You probably think that organizing a protest is an overwhelming task. This can be the case if you are lacking in organization and planning. But rest assured, because we will see together how to do it, from the preparation, which can last for months, until the day of the manifestation.
Part 1 of 4: prepare months in advance
Step 1. Define the purpose of the event
A key phrase or two can help you clearly define the purpose of your manifestation and keep it within its framework. Do you intend to train members of your community? Are you trying to convince donors to fund some of your projects? Do you want to honor certain people or a group of people? Try to reduce the scope of your action as much as possible. Regardless of what you are going to do, educate, persuade or pay homage, etc., answer the question: why are you going to organize this event?
Take it as a mission statement. Your framework for success. When you know clearly what you want to do, it will be easier for you to take action
Step 2. Set Goals
What exactly do you want to achieve? Not what will be the number of participants or even if the event will take place, what do you want this event to emerge? 5 people turning their backs on a new part of your organization? A fundraising of € 1,000? A change of mentality? An enthusiastic audience?
Identify the top three things you seek to accomplish through organizing your event and focus on making them happen. You may have a financial goal, a social goal, and a personal goal. It's all up to you
Step 3. Gather volunteers
You will need a good team with different skills. Your volunteers can help you in a number of ways, such as preparing programs, invitations and posters, or welcoming participants and tidying up after the event. In other words, they can help you get the job done. And if you can, have volunteers you can count on!
- Make sure managers and team members stick to your work schedule. Collaboration can make a lot of things easier. When asking them to lend a hand, be clear from the start about their expectations and level of involvement.
- If you can't call on volunteers, hire a team! It all depends on the nature of the event you are organizing. The people in charge of your event's host site can provide you with a team, otherwise you can go through a temporary work agency.
Step 4. Prepare a budget
You should include in your budget all possible expenses, income, donations and unforeseen expenses. If you don't budget, you'll end up with a bundle of bills in your hands, an empty wallet, and no idea what the latest issue is. Be realistic from the start to avoid surprises on the day of the event.
Look for ways to lower your costs. Can you recruit volunteers who will work for free? Can you go for a cheaper hosting site, like a friend's house? Remember that a simple, but successful meeting is more impressive than a demonstration that puts on its 31st, but turns into a fiasco
Step 5. Decide where and when
This is the most important thing to do when it comes to your manifestation. What is the place and what is the date that will make someone say, "Yeah, I'll go see that!" »Pick a time when everyone is free, somewhere easily accessible and something within your reach!
- Check your local event calendar and determine your audience. If you are targeting people who spend their time at home, your best option is to have your meeting in the neighborhood, during the day, perhaps offering babysitting service. But if you are targeting students, your best bet is to hold your meeting in the evening, downtown. If you can, go where your audience is already.
- Of course, in some cases you will be forced to reserve your site. Contact the person in charge of the place you will be using as soon as possible. Remember, he's probably as busy as you are!
Step 6. Think about the logistics
You need logistics for everything. What will be the parking possibilities? What are the means of access for people with disabilities? What can you do based on the size of your hangout? What equipment will you need? What additional items, such as drinks, badges, brochures, will you need that require additional spending? How many people do you need to make the event run smoothly?
Think through all of these questions with your team and discuss all aspects of the problem. Can you anticipate certain unforeseen events and thus avoid them? Are there special guests to take care of? Do you have to make exceptions?
Step 7. Think about marketing and advertising
While you're at it, prepare a poster. It must contain the date, place, time, name of the guest of honor, the title and the theme or slogan of the event. Since you are still in the preliminary stages, you can take your time to work out these details. However, it is interesting to quickly make a provisional sheet to have an overview of your organization!
Also think of other ways to disseminate information. An emailing? A mailing? Facebook, Twitter or half a dozen other event websites (more info a bit further)? What will you need before the event to attract attendees and what will your needs be during the event to keep them interested?
