Shalford has a historic pedigree when it comes to hosting fairs. The picturesque village, located just outside Guildford in the UK, was given a charter by King John (1199 – 1216) over 800 years ago and still to this day hosts the local community’s Great Fair of Shalford.
The fair has now been given a new lease of life by Frank Ago, owner of the popular Snooty Fox cafe. Frank is a self-confessed amateur when it comes to event planning, and has been able to save time and manage his 60+ vendors efficiently thanks to OnePlan. The Great Fair of Shalford consists of three stages playing live music, a funfair with ferris wheel, dog show, farmers’ market, classic cars, as well as a large food and drink area with multiple beer and gin bars.
Frank says: “OnePlan turns me into a professional event organizer. If I turn up with my laptop, I’ll open it up with OnePlan up and running. They can understand my plan and they can see my vision to create a map that is easy to read, simple and understandable in no time.”
Watch how Frank created the Great Fair of Shalford in OnePlan here:
The simple steps Frank takes to making an event plan in just a few hours
OnePlan helps event organizer Frank simplify a complex job of planning a major event for thousands of people. The Great Fair has been six months in the making, and involves a wide range of stakeholders including local authorities, security, vendors, and the local charities that are set to benefit from a successful, profitable event.
“OnePlan has made my planning of this Fair so quick. I put aside two evenings for it and I’ve got a thorough plan in place, that I can download and share with whoever I need,” says Frank.
“First of all I did the outline of the fair on the map, showing the different zones, the routes, tents and stages. The second version was for detailing all areas – shaping the lines, adding vendor information, checking measurements. It’s been that easy.”
It's been "a massive money-saver"
Frank has been sharing the event plan with his broad range of partners, vendors and suppliers, which has proven particularly effective for him. “Sharing the plan with our AV generators has been a massive money saver, because it instantly tells them what’s needed where, and gives them confidence in me as the organiser,” he continues.
Frank listens to the various stakeholders’ feedback and adjusts his plan in OnePlan accordingly. His partners can review it in real-time, making it a straightforward process for everyone involved. One of Frank’s stakeholders is the local fire department. “I shared my OnePlan with the fire station, and was instantly on the right level with them. They treated me like a professional organiser.”
"OnePlan helps turn me into a professional event organizer. I can plan my vision for my event and create a map that is easy to read."
Event Organizer, Great Fair of Shalford
Benefitting from the two sides of OnePlan: a visual plan and accurate data
With over 60 vendors to manage, there are a lot of sensitivities that Frank needs to factor into his planning when it comes to deciding where each vendor’s tent will be placed. These include the placement of competitor vendors, as well as taking into account sun and shade at different times of day.
For Frank, OnePlan provides a visual way of planning with a range of maps to choose from, along with the confidence that everything he places is geo-accurate. He can add names, notes and supporting data about each vendor in the Vendor Management section of each object he places, and download that data whenever he wants.
He says: “I’m not a computer specialist and it’s hard to plan an event just in spreadsheets. I love OnePlan because it makes it so easy for me to plan visually on a map and still have that data.”
Turning the event plan into a public facing map
With the event plan created, Frank was able to create a public facing map to use in pre-event marketing and printed as a big guide at the fair itself. To do this, he used OnePlan’s Public Map option which easily converted his event plan to an external map for attendees.
Frank says: “OnePlan has introduced me to Alice, OnePlan’s Public Maps expert, to create a map that’s simply understandable for everyone.”
“It’s so important to have a clear map for everyone coming to the fair to know where the stages are, where the gin bar is, and so on. It just makes sense to do that with OnePlan once I had created the event plan.”
"My communication between vendors is much easier with OnePlan. Without it, it would have taken me 4x longer to plan."
Event Organizer, Great Fair of Shalford
A visit from the Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Great Fair of Shalford is over 800 years old and still thriving thanks to the passion and commitment of Frank and his small team. The money that the Fair makes is given to local charities, including the Shooting Star Children’s Hospices – underlying the importance of community events like this and the hugely positive impact that amateur event organisers such as Frank can make.
A week out from the fair, Frank even had a surprise visitor: the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, second only to the Prime Minister in seniority in the UK government. As the local MP, Mr Hunt was out in the community and encouraged people to attend the Great Fair.
OnePlan is used by 35,000+ events and venues globally. Whether you’re a professional event planner or an amateur starting out, OnePlan is used by small and big events alike, making planning events so much easier. Sign up today here.