient information given with no specific details and/or no relevance to the theme/festival criteria/objectives.
2 – Some information given, partially relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.
3 – Reasonable amount of information provided, mostly relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.
4 – Good amount of information provided, almost all relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.
5 – Excellent amount of information provided, very detailed and all relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.
How will I know if my event clashes with another event in the same theme?
On your event being accepted into the programme, it shall appear in the BCBF calendar, which will be live on the BCBF website. Viewers will only be able to see the category of theme, time and date for your event. We will not be disclosing the title or the event organiser name until the official calendar of events is live, once the whole programme is complete, after applications close. This is to give event hosts applying for events an idea of time slots available during the two-week period, so as not clash with the same theme where possible. These will be added on a first come first served basis as the event applications are submitted and accepted.
Can I use my own ticketing system e.g. Eventbrite?
In the application process the festival organisers do not permit the use of alternative ticketing systems. The reason for this is to allow an easy user experience for the attendee, so multiple ticketing sites are not used. It also allows the festival organisers to have sight of the overall engagement, attendee numbers and data which are necessary for the final statistics and justification of the festival.
What happens to the data?
The data collected will be used in a number of ways*:
- Relevant event data is passed onto the event organisers, so they have a list of their attendees and information to use to contact their attendees in advance of their event.
- Data is used for festival statistics e.g. number of attendees, attendees from outside the region.
- Data is used to keep attendees updated on festival news and invitations.
*All data is collected and used in line with GDPR.
Can my event listing be amended once it has gone live on the ticketing website?
Yes it can. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily make any amends.
Where do I hold my event?
We have a number of venue partners who have kindly agreed to offer their venue space either ‘free of charge’ or at heavily discounted rates. A list of these venues can be found on our ‘Venues’ page www.blackcountrybusinessfestival/venues
Each event organiser is responsible for sourcing and booking their own event venue.
Please contact the venue directly to check availability. The Festival Organisers are not responsible for finding your venue, however we are happy to help with any recommendations. Please say you are booking as part of BCBF to obtain these reduced rates when you make your enquiry.
Please bear in mind when contacting venues to ask necessary questions to ensure the safety of you and your guests. For example, what are their Covid-19 guidelines, do they have markings/social distancing requirements in place for guests when they arrive/are in the building? Are there sanitisation requirements on arrival and exit? Are there points where the venue offers sanitisation? Will guests be required to wear face masks in the building and throughout the event? Each venue may have different approaches and it’s good to know what the expectations are for this before confirming your venue.
Any contracts or T & Cs should be agreed directly with the venue. Please note that some venues may charge for room hire, AV equipment or refreshments.
If you wish to use a venue that is not listed on the venue partners page, that is also absolutely fine.
Venue Top Tips! Things to think about when choosing your venue and planning your event
- Venue type – hotel, business meeting space, venue – is this a suitable venue to host your event? Is there enough space /capacity for the number of people you are wanting to attend, also taking into consideration any social distancing restrictions should they apply during the time of the festival.
- Location – Is it accessible? Easy to find? Please ensure you provide the sat nav post code if different to the main post code.
- Parking – does the venue have ample parking for your attendees?
- Does it have the facilities required to make your event work? Go and visit your venue so you can familiarise yourself with the area, facilities and walk through your event
- Capacity – check carefully that the venue you have chosen meets with your expectations and can accommodate the number of attendees you have submitted on your form. Please also take into consideration any social distancing requirements that may need to be in place during your event – you may need to reduce the number of attendees to accommodate this.
- Layout – what is the format of your event and how will the layout work best? If you are doing a hybrid event, are you having multiple locations for cameras etc, where will the audience be seated and where will you be streaming your event?
- Do you require any staging, a lectern or a top table?
- Sustenance – do you need to offer refreshments? Where and how will this be served? Will your venue permit these and in what format, due to Covid-19 restrictions? Will your venue offer table service instead of guests being able to help themselves?
- Audio Visual – What equipment do you require? Screen, projector flipchart, PA system, cameras for a hybrid event? There may be additional costs for these items, be sure to check with your venue if they are included.
- Do you need a registration desk? It would be advisable to ask attendees to sign in on arrival, can this be done electronically with social distancing in place, instead of asking guests to hold a pen that other people will also be picking up? Check where this will be located and how it will be managed if multiple people arrive at the same time, will they have to wait outside or queue 2 metres apart to sign in?
- Does the venue have wifi? Is this free of charge? How do attendees log in? Obtain this information in advance so you can inform attendees on the day.