Step 8. Get organized
It is probably that for the moment everything is confused in your head and that you do not know where to start. Take a deep breath and open Excel. Prepare a tentative schedule for your event. Create a few worksheets to organize your ideas. It may seem unnecessary to you, but in two months you will be congratulating yourself for doing this job.
For each activity, prepare a timeline with deadlines. Write the names of your collaborators and specify their tasks and periods of execution. This will help you organize yourself and answer any questions they may have
Part 2 of 4: get organized two weeks before
Step 1. Make sure all is well
Set the date and place of your event, choose your guest of honor, your collaborators, the theme and the slogan of your event. What are the points that are likely to cause problems? What are the questions that may arise at the last minute? At this point, you need to finalize all of your details.
Step 2. Meet with your team
Get your budget, schedule, etc., approved by your team members, as well as managers. Now is the time to review and resolve all issues. Do your employees understand what to do? Do they feel comfortable with the whole procedure?
- Again, get together with your collaborators and volunteers to discuss any possible issues. This is also the perfect time to develop a plan of action.
- Make sure your team isn't having any internal issues. Stay in touch with the leaders and members of each group, as well as your volunteers.
Step 3. Delegate responsibilities to some of your employees and assign the most experienced of them to coordinate all activities
If it is a huge event, assign several people to coordinate several activities, under the supervision of a single person in charge. Remember that group members should have confidence in their group leader.
On the day of the event, consider assigning one or two people to meet and greet participants as they arrive on site. In principle, it is the reception committee which is responsible for boosting everyone's morale and giving the participants the feeling of being in good hands
Step 4. Make sure you keep the websites related to the event up to date
You're probably on Facebook and Twitter, but there are several other sites you can use to better promote your event. Eventbrite, Evite, and Meetup are 3 of the most important sites you need to think about. If you don't know them yet, go online right away!
And of course, don't forget your own website, blog, or Facebook page, if you have one. You can send reminders, post pictures, and manage your requests for reply (RSVP). The more active you are, the better you'll be noticed by everyone
Step 5. Ask delegates to fund and sponsor certain activities
You will have to face several expenses over the next few days and you are not going to pay everything out of pocket! Raise at least some money to cover up-front costs, like room and equipment rentals and maybe caterers. You may have to prepay for certain things or services.
Make sure you have an adequate administrative procedure in place for receiving, confirming and billing the services you will need. You need to keep track of everything you do so that you can refer to it later and therefore you had better get organized from the start, especially if your business partners are messing around
Step 6. Advertise your event
Prepare brochures, run advertisements, brief the media, direct mail, give calls, send messages to groups, and visit participants or potential sponsors. What else can you do to get people to come? Take care to distribute complete information that leaves little room for questions. But after all, you also want to arouse the curiosity of your audience!
Define your target audience. If you're trying to reach older people, you aren't going to waste your time sending them snapchats. Go to places frequented by your participants and use the tools that are familiar to them. Strive to be very accessible and behave normally
Step 7. Gather everything you need for your event
For example, medals, games, small souvenirs, prizes or certificates. There are plenty of contraptions and contraptions that may go unnoticed to the inexperienced eye, but you know every nook and cranny and everything that can go in it. And don't forget the tables, chairs, sound system, posters, tablecloths and all that important stuff!
This question, in itself, deserves a whole working session with your collaborators. Don't stop thinking about it until you spot 5 oversights, such as pens, first aid kit, batteries, ice and extension cords. You need to make sure, at all costs, that you have everything covered
Step 8. Get organized for everything
Arrange for photos and videos. Organize the movements of the guests. Also make arrangements for food and the cleaning crew. The list can grow from day to day, but that's normal, because you are organizing your event!
- Take care of the food and refreshments. This is also the time to plan for special facilities, such as those for disabled people, etc. Also check if some participants are vegetarians or if they have special dietary needs.
