Running an Aarquelle Event

Running an Aarquelle Event

Based on the works of The Barony of Caer Anterth Mawr of Northshield & The Barony of al-Barran

Fill out all of the event registration forms for kingdom.

Kingdom Resources Page

What is your event about? Determine the purpose, theme, etc… of the event and what areas of interest it will cover. It is good to have at least a few of these at the outset as it gives your event a direction.
When will it happen? You will need to involve the Seneschal to make sure this is a workable date. There are always activities that may be happening around the Kingdom. It is always best to check the Kingdom Planning Calendar first.
Where will it be held? Do a little research on sites based on the needs of your event. Get some quotes for costs if possible.
“First & Foremost: An Event Steward is a diplomat and an organizer– not a drill sergeant. We are all volunteers doing this to create fun, and to serve our friends in Aarquelle.”


Talk with the local officers and others with experience running events. They are an excellent resource for Event Stewards– the person in charge of an event– YOU! You can approach them to either serve in staff positions or to help you find people to fill staff positions. They can answer questions about Society and Kingdom requirements for event activities (A&S, martial activities, financial policy, Royal needs, insurance, etc…).
Get a copy of the Event Proposal / Planning Workbook and begin filling in some of the blanks with what you know at this point.
Bring it to Folkmoot. In Aarquelle, we talk all of these things over with the populace to get a feel for their interest level.
Finally, some officers may even have event oversight responsibilities. Several officers report directly to the Kingdom for matters concerning event planning, finances, and execution. For example, you must work with the Exchequer for anything related to finances, budgets, and money handling.
Plan to report your event’s progress at every Folkmoot from three months before until a month or two after the event.


Now the real work begins, but at least it’s fun!
Locate a site that suits your needs, and reserve it. If there is a contract that needs to be signed (and there should be) the Seneschal is the person that will need to sign it. The Event Steward is a de facto deputy to the Seneschal, but the Seneschal is the legal SCA representative for the mundane world as far as contracts are concerned. Remember to take into account pricing, deposit policies, cancellation policies, and any limits such as whether the site is dry, what is the parking like, kitchen limitations, fighting locations, classrooms, table and chair needs, and any other requirements for your event.
Does your event site require a proof of insurance or do they need to be listed as an additional insured? If they need to be listed as additional insured you will need to have the Seneschal contact SCA corporate 45 days prior to the event and request this. There is a $50 cost associated with being listed as additional insured which will need to come out of your event expenses. The cost for this skyrockets if it’s ordered closer to the event than 30 days.
The event, its staff, and the event site are the ultimate responsibility of the Event Steward. If you are going to need assistance prior to, or during the event – make sure you ask for assistance in plenty of time to get volunteers to help you do this.
Throughout this process plan to send updates to the Seneschal and Baronial officers. If you have any questions or concerns they should be able to help you, or at least point you in the right direction. By keeping them updated, they are aware of your plans, what is going on, and should they be questioned, they will be able to give intelligent answers, thereby further promoting your event in the best way possible.

CHOOSE YOUR STAFF: The main staff positions for any event are:

