Chelmsford and Mid-Essex

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Winter Beer Festival Organiser

Paul Murrell

Chelmsford and Mid-Essex Beer Festival Organiser Role Description

Purpose of the Role
To organise a beer and cider festival on behalf of the branch in accordance with CAMRA's current rules and policies.

Policies and aims
Our two annual beer and cider festivals are well-established and are the most important branch activities. They aim to raise the profile of real ale and real cider and to recruit new members. They should also be enjoyable events both for those attending and our volunteers. Significant changes to what are currently successful formats should be agreed well in advance with the branch committee, but must in any case be in accordance with CAMRA’s current rules and policies.

Key Activities
  • To act as chairman of the Festival Organising Committee.
  • To ensure all Festival Committee posts are filled, with CAMRA members where possible, and that post-holders understand the scope of their roles and are both competent and comfortable in them.
  • To work closely with the festival treasurer to produce a festival business plan which adheres to CAMRA’s current financial rules, and to submit this to the (HQ) Beer Festival Assessor for approval.
  • To arrange regular planning meetings (which any CAMRA member can attend), ensure that each meeting is properly minuted and that all actions from the meetings are completed within agreed timelines. The minutes should be copied to the Branch Committee.
  • To liaise regularly with the Branch Chairman so that through him/her the Branch Committee and ordinary branch members are aware of significant developments.
  • To ensure, once the festival business plan has been approved, that expenditure is kept within budget and that prior authorisation is obtained for capital expenditure - currently above £100 (from the Regional Director), and above £1,000 (from the Festival Director at HQ). All assets become the property of the branch, and will require storage, so the branch committee, and explicitly the Quartermaster, must be informed prior to their acquisition.
  • To liaise with the venue owners and be fully conversant with the hire contract.
  • To ensure that the festival has the correct premises and personal licenses.
  • To ensure that the festival is compliant with CAMRA's current health and safety procedures and guidelines.
  • To agree a communication plan to publicise the festival with the publicity manager, taking into consideration any local or national campaigns that could be co-promoted.
  • To be ready to act as the spokesperson for the event with customers and the media, although this may be delegated to another volunteer.
  • To organise a post-event (washup) meeting, which any CAMRA member can attend, at which provisional accounts are presented and where any comments and suggestions can be aired.
  • To ensure that an event is organised following the festival, to which all volunteers are invited, where they can be formally thanked for their efforts. This will normally be a single event covering both summer and winter festivals.
  • To submit a report for the AGM.
Code of conduct
  • To refrain from putting forward any personal points of view that are against CAMRA's policy or might bring CAMRA into disrepute.
  • To ensure that the festival complies with current CAMRA policy.
  • To ensure that everyone adheres to CAMRA's Volunteer Charter; all volunteers should receive a copy.
  • To be aware that any intellectual property, websites, social media accounts, passwords, etc., remains the exclusive property of CAMRA and must be safeguarded.
Time Commitment
  • This role can take up as much time as you are prepared to give. circa 1 to 2 hours a week is probably a minimum except on the run-up to the festival when 10 hours per week might be needed. Appropriate delegation to other managers is essential, especially during the festival.
Skills needed
  • Good organisational skills.
  • Good written communication skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Access to a computer and the internet.
  • Ability to control meetings.
  • Ability to delegate.
  • Support is available from within the branch and from CAMRA's Branch Support team ku.gro.armac@troppushcnarb().
  • Advice and guidance on CAMRA policy is available from branch committee members, experienced post-holders, previous festival organisers, and the Regional Director.
  • On the national website The Campaigner features articles on best practice, with hints and tips from other branches from time to time.