The Events Chair shall be responsible for the planning and oversight of events.
An example of a low input event would be a liberty happy hour. This event requires little setup and gives members a chance to connect on a personal level. Although this event type requires less setup, we still need to have our organizers “ setting the table” for a successful event. The event should take place in a open area (as a bar or lounge section) where there are no physical barriers preventing attendees from mingling. We want this to be a true Libertarian mixer. We all love the chance to hang out with our longtime LP friends, but we have to keep in mind our higher purpose. We need to make sure we are making contact with all new attendees and making introductions to facilitate mingling. We want to keep the “official” fanfare to a minimum, but we should have a small check-in table to pass out name tags and have voter registration, membership cards and brochures on hand.
This model includes events where we will be hosting a guest speaker or conducting an annual convention or business session. The most important element of this model is selecting a venue that will meet the event’s needs for attendance, sightlines, noise level and facilities (food service, parking, etc.). Will a P.A. system be needed? Can the speaker be seen from all the seating areas? We want to have a venue that can handle all the attendees, but not give off a half-empty, cavernous feel. The “energy” of the room is important; it will affect the attendee’s impression of the event and the Party. Another key to this type of event is selecting a speaker who will engage your target audience. Make sure you target your promotions to the correct audience.
This model adds the challenge of interfacing with other groups. Try to keep in mind your goal for this specific event, and not make this about making it a “Libertarian” event. Take into account the viewpoints of your collaborators and concentrate on the viewpoints you share. That being said, we must be mindful to make sure that onlookers (specifically the press)know that we are willing to work with others, while we maintain our Libertarian principles. While being good “team members” we should always look to take a lead role.
This is where we take our message directly to the public. Make sure to bring the right brochures and props for the audience you intend to target. What works at a business forum might not work well on a college campus. Make sure to dress appropriately for the event. You want to look professional, but mesh with those in attendance.
- Schedule event at least one month out, including contacting or visiting the location. Two to six months is preferable.
- Produce and send emails: 30 days prior, one week prior, and one day before event.
- Place event on Meetup, Facebook and other sites of interest. Set up an event on main Facebook page and fan page in addition to the auto-post. Invite “friends” from area cities as well as previous attendees.
- Place event in local papers and other available media and sites such as Craigslist.
- Follow up in a personal email to all “maybes” from the email list and Facebook and Meetup group lists one week out. Contact by phone all regular fence-sitters and newer persons of interest the day before the event. Make note of regular “openers” of emails who do not typically attend. Follow up with them.
- Do post-event assessment
- Scheduling the event
Select an appropriate location.
- How much space will be needed? How many will attend?
- Will the noise level and privacy meet the event’s needs?
- Speak with managers of locations to determine if facility fits the event and cost structure. Keep a file on all scouted locations for reference in planning future events.
- Make reservation with facility one to six months in advance. Confirm reservation one week prior.
- This is also the minimum time frame for booking speakers and vendors.
- Place event on Party’s website calendar and notify Events Chair and all members involved in activity promotions.
- Email promotion
- Send emails one month before, the week of, and the day before the event.
- Prepare emails through Party’s email distribution provider (currently MailChimp). Make sure event is auto-posted on linked social networks.
- Social networks
- Meetup: Create an event on the Party’s website. Make sure to put in all event information such as location, time, cost, and attire (if applicable).
- Facebook: 1. Make sure the event has posted to the Party’s “fan page.” Ask other members to “like” and “share” the event. 2. Using the local Party’s “personal profile” (also called a “people page”), create the event and invite all of the pages’ “friends.” First select all known members. Then invite all friends in the local area and adjoining areas.
- Post to other sites of interest.
- Submit press releases to local newspapers and post to community sites, such as Craigslist.
- Follow up with prospects!
- Emails: Call and/or email all contacts that “opened” the event email. Locate this information in the campaigns-reports section in MailChimp.
- Meetup: Email or call all members who RSVP “maybe” and all known fence-sitters.
- Facebook: Contact all maybes and people who “like” or comment on the event or on the Party’s fan page.
- Perform follow-ups the week of and the day before the event.
- Don’t be afraid to enlist others to help with follow-ups.
- Invite friends to promote the event in both the virtual and real world.
- After event
- Hold a team debrief. Find out what did and did not work. Look for ways to improve the procedures, equipment, setup and suitability of the location.
- Follow up with new attendees and get their feedback (as well as other members).
- If we have a lower than expected attendance, go through the protocol and see what, if anything, was missed. Correct the deficiencies and look for ways to improve or change the procedures if necessary.