Draft Event Steward Handbook V2

​1.​ Purpose

This document provides Lochac Event Stewards with an overview of:

  1. The mandatory requirements for events in Lochac, shown in blue; these must be followed.
  2. Guidance regarding common ways to ensure a positive and successful event; these should be followed.

While common mandatory requirements have been included, there may be others from mundane law, site requirements and SCA Ltd or SCANZ policy that are applicable to certain event activities. These may also change from time to time (eg. jurisdictional COVID requirements) so please ensure you check when preparing for your event.

​1.2​ Scope

This document covers all events in the Kingdom of Lochac. Care has been taken to separate jurisdictional and legal entity requirements (SCA NZ Inc and SCA Ltd).

This document doesn’t apply to organising and running regular activities, such as weekly fighter practices, although some elements may be applicable.

You should consult the Crown Events Handbook if you are planning a Crown Tourney or Coronation event, and some of its additional “dressing” and resource ideas are helpful for any event, especially more elaborate ones.

1.3 Event management process

Events are managed through a sequence of stages to ensure appropriate planning and oversight:

  • 2. Planning & Proposals
  • 3. Event Review and Approval
  • 4. Prior to the Event Preparation
  • 5. On-the-day Event Management
  • 6. Post-event Follow-up

Subsequent sections of this document cover each of these stages.

​2.​ Planning & Proposals

2.1 Types of events

There are no limits to the types of events that can be run however they loosely fall into the categories of:

  • Official events (once off, typically garbed)
  • Crown events such as Coronation and Crown Tournament (more information available in the Crown Event Handbook)
  • Official training and council meetings (run regularly, typically not garbed)
  • Unofficial events (not approved by your council)

Groups benefit from having a mix of events: as well as feasts, consider picnics, bonfires, craft classes, camping events and war musters.  Unofficial events like movie visits and pub nights can also help build your group.

While this guide only covers official events, this handbook may be useful when running other types of events.

2.2 Event proposals

As events must only proceed with the approval of the Local Group Seneschal and respective group Council, event proposals are required to ensure all critical information is prepared in advance.

Templates are available for an Event Proposal Template [link] and an Event Budget Template [link].

Note: this is distinct from the Seneschal’s database. Events should be submitted here after you have received the go ahead from your Local Group.

Event Stewards may approach their Local Group Seneschal, Reeve, B&B or experienced Stewards for support in developing am event proposal before submitting it to a Council meeting.  The less experienced you are, the larger the scale of the event, and the more novel or innovative your proposal is, the more important and helpful such prior consultation will be.

2.3 Activities

While there is no requirement for any specific activitiy to occur at an official event, it is usually a good idea to include a range of activities to ensure there is plenty to do for all participants. Common SCA activities include:

While it is a good idea to contact your group’s officers to discuss running related activities, do not assume they will be in a position to coordinate activities – explicitly ask them, even if they habitually fill such roles. It is often useful to let them know well ahead of time who will be overseeing these activities at your event.

Children’s activities

If you are having children’s activities, Australian groups must follow the Child Protection Policy, which has particular application to designated youth activities.  Some jurisdictions may require background checks for people supervising youth activities

Food

If there is to be a feast, it is important to find someone willing to a Feast Steward early, as this is often a very large amount of work to organise.

The Feast Steward Handbook is available to assist with this role.

Usually you give the Feast Steward a feast budget, usually expressed as dollars per head.  What is reasonable here is a matter of experience; dishes served to tables are generally the most expensive, buffet dinners can be cheaper, and lunches can usually be done inexpensively.

Where alcohol is to be served, it’s important to understand and comply with liquor license laws for each State or Country.

2.4 Dates

As suitable dates and venue availability can be limited, check early with your Local Group Seneschal and (if applicable) B&B on your event concept and your suggested dates, and keep liaising if you need to change the date to secure a venue. 

 It is good practice to check with any other nearby groups to avoid conflicts. In particular, events must not clash with Crown Events (ie Coronation or Crown Tourney) if within a 500km radius of the Crown Event unless expressly permitted by the Crown. (Kingdom Law, sVIII.1). The Lochac Calendar can be a useful reference to noting clashes with other events.

