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Strategic and business planning

Understanding what you want your event to achieve, or what you want to achieve for your organisation through event delivery is key to the success of your event. Having a clear strategy will help you to focus energy and resources, strengthen operations and ensure that everyone involved is working towards common goals.

A strategic plan typically looks ahead (for up to 10 years) and outlines where an event/organisation is going, what is needed to get there and how you will know if it is successful.

A Business Plan is an ‘operational roadmap’ that aligns with the strategic plan and which will guide the implementation of your event.

A comprehensive business plan is a requirement for Stage Two applications under the Major Events Development Fund.

The New Zealand Association of Event Professionals (NZAEP) has developed a guide to help you with strategic and business planning for your events. The guide can be found at the link below:


If you have been invited to submit a Stage Two application for MEDF investment, you will need to include a comprehensive business plan. The plan can be in any format, and should include all of the elements outlined in the Business Plan Template in the guide along with any other information that is relevant to your application.

Other useful resources for business planning for events


Pre-event budgeting

Your business plan should include a pre-event budget. Your business plan should present a realistic picture of your event, including all forecast income and expenditure sources. You should therefore take time to:

  • Get quotes and undertake research to ensure expected expenditure is as accurate
  • set realistic sponsorship targets
  • set realistic ticketing income targets.


A rigorous peer review and ‘cost challenge’ of the pre-event budget by fellow event organisers and financial experts is strongly recommended to avoid the risk of unpleasant financial surprises once the event is won.

For more information on budgeting please see the Budgeting, Financial and Insurance module.