Message to black community event organisers

As one who has organised community events for eight years, I would like to share with you a few words of encouragement.

First of all I know it is hard to put up a community event from the time you name it till the actual day of the event. If you have managed to do this without cancelling the event even if only two or 2000 people turned up, give yourself a pat on the back. Well done.

Ms. Pauline Long, founder of BEFFTA Awards

On the other hand if you decided to cancel your event half-way through or at the 11th hour still you need to be proud of yourself for even thinking of doing a community event with very little or no resources at all, it is not easy and cancellation does not mean the end, it just means you will bounce back but on a different angle so do not despair.

One of the biggest hurdles for community event organisers is lack of sponsorship. And if you do get cash sponsorship which is rare it is usually in the lower end of hundreds. In London venues cost thousands and when a title sponsor offers you what cannot even cover the cost of printing your print media let alone a fraction of the venue then it becomes a sorry situation.

It is a shame that some big companies which actually make their money from African/Caribbean communities in the Diaspora cannot sponsor well attended community events.

Instead you have to go through some agent who will often only give sponsorship to people from their region… i.e. it could be from a region in Africa or Caribbean. It is a great shame.

There are so many African/Caribbean companies that could sponsor these events. But to all community event organisers like me I urge you not to give up bringing our communities together, if you have to do two or three jobs like me to fund the community projects you are passionate about please do, carry on with your good cause.

You are blessed beyond belief. You will never be stranded. Stand for your good cause that you believe in especially if it is changing lives, just stand, even if it means standing alone. Just stand. One day victory will be attained.

Wishing you all the best.

From one African community event organiser to other African/Caribbean community event organisers.

Lots of love and blessings.

Pauline Long