Event Starter Guide

The Event Starter Guide assists people in the community to navigate the many issues involved in organising events. In particular, people organising public, outdoor events in NSW should find this guide helpful.

Events are an important part of community life and contributing to safe and successful events is a rewarding experience. Organising events, however, can sometimes seem daunting. While careful planning can be quite a complex process, it leads to safe and successful events that run smoothly.

How to use this guide

The guide has been divided into sections to allow you to choose the information that is relevant to the event you are organising. There is also a resources list at the end of the guide.

This guide is a starting point for event organisers, not a manual showing you how to organise an event. In addition to using this guide, it is important to seek advice from qualified professionals.

This guide has been developed in consultation with a critical friends group consisting of event organisers and representatives from NSW Police Force and Transport for NSW. Numerous other government agencies and organisations were consulted in compiling this guide. In particular, we are indebted to Tony Martin and the Sustainable Living Foundation who provided the content in the sustainability section.

Before you begin

Coordinating even the smallest event can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. You could save yourself a great deal of time and money by answering key questions before going ahead with an event.

Who should you talk to?

You may need to consult other organisations, government departments, and regulatory and statutory authorities about your event.


Browse this list of useful websites and publications to help make your event a success.

  • Arts Law Centre of Australia is a community legal centre for the arts in Australia. You will find sample contracts, information on arts insurance and free advice on legal issues.
  • Australasian Legal Information Institute hosts current Australian (Commonwealth) legislation, regulations and case law.
  • Australian National Security website has online information and resources including a mass gatherings guided self-assessment tool for owners and operators of places of mass gatherings to determine the likely attractiveness of a business to terrorist attack.
  • Destination NSW focuses on driving tourism and acquiring and developing major sporting and cultural events for Sydney and regional NSW. It does this by working with industry partners to develop existing events, attract new events and maximise the economic, strategic and community benefits of events.
  • International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) publishes an Event Organiser Toolkit for hirers of its venues. This includes an Accessible and Inclusive Events Guide (PDF, published May 2023)
  • Live Performance Australia (LPA) has an extensive collection of fact sheets, guidelines, templates and guidance on topics of relevance to the events and entertainment industries under 'resources' on LPA’s website.
  • Local Community Insurance Services which is a specialist insurance provider established to manage the insurance needs of clubs and community groups within Australia.
  • NSW legislation contains the current and historical NSW acts, regulations, planning instruments and other statutory instruments.
  • The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance provides information on wages for arts workers.
  • The Office of Sport provides information on risk management and insurance for sporting clubs, much of which is also applicable to event organising. On the website, type “insurance” in the search box, then follow the links. The Office of Sport also publishes the Sports Events Resource Library — a practical resource to assist in the planning and evaluation of sporting events in NSW.
  • The Premier's Department has the Event Starter Guide and the NSW Government’s Whole of Government Policy for the Application of User Charges for Major and Special Events.
  • Transport for NSW lists upcoming events involving special traffic arrangements and various Event Management Guidelines.
International publications
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