  • Event Steward (You): Responsible for organizing and running the event. Develops a budget for the event and gets it approved by the financial committee. Gets coordinators for running activities and assisting with running the event. Submits Event Registration paperwork. Posts the event announcement. Locates a site, then gets the contract to the Seneschal for review and signature. Sets up communications for all the coordinators (Facebook, email, in person, whatever works best). Delegates duties and follows up with coordinators and volunteers. Keeps officers and Royalty updated on the progress of the event. Follow up with coordinators.
  • Deputy Steward: Responsible for taking over some of the follow up communications, running errands, keeping track of questions/answers, keeping the steward on track, taking over the event if something happens to the steward that he/she cannot continue with the event. This person needs to work hand in hand with the steward so that they know the status of the event, should they need to take over the event. This is a fantastic training opportunity.
  • Gate Coordinator: This person is in charge of any pre-registration activities, getting enough volunteers to work gate. This person and his/her volunteers work closely with the Exchequer, and need to be properly trained on how to run gate. This person and his/her volunteers sign in attendees, collect fees, get waivers signed, hand out the event gate-book (if there is one), parking pass (if there is one), hand out site tokens and give directions when necessary.
  • Royal Liaison: This person will coordinate between this event and any Nobility that will be attending. This includes all visiting Royalty, and all Landed B&B’s. See below for more description.
  • Other possible positions to include:
  • Set up / tear down / clean up coordinator(s): You may wish to have more than one. These people are invaluable in getting the event rolling and getting things packed and back to where they belong and finally making sure the site is better than when we arrived. They will put out the SCA road signs, set up pavilions, the list field, direct vendors as to where to put Port-a-Johns, etc…. Then, taking it all down, packing it away, and cleaning up the site– picking up trash, hauling trash to the appropriate place, etc., when the event is concluded. If you have pre- event clean up days, you will need to budget for food and drink for volunteers. NOTE ON FEAST CLEAN UP– The Feast Steward and the feast staff will be very tired after being in the kitchen all day. Make sure the Feast Steward has made arrangements for a clean up crew after the feast. If they have not, then you should make sure that you have a volunteer set to coordinate this effort so that it gets done, done well and done on time. There are many sites where we are charged extra if we are not clean and out by a given time.
  • Feast Steward: This person is in charge of your feast if you are having one. They are responsible for planning, buying, cooking and serving the feast. They will usually have their own large budget, so keep this in mind when choosing. They may want their own staff such as someone to deal with the money, a server coordinator, etc.
  • Arts and Sciences: This person organizes and manages any arts & sciences activities included in the event: competitions, displays, classes, etc. Depending on the size/type of event, this person may need space, a pavilion, tables and chairs as well as supplies. Add this into your budget.
  • Marshal-in-Charge (MiC): armored, rapier, archery, thrown, equestrian: If your event includes any, you will need an overall MiC, and likely a coordinator for each activity at the event. These coordinators are responsible for organizing and running competitions, tournaments, and melees. They will need volunteers for field marshaling
  • Lists: This is usually the Baronial Minister of the Lists (MoL) officer, and volunteers. The MoL officer has been trained on how to run a list table and should have access to the MoL handbook as well. If this person is unavailable, seek out a person that has experience doing this job so that the tournaments run smoothly. This person creates a report of the tournaments held and the winners. This report is sent to Kingdom, and the Knight Marshal and Seneschal.
  • Merchant Coordinator: If your event will have merchants and there are more than just a couple attending, you may want to have a coordinator to handle it. This coordinator will need to work with the event steward and land coordinator to decide where to set up the merchants, how much space will be available for each one, cost of renting the space, day/time merchants will be allowed to set up, etc. Once this is established, the coordinator will post announcements to the list (and newsletter if desired) to have any merchants that wish to attend contact the coordinator. Often, this position requires considerable time, patience and diplomacy.
  • Family Activities: You will need to decide if there will be ORGANIZED Family activities included with your event. Consult with the B&B and Seneschal before doing so. This coordinator and one other, will need a background check started well in advance of the event. The rules concerning these activities change often. There might be a need for budgeting for supplies.
  • Advertising & Media: You must create an official web page for your event on the Baronial web site. The webminister will assist with this. Facebook events are another way to increase information. Also be sure any info is posted to both, Facebook and the website. Many of our populous only use one of these. We want to make sure to find as many people as possible. If Court is to be held, your event announcement must appear in the Kingdom newsletter– The Outlandish Herald. If not, any awards given will not be official. Have this done two months in advance. Once your event is on the Kingdom calendar you can use the link on the event page to submit your article.
  • Hydration: This person makes sure there is plenty of water and appropriate nourishment around the list and melee fields. This coordinator will most likely need volunteers to assist, and will need a budget for buying supplies.
  • First Aid: For a larger event, a person with a Red Cross or equivalent level of first aid training is a good idea. There may be a small budget required for supplies.
  • Security and Fire Marshal: For large/multi-day events, you will need to have a Security coordinator who will also need volunteers. The Security/Fire marshal is responsible for ensuring the safety of all persons attending the event. This includes but is not necessarily limited to: enforcing fire restrictions, underage drinking/drug use, any domestic issues that may arise, alerting EMS of injuries/illness’. If your event is a large multi-day event, the security coordinator will need to write up the site rules and post them to the discussion lists, possibly in the local newsletter (if desired) and in the Gate Book for the event.
  • Land Coordinator: If the event is a large, multi-day camping event, you may need/want a land coordinator. This person is responsible for laying out where various activities and/or pavilions will be set up as well as where large groups and/or visiting royalty will be camping. This requires extensive communication and diplomacy.
  • Parking coordinator: If your event is a large, multi-day event you may need a person in charge of patrolling the parking areas making sure there is a parking pass for each vehicle, vehicles are not blocking thru-ways or each other, general safety of vehicles and putting up signs of designated parking areas (handicap, RV, trailers, regular parking, reserved (if desired). This person works hand in hand with the Security/Fire Marshal.
  • Trash- sanitation: If your event is a large, multi-day event, you will need someone to handle daily picking up of trash and/or items left lying about. You will also need someone to place glow-sticks in the privies each evening and check to see if any privy needs additional toilet paper. Budget for these supplies. If you will have a waste management vendor, budget same.
  • Town criers: These folks move about the event, making announcements of when tournaments, melees, court will begin, along with any other info that the attendees need to know. These volunteers need to be based at Volunteer Point so as to be available and take instruction as to what needs to be “cried”.
  • Volunteer coordinator: For large, multi-day events, you may need a person that keeps track of who needs volunteers, so people can come to a central location to find out where to help. In addition, this person organizes someone to prepare food/drink for the folks that sit at Gate. A budget will be needed for food/drink and supplies.
  • Party coordinator: If there will be a party/gathering for the general populace and food/drink will be served, you will need someone to organize and oversee the party. You will need to budget for food/drink, other supplies and/or prizes.