- Plan chairs, tables, decor, microphones, speakers, computers, liquid crystal projectors (LCD), podiums, in short, all the equipment necessary to properly set up the site of the event.
Step 9. Prepare the list of people to contact
You will need the phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of all of your employees. Likewise, prepare the list of VIPs and your suppliers. These lists will come in handy if someone is absent or late.
Suppose your caterers are late? What are you going to do ? You take your nice list and give them a call. Did they really think you were going to get that 100kg of pulled pork? Well, whatever. You give the list to François and you ask him to go with his truck to the address indicated. And voila ! Now you know what you have to do, either stop using them or be more specific by providing your contact details
Step 10. Go to the venue of the event with your collaborators
Take a tour and carefully check the parking areas, toilets, green rooms, the layout of entrances and exits. Find places nearby where you can make photocopies or make emergency calls and make purchases. In short, try to know the terrain like the back of your hand.
Also speak to your contact person. He / She must know the place better than anyone. Is there a specific problem you should be aware of? Are there time constraints? Would you be required to keep the doors closed at certain times? Will there be, God forbid, routine fire drills during the demonstration?
Part 3 of 4: 24 hours before the event
Step 1. Keep Calm
You are almost at the end of your sentences. It is extremely important to keep your ideas clear and not to lose control. You spent months preparing! Everything will be alright. If you keep calm, your team will behave like you and the event will take place in good conditions. In addition, everything will be finished very quickly!
Seriously, you've almost come to the end of your sentences. You have planned everything, you have thought of all the possible problems. If something happens, you will be able to overcome the difficulty. And remember, no one will blame you. Loud guest, poor food, don't beat yourself up because attendees know you can't control everything. So relax, everything will be fine
Step 2. Make final checks with your team
Make sure you let everyone know the time of the event and how to get there. You do not want all the same that the day of the event all your collaborators ask you at the same time where is this sacred service door.
Even if you don't get questions, do your best to assess the behavior of your people. Are they satisfied with the description of their duties? Do they get along with each other? Otherwise, chat with them and try to iron out the difficulty together. Maybe someone would be more comfortable doing something else or working with someone else
Step 3. Check all the invitations and responses you have received
Make the guest list and assign someone to count the attendees. In most cases, the number of people present will be different from the number of people who responded. You may have received 50 affirmative responses and end up with 5 or 500 people present. So, even knowing how many responses you received, be prepared for extreme situations!
While you're at it, remind your distinguished guests of the event. You'll be surprised how many people will tell you, "Oh yes, that's right! It's tomorrow isn't it? »You can avoid forgetting by giving a simple phone call or sending an SMS
Step 4. Go to the event venue and check that everything is ready
Is the room clean and available? Is electronic equipment installed? Have we done the proper functioning tests? Can you install equipment in advance if necessary? Are the staff ready?
Check if the number of people present to supervise the event is sufficient. Of course, it's always better to have more people. You might need someone who can run an urgent errand, greet a guest of honor, or deal with an unforeseen event; or simply to find coffee
Step 5. Prepare the participant kits
Each kit may include a bottle of water, a light snack, a notebook, a pen, a brochure, and the necessary information. You can also include small keepsakes. It is really the detail that will make participants think that the event was well designed and well organized. And they'll really think you're taking care of them!
This can be reserved for guests or your collaborators or both! Who doesn't love being given a granola bar and a pen?
Step 6. Make a script
It is a list that contains all the necessary information classified according to the schedule and the room. Prepare a timed schedule for important activities. The structure of the file is up to you. Try not to load it in such a way as to make it easier to read.
If you are really picky and very diligent, you can set up several scripts. Speakers may ask you for a list of other speakers with their location and time. Your team will want a list of equipment, times and rules for cleaning operations. If you have the time to prepare them, you may find these lists helpful
Step 7. Prepare a checklist of actions to take at the event
It would be a disaster if you are there, everything is there, everyone is there and suddenly you realize that you have forgotten the 1200 cups for the coffee break at home. You would have ruined everything. So, make a checklist and take everything you need with you!
