Submit An Event
Quick Guide - if you know what you're doing...
To ensure consistency and completeness of information for events on our programme, we require all event details to be submitted using our event forms. We have four:
- Day Event Form - Basic Details - use this form to submit basic details of whole or part day/evening/night events. Use it to reserve a date, location or activity (green, amber, red) for you when time is short, you haven't prepared/finalised full details or for events too far ahead to know sufficient full details. Note that full details must be submitted NO LATER THAN 30 days before the event date - please make a note to ensure that you submit these on time. You may be sent one reminder email about this. If details aren't submitted close to this date then the event will probably be removed as committee won't be confident it will happen and time is needed to consider alternatives.
- Multi Day Event Form - Basic Details - use this form to submit basic details of any events that involve more than one consecutive day (so weekends/weeks away). Use it to reserve a date, location or activity (green, amber, red) for you when time is short, you haven't prepared/finalised full details or for events too far ahead to know sufficient full details. Note that full details must be submitted NO LATER THAN 90 days before the event date - please make a note to ensure that you submit these on time. You may be sent one reminder email about this. If details aren't submitted close to this date then the event will probably be removed as committee won't be confident it will happen and time is needed to consider alternatives.
- Day Event Form - Full Details - use this form to submit full details of whole or part day/evening/night events. You'll need to know/state details of costs, the activity (location, terrain, distance etc.), refreshments (packed/pub lunch, tea stop etc.), travel (by road, public transport), and start/end times/places including POSTCODE.
- Multi Day Event Form - Full Details - use this form to submit full details of any events that involve more than one consecutive day (so weekends/weeks away). You'll need to know/state details of costs, the activity (location, terrain, distance etc.), refreshments (packed/pub lunch, tea stop etc.), travel (by road, public transport) and accommodation (location including POSTCODE, bed/room options, YHA, cottage, campsite etc.).
Event forms can be submitted online (preferred) or by printed form; regardless, contributing events (see 5. below) need to be submitted on time, so make sure you have a postal address if necessary. Events scheduled for three weeks away or less need to be submitted by Friday evening at the latest in order to maximise their chances of being included in our weekly Monday email of forthcoming events.
Events: As an outdoor activities group with a rich history of countryside and youth hostelling events we need to ensure current members have the opportunities to experience them now and the skills to continue them for our future.
Postcodes: Click here to find a postcode for the meet location of your event.
Small updates: If you just want to make a quick update to your event on the programme, just send an email to the , giving the event date, title and details of the change.
Help and support: See our list of topics below, our FAQ page or email the .
Help and Support - read on if you're not sure what to do...
- Don't dither! If you're organising an event, then get cracking NOW on deciding and acting on the basics. Like what sort of activities you might want to do (walking is our most common activity, but cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing and caving are just some of the other options you could consider). Like what sort of locations you might want to go to (loads of countryside surrounding London is ideal for day events, more distant you've got the Peaks, Lakes, dales and fells, our National Parks, miles of coastline, hills, mountains, long distance paths... again, loads of options). For more distant events you'll probably need to organise some accommodation (we often use YHA accommodation, it's flexible, cheap and set in over 200 of the best locations for outdoor activities; consider a cottage or farmhouse, cheap deals can often be found, search the web; fancy camping, easy during the summer months). Last but not least, you need to decide on a date you might want to do your event. So, decide NOW what activity, location and date - what, where, when - for your event. That's the basics done. Providing your date is more than 30 days away (for a day event) or 90 days away (for a multi-day event), then you should have enough details to submit a Basic Details form and some time left to research and finalise the details you need to submit your Full Details on time. See here for loads of information about outdoor activities.
- Ask now if you need help! If you've got here and haven't decided on your what, where and when - the absolute basics of your event then please ask NOW for help. Don't dither! Help is available from the or at our Thursday hall meets in central Harrow.
- Gain skills if you know what you want to do but not how. Our most common events involve walking, which require a route, either a predefined one (from a book or website etc..) or a bespoke one (from an OS map etc..) and then navigation (so ability to use a map and compass). If lack of route planning or navigation skills are stopping you from organising an event then let the know, or let us know at our Thursday hall meets in central Harrow. We organise a number of events throughout the year to help members gain these skills. See here for help with route planning.
- Read here for what sort of events are acceptable. Our group is an outdoor activities group and one of the oldest YHA affiliated groups in the UK we started in 1936, see our history pages for more information. Historically, most of our outdoor activities have taken place away from North-West London - Harrow and Wembley in countryside, rural villages and towns, places with hills and mountains, stunning views, fresh air, nature, quiet. Walking and cycling have been our main activities. To support our outdoor activities we have meetings in central Harrow hall. These meetings also offer social and informative events, and before the internet and email age, were the source of most communication about our group. So, walking and weekends away have long been a big part of our group and core events.