  • Baron and Baroness. They are the public face of the Barony at your event. Make sure They are involved in all decisions about courts and anything involving Their movement at the site. Remember They can’t be in two places at once.
  • Seneschal: This person is the Legal Representative of the Barony and ultimately is responsible for the entire event. This person is also the voice of the Kingdom Seneschal, acting in their stead, if not attending the event. Contracts must go through and be signed by the Seneschal. Do not agree to something that has a contract without bringing it to the Seneschal first. The Seneschal or his/her deputy should be on the event site at all times. This person handles any problems that cannot be handled by the steward or coordinators. Emergencies like fire, injury, criminal, etc., need to be immediately brought to the attention of the Seneschal and handled by them.
  • Exchequer: The Exchequer is responsible for making sure that ALL monies are handled according to the rules set by the SCA. Please let them know of your needs, including dates and amounts. They are also responsible for keeping track of gate sign in sheets, non-member fees, event fees, making deposits, handling refunds, keeping track of the event budget for the event. They also ensure that the gate coordinator and volunteers are trained properly. They create an event report once the event is concluded. The Exchequer may have a deputy that handles the running of the gate at events if the Exchequer is not attending.
  • Quartermaster: This is the person in charge of keeping track of supplies that the Barony owns, where it is and its condition. This person checks out what items you need and checks them in, when the event is concluded. They are not responsible for the transport of items, so you will need to arrange for a way to haul the items you need as well as people to load/unload items. If items are lost and/or broken, you will need to make a note of it and advise the quartermaster when you return the items.
  • Marshallate – Please check with the different Marshals if you are going to have their activities at your event. They know the rules and can help with getting Marshals.
  • Herald(s): The Herald is the voice of the Coronet/Royalty. This person is in direct communication with Royalty as to what days/times courts will be held and any items the Royalty wishes the steward to be aware of. Check with the Herald to be sure you include their preferences. The Herald for the hosting group will create a report of awards given at court, for the host group with a copy to the Kingdom Herald.
  • Webminster – The webminster will help in getting your website up. Send them all the info you want on your site. Don’t expect them to find the info– it needs to come from you. When the site is done, check it. Especially the dates, times, place, and fees.