If things tend to pile up, assign a specific task to each member of your team. So, on the day of the demonstration, you will not waste your time running right and left, throwing fits. Two more hands lighten the burden… as the saying goes
Part 4 of 4: Manage the progress of the event
Step 1. Be early on site with your staff and volunteers
Check that everyone is present and make sure that the electronic equipment is working properly. Are there any last minute questions? If you have time, hand out a drink, say a few words of encouragement, then give them a little break! You have earned it. You are ready.
Make sure that the organizers wear a distinctive badge or other noteworthy insignia, to make it easy for participants to spot them when needed. Sometimes wearing fatigues is not enough
Step 2. Install everything
Inside and out. Do you have to hang balloons on the mailbox or a bulletin board on the corner? And what do you think of the doors and the main entrance hall? If participants have to take a complicated path, place as many signs as you can to better guide them.
- Don't forget the welcome banners and the informational banners which are very useful. Remember to make it easier for participants to locate the location of the event. Of course !
- Set up a reception and check-in counter. As soon as they arrive at the scene, participants should notice what they need to guide themselves. Otherwise, they may run around in circles and feel uncomfortable. Do you remember the receiving committee we talked about earlier? Place someone at the entrance to greet participants and answer their questions.
- Stream some music! It can dispel any discomfort that would otherwise have weighed down the mood.
Step 3. Make sure important people are aware of what is going on
If a speaker is running late, reschedule your schedule and notify those interested. If the meal lasts longer than expected, you should alert them to the program change. It is rare that things go on schedule, so be sure to let people know as changes occur.
Step 4. Take Pictures
You probably want to keep memories of your event. And seeing someone walking around with a camera can get participants excited. Don't forget the sponsor banner, yours, entrance, reception, etc. Maybe you can use them next year!
If possible, have a friend of yours or a professional photographer take care of all these details. There you have enough to do! But you have to take care of your guests, so get someone to take care of the photos etc
Step 5. Give a souvenir
Your attendees have probably learned something by attending your event and you want them to leave thinking something or wondering or thinking about taking action. So distribute a flyer or something they can take with them so that they can get some ideas for action after the event.
Consider creating a forum for feedback. Give participants the opportunity to follow up, have their say, suggest improvements, and let you know what their wishes are for the next event. And of course, how they can get involved
Step 6. Clean up the reception area
Read the electric meter, unhook banners, remove tables, etc. Return the premises to their initial situation, as they were before the demonstration. This is especially important, if you have rented the room and want to return to it. Homeowners may charge you a fee, which you could have avoided otherwise. Distribute the tasks so as to facilitate the operation as much as possible.
- Check that nothing valuable has been left behind and if so, set up a lost and found service
- Bring to the attention of the site manager any damage that may have occurred during the event. It is better to be honest and direct.
- Take care of the garbage and act within your means. The cleaning service will take care of this matter.
Step 7. Take care of all the tasks that come with holding your event
In fact, it depends on the nature of the event in question. You might not have much to do, but you can also end up with a long list of people to thank and a recipe to manage. Here are some ideas to get started.
- Thank all of your team members, volunteers and sponsors. You could not have made your event without them!
- Update and finalize your accounts. This task must be completed as quickly as possible. It is better to have a minimum of details to work out.
- Host a thank you reception for everyone who helped you, your staff should feel appreciated, and your donors should feel like they were part of a good cause.
- Distribute keepsakes or brochures to those affected.
- Distribute their shares of the recipe to the sponsors and the people concerned.
- Publish photos of the event on your website.
Step 8. Hold a post-event evaluation meeting to improve your organization in the future
Now that you've got it all done, are there things you could have done differently? Which points have worked well and which have not? Would you agree to organize such an event again? What did you learn ?