- All members contribute to our events programme. You're not alone. Our group is run by members, for members, and as such, after 12 months as a paid member and a member in our past group year you'll have to organise an event (i.e. a day event) or two evening events (i.e. evening walks) for each of our Winter and Summer programmes. Alternatively, members can organise an event involving at least 2 days overnight stay (i.e. weekend/week away etc..) in any group year which counts for both programmes. Planning for these happens in two months each year, in September for our Winter programme and in March for our Summer programme. Members need to submit their event for each of these programmes during those months (or when rejoining if a weekend/week away). The event that members are required to submit and organise should be:
This protocol was agreed by members at our AGM in October 2007. Also, members who attend 3 or more events involving at least 2 nights away in a group year must organise a similar event during the following group year. This protocol was agreed by members at our AGM in October 2008.
- commensurate with the activities they attend
- likely to appeal to at least a few other members
- consistent with our groups outdoor activities ethos or a positive event for the group
- acceptable to the committee
- Commensurate with what you do means this. You need to give something back to our group similar to what you take. Appreciate some members attend a range of events, but it is still possible, from these, to identify a few key characteristics pace (slow, fast), distance (short, medium, long), location (local, distant), activity (walking, cycling etc.). So if you generally do medium to long walks then you that's the sort of event you should submit. Alternatively, you can submit another type of event providing it's of good quality, maybe something different if you have an interest of skill to offer (i.e. caving, rock climbing etc..).
- Location. Location. Location. Kirsty and Phil always say that location is paramount when buying a home and the same is true for our events. Countryside, fresh air, stunning views, quiet, wildlife, history, culture, quaint villages etc. are all core ingredients for our outdoor activities. Local to North-West London there's our Greenbelt areas and just a little further afield we are blessed with the Chilterns Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To our west are the towns and villages along the Thames Valley with Hertfordshire to our north-west and the Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty to our south-west. All of these are ideal locations for day events and offer some public transport options. For weekends and weeks away, the country and the world really are your oyster there are just so many places to visit. A good starting point if you're new is our National Parks. As always, just ask if you have any questions about good places to go.
- Members can organise additional events for our programme. The criterion for these differs from above and is a little more relaxed. For example, members who want to attend an event organised by external organisations (i.e. walk, hill or mountain challenges) or events shared with or led by other groups, can submit these in addition to their contributing event. The difference is that the 'organisation' required is significantly less and the event is not exclusive to our group. However, organisers of additional events should be doing some organising (i.e. entering a HAWOG team, booking accommodation etc..) and not just simply submitting (promoting) details of another event.
- You can pair up with someone to organise your event. If this is your first time organising an event, or you want some advice and support from someone experienced, or your event is large, challenging or novel, then you can pair up with someone else. Some events offer a natural opportunity for sharing the effort, for example events away require advance booking of accommodation, so one person could organise this (research, book, promote event to members etc..) whilst the other leads on the activities (research, prepare, lead walks etc..). If you're sharing the organising with someone else, make sure you're both clear about (a) who is doing what, so that everything that needs to happen, does and (b) how bookings (if required) are handled (i.e. so there is no over or under booking. Events can also be shared with other groups however if it's your 'contributing' event, then you will need to be 'organising' the event for it to count (i.e. not submitting an event that someone else in another group is doing all the 'organising' for). Events that are open to the public (i.e. competitions, challenges, entry events etc..) may be allowed on our programme but NOT as a members contributing event.
- Get advances and cover for shortfalls from our group. One of the advantages of being a paid member is that you can ask our group to advance deposits and balances for accommodation and trainers for events in the future, and to underwrite a certain amount of the cost should there be a shortfall. To do this, you need to provide key details about your event (what, where, when etc.) and full details of costs (deposit/balance due dates, latest commit dates, refunds (if any), booked members (if any) to committee, who will review and return decision. Please email .
- Book accommodation early for weekends and weeks away. No surprise, but you'll get more choice and maybe a better price if you book early. Whilst some last minute deals on accommodation may be really cheap, you're unlikely to be able to promote and attract many, if any, members with a short timescale.
- Promote your event. Most members and all communication within our group are now online. All our events appear on our website and all are expected to be promoted on our main email group. For events that don't require advance booking and most of our day events (part/whole day or evening or night) then protocol is to email details during the week before. For events that require advance booking (a few day events and most or our weekend/week events) protocol is to email details 3-6 months in advance, and to repeat a number of times as members respond and book at different times (some book months in advance, others book last minute). Members who fail to properly promote any of their contributing events (i.e. promote too late, too little or with too little information) may have the event removed and be required to submit/organise another one.
- Getting responses to your event. There are two main ways in which you'll get responses to your event, and both are online. The first is via the Contact Organiser and Book Now buttons on our website. The Contact Organiser button is for anyone who has a question about an event, Perhaps about shared travel, or maybe just to say they will be attending. The Book Now button is for anyone who wants to book a place on an event. The second is via a reply to emails sent to our main email group promoting an event. Organisers should respond promptly as appropriate. Anyone who books a place on an event regardless of whether via the Book Now website form, reply to an email, or any other way is committed to paying if a place is available and confirmed by the organiser.