2.5 Expected attendance

You’ll know from other local events how many people tend to attend.  Events with royalty attending tend to be larger, particularly if there will be any peerage awards given.  Events can shrink due to competing neighbouring events, epidemics or too many events in the general time period.

The Event Budget Template [link] allows you to play with the figures to calculate your break-even attendance.

2.6 Venues

The type of event and nature of activities being considered will determine the type of venue required. If you’re considering a new venue, get some measurements and see if they can provide tables and their size: these things are critical for working out the maximum attendance. Check out the kitchen, particularly looking for cooking facilities and bench space.

Usually you can get a tentative booking, prior to paying a deposit and possibly a bond. Ahead of time, discuss with the Local Group Seneschal how you will get the necessary financial approvals. The remainder of the cost is usually required some weeks before the event.

Many venues will require a copy of the SCA insurance policy. Ask your Reeve for that, and allow for some time as it needs to be renewed each year and won’t always be immediately to hand.
If the venue has a policy on cancellation fees and timeframes, these should be noted in the event proposal. What are the requirements to get the bond back?

Some venues have policies on alcohol use on site, or use of candles, and this should be noted in the event proposal.

During the COVID epidemic, online virtual events were popular, and can be an interesting alternative, particularly for specialised events.

2.7 Pricing and Budget

There will be local expectations about what is reasonable to charge; look at recent advertising for local and neighbouring events.  Obviously, you’ll allow for differences in your venue costs and expected standard of food.

  • Free entry to Australian events is described in the SCA Ltd Financial Policy [link], section M19.
  • You must allow for the Kingdom Levy for all adult attendees where there is an event fee charged.  This is $1 for NZ groups, and $1.10 for Australian groups including GST. (Laws of Lochac VII.4.ii.)
  • You must allow for Event membership/insurance, only for non-member attendees to events with an entry fee.  This is $10 for Australian adults, $5 for Australian minors, and $2 for NZ adults.  (Laws of Lochac VII.4, check current rates.)

Young children will be supervised by their parent and tend to eat very little: consider making them free.  Older teens can eat a lot, but those families may not be able to attend if you charge full price.

You may provide an Offboard option, for people whose dietary requirements cannot be met.  Typically this is the regular attendance price minus the food budget.

It’s possible your Reeve can find some recent figures on actual spends, or speak with experienced stewards about likely costs.

The Event Budget Template [link] provides a useful framework for helping calculate pricing and budget.

3.​ Event Review and Approval

Official SCA events may only be run if they are sponsored by an official branch of the SCA. Events must not proceed without first receiving approval from the relevant group Council.

3.1​ Council endorsement

Events require the sponsorship of an SCA group, and any expenditure requires approval from the group Council.  For that reason, your group Council must endorse the event.  In NZ, the group Finance Committee may be delegated to do that.

Proposals should documented using the Event Proposal Template [link] and Event Budget Template [link].

Ideally, event proposals should be submitted to the Local Group Seneschal in advance of a formal Branch (Council) meeting to allow time for circulation ahead of the meeting. The Council will discuss the proposal and potentially ask for clarification or changes to the proposal. During this discussion the proposal may be returned for changes or rejected if it is unsuitable as presented. To avoid any confusion, it is a good idea for the Event Steward to be present at this meeting to assist in answering any additional queries. 

Each group may have different processes in how proposed events are passed through the Council, but it is essentially a group endorsement that the event should go ahead. Some Councils may allow online approvals in special or urgent situations.

3.2 Budget assessment

As the Reeve should check that the budget adds up (eg through using the budget template correctly) and that the figures are reasonable, the Council may choose to approve the event subject to the endorsement of the Local Group Reeve.

3.3 Seneschal db approval

Once a group has approved an event the details are entered into the Lochac Seneschal’s database. Approval can be withdrawn by the Local Group Council at any point prior to or during the event.

3.4 Adjustments to the approval

Adjustments to the event budget expenditure must be approved at a Council meeting, or the local Financial Committee to the limit of their delegation.