- Health & Safety – Check with the venue where fire exits are located, muster points and any planned fire alarms. Also, the venue’s Covid-19 social distancing requirements/use of masks/sanitisation. It is a good idea to announce these before the event starts.
- Accessibility – check out the accessibility e.g. disabled access, lifts, hearing loops etc.
- Branding – you will be offered the use of BCBF promotional banners to use at your venue if you are holding a physical event. It is worth just mentioning this in advance to the venue to ensure they are happy for you to display these, especially in public areas. These will also need to be cleaned down with a disinfectant wipe before returning them.
Online Digital Platforms
If I am holding a digital/hybrid event, how will this work?
All event hosts holding a digital/hybrid event can either host their event using their own/preferred choice of platform, at their own expense or use the BCBF’s digital platform of Zoom free of charge. With this option each host will be given a temporary BCBF Zoom license that enables them to present their event as an alternative host:
- Approximately four weeks to the festival you will receive the link to the toolkit which will give you a step-by-step guide on how the BCBF Zoom will work for event hosts. With this email you will also receive the log in details to access Zoom and a link to book a TEST (should you feel you need one) with one of the BCBF team to run through all of the features for Zoom and to ask any questions. This TEST will take place approximately two weeks before the festival commences. This is to ensure you feel confident and comfortable using the Zoom platform.
- Your log in details for Zoom can only be used during the TEST and your online/hybrid event. We please ask that you do not log in during any other times, as this may affect other event host’s TEST’s or events.
- During the TEST we will run through all of the available features of Zoom, such as backdrops, muting etc.
If I am using my own platform, how will this work?
You will need to advise the BCBF team on your application form that you wish to use your own digital platform and ensure you send the joining details well in advance of your event date and before your event goes live. This is so we can add these joining details to your event page on our ticketing platform, therefore, when an attendee registers for your event, they automatically receive the login/joining information.
How do my attendees receive the log in link/joining details to access my online/hybrid event?
We shall set up the Zoom details for your event and add the link to your digital/hybrid event onto your event page on our ticketing website, Ticketleap. This will show on the post registration message attendees receive once they have registered and also on the confirmation email in the location section that gets sent to their email address on completion.
How do people book onto my event?
Attendees should visit our ticketing website Ticketleap (the link can be found via the BCBF website and clicking Calendar of events once events have been made live) to find their chosen event and complete the ‘registration’ process.
When attendees book for your event please note they can only book one ticket at a time. Additional attendees/ colleagues will need to book individually. This also helps us to capture the data of all attendees to your events.
For those event hosts organising hybrid events, please be sure to advise the BCBF team on your event application form to let us know your physical event attendance number of places available, as well as your digital event attendance number of places available. These will be split out on your web page on our ticketing website, so attendees can be given the choice.
How does the ticketing system work?
Events can be found by date, or filtered by theme, area and if it is a featured event.
On your application form we will ask you for the number of attendees/tickets available. The ticketing system will automatically become ‘full’ when these numbers are reached. If you wish to reduce or extend your numbers at any time, please contact us.
What if my event ‘sells out’?
Unfortunately, the ticketing system cannot operate a waiting list, however if you are lucky enough to ‘sell out’ we can ask any interested attendees to email you directly or add your contact details to the top of your listing.
You should also consider increasing your numbers to allow for any ‘no shows’ on the day.
Sales Reports – Numbers only
Once all events are ‘live’ on the ticketing system (approximately 6 weeks before the festival), event organisers will receive an email with a drop box link that will direct you to reports initially containing your delegate numbers.
Sales Reports – Full Delegate Information
Approximately one month prior to the festival you will receive an individual per event encrypted report containing your full delegate information. These encrypted reports will be sent to you once a week. NOTE: At this point, the ‘numbers only’ report will be disabled.
What happens during the festival?
The festival opens with a launch event on the first morning. All event organisers, sponsors, partners and friends are invited to celebrate the opening of the festival at this event, which will be attended by key business leaders and politicians.
Events then take place across the region each day for the ensuing two weeks. The festival organisers will send out a daily news update featuring daily events, best photos and ‘tweets’ of the day, so keep an eye out for these.
On the last day, a closing event will take place. This is an opportunity to celebrate the end of the festival and thank the partners, sponsors and all those that took part in some way, shape or form for their hard work and support. All sponsors, event organisers, theme leads, venue hosts and attendees are invited.
Statistics from the festival will be released and we will look back at the highlights that took place over the last two weeks.