If you receive feedback, take it into account. If your guests don't, ask your collaborators to do so! What do they think of the event? At least, did they appreciate it themselves? Of course since they had a granola bar and a pen, right?
- On the day of the event, have someone take care of:
- general coordination
- of the green room
- stage activities
- from the master of ceremonies
- computers and liquid crystal projectors
- from the reception
- public management and public relations with participants
- parking areas
- of security
- distribution of gifts and certificates to affected persons and participants
- Prior to the event, assign someone to take care of the following:
- the godfathers
- local participants
- guest of honor and speakers
- development, printing, article collections and evaluation
- prizes, souvenirs, gifts, banners, certificates
- transport, caterers, venue, decoration, backdrop, parking
- media, public relations, marketing
- Consider the following points when choosing and negotiating the rental of a space for your event:
- the reception capacity, in number of delegates, without taking into account undecided delegates
- arrangements for serving meals, if you plan to offer one
- the schedule, which includes the start and end of the event
- the provisions relating to lighting, in particular in the event of a night event
- The air conditioning
- the provision of necessary equipment, such as microphones, loudspeakers, etc.
- the supply of furniture and accessories, such as tables, chairs, tablecloths, etc.
- the possibility of playing music for informal events
- the back-up generator, in the event of a breakdown
- access, even if the event takes place in the city center, where participants can come directly without problem
- rooms reserved for a particular use, for organizers or for speakers, etc.
- the total cost
- When someone offers you help or money, respond immediately and give sincere thanks.
- Smile frequently. Be courteous to everyone, your team, and also to others.
- To decide the date:
- check the availability of the guest of honor and other personalities for the date of the event
- determine what works best for your audience
- The various organizational tasks are similar to functions. The budget and the accounts correspond to the finances, the information of the delegates and the promotion of their participation resembles a marketing work, the management of the teams is akin to the management of human resources, the transport corresponds to the logistics, the event itself is analogous to exploitation and having good media relations is public relations.
- Identify which items should be outsourced, and which will be performed by your team members. Subcontracting depends, in particular on your budget, the time factor, the quality and the importance of the work to be subcontracted, etc.
- List of documents to prepare:
- the budget
- the programming and the time allocated to each activity
- the invitations
- the list of people to invite
- the action plan
- statements for the press conference
- the speeches
- the list of participants
- the comparative table of the speakers' notes and CVs
- the timetable
- the progress of the program minute by minute
- the contact list of the organizers and their cell phone numbers
- the checklist of things to pack
- the homework checklist
- the press release, for the media
- Be on time in everything you do. If you are late, let the person you depend on immediately.
- Take the initiative, try to find something to occupy yourself with, and do the backlog.
- When in trouble, don't blame others. You also don't have to take all the blame or escalate things, but instead strive to lighten the mood.
- Don't criticize anyone unless you have a constructive proposal.
- Never commission someone else to do your job.
- If you borrow an item, return it to its owner in due course.
- Don't repeat your mistakes.
- Planning is necessary. The planning of important tasks is done during work meetings. Try to comply with it.
- However, small group planning of methodology and how to get there, etc., is also important.
- It's important to implement an idea correctly, so plan to make it happen from start to finish.
- Work slowly and gradually. Avoid communicating in a rush, as you will be wasting your time.
- Be courteous and polite to everyone, but don't beg.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Report spontaneously to the person who commissioned you to do the job, regardless of the outcome you got. But do it on time.
- Write down all the important details.
- Look happy, especially when you are with the participants.
- Do not leave your assigned position.
- Be prepared to face any unforeseen situation. Sometimes things can escalate. If you are in a group, don't get angry when someone yells at you because the person may have lost their temper. If you are responsible for the coordination, avoid getting upset or panicking. Do things calmly. Try to anticipate the problems and the actions you can take to deal with them.
- Don't lose your cool and don't get upset. A balanced mind makes the right decisions at the right time.