While the actual expenditure may vary somewhat from the planned budget, if the event makes a larger loss than was approved, or any expenses were recklessly over the budgeted amount, then the Seneschal may need to investigate in accordance with Lochac Issue Resolution Policy and Procedures [link once available].

​4.​ Prior to the event preparation

​4.1. Event notification

Events submitted through the Lochac Seneschal’s database, once approved, are automatically included in Pegasus and notices disseminated via the Lochac Announce email list. It can be helpful to email Pegasus with the event details to make sure that it appears in the next issue (pegasus@lochac.sca.org).

It is often helpful to also add event notifications in your groups primary communication tools such as social media pages and your local email groups – do not rely on just one channel!

4.2 Event team

4.2.1 Event Steward (and their deputy)

The Event Steward can perform any event role as long as they are suitably qualified where such requirements exist. Whilst not required, it is a good idea to appoint a Deputy Steward in case the Event Steward becomes unavailable.

Approval appoints the Event Steward as the primary responsible person for all decision-making purposes that relate to the event up to, and including, requesting that a participant leaves an event. Further information about these responsibilities is provided in the Lochac Issue Resolution Policy and Procedures [link once available].

4.2.2 Activity supervision

The Event Steward is responsible for ensuring that activities are appropriately supervised and conducted in accordance with Lochac requirements. ​The Event Steward should meet with the event team and discuss the vision, timeline and risk assessment for the event prior to commencement.

4.2.2.1 Mandatory roles

The following roles must be appointed and present before any of the following activities can occur:

Activity Event Role

Food (excluding BYO and coffee/tea)

Feast Steward

Paid entry

Bookings Officer, Gatekeeper

Arts and Sciences competition

Arts and Sciences Coordinator

Martial Activities Event Marshal-in-charge
Armoured combat Armoured Combat Marshal
Target archery Archery Marshal
Fencing Fencing Marshal
Equestrian Equestrian Marshal
Youth Combat Youth Combat Marshal
Tournament Listkeeper
More than 60 people, or high risk activities being conducted (e.g. war scenarios) Event Chirurgeon

The Event Steward may nominate themselves for any of the above roles as long as they are suitably qualified, however, they must ensure that all of their other duties are still being effectively managed.  Individuals may hold multiple roles where practicable.

Local Group’s Officers are not required to coordinator event activities relating to their office, therefore, do not assume that a group’s regular officer will coordinate an activity that matches their office – explicitly ask them, even if they habitually fill such roles. Local Group Officers should be notified ahead of time of who will be performing related roles at the event.

4.2.2.2 Optional roles

There also optional roles, which may be useful in delegating key responsibilities at an event:

Activity Event Role
Royal attendance Royal Liaison
Children’s Activities Children’s Activities Coordinator*
Significant public attention Event Chatelaine or Hospitaller
Alcohol service Tavern keeper
Large numbers of activities Timetabler
Market Stalls Merchant Coordinator
Entertainment & Dancing Entertainment Coordinator
Overnight stay Event Constable

* Note: some jurisdictions may require Working with Children checks for these activities.

4.3 Expenditure management

Adjustments to the event budget expenditure must be approved at a Council meeting.

Tax receipts or invoices must be kept for any approved expenditure and, in Australia due to firm GST requirements, must only include approved expenses in accordance with SCA Ltd (Aus) Financial Policy.

Tax receipts or invoices should be:

  • Readable.
  • Scanned-in or photographed and sent to the local Reeve in a timely fashion
  • Preferably should only include items for which you are seeking reimbursement Cross out or clearly identify any personal items bought on the same receipt. In Australia, due to GST rules, the GST will be forfeited from reimbursement if personal items are on the receipt even if they are crossed out.
  • Reimbursements can only be made after a receipt or invoice has been handed to the Reeve.
  • If no receipt is available, a Statutory Declaration must be provided
    Any time a statutory declaration is used, the Chancellor of the Exchequer must be informed.

Cash advances can be provided to an individual to pay for items approved in the budget.  Cash advances must be approved by the group Council before being provided. Any unused money must be refunded to the group. All used money must be accounted for with receipts or invoices.  

