|How to Organize
an Event or Meeting
(a People & Planet Gateway & Guide)
Be sure do some strategizing and set some goals before you begin. What is your mission? What is your strategy? How will an event fit with your strategy and other tactics? What specific goals do you want the event to achieve? Here are some articles and resources on planning and strategizing.
Try to design your event so that it will catch people's interest. Include an interesting speaker; a film or video; something fun such as an outdoors activity; maybe a potluck; a "gimmick" or symbolic action; etc. Ask yourself you can make your event fun and worthwhile for people to attend. Give your event a clear, short name that clearly says what the event is about.
Try to include interactive, participative and "unstructured" elements. What make all the effort involved in bringing people together if they don't get to interact and network? Will they learn much if they just sit and listen to "talking heads"? Here are some links and articles on how to foster interaction, including Open Space Techniques, Talking/Listening Circles, and Meeting & Group Process (section C, Community & Group Process).
Event Planning for Environmentalists,
to be an Activist introduction and portal to
Greening Your Event
Mainstream Event Services & Resources
Mainstream Event Calendars
Send a fax to any newspapers, newsletters
& magazines that carry community events. In
Toronto, be sure to fax Now Magazine. Deadline
is 5pm the Thursday preceding the Thursday of
publication. Follow up with a phone call to both the
"7 Days" events & the
"Grassroots" columns. firstname.lastname@example.org
(to view the current listings, click on
"listings", and scroll down to "7 Days
Daily Events". See also: www.eye.net
Find out which radio & TV stations do public service announcements (PSA's) or community event announcements. Ask around for a recent "media list" to obtain more contacts. If your event is newsworthy (big name speaker; controversial topic; catchy gimmick), also contact news departments. (see the links above for media lists/directories).
Find out if there are any e-mail lists and on-line calendars for people sharing your interests. Ask around at relevant groups and organizations. For a list of e-mail lists and web-calendars, see our directory of Progressive Event Calendars and Alternative Media & Networking Guide. For links to many groups and organizations (that might have e-mail lists or otherwise have ideas about how to promote your event) see the People & Planet Directory.
Poster the neighbourhood(s) near where the event is occurring: churches, schools, libraries, bookstores, health food stores, cafes, laundromats, offices of related organizations.
Don't forget to list your event on the People & Planet Calendar. It will help to promote your event as well as your group and your campaign or issue. It can also help reduce date conflicts and attract media attention, with enough advance notice.
Peter Blanchard (contact)
People & Planet | GoodWorkCanada.ca
bringing people together over ideas that matter