As approved at GOC Board meeting 1 April 2023
The following policy applies to events comprising several elements. It does not apply to events that comprise one only item, for example a show or a meal out, where the cost to members on the website is equal to the cost of the item itself. In this case, payments are made to event organisers without any deductions for card charges.
This policy must be followed by all GOC members who have access to the GOC Events Booking System that facilitates selling event spaces, meals or other event components to GOC members via the new website. The goal of the policy is to improve financial accountability and limit the chances that GOC might collect money for an event that “fails” or losses money. Many of these events involve making financial commitments with 3rd party service providers which exposes the GOC to disputes over commercial agreements and the resulting liability. Appropriate diligence and care should be taken when contracting with 3rd parties and all contract agreements should be in writing.
Procedures for organising a paid event
- A clear description of the event, including where it is to be held and what activities it will offer including all of the standard what, where, when, how, and whom are you targeting to attend.
- A clear budget for the event including:
a. Revenue – how many people are expected to attend and how much they will be charged showing a clear understanding of how each cost will be recovered
b. Expenses – breakdown of the expected expenses for the event which might include accommodation, food, transportation, entrance fees and other cost components. Please remember to include the credit card / direct debit transaction charges estimated at [two per cent of income] to the total amount of funds to be collected via the website.
- All bookings should be made via the GOC website using a credit or debit card. Bookings by cheque or cash cannot be made on the website. It should be clearly stated what the refund policy is, and when in doubt should state that refunds are not available.
- The break-even point should be set at not more than 90 per cent of capacity. Any event that is fully booked should therefore make a small surplus.
- Please consider the timing of each step in this process. If you pick a date for your event and find out you will need to make payments to 3rd parties to secure accommodation or transportation 3 months before the event, then you should plan on putting your event on the website for booking at least 1-2 months before these payments are needed. Sufficient funds must have been collected before any payments are made to 3rd parties. This may mean your event needs to start collecting funds a good 6 months before the actual event.
- If you need GOC to make any deposits or other cash payments before sufficient funds have been collected through the GOC booking system then you will need to submit all of the above information to the Treasurer ([email protected]) and obtain approval for your event BEFORE you make 3rd party financial commitments or place the event in the Booking System.
- If you need GOC to make payments to 3rd parties for your event, please contact the Treasurer in good time to ensure he/she will be able to make the payments. Requests to the Treasurer for payments on short notice (less than 5 business days) will almost always lead to disappointment and potential problems with your 3rd party suppliers.
- Any commitments to 3rd parties should always be in writing and be very clear on all aspects of the transaction (for example if there are any refunds should you need to cancel some places, or any penalties). If you are not sure of what to include in your written correspondence with 3rd party service providers please contact the Treasurer.
- It is noted that GOC Scotland and GOC Transpennine run slightly different procedures for some of their events. This has been approved by the Committee and separate governance procedures are in place for their procedures.
Questions about this procedure may be sent to [email protected].