  • Work with the Exchequer AND Seneschal to set a date by which all receipts and Fund Request Forms must be submitted in order to be paid and do not deviate from this date. All expenses must be submitted to you first BEFORE going on to the Exchequer and Seneschal.
  • Set prices and a budget. No budget should ever be in the negative. If you cannot work a budget that has a small positive outcome you need to rethink what you are doing and cut costs, or not hold the event. Determine all of the costs and total it up so that you know how much you need to break even and have a little left over so that the numbers stay in the black. When setting fees, remember that we are not in this to make money from our friends, so keep the fees comfortably close to the costs. Submit the proposed budget to the Exchequer and Seneschal to be brought before the Financial Committee.
  • Costs could include:
  • Site rental, (Are tables and chairs extra? Security? Custodial?)
  • Food and snacks
  • Materials for each activity such as oranges and pickles for fighters, hay bales for archery, children’s activities supplies, prizes, table/chair rental, etc.
  • Decorations for hall, tables, field or other areas
  • General supplies such as poster board for charts or signs, toilet paper, site tokens, etc.
  • Site program and any other printed materials, ads, etc.
  • Your Feast Steward will need to have a budget as well. You will need to know how many people will be served. How many paid feast seats? How many complimentary feast seats? All costs associated with the feast should be in the feast budget. The feast/food should be kept separate unless the feast is to be included in the cost of the site and everyone at site will be offered feast. Servers and cooks are usually not charged for feast as a thank you for working. Typically, any landed royalty/nobility are also not charged. The Feast Steward will need to take these numbers into account for the budget. The Feast Steward should also specifically choose head table servers, typically people with a lot of experience.
  • If your event includes merchants, make sure to check your state regulations or have the Merchant Steward do this. ALL State, County, and City laws MUST be followed. As Event Steward, it is your responsibility to verify this has been done.
  • You must work closely with the Seneschal and Exchequer to develop your budget. All requests for funds must be made in a timely manner to allow the Exchequer time to get approval from the Financial Committee. Two full weeks prior to your needing the funds is ideal. All purchases made for which you desire reimbursement, must also have prior approval by the FInancial Committee. Receipts are required for each and every purchase.


  • Submit Event Registration Forms to the Kingdom Calendar Deputy who will place this information on the Kingdom Website Calendar. Provide all current information listed below. It is important for all Kingdom level, and most Baronial level events to be placed on the Kingdom Calendar and sent to the Outlandish Herald 30+ days in advance AT MINIMUM so that awards and recognitions may be given out in court. This really needs to be done as many months in advance as possible.
  • Your event announcement should include the following information:
  • Host group(s) name
  • Name of the event
  • Dates/times of the event (Site Open and Close should be here)
  • Name and address of site
  • Is the site wet or dry
  • Website URL
  • Event Steward/Feast Steward name and modern contact information (include address, phone and email)
  • Registration Fees (site, feast, merchant, any other meals, parking). Use the following nomenclature and formatting:
  • Adult Member Discount Registration Fee: $X in advance, $Y at the door
  • Adult Registration Fee: $X+$5 in advance, $Y+$5 at the door.
  • Children ages 7-17 are typically half rate and the non-member surcharge is not applied. We don’t want to make it harder on families to attend.
  • Children under 7 years old are typically free.
  • Family Cap never includes any non-member surcharges.
  • (We DO NOT charge the extra $5 for non-member surcharge for children, nor do we charge anyone coming in at a reduced fee the $5 non-member surcharge. We also do not officially mention the $5 non-member surcharge in our advertising.)
  • ALWAYS provide a link to the SCA membership site so that people can join us to save the $5.
  • Reservation information (including who to send to and complete contact information)
  • Include: Make Checks to: SCA- Aarquelle
  • Any reservation cut-off dates
  • Activities
  • Any important site information (handicap accessible, alcohol policy, etc.)
  • Directions to the site
  • You may also want to include information about family activities, will there be populace/presence space, merchants, food other than a feast available. Will there be showers available, off board seating for feast, etc.
  • Have each staff member prepare and send you any information they want posted to the website for the event and get that website up as soon as possible. This is the best and longest lasting advertisement for your event. Make sure information is accurate and remind people to check back occasionally as information may change.


