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Event host FAQs

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What is Small Business Festival Victoria?

Small Business Festival Victoria runs from 1–31 August every year. The festival gives small businesses the opportunity to learn practical new skills and access new ideas to help boost their productivity and competitiveness.

There are:

  • hundreds of low-cost and free events throughout Melbourne, regional Victoria and online
  • business topics such as business planning, marketing, social media, financial management and much more
  • networking and mentoring opportunities.

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Who organises the festival?

Small Business Festival is Victorian Government initiative. It is coordinated by Small Business Victoria in collaboration with government agencies, industry groups, businesses and private sector organisations to stage festival events.

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What types of events are eligible?

To host an event at Small Business Festival Victoria the event must:

  • be designed to provide information or practical skills to people looking to start, operate or grow a small business
  • be held in a certain format. These include seminars, networking events, workshops, presentations, forums or exhibitions
  • be offered at a low cost to attendees.

You must also have an ABN number and not aim your content toward selling your products/services to attendees.

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What are the benefits of hosting an event during the Small Business Festival?

There are a number of benefits in becoming a Festival event host including:

  • The opportunity to network with small business owners, intenders and festival partners
  • Brand exposure in the Festival Program distributed to an extensive, state-wide Small Business Victoria network
  • Marketing and promotional support from Small Business Victoria through the festival website, social media channels and the Small Business Festival Victoria overarching advertising and PR campaign
  • Complimentary tickets to attend the invitation only Festival Launch, Small Business BIG Marketing half day event and other festival activities
  • Access to a tailored Small Business Festival Victoria 2015 event evaluation report with valuable festival findings and statistics

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What are the important dates to remember?

Dates you should mark on your calendar are:

  • applications to host an event are due by 2 March
  • all Host applicants will be advised by 24 March if they have been accepted or not
  • event information is due by Tuesday 19 April
  • Small Business Festival Victoria runs from 1-31 August

Please note that some dates may change.

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What are my responsibilities as an event host?

All Small Business Festival Victoria event hosts are expected to:

  • create an interesting, informative and enjoyable event
  • fund and manage all the administrative tasks involved with your event
  • co-brand all marketing and promotional materials associated with your event with official festival branding
  • display supplied festival posters and distribute mandatory material to each attendee
  • distribute and collect completed event evaluation flyers from attendees and return to the Small Business Festival Victoria team within seven days of your event concluding
  • submit the final attendance numbers within seven days of your last event concluding

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How do I apply to host an event?

To apply to be an event host you will need to:

  • submit your application to become an Event Host online
  • ensure you have an ABN number
  • apply before close of 2 March
  • wait to be notified by email to if your event has been approved.

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What does it cost to host an event?

There is no event fee to host an event as part of Small Business Festival Victoria.

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Does the event I organise have to be designed specifically for the Small Business Festival?

No, you can include any relevant business-related events in the festival program. Events held in August as part of the Small Business Victoria Workshops & Seminars Program will be automatically included in the festival.

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Can I deliver more than one event during the festival?

Yes, you can deliver as many events as you like. However, it is advisable for new event hosts not to attempt more than one or two events initially.

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Do I take bookings for my events?

Things you need to know about bookings are:

  • you are responsible for taking and administering bookings
  • all of your event booking details will appear in the Workshops and Event Calendar available through the Small Business Festival Victoria website
  • your event details can link directly to your website or wherever you wish to direct the public so that bookings can be made easily.

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Can I charge a fee for the event?

Yes, however it is recommended that events are charged at a cost-recovery rate in order to draw a wider audience.

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Can the festival provide a speaker for my event?

No, but a list of professional speakers is available. The festival cannot endorse or recommend any particular speaker.

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Is there financial assistance for me to organise an event?

No, businesses hosting an event during the Small Business Festival Victoria are solely responsible for all costs involved in the delivery of the event.

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Can I organise my own sponsor for my event(s)?

Small Business Festival Victoria has its own sponsors. However, you may organise your own sponsors for individual events. Your event sponsors are responsible for sponsoring your event alone and not the Small Business Festival Victoria as a whole.

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How will my events be promoted?

The Small Business Festival Victoria team will promote the festival through print and online media channels. However, you will be responsible for promoting your own events.

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What if I need to cancel my event or change event details?

Things you should know about cancelling or changing event details are:

  • if you need to cancel your event or change event details, please contact us as soon as possible on 03 9651 8020 or at so that event listings can be updated
  • if you cancel an event, it will be removed from the Workshops & Events Calendar on the festival website. However, event listings in the printed festival program cannot be changed after the printing deadline
  • if event details need to be changed (such as venue or start time), remember to also notify any participants who have already booked to attend.

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Who do I contact regarding Small Business Festival Victoria?

General Small Business Festival Victoria queries:
Phone: (03) 9651 8020

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