How to run a Dragon Boat Event? (Part 5)

Find Volunteers or pay for staff

Most events usually start off with Clubs hosting them and eventually they become so big that they need to hire staff and run it as a business, which most people have seen happen in the US and Europe.

The first place to start, if you were holding a local event is to get your own club involved, and most likely there would be a minimum of 25 people in your dragonboat club. Some events also can be run jointly with other dragonboat clubs if numbers are not enough and both would benefit from an increase of exposure in the community and also some fund raising money that usually comes out of running an event. If all else fails and your club members are not committed in helping then looking for volunteers in the local community is not too hard. Simply ask the council or the rotary club and offer them a free lunch or gift at the end of the event for simply helping out.

You will need at least 25 people to run a successful event and they can be allocated in numerous ways. This is how we have done it in the past:

  • Marshalling: 3 people
  • Starter: 2 people
  • Timer keepers and Scorers: 6 people
  • On-water crew: 2 people
  • People to hold the boat at a Platoon: 6 people
  • InfoDesk and Registration: 3 people
  • Organiser: 1 person
  • Extras for smaller tasks: 2 people

Now if you were to run an event with paid staff, there are going to be more financial costs involved and also that will add to the cost of registration from each club. Though I personally find this to be a more economical way as the idea of running an event through a registered business allows for the sport to grow. More and more event management companies are coming into Dragonboating and owing the equipment and then running them with the aim to make an event spectacular and rewarding for dragonboaters. Additionally there can be prize money for the winning teams and other incentives compared to running an event through a club and local community.

I will go into more details about running an event like Great White North in the coming months as a registered business.
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