Any asset purchased from the event budget remains an asset of the group.

4.4 Bookings

Due to the need to align payments with bookings, the Bookings Officer should be in regular contact with the group’s Reeve.

Maintaining a bookings spreadsheet with shared access for the Event Steward, Bookings Officer, Local Group Reeve, the Feast Steward and the Hospitaller helps minimise 

4.5 Food and Alcohol Safety Laws

All Food and Alcohol risks are delegated to the Feast Steward to manage and are covered by the Feast Steward Handbook.

The Useful Questions for Event Stewards To Ask Their Feast Stewards checklist is available for common questions that Event Stewards should ask their Feast Stewards.

​4.6 Timetable

To assist with your participants planning and a good prompt for late bookings, a timetable can be a useful tool to publish in advance of your event.

You should include the major elements like the feast time in the event approval information. 

In addition, specialised Timetable for your event team commonly called a Running Sheet can assist royalty, baronages, and the stewarding team in ensuring that the event runs to time.

5. On-the-day event management

5.1 Setup

​On the event Running Sheet, have a clear list of what needs to be done for setting up, in priority order.  Usually, some help is available from attendees.

5.2 Sign-in desk

Attendance must be recorded using the correct forms outlined here (Australian groups) and here (NZ).

  • In Australia, minors being accompanied by a caregiver may only attend with a completed Australia Nomination of Caregiver form and guidance (SCA Ltd Child Protection Policy.)
  • In Australia, the SCA Ltd Code of Conduct must be displayed (SCA Ltd Code of Conduct).
  • In New Zealand, minors must all be signed in using the Minors’ Sign-up Sheet, which includes Caregiver information (SCA NZ Children and Young People Policy)

See Gatekeeper for help with sign-in and reporting for larger events.

​5.3 Cash handling

Try to minimise cash handling at events as it presents a logistical load and security issue. One effective way to acheive this is to strongly encourage advance booking and electronic payment.

If you must handle cash at events, this must be done so in accordance with the financial policies of SCA Ltd for Australian events and SCANZ for New Zealand events.

Donations must be exactly that, donations. If a payment is required, it is not a donation.

All cash taken during an event must be deposited within 3 working days.

5.4 Incidents and emergencies

5.4.1 Incident and emergency response

While good risk management can reduce or even eliminate risks, it is still possible for things to go wrong on the day.

In accordance with the Lochac Issue Resolution Procedures, The Event Steward and their nominated event team are responsible for ensuring that, so far as reasonable, steps are taken to prevent further harm by:

  • Addressing any immediate welfare concerns by:
    • directly neutralising the source of the threat (e.g. use extinguisher on fire)
    • preventing any further harm to workers (applying first aid, evacuating people, ceasing activities and isolating the affected area/s)
  • Escalating control to the highest appropriate authority (in an emergency, this is likely to be the relevant emergency service)

5.4.2 Emergency reporting

In accordance with the Lochac Issue Resolution procedures, if emergency services were notified or attended the site, the Event Steward must:

  • contact the Kingdom Seneschal as soon as safe and practical to do so (must be within 24 hours of the emergency call), and then;
  • enter a Lochac Incident and Hazard Report as soon as practical.

5.5 End of the event

Events have their own dynamic, and the Steward will need to make a call as to when to close the events and put the lights on.  Families and distant travellers will often start to leave, and if you want help with packing up then it is often best to finish before too late.

It is best to have a clear end, with a thank you to all the attendees, and a cheer for the organisers.

5.6 Cleanup

Ideally, you will have a cleanup crew separate from the people who have set up.

If you don’t, then at least have garbage bags and brooms ready to give out as soon as lights are put on, and stack a few chairs as a cue for general assistance.

6. Post-Event Follow-up

​6.1​ Sign-in sheets

Copies of the sign-in sheets must be sent to the group Reeve and Constable.

​6.2 Reimbursement

Receipts must be provided to the Reeve.

