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Hints for Hundreds Organisers - Chapter Three - The Administrative Side

Because it is a major event good administration is essential if the event is to run smoothly. Poor administration can easily lead to mistakes. Well-planned administrative procedures help to 'oil the wheels' and also demonstrate a responsible approach in the organisers' exercise of their duty of care to the walkers.

3.1 Finances

'.......the organisers must be seen to handle the finances in a careful and proper manner.' 'For larger events a bank account should be opened to keep event funds separate from other finances.' These two sentences are picked out from 'Guidelines' because they are particularly relevant to Hundreds. When opening a bank account it is common for the Group(s) involved to lend (say) £1,000 to the organising committee to cover early expenses such as hire of rooms for meetings, deposit/booking fee for HQ and checkpoint venues, printing of entry forms etc. Application for a loan may be made to the National Committee. Sponsorship is well worth exploring as the Annual Hundred can have a much higher profile. Sale of badges is shown as a potential source of income but it is usual for the cost of badges to be covered by the entry fees. Sweatshirts/T-shirts are often sold.

3.2 Entry fees

The income and expenditure headings in the preceding section and the budget framework for hundreds (see below) are useful in determining the likely fee necessary to 'break even'. The report of a recent hundred may show the proportion of the entry fee spent on the major heads but it is worth asking the organisers, or the Hundreds Sub-committee, for a copy of the accounts which should (ideally) give the budgeted and actual figures. A sum for contingencies should be included in the Budget to allow for unanticipated expenditure e.g. purchase by a Checkpoint Group of essential food or equipment ('No! You can't use those cups they belong to the W.I'.) so that the Checkpoint runs smoothly and walkers are efficiently looked after.

3.3 Commercial sponsorship

Because of being the LDWA's flagship event there is more potential for publicity (see below) and thus the event is more likely to interest potential sponsors. Use of local firms for food supplies helps to make the 'invasion of walkers' more palatable to the local people so suppliers may be prepared to give discounts and/or deliver free of charge to checkpoints.

'Printed by Joe Bloggs' in small print on an entry form, certificate, etc. may be sufficient to secure a price reduction. Personal contacts are valuable; make use of them to open doors. Outdoor equipment companies and organisers of walking holidays may also be attracted by the large number of prospective buyers in one area at the same time.

3.4 Insurance

The Annual Hundred is covered by the LDWA's own policy but this section should still be carefully studied and it is also essential to check the current policy (ask General Secretary for an up-to-date statement. Participants should be advised to have their own personal accident insurance cover and attention is drawn to the following:-

'When confronted by a possible claim, organisers and helpers must not admit any liability, nor reassure any allegedly injured party that they will be covered by insurance.'

The last paragraph of the section should be pointed out to all volunteer drivers. The phrase 'so long as this is done in a voluntary capacity' is worth stressing. Members of Local Groups should NOT expect to be re-imbursed for their petrol costs incurred in helping on a hundred.

Any indication by the organising committee that such costs will be re-imbursed could be interpreted as an invalidation of the person's voluntary status and thus of their personal car insurance. (Some insurance companies, given half a chance, try to wriggle out of paying!). An ex gratia payment to a Group is, however, a different matter and should be considered.

3.5 Publicity

Nearly all of the section is relevant to a '100' but local papers and radio stations are very useful in making local people aware of the event and why there are 'thousands of people walking around in the middle of the night'. ONE committee member should be responsible for publicity and ALL media enquiries referred to that member. The LDWA National Publicity Officer should be able to give guidance on News Releases etc. Editors will be looking for details to pass on to their readers so remember Kipling's lines:-

'I had six faithful serving men
They taught me all I knew
Their names were What and Where and When
And Why and How and Who'

Any News Release should give the answers to those questions.

Make sure there is an article about the event in 'Strider' well in advance (NB closing date in second paragraph) and do mention any local features which make your '100' special. It is rare for a Hundred to be undersubscribed but it has happened so there is no room for complacency. Encourage members to talk about the event when out walking so that the word is widely spread amongst the walking fraternity. It is not usual to advertise in the other walking magazines listed in para.3 as the event is confined to LDWA members at least until after the closing date for entries when the 100, if undersubscribed, can be opened to others.

The 100 is a good publicity opportunity for the LDWA and often for the school/college being used for walk HQ. Suppliers may be alerted to the publicity available to them through sponsorship, e.g. 'this route description printed by....', 'groceries delivered to checkpoints by....', special event map supplied by.....(Harveys?)'.

3.6 Entry form and event details

Because the rules, especially conditions of entry, need to be clearly stated on the form and are often summarised in Strider as part of advance publicity, early thought should be given to this part of the form. Because entrants under 18 are not permitted consent of a parent or guardian can be omitted but, as stated, age is useful for statistics. As well as the spaces listed there should be space, possibly in the form of tick-boxes, for completions of 100s from 1972 onwards (except 2001, cancelled due to Foot & Mouth).

This section has three checklists: for the entry form, for conditions of entry and for event details. Although some of the event details may be sent out later with the route description all three checklists should be studied when designing the entry form so that as much information is given as possible thus avoiding numerous 'phone calls to the Entries Secretary. A sample form (reduced in size) as used for the Millennium Hundred is contained at Appendix D of this leaflet.

3.7 Administration of entries

When entry forms are received by the Entries Secretary, entrants should be assigned an entry number which normally serves as a reference number throughout the event. Decide early on how to allocate numbers. It is probably best to assign numbers in order of receipt of entries: in that way entrants have time to become familiar with their walk number. Conversely numbering in alphabetical order cannot be done until much nearer the time of the event and is no better for checkpoint staff when checking on non-starters, early retirements, last 10 numbers to leave previous checkpoint etc.

The whole section should be studied but the last paragraph is relevant to the Entry Form which should indicate what will happen, e.g. partial refund of fee to cover admin. costs already incurred, if the event is cancelled through causes (e.g. floods) beyond the control of the Organising Committee.

3.8 Badge and certificate

An event motif or logo may have already been designed for use on headed notepaper and this is usually reproduced on the walk certificate and the badge. The certificate, suitably amended, may be given to those who complete part of the 100 but the badge may NOT.

The costs of both badge and certificate are usually covered by the entry fee but the weaver or printer may be willing to offer a reduced price in return for quantity and/or appropriate publicity. An LDWA member may be willing to produce the certificate on their computer.

3.9 Marshals and helpers

This short section at the end of chapter 3 is amongst the most important for a Hundred.

The difference in scale has a major impact on the numbers required. Some LDWA Local Groups will offer to run a checkpoint but others (perhaps the most distant) may need some persuasion. Local YHA and other walking clubs, Scout and Guide Groups, University and other Mountaineering Clubs, some of whom run events listed in Strider, are worth approaching. Involving them in a 100 is a good way of introducing young people to the LDWA.

'It is useful to draw up a master timetable giving the names of helpers showing what they are doing throughout the event (not forgetting their rest periods for a long event).'

Members of the Organising Committee will need rest - hence the need for deputies for the co-ordinator and other key roles - so that sentence is quoted in full. Some LDWA Groups will express a preference for an earlier or later checkpoint; accommodate them if possible.

There are likely to be LDWA members living in the area who are not members of the Group(s) running the event. These people can be identified by comparing the lists supplied by the Membership Secretary to Group Secretaries with the Local Groups' own lists: they can then be encouraged to play a part in the LDWA's 'flagship event' in their home territory.

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