Plan Your Event

The Agencies Involved
Step 1: Gather Your Event Leaders
Step 2: Who Do You Want To Come?
Step 3: Plan Your Event
Step 4: Prepare Your Pemits
Step 5: Marketing Strategy
Step 6: Gather Your Volunteers
Step 7: Liability Insurance
Step 8: The Event Has Arrived
Step 9: The Wrap-Up


Mariposa County is a destination that boasts beautiful mountains, Yosemite National Park, and a great relationship with local government which makes it a great place for public events. We also have The Mariposa County Fairgrounds which has several different facilities that have promoted everything from formal dinners to weekend festivals.

This guide will help you with the process of having a successful event in Mariposa County by answering some of the key questions regarding your event. This is not a step-by-step on planning your event’s activities, it is a guide to work with the different County Agencies that need to be involved in order for your event to be both successful and legal.

The Agencies Involved

Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce will help you with general questions regarding the event and help you navigate the process, as we are doing this guide for you. But there are certain things that you do have get approval from the Chamber of Commerce on. They are also in charge of the Events Calendar for Mariposa County and you definitely want to get your event on it, not to mention use it to find the best date possible for your event.

Event Calendar
Submit Your Event to the Calendar – Make sure to attach your flyer or an image for best viewing. JPEG or PDF required for all images.

Visitor Center Ticket Sales Application

Over the Highway Banner Request for Chamber – MUST BE COMPLETED AND APPROVED FIRST
Over the Highway Banner on 140 Application

Mariposa County Planning Department

The Mariposa County Planning Department is the one stop shop where you can get most of your permits signed off on. It is also where you get the Assemblage Permit for any event being held on public property. This includes festivals, parades, and similar.

Assemblage Permit Application

Mariposa County Public Works

Mariposa County Public Works needs to approve anything that involves road closures or detouring of traffic. This includes parades, even though Cal Trans does have the final approval with Highway 140 Parade routes and closures. Public Works reviews the paperwork and prepares it for Cal Trans.

Typical Parade Application on Highway 140
County Road Closure Application

Mariposa County Health Department

The Mariposa County Health Department is one of the first places you should start working with in order to get all of your food and drink facilities set. The most common forms for an event you will need to fill out for them are below:

“Special Events” Food Facility Application for Permit to Operate
“One Day Only Special Events” Food Facility No Fee Required Application for Permit to Operate
EVENT ORGANIZER PERMIT Temporary Food Facilities

Alcohol Beverage Control – Stockton, CA Office

The Alcohol Beverage Control office in Stockton, CA is Mariposa County’s district office. It is this organization that you need to speak with if you plan to serve alcohol during your event.

Don’t forget, if you want the Chamber of Commerce to run the bar you do not have to complete this step. But if you wish to run the bar yourself, please contact the ABC Office in Stockton at:

31 E. Channel St., Room 168
Stockton, CA 95202
(209) 948-7739
(209) 546-7853 FAX

Step 1: Gather Your Event Leaders

Your event leaders are the core of your event. They help you with all of the aspects of the event. Your event may differ on several things but here is an example of the best Committee members who will act as the leaders for your event.

Administrator – This person has the most work involved as they will have to deal with permits, applications, databases, vendors, and most of the marketing as it comes to Facebook, Press Releases, Commercial development, signs, application making, and any other administrative duties. This is your work horse, the one who is spending the most time during the planning phases. SHORT CUT AVAILABLE

Marketing/Sponsorships – The second biggest job in regards to the planning phase, but this person is more about getting people excited about the event. They are the ones doing updates on the Facebook page, building the website (or working with someone on the website) and coming up with the great graphics and pictures for the event. The first year of the event, this person will be the one making sure that on the day of the event everything is documented with pictures and film to help promote for the next year’s event. They will also be the one selling marketing aspects for your event to businesses and individuals. Designing event printed material as well as programs, selling ads, sponsorship banners or signs, are just a few of things this person will need to do.

Recruiter – This person will be the one who goes and gets people to help out during your event. Whether it is hiring or asking for volunteers, this person needs to have a lot of energy and think of creative incentives to get people to volunteer. They will also be the main point of contact for your volunteers before they are given to their Team Leaders.

Logistics – This person will design all of the applications that will need to be filled out by participants, vendors, etc… before giving the plan to the Administrator and Marketer to make a template and then put onto the website (if they have access to the website and printing they can do this themselves). They will also be the one to set up the schedule for the day of the event. The Logistics person works closely with the Recruiter to find the right volunteers for each job that is necessary. It is also this leader’s job to find Team Leaders for the event volunteers to act as the head of that team for a particular function on the day of the event.

You can of course have more than 4 people on your committee to help ease the burden, but remember it is harder to get 6 people to agree on something as opposed to 4. Once you have assembled your team, you’re ready for your first meeting.

Step 2: Who Do You Want To Come?

Naturally, you want as many people as possible to come to your event, but you need to figure out your target audience. Just like in business you need to have a clear picture of your customers. Make sure you have at least one or two people on your committee who resemble your customer.

Finding your ideal customer relies on several different factors but the main ones are below:

Have Kids?:
Where are they from?:

Those are the general questions that you need to answer. Your event may have more specific questions. For example, if you are doing a car show you obviously want car enthusiasts. If you are doing a music festival are you looking for musicians or people who listen to music? More detailed questions can be discussed among your committee. The questions above can get you started and here are some basic generalizations about the possible answers to these questions.

Age Groups and Have Kids?

Greatest Generation – This group is anyone born before 1946. This group at its youngest in 2017 are 71 years old. This generation is not very active and would definitely only be going out with their children, grand children, or even great grand children. So it might be better to market to the other generations and have something for the Greatest Generation.

Baby Boomers – This group is anyone born between 1946 and 1964. This group at its youngest in 2017 are 53 years old. These are typically retirees. They typically enjoy things that remind them of when they were young or ways of letting them experience that same joy they had in their youth. If your event is more educational than entertainment, it should focus on medical issues or insurance issues.

Generation X – This group is anyone born between 1965 and 1984. This group at its youngest in 2017 are 32 years old. These are the children of the Baby Boomers and a good majority of them have children of their own, even a few young grand parents out there fall in this category. This group will like semi-active activities for themselves but will also spend quite a bit on activities for their children.

Millenials – This group is anyone born after 1985. Though there are some who would separate these into two groups (the other being Generation Y), their comparisons in regards to the spending dollar are too similar to ignore. This group does not necessarily have children yet and may be focused on getting their careers in order. This generation is also very high tech (something to note with your marketing strategies) and enjoy using Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, and other Social Media apps. They want experiences that they mark off their bucket list now.

Where are they from?

It is this question that will focus your marketing efforts. Gone are the days where you can post a flyer up at a few bulletin boards and get a good turn out for an event. That has transitioned to newspaper ads, which has transitioned to radio and television commercials, and has actually reached its peak in Digital Marketing on the internet and social media. However, you still should do more than just one of these marketing types. Here are some things you need to look for in each of the different types of marketing/advertising you do.

Flyers or Printed Advertising

When you make your printed advertising, it needs to be eye catching and concise. Too many times people make flyers with a bunch of images that are related to the event and it becomes too much. Remember that saying a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, imagine a flyer with 5 images, that is 5,000 words, that is almost 10 pages