Cross out or clearly identify any personal items bought on the same receipt.  In Australia, due to GST rules, the GST will be forfeited from reimbursement if personal items are on the receipt even if they are crossed out.

Reimbursements can only be made after a receipt or invoice has been handed to the Reeve.  If no receipt is available, a Statutory Declaration must be provided.  Any time a statutory declaration is used, the Chancellor of the Exchequer must be informed.

If there was a cash advance, this needs to be reconciled.  Any cash advance not spent needs to be  deposited as soon as possible, within 30 days of the event.

Any approved out-of-pocket expenses must be reimbursed upon receipt of adequate receipts in accordance with the SCA Ltd (Aus) Financial Policy, SCANZ  (NZ) Financial Policy

​6.3​ Event Steward’s Report

6.3.1 Event Report

Following the event, Event Stewards must:

  1. Provide a financial event report to the Reeve, by the first Council meeting following 30 days after the event (SCANZ Financial Policy). Templates are available for:
  2. Compile an event report and provide it within 60 days of the event. A template is available for:
    1. Event Reporting template [link].

6.3.2 Event team role reports

Following the event, each of the following team members should also write a report and provide it within 30 days of the event to the Event Steward and, in some cases, also to the relevant group officer:

Activity Role
Armoured combat Event Marshal-in-charge
Target archery Archery Marshal-in-charge
Fencing Fencing Marshal-in-charge
Tournament Listkeeper
Food (excluding BYO and coffee/tea) Feast Steward
Paid entry Bookings Officer and Constable
More than 60 people Chirurgeon
Overnight stay Constable

The relevant group officer can supply a template for their reporting requirements.

​6.5 Incident and hazard reporting

Any person can report incidents or hazards using the Lochac Incident and Hazard Report.

7. Templates and supporting documents

8. Policy and Procedure Resources

SCA Governing Documents (Corpora)

SCANZ Policies

SCA Ltd Policies

Lochac Kingdom Law

SCA Ltd COVID-19 Response Plan

Lochac Procedures Manual

Lochac Events Resources : includes link to Risk Assessment Template

Lochac Marshal Resources : includes Marshallate handbooks

Constable Resources : includes Australia and NZ Sign in and indemnity forms

9.​ Definitions

Emergency – An incident with potentially life-threatening consequences.

Event approval – The process of confirming that an event will proceed. This is important to:

  • Ensure that the key points needed for event approval can be easily referenced at a group’s Council meeting
  • Provide for future reference: Agendas and minutes are used as a transparent reference for all members of the local group about what event details and expenditure were approved. For example, this information is needed for the Reeve to match approved expenditure with receipts/invoices.
  • Prevent conflict: Sometimes there is mismatch between what the event steward and Council thought was approved and what was actually approved. Having your event proposal attached to the agenda improves clarity for all, saves time chasing up details, and prevents misunderstandings.

Event proposal –  a document detailing the event concept, budget, stewarding team, timetable and other important details

Event report – a formal report on the outcome of the event.

Event roles – Event roles are responsible for coordinating event activities and managing risks that may arise during activities they oversee. All event roles principally report to the Event Steward.

Event Steward – A delegate of the Group Seneschal who has the authority to make decisions about the general conduct of an event.

Incident – A specific occurrence, such as a tree falling, with the potential to cause harm.

10.​ Additional Resources

http://sg.lochac.sca.org/stewarding/

http://ildhafn.lochac.sca.org/stewards

http://gatekeeper.lochac.sca.org

11. Version Control

This document is owned by the Lochac Kingdom Seneschal

Version Changes
2021- Earl Gilbert and the IRL team Re-written to provide better clarity with an emphasis on what needs to be done
2024 – Earl Gilbert Purchase Updated to incorporate the Issue Resolution Policy and Procedures and feedback from Master Cristoval
   
   
   
   
   
   

12. Acknowledgments

  • Lady Gwenhwyfar ferch Elena
  • Lord Nicodemus Novello
  • THL Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Count Gilbert Purchase and other members of the IRL team
  • Master Cristoval
  • Combined Might of the Seneschals of Lochac

By Risk Deputy | Link