  • TWO months prior to the event all of your activities and your staff should be set. All of your planning should be done and you should no longer be accepting “another great idea” so that you have enough time to implement those you have already planned out.
  • Is everything ordered that needs to be ordered? Do you need Port-a-Johns, are they ordered? Do you have the list from the Quartermaster? What else?
  • Purchase and construct any event related items during the months leading up to the event. Make sure you have enough of the items you will need (site tokens, serving dishes, list fields, banners, etc.).
  • Check in with your staff and get regular updates. Are they progressing in their areas in a timely fashion? Is there anything they need from you as Event Steward? It is best to hold regular meetings to get updates from your staff so that all staff members know what is going on with the event and what remains to be completed. Encourage non-staff to attend. You can get great ideas from them as well as additional volunteers. Have those positions that need additional help posted that they are seeking assistance in the various media?
  • Make sure that the proper staff people have the funds necessary to purchase items they may need (Feast Steward, Water Bearer, etc) and that the exchequer has a check cut for the gate money. Also verify that all checks coming in are getting to the Exchequer to be deposited in a timely manner.
  • Visit the site again to make sure you know where everything is going to be set up. It is a good idea to make a sitemap for your program so that visitors will know where things are happening and so that they are not continually asking staff members.
  • Double check with the Seneschal that any required insurance certificates have been ordered at least 45 days prior to the event.


  • If you will be hosting royalty for your event, there are a number of things to think about and make decisions about. It is best to have an assigned person to take care of any needs of the royals if at all possible Royal Liaison.
  • If possible it is a good idea to provide a royal room for the royals to put their stuff in, to have a place to change, and to have a place to sign scrolls (if there is to be a court). Other things to consider providing:
  • People to help them unload.
  • Place to hold court (should be enough room for heralds, champions and retainers behind) A high table during feast
  • Royal room guards
  • Royal Liaison should meet them at gate
  • Lunch/snacks in the royal room
  • Pavilion or sun shade if there are outdoor activities (they may even bring one with them that they will wish to have set up)
  • Outlands royalty have a website that includes their contact information and frequently asked questions including their likes and dislikes. This is a great place to get information and some are so inclusive that the Royal Liaison doesn’t even need to contact anyone. If you do need to contact someone, it is best to start with the Chamberlain first. The Chamberlain may be able to answer your questions and not bother the royalty. Should you be hosting a Crown or Coronation, questions will probably progress to the point that your Royal Liaison will need to converse with the Royals directly, but normally, this will not be the case. Let your Royal Liaison do their duty. There should only be one person associated with your event contacting them and if that is you as Event Steward and you are not going to have a Royal Liaison, that is fine, but having one will assist you greatly. One person contacting the royalty will also reduce stress and will cut confusion to a minimum. As Event Steward make sure to ask your Royal Liaison if the attending Royalty will need use of a meeting room during the event.


