3. Set a timeline and assign tasks
One of the main duties of the committee chairperson is to make sure tasks are assigned and are getting done on time. The committee should brainstorm a list of tasks and decide who's responsibility each will be. Are signs for the games being done by the decorations folks or the games folks? Who is going to check references on the game suppliers, the chairperson or the games committee? Constant communication between committee members will help clarify points of overlap and confusion.
Your timeline starts with finding a date and time to hold your carnival. Consider what has worked in the past for your organization. Do you get a bigger turnout for weekday or weekend events? Afternoon or evening? Are kids involved in sports that keep them busy on Saturdays? Is weather a factor? Will you have enough time to set up the carnival if it is held on a Friday after school? Are there conflicts with other local events? Every date and time you come up with may have it's pluses and minuses, in the end you will just have to pick one and run with it.
Once you have selected a date for your carnival, work back from that date to form a timeline for the tasks. Tasks that need to be tackled early on include:
Contracting with outside food vendors.
Contracting with game suppliers for any rental games, Joy Jumps, etc.
Contracting with party supply rentals for tables, bingo supplies, etc.
Arranging for groups such as the local police (bringing their radar gun for a speed pitch game) or fire department (setting up a fire safety demonstration) to be available.
In short, any time you need a commitment from an outside source, get it done as early as possible. You will need to check their references and reserve their time far in advance.
Another task that needs to be completed early is to finalize the list of games. This allows time for the games folks to construct the games and gather materials. It also gives the prize folks time to select and order prizes. You can save quite a bit by ordering from catalog and internet suppliers, but only if you allow yourself enough time to account for packing and shipping your order.
Find a regular meeting time that works for the majority of committee members and stick to it. It really helps to sit down and go over the whole plan on a regular basis. It also motivates members to complete their tasks when they know a meeting is coming up!