- Organisers are not required to arrange travel. You can if you want but the norm is for organisers to inform about and coordinate travel rather than arrange it. Inform means state basic directions and time from North-West London. Coordinate mainly applies to away events (weekends/weeks away etc.) and means asking all booked (by email to them not the whole group) who want to share travel to Reply To All with details of when and where they can meet and whether driver. That way, only those going get asked and informed. For local or day events and events that don't require advance booking, the norm is for anyone wanting to share travel to ask the organiser (who may or may not be able to advise) or to send a message to our email forum group (for anyone subscribing to respond).
- How online booking and paying works. All our events that require advance booking can be booked and if need be, paid for, online. Online booking happens by one of two ways: response to an email from the organiser or by submission of the Book Now form on our website. When the organiser receives these they check whether a place is available and respond accordingly. If the response is positive (i.e. a place is available) then the organiser must respond with an email containing a link where online payment can be made. The link will automatically be generated by the Treasurer and Webmaster for all events that require advance payment, and sent to the organiser. The link must only be sent to people with places booked on the event. Organisers will also be given a user name and password to log in to our group's PayPal account to enable them to view online payments. Organisers are therefore required to periodically check that people who have booked places have paid the required amounts. It is recommended that organisers set up a process to ensure control of bookings and payments is maintained and records are kept of all bookings (i.e. all emails and texts etc.) until all payments are complete.
- Online booking and paying must be offered for all group 'owned' events. If your event is one our group 'owns' which means you've hired accommodation or instruction etc. for exclusive use for your event then anyone who wants to attend must be offered the option to book and pay online. As an organiser, you can also offer the option for other methods of booking and paying, if you're prepared to accept and handle these. As a rule, our group no longer wants or accepts cash or cheque payments as the norm for membership, surcharges or events, so you must inform and obtain agreement from our Treasurer if you want to pay cash or cheques to our group.
- Check your event has been added to our programme. It'll take at least a few days before your submitted event appears on our events programme as it needs to be reviewed, approved (the norm) and then added. It's your responsibility to check that your submitted event, and in particular full details, has been added to our events programme before promoting your event on our main email group.
- If your submitted event isn't ok it will be returned to you. Most submitted events are accepted and added to our events programme. You can ensure yours will be too by making sure it's a quality outdoor event with a good location, activity and description and submitting correct details. If you're unsure about what you're considering then please ask the relevant committee personnel before submitting. If your event is returned to you then you will be told why and what you need to do if it is to be accepted. If you don't understand or agree with what you are told then please contact Chair or another committee member at and state why.
- All events are assigned a colour code. The colour indicates the type or intensity of event. Five colour codes exist. Blue (Social) the exception, mainly our monthly hall and pub meets. Grey (Training) navigation, map and compass, occasionally other types of training. Green (Easy) suitable for anyone to do with minimal fitness. Amber (Moderate) most will be able to do with reasonable level of fitness. Red (Challenging) suitable for anyone with good fitness, stamina and possibly specialist skills, clothing and equipment. Colours are assigned by our Webmaster based on the description of the event. If, as the organiser, you disagree with the colour coding given you may request the Webmaster to amend it.
- Events on our programme must be open to all members. The only reason for excluding someone from an event is if they are not capable of doing the activity on it. This might apply to a few of our Red Challenging activities. If you want to organise an event that involves say, people using your own equipment or accommodation, and you don't want certain people attending, then it's not an acceptable event for our programme. If you have issues with another member and don't want them to attend any event you organise for our group, then you must get committee approval if someone is to be excluded from your event.
- Bad weather or illness late changes. If your event needs to change, be cancelled or postponed at short notice then you need to organise an email to the group as early as possible, informing of the situation (possible or definite change) and the consequence (should they call you by certain time beforehand etc.). If you, the organiser, become unavailable at short notice then try and find someone else to attend and lead so the event happens.
- You must attend events which you 'organise'. Whether you do all, lots or little of the organising, if you're the named organiser(s) then you must attend your event. Only in exceptional circumstances are events to be organised by others on behalf of a member who is not attending.
- Organisers who are not online. If you're not online then you need to state how people should contact you, suggestion is you add your mobile number to your Full Details form or you find another member who is online and prepared to handle online contacts for you. Likewise submitting Basic and Full Details and promoting your event by email. All organisers are responsible for ensuring the correct and timely submission of details and promotion of their events, so if you've asked someone else to do things for you then you still need to check they are doing what you request.
- Attendance by non members. Prospective members (i.e. new to our group) and paid members can attend any of our events without surcharge. Casuals (i.e. everyone else) pay a surcharge to attend most of our events. Any events that organisers think Casuals can attend without surcharge need to state this clearly when submitting the event and get agreement from committee. Such events might be those shared with other groups, those that are not owned/run by a member of our group (i.e. an entry to a public event) or when attendance by Casuals make an event viable or cheaper for members. Event organisers should send a list of attendees to the Membership Officer. Events that are surcharge-free for Casuals will be without the CS prefix.
- Frequently asked questions. Click here for our list of frequently asked questions.
Finally, best of luck with your event organising and many thanks for your efforts.