  • Follow up with your event coordinators frequently until all items that need to be completed are completed. After that, follow up with your coordinators and see how they are doing, ask if there is anything that they need or anything that came up last minute.
  • Answer calls and messages from your volunteers, Their Excellences/Majesties, and the Seneschal, in a timely manner. Volunteers get nervous when they do not hear back from you…. Next thing YOU know, they have decided to NOT volunteer…….. Diplomacy counts a lot!!
  • If using an event program flyer. Include: host group name, event name and location, event dates, schedule of activities (this should include everything like meetings, court, fighting, classes, feast and site closing time), staff names and positions, map of site, and any other pertinent information for the event. Make sure it has been proofed by a number of people including each one of your staff so that they can help to ensure that the information regarding their areas is correct. You may then have this printed. Copying may be less expensive than printing.
  • Get your final list of needs to the Quartermaster as well as dates when you will be available to pick these items up. Do this as far in advance as possible. It is not the quartermaster’s responsibility to get these items to and from the event. As Event Steward, you are responsible for those items you and your staff will need for your event.
  • If you are serving a feast, will the Feast Steward also be responsible for the table set-up and decoration or will you have someone assigned to that specific task? Will there be copies of the menu, including an ingredient list, to place on the tables? After feast will you be providing plastic bags for people to put their dirty dishes in? These are items you will need to discuss with your Feast Steward so that you are both aware who will be handling what parts of the Feast and if you need another volunteer involved or not.


  • As Event Steward, you should be one of the first people on site and one of the last to leave. People will have questions or concerns for you during the entire event. Make yourself available. Walk around, Ask if people are having a good time. Check with your staff and see if they need anything. If they do, see that someone gets assigned to the task immediately (not you, you need to be there if other issues come up). If the cooks need ice, you find someone to go that can cover the expense and have them go for the ice and get it to the kitchen. Remind them they will need to keep the receipt and fill out the necessary paperwork to get reimbursed. Let them know that either you or the Feast Steward can sign off on the paperwork for approval.
  • Make sure the SCA signs get put up to help folks find the site, and parking.
  • Make sure that gate is easily accessible and well marked so that people will know where to go so that they can check in.
  • Make sure the gate has all of the needed gate sheets, waiver forms, pre-registration lists, site tokens, ink pens, money bags and CHANGE.
  • It is a good idea, if you have information that you want people to see (event sheets, class sign up lists, etc), to put it on a separate table that is near gate, but not part of gate. The gate crew has enough to take care of getting people in the door. If you really feel explanations are necessary, gate can direct people to the table and you can have another person giving out the additional information to help keep things moving.
  • Remember, at the event, you are there to solve problems. Wear comfortable garb and shoes, and remember to eat, drink and have fun yourself. Appear calm and relaxed (or even happy) and handle things as they come your way. If you need assistance, ask. There are many people that have been in your shoes before and who will be more than willing to assist you.


  • Remember to thank everyone. This is an all volunteer organization and no one HAS to be here working their butts off. Thanks are the best gift that you can give them. If you prefer giving tokens, here are some inexpensive ideas:
  • Handwritten thank you notes. If you take pictures during the event, you can slip one of them into the note.
  • Homemade treats
  • Beeswax candles
  • Packets or little bottles of spices
  • Beads
  • Inexpensive jewelry
  • Anything SCA related (linen napkins, feast gear, cups, trim, pouches, etc)


  • Make sure the SCA signs get taken down.
  • There are a number of staff positions that must report to Kingdom after an event. Make sure those staff people include you on these reports. If this is a Kingdom Level event, you as Event Steward may be required to file a report with Kingdom. It is best to check before the event so that you will know what information you are going to be required to provide. Ignorance is not an excuse. This is part of your job as Event Steward.
  • Do not forget to compare your actual expenses with those you budgeted and identify any errors so that you will have a basis to work with next time. Often, notes are transferred from event steward to event steward from year to year. This way, hopefully, mistakes that were made one year will not have to be repeated.
  • Items taken from the Baronial inventory need to be returned. They should be clean and packed away neatly ready for the next Event Stewards use. That means tablecloths need to be laundered, dishes washed, ropes coiled and tied off, etc. Make arrangements with the Quartermaster to get these items back into the inventory area.
  • You will need to bring a full report to Folkmoot– the good, and the bad.